According to Matthew, a Roman centurion’s servant suffered from palsy, a medical condition marked by paralysis of one or more limbs and by uncontrollable shaking. The servant afflicted with this condition was unable to care for himself much less for his master; instead, the centurion had to care for his servant. They had reversed roles in an example of “servant leadership”.
The Roman centurion didn’t exercise his power by commanding Jesus to follow him; instead, he surrendered his power to a higher authority and humbly asked for the Lord’s help. The centurion showed that he had listened to his servant’s pleas, had empathized with his suffering and had sought out a healer. Then he persuaded Jesus to heal his servant and believed that his servant had been cured. His act of servant-leadership was a foreshadowing of the way in which the Christian community would be spread to all the corners of the earth by servant leaders known as disciples.
“Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.” (Matthew 8: 5-11)
As a concept and a discipline, servant-leadership extends well beyond the walls of our school. The example of the centurion reminds us that it also applies to our relationships with our family, friends and, especially, those in need.
Six Core Traits of Leadership
“Rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:4-5)
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)
“So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” (Acts 24:16)
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” (Mark 10:45)
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)