Spiritual Success or Distress?
Quarter 1, Lesson 4

Lesson Four

Jesus: The Aware Servant

Text: Matthew 20:25-28; John 15:9-13

Many people live their entire lives without knowing who they are or having a sense of purpose. Jesus was not such a person. He knew his identity prior to coming to this world (John 8:14,58). He knew his earthly purpose. He knew his earthly role. He never confused what he was before he came to earth with what he was while on earth.

Read Matthew 20:25-28.

  1. What two things did the rulers of Gentile nations [peoples who did not know the living, creator God] do as leaders (verse 25)?

  2. Jesus declared that his apostles would not be this kind of ruler. We will examine Jesus' teaching concerning this matter in next quarter's studies.

  3. Discuss how Jesus used himself and his example to teach the twelve a different way to lead.

  4. In this scripture, Jesus emphasized that his disciples would use this new leadership that was unknown in their world and rare in our world. This new form of leadership would be "leadership through serving." Leadership through serving is a primary feature of his kingdom that makes his people unique in our world.

    1. Please note that Jesus did not order the apostles to adopt this form of leadership. To order them to lead through serving [a concept that they did not understand] would not produce servant leadership.

    2. Please note that he challenged them to understand this new form of leadership by examining him and his leadership example. Jesus was their model. From the start of his ministry he led by being a servant leader. Only by understanding him could they understand servant leadership and practice it.

    3. From the perspective of "real world reality," discuss the apparent contradiction between the concept of a servant and the concept of a leader.

    4. What does this apparent contradiction indicate to you about Jesus' expectations for his people, the church, those who are his "called out" people?

  5. What was not Jesus' reason for coming (verse 28)?

  6. For what two reasons did Jesus come (verse 28)?

  7. What is a ransom?

    1. When a person willingly gives his or her life as a ransom, what does that tell you about the person?

    2. For whom did Jesus give his life a ransom?

    3. How did Jesus give his life as a ransom? Was his a "painless" gift?

    4. What does the fact that Jesus was willingly a ransom tell you about Jesus?

Read John 15:9-13.

  1. What had God done (verse 9)?

  2. What had Jesus done (verse 9)?

  3. What were the twelve to do (verse 9)?

  4. What is the meaning, the concept of "abide"?

    1. How did Jesus "abide" in God's love (verse 10)?

    2. How were the apostles to "abide" in his love (verse 10)?

  5. Why did Jesus give these instructions to the apostles (verse 11)?

  6. What was Jesus' commandment to the apostles (verse 12)? How were they to love each other? Throughout Jesus' ministry, had the apostles loved each other in this manner? Illustrate your answer.

  7. What is the greatest love one person can show for another person (verse 13)?

    1. Why is this the greatest expression of love?

    2. Who is our example of such love?

    3. Discuss what our lives, our marriages, our homes, and our relationships would be if Jesus had not loved us that much.

No person will practice servant leadership without faith in and commitment to Jesus. No person will love imperfect people as Jesus loved the imperfect apostles without faith in and commitment to Jesus. Nothing can more powerfully influence who and what we are than Jesus' example. That example is our spiritual foundation and our guide.

Link to Teacher's Guide Quarter 1, Lesson 4

Copyright © 1999, 2000
David Chadwell & West-Ark Church of Christ

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