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?
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?
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?
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 love receiving personal mail. Call me old fashion but there is something about walking out to the mailbox and discovering something other than a bill or advertisement addressed to ‘Resident’ or ‘Occupant.’
Perhaps social media has made us a bit lazy in this arena. We simply post a generic ‘Thanks’ to everyone and call it good. We shoot a text their way and check it off our list of things to do. Simply stated, personalized thank you’s have become a lost art.
Seeing someone took the time to write out my name on the envelop with a hand-written note on the inside is extremely rewarding. So I thought I’d give 10 reasons why a personalized note makes a difference.
- Reminds you, the sender that others took time to make your day or event special.
- The discipline of gratitude develops the character of contentment.
- Helps form a habit of thankfulness in your life. This makes you aware of other’s efforts in everyday situations.
- Let’s the giver know you’ve received the gift and appreciate them for it.
- Models a biblical principle. 2 Corinthians 9.11 – “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
- Your gratitude is ‘spread forward’ reminding others to express it as well.
- Jimmy Fallon does it. (Expressing thanks is fun.)
- You stick out from the crowd. People remember you.
- People may keep your note to encourage them on their down days.
- Thank you notes make you a better communicator. Make a mistake with a text, simply erase and start over. Writing forces you to carefully weigh each word before placing it on the card.
Love to hear from you and what other benefits there are to writing a thanks you note.
AND…I know I’m violating my own post, but Thanks for following and reading. It encourages me to continue developing my skills as a grateful writer.