What our next Prime Minister can learn from Jesus

Boris Johnson is in poll position to become the next Prime MinisterReuters

Well it's certainly proving to be an absorbing leadership race even though the outcome seems pretty certain at the time of writing. Barring any "Boris blunders" we already know the name of our next Prime Minister.

Even his cocaine record is now "stupefyingly" clear! As he says, "It was a single inconclusive event that took place when I was a teenager and which I have extensively described already." One can only marvel at Boris' mastery of the English language, and await his Prime Ministerial "pontifications" with bated breath.

Boris is not just a character of course. He's a larger than life character and a unique phenomenon. But if the truth be known, we all are. I read recently that it's not just our DNA that singles us out. Our voice does, too, as do our nose pores!

We share common characteristics too, which accounts for the popularity of such personality type indicators as the Myers Briggs programme. Given this, then I was fascinated to read James Weinberg's recent article posted in Christian Today in which the Research Associate in Political Psychology and Citizenship Education at the University of Sheffield claimed that "it is certain people with very particular psychological characteristics that climb furthest up the greasy pole of politics".

And so he continues, "Politicians who had reached the top of their profession ....are more ambitious than their backbench colleagues and tend to place more importance on leadership, success and social recognition" both "in their personal and in their professional lives".

As I pondered these findings I couldn't help thinking again how the Kingdom of God turns the world's values upside down, or as many of us would prefer to say, "the right way up".

Jesus made this starkly clear when dealing with a pushy mother. She wanted to make sure her two sons ended up "top dogs" when He ascended to the throne. "You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them," He said. "But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many."

And unlike many a politician, his actions didn't undermine his credibility because just before he was taken off to be executed, he humbled himself and did the slave's job and washed his disciples' feet.

I take great encouragement from this. I will never achieve high office, and my attempts to serve God may well go unnoticed for the most part. But Jesus has shown us that even the most menial tasks, even if they are undertaken as far away from the spotlight as you could possibly imagine, can have the most immense significance in God's sight.

That might mean the way we care for someone we know who is elderly or housebound for example. It could mean, as it did for someone I know, taking the initiative and doing the washing up when everyone else has left the staffroom sink full of dirty dishes.

Mother Theresa seems to have grasped this heavenly insight if what I've read of her is correct. As George Mallone says in his helpful little book, "The Furnace of Renewal", she still chose to clean out the toilets in her community even after she had achieved mega star status.

Now we have no guarantee that this sort of servant attitude will win us popularity with the crowds. But we can be sure of one thing. It's worth taking Jesus' advice. He clearly got it right because God gave him the most conclusive vote of confidence in history by raising him from the dead.

Rob James is a Baptist minister, writer and church and media consultant to the Evangelical Alliance Wales. He is the author of Little Thoughts About a Big God