Posted by: Moses | January 26, 2012

Both Shepherds and Sheep

Leaders are not followers. Followers don’t tend to be leaders. We tend to think of ourselves in one or the other category. Unless you’re Jesus (or learning to follow him).

Jesus was a perfect follower, obedient to His Father. We are called to obey those over us as although we were serving God. Whether parents or bosses, in our union with Jesus, we are enabled to submit cheerfully, knowing that all discrepancies of justice will be ironed out in the end for the glory of God. Just as Jesus was silent before his persecutors and “entrusted himself to him who judged justly,” so we too can obey even in very difficult circumstances by the power of Christ in us.

Jesus was a perfect leader, bring a host of captives freed to glory. We are also called to lead. Not everyone considers themselves a leader, but like it or not almost everyone has people who look to them for an example. Like it or not, as God’s children we are at least called to lead others to meet Jesus. However, if we strive to lead like Jesus we will lead in ways that don’t speak down from on high, but humbly meet people where they are. Parents speak in ways that are understandable to their children, though absolute obedience is required of children. This is mercy and an incarnational parallel. Obedience can be expected of employees, respect and a measure of obedience/conformity of small group members etc. However, when in positions of leadership where others should follow you, we must strive to lead like Jesus. We don’t lead from on high, but shoulder to shoulder in sacrificial service, recognizing that God shows no favoritism between leaders and followers. We are all one in Jesus. My natural standing before God deserves Hell like yours does, but in Christ we stand shoulder to shoulder in His righteousness, absolutely equal despite our role.

Slave or master, employer or employee, parent or child, we are all one in Christ and should reflect a trust in His sovereignty over our circumstance and a trust that His example is best as we learn to love one another sacrificially through different roles. Few of us are only shepherds or only sheep; we all follow some and lead others. May we faithfully balance those roles after the pattern of the Messiah.

Whether called to lead or obey, celebrate Jesus’ worth by following His example by leading or obeying out of faith filled love. Eph 6:1-9

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Responses

  1. Thoughtful. Glad you are my son.

  2. Enjoyed reading your ponderings. You might enjoy some related ponderings here http://www.wadeburleson.org/2012/01/our-problem-is-authoritarianism-and-not.html


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