Gentile tyrannical leadership (Mk 10:42-10:42)

“Jesus called them.

He said to them.

‘You know

That among the gentiles

Those whom

They recognize

As their rulers,

Lord it over them.

Their great ones

Are tyrants

Over them.”

 

καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει αὐτοῖς Οἴδατε ὅτι οἱ δοκοῦντες ἄρχειν τῶν ἐθνῶν κατακυριεύουσιν αὐτῶν καὶ οἱ μεγάλοι αὐτῶν κατεξουσιάζουσιν αὐτῶν.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 20:25, almost word for word, and Luke 22:25, but slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus called his 12 apostolic leaders to himself (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) because of this dispute among them.  He said to them (λέγει αὐτοῖς) that they knew that among the recognized gentile rulers (Οἴδατε ὅτι οἱ δοκοῦντες ἄρχειν τῶν ἐθνῶν), the Romans and the Greeks, they lorded it over their people (κατακυριεύουσιν αὐτῶν).  Their great men acted like tyrants, exercising authority (καὶ οἱ μεγάλοι αὐτῶν κατεξουσιάζουσιν αὐτῶν).  Jesus explained that this autocratic power system, sometimes dictatorial, within the Roman Empire system was the way of the world.

 

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Greatness and humility (Mt 23:11-23:12)

“The greatest

Among you

Will be your servant.

All who exalt themselves

Will be humbled.

All who humble themselves

Will be exalted.”

 

ὁ δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος.

Ὅστις δὲ ὑψώσει ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται, καὶ ὅστις ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 14:11 and Matthew, chapter 20:26, when Jesus said that whoever wanted to be great among them must be their servant or waiter.  Whoever wanted to be first among them must be their slave.  Clearly, Jesus wanted his new leaders not to be like the gentile Roman leaders or the Jewish religious leaders, but to be like the apostles in the question about the greatest among them in chapter 18:1-4 of this work.  They were to be true leaders who served their people, as they practiced servant leadership, not dictatorial leadership.  Jesus said that the greatest among them would be their servant (ὁ δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος).  Whoever exalted themselves would be humbled (Ὅστις δὲ ὑψώσει ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται,).  On the other hand, anyone who humbled themselves would be exalted (καὶ ὅστις ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται).  This role reversal was an indication of the end times.

The bad rulers (Mic 3:1-3:3)

“I said.

‘Listen!

You officials

Of Jacob!

You rulers

Of the house of Israel!

Should you not know justice?

You hate the good!

You love the evil!

You tear the skin

Off my people!

You tear the flesh

Off their bones!

You eat the flesh

Of my people!

You flay their skin

Off them!

You break their bones

In pieces!

You chop them up

Like meat in a kettle,

Like flesh in a caldron!’”

Micah has a bitter rebuke concerning the savage behavior of the leaders in Israel and Jacob.  Yahweh, via Micah, used descriptive language to explain what these leaders were doing to their people, treating them like cattle.  Micah wanted them to listen to what he had to say.  They hated the good things, but loved the evil things.  They were skinning the people, tearing off their flesh, and eating them like cannibals.  They were breaking their bones and chopping them up to boil them like meat in a kettle.  This was despicable behavior.

The failure of the leaders (Jer 4:9-4:9)

“Yahweh says.

‘On that day,

Courage shall fail the king.

Courage shall fail the officials.

The priests shall be appalled.

The prophets astounded.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that on that day of invasion and destruction the kings and officials will lack courage. The priests will be appalled, while the prophets will be astonished. Their leaders will fail their people.