Calm in the storm.
I absolutely love how this verse begins. “On one of those days,…”
Ever have one of those days? Of course you have. We all have. You may very well be having one of them today. Jesus seemed to have a few of them himself.
Pharisees and teachers from all over were sitting, listening to Jesus. They had come from several towns, including Jerusalem. This fact informs us that there were several opinions in the room that day. Some of which were opposed to Jesus and His message.
As we will discover this account is the first of five incidents of controversy Luke tells us of. Jesus is facing a bit of a rough ride.
I have no way of confirming this, but human nature tells me that as Jesus is speaking, other teachers were outlining their responses and criticisms of all he was saying. To say he was outnumbered would be a gross understatement.
However, in the midst of surrounding opposition, Jesus remains focused on the mission and able to maintain his composure. We see this in the second half of verse 17.
“And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.”
His mission remained the cornerstone of each and every conversation and period of testing. Though surrounded by people who resisted him, he boldly moved forward with the task at hand.
You’ll also note that he continued to stay sensitive to what was going on. Jesus understood the power to heal was with him. He didn’t allow the crowd to diminish his ability to fulfill his mission.
Allow me to sum it up. Jesus was moved by compassion for the man he was about to heal, rather than the crowd around him. He was focused on the needs of the one over the opinions of the many.
How can we learn to stay in tune with what God is doing when the crowd says otherwise?
How do you react to opposition in your life?
There will be moments in your leadership when those we refer to as outcasts of society come to you looking for help. How you respond determines the magnitude of your leadership.
Jesus is approached by a leper. Lepers were not to approach people. As a matter of fact they were to call out, “leper” or “unclean” when people were near so as to not come close. This social outcast falls to the ground in front of Jesus and then, rather than call out “unclean” he asks for healing.
The leader who wishes to be in the limelight and with the crowd that offers him or her something in return is no leader. It’s the one who searches for a towel to wash other’s feet, rather than seeks the title, that is a true leader.
Your leadership will be defined by offering help to those who can give back nothing in return. Too many individuals desire only advancement. Jesus is only concerned about the condition of the man.
We see this further displayed when Jesus tells the leper to go and show himself to the priests. What is meant by this?
Jesus doesn’t stop at the man’s healing. He urges the man to go show himself so the former leper will be reunited in fellowship with others. Healing is the beginning. Community it the desired outcome.
The former leper was also incredibly lonely. He needed to be restored on the inside as well as the outside.
How is your leadership reflected when others approach you for help?
How are you restoring people to community through your leadership?
It’s been stated on more than one occasion that, people follow vision. We see this principle in action here is this moment. Men follow the lead of Jesus by putting their nets out in the deep water. This after a full day of fishing. They were tired, hungry and perhaps a bit frustrated.
In the midst of this, Jesus urges them to go back out for a catch. Once the men follow his lead they see the power and potential of this man. People are looking for leadership. People want to follow people who are leaders. But it goes much further than this one fact.
Of course knowing the end of the story is one advantage we have that the disciples did not. Peter and the others have no idea where this will carry them. Jesus knows. He is setting them up to become leaders. Shouldn’t this be the aim of each leader? To birth more leaders, capable of making more.
The men are simply happy to be following a leader. Little did they know that they will one day become leaders of the Church and the initial leaders of Christianity. Jesus takes a few men who were simple fishermen and turns them into world changers! That’s leadership!
Yet it doesn’t seem to be that the men would be leaders that draws them into following Jesus. It is something about Jesus that draws them. It is more than Jesus simply knowing how to fish. Regular fishermen would be happy to ask Jesus where the next catch would be and fish in that place next time. After all he had already led them to a great fishing spot once. Certainly he can do it again and again.
They see something in Jesus that compels them to leave their nets and lifestyle to follow.
What do you see in Jesus that urges you to follow?
What have you laid down in order to follow?
How is Jesus shaping your leadership? Where do you see him leading you?
This portion of Jesus’ journey begins with three words, “On one occasion…” Jesus had many of these type of events during his time on earth. John tells us that this is just one example of Jesus’ style of leadership.
People pressed in to hear the word of God. We can conclude two thoughts from this. First Jesus has said and done enough up to this point for people to have a desire to hear the message. Second, Jesus was not so much interested in promoting himself, but rather, the message.
Don’t get caught in the trap of leading people to yourself. Lead them to what brings life to their situation.
Notice Jesus’ leadership in the midst of chaos. The crowd is pressing. It’s loud. People are jockeying for position. The smell of fish and sweat. The breeze off the sea. Some are washing their nets, others are walking past wondering what’s up, and parents are attempting to keep track of their children.
It’s in the midst of all of this that Jesus formulates a strategic move. He jumps in the boat and immediately summons Peter to put his net into the deep water. The crowd is silenced. Jesus is focused on his mission.
The vast amount of distractions don’t seem to bother him. He is steadfast and resolute. Leaders know how to remain focused in the midst of chaotic happenings. They have a plan and stick to it. While others are watching what is happening, leaders are making it happen.
How do you handle chaos? Are you a fight, flight or make it right individual?
Leaders need rest.
Jesus takes moments for himself following a long night of meeting with people. Verse 42 tells us that when it was day, he departed. We don’t know whether he was able to sleep or if he ministered to people throughout the night.
Either way it appears he needs to break away from the crowds and spend time in solitude. Leaders know the value of solitude. It rests them from the demands of others, while preparing them for the opportunities ahead of them.
Our culture has turned things around when it comes to this subject. We should rest in order to work, rather than work in order to rest. It’s in our work that we worship. Rest then is God’s gift to us.
Once the people find Jesus he tells them he has to preach the good news to other towns. This was his purpose. This was why he rested.
Rest is a part of God’s purpose for your life as well. Those with the greatest vision and most potential for leadership view rest as a close friend. Without this friend, failure is inevitable.
What do you do to rest?
How are you enabling and encouraging those who follow you to find rest?