62 The next day, which followed the preparation day, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that while this deceiver was still alive He said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Matthew 27:62-63
It seems interesting that the Pharisees and Chief Priests would call Jesus a “deceiver” and “imposter”. Shouldn’t the ones who had the most education and training be able to know the Son of God? Maybe it just goes to show that education nor religious training is sufficient to ensure we get all of life’s most important questions right?
The Pharisees and Chief Priests seem to recall what Jesus said He would do if He was killed…interestingly enough, Jesus’ own disciples did not seem to remember this. The people in this verse show that they were not quite sure that Jesus wouldn’t raise Himself, or that someone might play a trick and make it look like He rose from the dead. They were not going to take any chances.
If Jesus was who He said and the disciples really believed Him, shouldn’t they be the ones with confidence?
When the difficult times come, do you forget what Jesus said? What He did? Don’t let the words of Christ escape you. Since Jesus isn’t an imposter or deceiver, we can take every word He said and confidently walk into an unknown future.
Looking through the scriptures this morning, I noticed a few things about spiritual leaders that I think could be helpful on the path to leading well.
Read Matthew 27:41-43
41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The spiritual leaders of Jesus’ day did a few things that we can observe to help us not make similar mistakes as we lead others.
Mistake 1: Being like everyone else.
The passage starts off: “Likewise”…Isn’t it interesting that the spiritual leaders of Jesus’ day were no different than all the rest of the people around? As a spiritual leader, we should be much different than all of the world around us. This is one of the reasons leadership can be so difficult.
As a spiritual leader, God has called each of us to a different way of living. We shouldn’t be chiming in and sounding like everyone else around us. It is a great opportunity for leaders to have a unique voice, a different tone and march to a different beat, when everyone else around us is looking to crucify someone.
Mistake 2: Denying God.
The spiritual leaders were only willing to believe in Jesus if Jesus did all the things they wanted Him to do. Jesus/God does not operate that way. As a spiritual leader it is important to not deny God the rights to do as He will at any time.
The leaders of Jesus time were throwing all kinds of conditions and stipulations on the people and on God. Are you doing that in any way? Are you limiting God or people? Are you demanding that they do something to prove who they are? Are you trying to prove something yourself?
These religious leaders wanted to prove to Jesus, their people and even to God that they had everything under control and within their power. They were completely wrong.
Mistake 3: Missing the big picture.
How often as a spiritual leader has this happened: looking at the circumstance instead of God? These leaders of Jesus’ day could not for the sake of their lives believe that God would send His son, much less have Him save the world like this…and yet God did.
There may be situations, circumstances, and issues that we face as leaders that simply don’t make sense to us. There may be a myriad of questions that go unresolved for months and maybe even years. As a spiritual leader, faith, hope, and trust are essential to endure to the end. Just because God didn’t intervene and save His son as the leaders thought would happen, didn’t mean God wasn’t pleased with Jesus and doing a much greater work than they could possibly imagine.
As you walk the path to leading well today, here are a couple things to take with you:
Be ok with being the leader and not being like everyone else. God has allowed you to lead for a reason. Set the tone, march to a different beat. Don’t cave into popular demand and certainly don’t mimic the rhetoric around you.
Be aware of how you are trying to manipulate others or God. Let God be God. You be a leader. Leaders don’t have to coerce people…they compel people because of how they live and how they love.
Be focused on the big picture. It’s not about us as leaders; it’s about God’s story and His plan. Don’t miss what God is doing around you because you feel it should be another way. Just be pleasing to God but remember that even that might get you crucified at times.
39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Matthew 27:39-40 NKJV
1) Don’t misunderstand what Jesus says. The people thought he was talking about the physical temple building but He was talking about Himself. Think about all the things that happen as a result of misunderstandings. Do your best to get all the right information. Ask questions. Seek for the Truth. Look for the spiritual things beyond the physical things. How have you misunderstood what God is doing lately? Is there something you need to get clarification about?
2) If Jesus would have saved Himself, He wouldn’t have saved us. We have to get away from selfishness. Jesus was the most selfless person ever. He wasn’t trying or focused on saving Himself. How has self-preservation been your focus? In what ways have you been selfish?
3) If you are…sounds much like the temptations from the Devil in Matthew 4. The people thought if He would just come down from the cross that would have proven He was all that He said. Jesus wasn’t trying to prove anything to anyone. He had a mission and He accomplished it. Don’t get caught up in trying to be or do something to prove yourself. Do what God wants and created you to do. How have you been trying to prove your worth to God? Or others?
What is it you are praying for most? Do you want your life to be comfortable or significant? It’s not impossible for it to be both, but God is much more concerned in shaping us and making us into the image of His son, than making us “comfortable”. Being comforted is different than being comfortable. Being conformed to the image of Jesus is the only way to lead a significant life now that will matter later and this often only happens through discomfort and discontentedness. If God has placed you in an uncomfortable situation rest assured that He will bring you through and the things you learn and who you become will be far more valuable than any “comfort” this life would procure.#lifecoach #mentor #discipleship #disciple #vision2hear #v2hwave#v2hawaken