The World’s Best Leader Ever

The thought hit out of the blue!

“I wonder what kind of a leader the Father was with Jesus as He walked the earth, the best leader ever.”

EasterBasketIt was Easter Saturday morning. I was driving to church to help with our neighborhood egg hunt and pancake breakfast. Have you had those flashes of clarity rush in uninvited?

Leadership is a hotly debated subject today. Where can we go to know how the best Leader ever responded in light of the tons of books written on leadership, many offering conflicting models? The relational Trinity, in whose image we have been fashioned, is our model for life. Especially the incarnation (God the Son becoming fully human while remaining fully God) and the Father’s relationship with Him while He walked this earth.

Let’s begin with the incarnation. Jesus came to pay in full for all our sins that we might have eternal life and relationship with God the Father, Son and Spirit. But not only. Jesus also became fully man in order to live life as God had always intended for the human race. Chew on the audacious Reality in Romans 8:1-4.

So, during His time on earth, Jesus walked in full dependence on His Father, the best Leader ever, just like each of us are called to. This means Jesus’ call to “Follow me and I will make you…” is legitimate since He also walked as a man, fully dependent on His Father. Look at two of the many “not” statements from the Gospel of John.

“The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing” (John 5:19).

“It is the Father living in me, who is doing his work” (John 14:10).

So then, how do you understand the Father leading the Son?

Did the best Leader ever “Micro-manage”?

Do you suppose that the Father told Jesus every single step in the healing process, for instance? “Jesus, I need You to heal that blind man. Walk over there. Look into his eyes. Stoop down. Pick up some dirt. Spit into the dirt. Then place that on his eyes. Then step back….”

Did the best Leader ever “Respect Competence”?

Or do you suppose the Father, the best leader ever, respected the dignity of Jesus’ humanity? I’m using my sanctified imagination here, so feel free to take a different approach. I think the Father simply pointed Jesus to the blind man. “Jesus, I need You to heal that blind man.” The Father then freed Jesus to  determine the best way to do it in this circumstance since He was on the ground. The Father trusted His Son. Trust is the lubricant for every relationship.

The last VP I worked with before retiring would say: “Jim, this department is not functioning well. I need you to revamp the department. Let me know what you need from me.” We had a trust-relationship. He respected the dignity of my competence as a manager and did not look over my shoulder, although we interacted often on the process. Work is a joy when the boss trusts. I have to think this flows out of something of the image of God in humanity, and reflects how the Father worked with Jesus.

As a manager, I know of only two reasons to micro-manage, and both are short term solutions. First, the person is incompetent, and needs to change or be moved to another position (maybe outside the organization). Second, they are new to this responsibility, and need someone to train them. I do the task for them and then do it with them. These first two steps of hands-on training can look like micro-managing. However, my aim and desire is to move them as quickly as possible on to step three (“they do it and I watch”) and on to the final (“they do it themselves, and let me know what they need from me”).

Why am I writing on this on Ester Saturday? How do we view God leading us? Distant with no interaction? Micro-managing to tell us every step in a process? Neither reflects our Father and the high view of redeemed humanity that the New Testament in particular describes.

We must have our minds thoroughly renewed here. Beginning with the relational Trinity, the incarnation, and God’s creation design in Genesis 1 and 2 is the best place to begin our thoughts on most all subjects. This is the Easter message: Jesus died in our place so through faith in Him we might have the present resurrected life of Jesus within, eternal life. This draws us into intimate relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit, so He might send us out to partner with Him in His epic adventure to woo the world of people back to intimacy with the Father, the original creation design for humanity.

Do you personally know this best Leader ever?

How does God speak to you personally?

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