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Summary: A close look at apparent contradictions in the bible that are really powerful truths. Powerpoint available.

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CONTRADICTIONS

LESSON IV

SERVANT-LEADER

Matt. 20:24-28

October 29, 2006

DO YOU REMEMBER THE DEFINITION OF AN OXYMORON?

A SEEMINGLY CONTRADICTORY FIGURE OF SPEECH.

THE EXAMPLE WE USED WAS . . . DEAFENING SILENCE.

WE IN AMERICA LOVE TO BUTCHER THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE BY PUTTING WORDS TOGETHER THAT CONTRADICT ONE ANOTHER, AND YET WE SPEAK THEM AS IF IT’S THE PROPER USE OF BOTH WORDS.

HERE ARE SOME I KNOW YOU HAVE HEARD IF NOT USED YOURSELF.

IT’S A . . . DEFINITE MAYBE.

YES, THIS IS AN . . . EXACT ESTIMATE.

I WAS GIVEN A . . . DETAILED SUMMARY.

HERE IS THE . . . ORIGINAL COPY.

HOW ABOUT A COUPLE OF OXYMORONIC STATEMENTS.

SOME PEOPLE SAY I’M SUPERFICIAL, BUT THAT’S JUST ON THE SURFACE.

IF THERE IS ONE THING I CAN’T STAND . . . IT’S INTOLERANCE.

WE ARE IN THE FOURTH WEEK OF A FIVE WEEK SERIES DEALING WITH CONTRADICTIONS.

WE’VE BEEN LOOKING AT APPARENT CONTRADICTIONS IN SCRIPTURE AND WE HAVE SEEN THEY ARE NOT CONTRADICTIONS AT ALL – THEY ARE POWERFUL TRUTHS TO LIVE BY.

– FREEDOM FROM SIN IS SLAVERY TO CHRIST.

– THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST.

– SURRENDER IS NOT LOSING.

TODAY OUR FOURTH LESSON IS AN APPARENT OXYMORON.

– SERVANT LEADER.

I WOULD LIKE TO USE A PORTION OF SCRIPTURE WE HAVE ALREADY USED FOR ONE OF OUR LESSONS BUT AS YOU WILL SEE IT APPLIES HERE AS WELL.

MATT. 20:24-28.

YOU KNOW THE STORY.

JAMES AND JOHN’S MOTHER ASKS JESUS IF HER SONS CAN SIT ON HIS RIGHT AND LEFT WHEN THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS ESTABLISHED.

WHAT SHE WAS ASKING WAS, “CAN MY BOYS SIT IN A PLACE OF AUTHORITY?”

“CAN MY KIDS RULES OVER PORTIONS OF YOUR KINGDOM?”

FOR THE RECORD, PLEASE NOTICE JAMES AND JOHN WERE NOT INNOCENT BYSTANDERS AS THEIR MOTHER APPROACHES JESUS.

THEY WERE IN IT WITH HER. VERSES 22 AND 23 JESUS SAYS TO THE BROTHERS, DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU’RE ASKING?

THEY WERE IN ON IT.

SO THEN JESUS HAS TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT AND HE SAYS TO ALL THE DISCIPLES . . .

“LOOK GUYS, IF YOU WANT AUTHORITY AND LEADERSHIP LEARN TO SERVE AND STOP TRYING TO PUSH YOURSELF TO THE TOP.”

WE TALKED ABOUT THIS TYPE OF THING IN OUR LESSON “THE LAST WILL BE FIRST,” BUT THIS MORNING I WANT TO BE VERY SPECIFIC ABOUT BEING A LEADER.

I HAVE A TWO-FOLD PURPOSE TODAY.

1. TO SCARE PEOPLE AWAY FROM LEADERSHIP.

2. TO ENCOURAGE MORE PEOPLE TO BECOME TRUE LEADERS.

HOW IS THIS FOR KEEPING WITH OUR THEME OF CONTRADICTIONS?

LET’S SEE IF I CAN SCARE A FEW PEOPLE.

WHEN JESUS ASKED JAMES AND JOHN IF THEY COULD DRINK FROM HIS CUP IT WAS A METAPHOR FOR ASKING, “ARE YOU ABLE TO HANDLE ALL THAT COMES WITH LEADERSHIP?”

IN JESUS’ CASE HE WAS REFERRING TO SUFFERING AND DYING.

JAMES AND JOHN REPLIED, YES WE CAN DO IT.

WELL THEY DID. JAMES WAS MARTYRED AND JOHN WAS TORTURED AND DIED IN EXILE.

IT IS A TRUE STATEMENT WHEN I SAY, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR.

WITH LEADERSHIP COMES HARDSHIP.

ONE OF THE LONELIEST, MOST PAINFUL PLACES TO BE IS IN THE ROLE OF A LEADER.

THE FOLLOWER SEES THE DECISION MAKER, THE VISIONARY, THEY HEAR THE “DECLARATION”, THEY SEE THE PUBLIC PERSONA.

THE FOLLOWER SEES THE FORCEFUL ONE WHO IS LEADING AN ORGANIZATION.

OFTENTIMES FOLLOWERS WILL LOOK TO THE LEADER AND FANTASIZE ABOUT WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO BE IN THAT ROLE.

BUT AGAIN, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR.

WHEN A LEADER MAKES A DECISION THERE ARE ALWAYS 2 REACTIONS BY THE FOLLOWERS.

COMFORT OR FRUSTRATION, MAYBE EVEN ANGER.

IF THE DECISION MAKES SOMETHING BETTER FOR ONE, THERE IS COMFORT.

BUT SINCE A DECISION ALSO INCONVENIENCES OR CHANGES WHAT ANOTHER IS DOING, THERE IS FRUSTRATION OR ANGER.

AND YOU KNOW SOMETHING?

MORE TIMES THAN NOT WHEN SOMEONE IS FRUSTRATED OR ANGRY THEY COMPLETELY FORGET ANY OF THE TIMES THE LEADER BROUGHT COMFORT.

JESUS HEALED THE SICK, RAISED THE DEAD, AND SPOKE LIFE.

THE SAME ONES WHO WITNESSED THE HEALING OF THE BLIND MAN STOOD BEFORE PILATE AND INSISTED THAT JESUS BE KILLED.

MOSES LED THE PEOPLE OUT OF BONDAGE, BUT KORIAH AND HIS CREW WANTED TO TAKE OVER AND GET RID OF GOD’S LEADER.

DAVID WAS A MIGHTY WARRIOR WHO DEFEATED THE ENEMIES OF GOD, BUT HE WAS ON THE RUN FOR HIS LIFE.

PAUL PREACHED THE WONDERFUL TRUTH OF SALVATION TO THE CORINTHIANS, BUT HE WAS LATER FORCED TO DEFEND HIS APOSTLESHIP TO THE SAME PEOPLE.

JESUS SAID TO JAMES AND JOHN, DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE ASKING?

THEY REPLIED, YES. BUT THEY DIDN’T HAVE A CLUE.

LEADERS AND THOSE WHO WANT TO BE LEADERS, IT’S ABOUT TO GET WORSE.

YOU SEE, IN SPITE OF THE WAY MOSES, JESUS AND PAUL WERE TREATED THEY WERE STILLED CALLED TO BE SERVANT LEADERS.

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