4. Jesus lived free of other people’s expectations and judgments.
Jesus lacked formal rabbinical education. His followers were suspect and his teachings were often offensive. His lifestyle was considered insufficiently radical. He didn’t fast enough. He ate and drank everything. He spent time with the wrong people. He didn’t appear “spiritual” or serious like John the Baptist. Father, give me the courage to follow you and not be sidetracked by any negative opinions from those around me.
5. Jesus showed us that the world’s definition of success is not God’s.
Jesus was content in appearing to be a failure. He did not do much to change the basic structural problems in Israel during his three-year ministry. The Pharisees/Sadducees still controlled the Temple and religious life. Herod still remained on the throne. And John the Baptist still remained in prison. Jesus seemed to run more of an ‘ambulance’ ministry (picking up the crushed victims of evil structures) than actually attack the political or economic powers head-on. He ended his life rejected and hated. Yet he thanked God regardless, trusting in his un-frustrated Father who was completely in control (Matt. 11:25-26). He redefined success as completing the unique work God had given him to do. Lord, help me to be a success by doing your will and trusting you with the rest.
As you reflect on these lessons, what new hopes or possibilities begin to open up for you?
P.S. Jesus constantly called people to the totality of discipleship (“Let the dead bury their own dead”), refusing to accept a half-repentance, a semi-serious commitment or a decrease in zeal for his kingdom. Let me invite you to get training to bring a discipleship to your church that deeply changes people’s lives and provides the foundation for living out the radical leadership lessons of Jesus.
This article about Jesus as a leader originally appeared here.