Faithlife Sermons

Jesus the Leader

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A young executive was leaving the office late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand. "Listen," said the CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?" "Certainly," said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button. "Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. "I just need one copy."
So far, we have only been looking at Jesus from the standpoint of God. Remember that Jesus was not just God, He was also man.
Here is what the Nazarene Manual says about Jesus.
2. We believe in Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead; that He was eternally one with the Father; that He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary, so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say the Godhead and manhood, are thus united in one Person very God and very man, the God-man.
We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and that He truly arose from the dead and took again His body, together with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith He ascended into heaven and is there engaged in intercession for us.
Very God and Very man. What does that mean? It means He was completely God and Completely man. His nature was not a mix like 50/50 or 70/30. It was 100/100. His God nature did not detract from His Human nature or the Human Nature from the God Nature.
Now the last two messages focused on Jesus God Nature - This week we will look at His Human side. We want to look at some of the qualities He displayed while He was here on Earth. What leadership qualities did Jesus display?
Now there have been plenty of leadership books written with this premise and more articles than you can shake a stick at, but I want us to go there today because I sad at the beginning of this series that I wanted us to really see Jesus for who he is. We looked at His Authority (or sovereignty) and Him being part of the Trinity - what that Trinity has provided for us.
Was Jesus a good leader? If so, why? What can we take away from His example that we can use in everyday life, even if we are not in a daily leadership position?
Many of the qualities that make people a good leader also make them a good human being. We have had people who were not good human beings make popular leaders, but that is not the same thing.
On this 2nd Sunday of Lent, I want us to peek into a scene that is famous. It is one of the few where Jesus is actually saying something about leadership. It is a principle He is going to put into practice soon

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

Pray for message:
So what do we see here in this passage?
About to eat Passover
2. Jesus had spoken about the religious leaders…how does this contrast?

You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues 7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

3. What do we see when we contrast these passages?
Jesus cared about each of them as an individual
They were not a voting block or a group to put Him in power
He knew them. Families, Interests, hobbies, challenges, talents
He developed them and taught them
He didn’t expect them to know everything on their own
He told them important things more, less important things less.
He showed them what obedience looked like so they could practice it. He set an example.
There were other times he set an example for this.
Frequently pointed to the Father as His source.

49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak

He was also listened to the Holy Spirit

Immediately the Spirit *impelled Him to go out into the wilderness.

Jesus built relationships
Imagine what it would be like to have the person you most respect in this entire world, humble themselves before you.
Jesus had worked on the relationship with these men for 3 years. This was the culmination of that work.
Jesus had sent them out once on their own before - in pairs and now would be leaving the whole ministry to them.
Jesus modeled Love
Compassion when hungry
Weeping over Israel
Washing their feet
For Jesus, leadership was love, it was relationship.
He told them, yes, I am your teacher, yet I still do this.
Could it be that all of the leadership qualities of Jesus that we could name and see, all flow from His Love, Compassion and Wisdom?
They didn't come from an education
They didn’t come from His authority - He ended up laying that aside at the end

So what

Jesus was God and Man - How do we emulate that?
We emulate his love and compassion and listen to the Wisdom He left in Scripture. We see what Jesus said about the leadership styles of the Pharisees and rulers of the gentiles
We see the example He set when He washed the disciples feet.
What should we take away for our interactions with others?
We are trying to see Jesus
If we see the Human Nature clearly, we can work with the Holy Spirit to be like Jesus
He didn’t shy away from people who were not popular, neither did He get caught up in their mess.
He told them the truth, sometimes in a plain manner, sometimes in a manner that made them think.
Obviously, we will have some challenges when we try to convince people to believe that Jesus is the answer, but if we can show them Jesus by emulating these qualities that made Him an awesome leader, then it is easier for them to believe what we tell them.
Last, when we fail to live up to this, we need to own it and apologize for it.
Jesus was not just God, He was man. An awesome man who is worth trying to be like when we see Him clearly. Some people say a good leader is one who helps their employees do their job better, we can help each other do our jobs better (reach the word) when Jesus is our example.

Nurture a Christ-like servant-hearted character - From Claybury international in the UK

Focus on others

Serve others so they can grow and be effective in God’s service. Ask yourself “What else can I do to enable each person I lead to achieve his or her full potential?”

Take responsibility for understanding

Effective communication is essential. So take responsibility and ask yourself, “What can I do to ensure that others have understood me and that I have understood them?”

Consider the individual

Make cooperation more effective by developing the best relationships you can with those you lead. Ask yourself, “How can I improve the manner in which  we work together by adjusting how I interact with each person?”

Nurture the character

Encourage others to live out Christ-like values. Ask yourself, “How can I affirm those who are honest and truthful, and how can I better reflect Christ’s love by treating everyone with honesty and dignity?”

Model the way

Like it or not, you are a role model to those whom you lead, and actions speak louder than words. Ask yourself, “How can I make my values to be more Christ-like and live them out in front of those whom I lead?”

Inspire a shared vision

A shared vision of purpose and outcome, which is owned by all, is the key to achieving the goal. Ask yourself, “How can I engage my team to build a shared vision that encourages greater levels of cooperation?”

Challenge the process

It is always possible to be more effective, making it easier to achieve the desired outcomes. Ask yourself, “How can I encourage my team to continually find better ways of doing things?”

Enable others to achieve

Our goal is to enable others to achieve. Ask yourself, “How can I better equip and empower those whom I lead to more easily reach fulfill our shared vision?”

Encourage the heart

Knowing that one is valued is an important encouragement for everyone. Ask yourself,“How can I publicly and genuinely recognise the value of individuals and their achievements?”
House, Nazarene Publishing . Church of the Nazarene Manual 2017-2021 . Nazarene Publishing House. Kindle Edition.
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