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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?
Leadership begins in the home.
As leaders we must understand the gravity of this one statement. If we can’t lead our homes what makes us believe we can lead others?
Peter’s mother-in-law is sick with fever. Let’s be honest. You must be a pretty good leader if you’re being asked to pray for someone’s mother-in-law! Leadership is all about restoring others, serving others and loving others.
Isn’t this the model Jesus left for us? He loved others. He served others and he brought restoration to lives.
Note what happens next. The crowd comes to Jesus. Jesus simply helps one woman. She then responds by utilizing her gifts. She served. Leadership is all about helping others discover their gifts and then seeing them act upon them. This builds the Kingdom!
Following this, the crowd comes to Jesus. Leadership is not about attempting to draw a crowd to yourself. It’s about serving the one and then watching what God does in the midst of your service.
How are you utilizing your leadership for the one?
The power of words.
Before Luke records the first of Jesus’ miracles he draws our attention to the authority of Jesus. As Jesus speaks the man with the unclean spirit is confronted with this authority. Jesus commands the demon to depart and the man is set free.
Do your words as a leader bring freedom to others? Do we fancy ourselves more with catchy phrases, one-liners, or echoes from others or do we aim to speak words of freedom?
Our words have immeasurable power. One word spoken can alter the future of someone. We are cautioned to speak less and listen more (James 1.19). It’s in our listening that the words we eventually speak do so with more authority.
This is the first miracle Luke records and it has to do with Jesus’ authority. From here we see Luke record in verse 37 that reports about Christ travelled into the surrounding region. In other words our words go before us.
Our reputation precedes our arrival.
Most of the time our reputation is explained through others by the words we speak. People will quote you as a leader. We do well to guard the words we speak about others.
Be known more for the words of compassion you speak than the words of criticism. Criticism never built a relationship or ushered in a vision.
Allow me to challenge you to spend the next week focusing on speaking less and listening more.
Be known more as a person who encourages other than someone who degrades.
How fast things can turn against someone with vision. In the span of a few moments the group went from, speaking well of him (verse 22) to leading Jesus to a cliff to throw him down it (verse 29).
Thus we have a picture of a leader’s life. One minute you and your vision are being applauded and the next, everyone seems to be against you and it. A leader would do well to learn a lesson here.
Never allow the applause of men to lull you into believing that everyone is for you. The crowd can and does turn quickly. What is important is to stand with courage and resolve, believing that the vision God has given is meant to help the very people who are now out to harm you.
Never give up on the crowd. Though they may very well turn their back on you, remain focused on your call. God is with you and will guide you each step of the way. Our role is to simply carry the vision to the places and people God sets before us. He is leading us!
Once again, we see that the very ones who know us best seem to be the very people who have the most difficult time accepting our leadership. Jesus doesn’t seem to let this bother him as he continues to move forward with resolve.
Your leadership may not be accepted where you’d like to see it received. This may be a sign that God has other plans. Keep trusting him in the midst of this.
Have you encountered opposition to your vision?
What is God showing you through this?
I’m always amazed at how Jesus handled himself in the crowds. Following the reading from the scrolls he sits down. He doesn’t attempt to fight the naysayers, rather he sits down. Everyone in the synagogue had their eyes fixed on him.
Allow God to raise you up.
Verse 22, tells us that all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. It’s the would be leader who attempts to defend their legacy or leadership that we should avoid.
Leadership is found in the gracious words we speak while in the crowds. Jesus learned to speak grace long before he acted on grace. His words matched his actions.
Later in the same verse those present question Jesus’ heritage. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son,” they ask? In other words, how is this possible? “He is a simple carpenter,” were the whispers floating through the air.
May your leadership be met with those same whispers.
Let it be said of you that God has positioned you for such a time as this. May the essence of your leadership be that of graciousness.
Remember, regardless of your heritage, God is able to exalt you to greater places of leadership. Don’t allow your past to upset your potential.
Make it a point to speak words of grace to others.
How are you matching the words you speak to the action you desire?
If we can’t lead our homes we can’t lead the masses. Following a period of temptation and with a message to deliver to the people, Jesus returns home to Nazareth. Your leadership and vision begin at home.
Lead at home.
As dysfunctional as religion was in his days he continues to make his way to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Rather than speak against it, he sets out to make a difference (verse 16). Again we are led to understand that Jesus’ vision is to work to make things right rather than sit on the sideline to criticize and condemn.
Lead with conviction, courtesy, confidence and compassion.
Verse 17 tells us the scroll was handed to Jesus. As leaders we would well to remember that it is God who hands us vision and authority. Jesus didn’t come in demanding anything. He came in as was his custom. In other words he had come in several times before and not asked to read or speak. Jesus understood the need for discipline and humility.
There is leadership in silence and discipline.
It is in this moment that he shares his mission. Once again we see that his entire aim is to use his life to bring hope to others. This is the purpose of a leader’s life. He was out to love, serve and bring life to others.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
In what ways are you leading your home?
How are you embarking on a journey of discipline?
How is this opening doors for you to lead?