The Intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership III: Jesus’ Example

Posted: March 28, 2013 in Catholic Church, Discipleship, Leadership, Serving others
Tags: , , ,
El Lavatorio, by Tintoretto (1518-1594)via Wikimedia Commons

El Lavatorio, by Tintoretto (1518-1594)
via Wikimedia Commons

Last week, a class assignment required me to write some evidences that Jesus demonstrated a strong leadership style, but also modeled true humility. The assignment turned out to be a fitting extension of some earlier posts on humility and dynamic leadership:

The Intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership I

The Intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership II

 

Evidence that suggests Jesus had strong leadership style:

Choosing the disciples. Mark 16:13-35, John 15:16a – “you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you.” Jesus accepted anyone who came, but He hand-selected the Twelve. I see this as a sign of a very strong leadership style.

Speaking to the Pharisees. Matthew 23:1-36, and others. Jesus’ polemic against the Pharisees in Matthew 23 is unbelievably harsh. There is no wishy-washy, tolerant element in His condemnation of the Pharisees.

Driving out the moneychangers. Matthew 21:12-13. This was the first example I thought of. In John 2:13-16, which may be a separate incident, He used a whip. Interestingly, in Matthew, immediately after doing this, the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. Were they unable to enter the temple before He whipped the moneychangers out of it? If so, although this is definitely an example of strong leadership, He is also modeling humility, by taking it upon Himself to remove a barrier that kept the “unable”  and disenfranchised from worshipping.

“Get behind me, Satan”. Matthew 16:23. Pretty strong words directed toward the leader of the disciples. Jesus puts him in his place with no ambiguity.

The Cucifixion. All the gospels. The demands, but the bravery required. Although I thought of the Cross as an example of modeling humility, the more I thought about it, the more I realized the personal strength required for Jesus to go through with the Cross. Perhaps not an example of strong leadership style, but definitely an example that the Servant was no wimp.

 

Evidence of Jesus modeling humility:

Baptism by John. Matthew 3:13-17. Just as He was initiating His public ministry, Jesus willingly submitted to John baptizing Him, modeling humility and obedience for us.

The Cana miracle. John 2:1-12. When we read this passage, the story is told in such a way as to imply that Jesus wasn’t planning on beginning His ministry yet, but performed the miracle of turning water into wine because His mother boxed him into a corner. He asks her why she is involving him, and her reply is to tell the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do. Instead of continuing to insist that His hour has not yet come, He humbly turns the water into wine. Of course, my Catholic friends in Poland see some much further implications for His submission to His mother (they would probably prefer that I capitalize Mother), but it is hard to avoid seeing His humility toward her.

Footwashing. John 13:1-17. After He washes the disciples’ feet, He tells them: “ Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” This is more than just symbolic. As far as I know, there is no contemporary account of a leader doing such a servile act for his followers.

The Cross. Every gospel. This is the ultimate example of humility. He lay down His life, so His followers could live (forever).

Can we use Jesus’ example for our own roles in leadership?

Comments
  1. […] The Intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership III […]

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  3. grace pittman says:

    Thanks, Randy. I am enjoying your blogs so much. Have a wonderful Easter over there.

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