FOLLOW THE LEADER
Holy and Mighty God, there is truly none like you in all of creation. How great you are.
Read MATTHEW 12:15–21
God’s Chosen Servant
15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. 16 He warned them not to tell others about him. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
21 In his name the nations will put their hope.”[a]
- Matthew 12:21 Isaiah 42:1-4
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
What good leaders have you come across in your life? Remember some of the things they did to help you and others and give thanks for them.
What qualities does our society attribute to a strong leader: assertiveness, confidence, someone who takes no messing and gets things done? Many in Jesus’ day expected their Messiah to be like this: a kingly warrior who would bring judgment to the world. However, Jesus did not see himself as this kind of Messiah and he ordered the crowds not to tell others who he was, because he knew they would have this wrong perception.
Jesus may not have matched people’s ideas about the Messiah, but he did fulfill the expectations of Scripture: Matthew identifies him with the Suffering Servant spoken about by the prophet Isaiah and shows how Jesus was like this figure. He did not seek to draw attention to himself by announcing his presence in the streets with triumphant cries and trumpet calls. Neither did he lose patience with the weak and condemn the failing, despite being without sin himself. When he learned of the Pharisees’ plots against him, he simply walked away (v 15) even though he could have avenged himself against them. He certainly had the power and authority to dominate and subdue his enemies, as was traditionally expected of the Messiah. The incredible power he possessed is clear from the miracles he performed and the authority he had over demons. He was the very Son of God but did not lord it over people. Instead, he showed humility, gentleness and love. These may not be the first characteristics that spring to mind when we think of successful leaders, but they were Jesus’ qualities.
How far do our ideas of leadership differ from the world’s and in what ways do we seek to follow Christ’s example in any leadership roles we have?
Dear Lord, transform our thinking about leadership and power, so we see it in terms of serving rather than lording it over others. Help us to follow your example.
Lord, as I seek to be your servant, I need your wisdom. I want to always please you and I ask for your guidance. Thank you for hearing my prayer.
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