Summary: Many people love harshness in a leader, but Jesus was loving and forgiving. People desire to be leaders but few qualify, only those who rule as Jesus deserve authority.
The Leadership Style of Jesus: Is It Your Style? By Kelly Durant 9-6-15
Matthew 11: 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
2. The U.S. Presidential elections are over a year away and yet people want to talk about leadership and what the next leader should be like. Some people love to see everyone mowed down and put in their place! The get tough legalistic kind might work well for certain things, but depending on the position, would a softer spoken more evenly balanced kind be better?
Let’s compare Jesus to John in their leadership styles. John was your tough legalistic accuser! He was the righteous law upholder, reminding everyone that if you did not repent and be baptized that you would see the wrath of God! When John saw sin, he exposed it with blunt confrontation! This type of aggressiveness served a purpose and may be needed for exposure of the evil of certain people, sins and situations.
Recall how John accused Herod the king telling him God would punish him? That it was not lawful for him to have his sister’s wife! That cost him his head! But despite his rough confrontational style he was sincerely holy and loved God’s righteousness.
3. Jesus on the other was usually a merciful tender-hearted mercy giver. We recall how Jesus reacted when the people caught the woman in the act of adultery. Did he say, “Okay let God’s judgments reign down, stone her!” No, he replied that she should go and sin no more!
Jesus was teaching all that there is no one worthy enough, no one holy enough, no one who actually is holy enough that they should condemn another. The point: everyone can and should repent and be forgiven to start a new life in God’s will, not their own.
Jesus was not usually confrontational (except with the hypocrite false religious teachers misrepresenting God) but rather his classic way was that of offering the woman caught in adultery forgiveness while at the same time subliminally rebuking those who were the hypocrite accusers. He was exposing that all of them were just as sinful as her, and the people hated Him for it! Jesus did not hit them with rebuking words direct like John might have, but he exposed sin by the conviction of the Holy Spirit! How many of you have felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit in your life? Jesus was confrontational with the perverters of God’s Word, the hypocrites. In general He allowed the Holy Spirit to work on most everyone.
4. So what is happening with the leadership styles? John attacks and condemns with the truth, but Jesus loves and forgives with the truth! Does this remind you of the ways of certain people you know? Some Christians seem to accuse their leaders and everyone of this and that, and are hard, hard, harsh and unforgiving while yet others offer understanding and forgiveness!
In the church when someone has a sin, the reaction of some is to want to throw stones, they want the pastor to confront and expose the person and condemn them, to attack and beat them with the truth. It is common knowledge that people frequently complain in the churches and say, “Look, the pastor is not rebuking the ones with sin, he is not doing his job! Recall though that sometimes the pastors are not aware of the sins happening because the people are good at hiding and covering it up. The stories people tell about others are usually not the whole truth either. You and I need to give God’s Holy Spirit a chance to work in people’s lives. God has to reveal when we should reject and rebuke or when we should love and heal according to each individual situation.
5. People who love confrontation do not seem to care if the person accused gets offended and lost from God and the church! To me this is not very Christian unless there is evidence of some damaging sin. All confrontational people care about is seeing things get done because they are running their mouths. An agenda of proving that another person is more sinful than what they are, and that they want to be looked at as a great leader for wanting punishment is usually spiritual pride. This makes them feel righteous. But this detracts from the sins they have in their own heart that they should be working on! Consider these verses…
Hebrews 12:12-Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.