Leaders Really Care.
Why does a leader exist as a leader? Is a leader there for the people or for their own best interests? It’s a necessary question and, I suppose, a logical question, especially when you consider someone like Kim Jong-un or any self-aggrandizing leader.
Sundays this summer we are exploring what a biblical leader looks like according to the book of Nehemiah.
One of the readings that gave assistance to the first sermon in this series was from Mark 1:40-42.
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
Mark 1:41 tells us (in English) that Jesus was indignant. Why? What does that mean and how does it fit Jesus as a leader? Was Jesus indignant at the man or at the disease the man was enduring? How we answer that helps us to define Jesus as a leader but also every leader who desires to follow his lead. Indignant means feeling or showing anger or annoyance at what is perceived as unfair treatment. BibleHub gives insight into the Greek for this particular word and it means, “to be moved in the inward parts, to feel compassion.”
Jesus is moved in his inward parts by the situation of this man. Jesus is literally aching inside as he sees this man living with a life-crushing ailment. This is a side of a leader that we all need to see: a leader who is incensed by other’s pain, other people’s misery. He does not seek to avoid their hurt but radically makes contact with the man in order to relieve him of this disease.
A couple lessons that come from this for our benefit: One, Jesus hurts when we hurt. It’s so easy to think that no one knows my pain, my struggles, my fear. Jesus knows. Apparently he even experiences it. So run to Jesus when you hurt.
Two, Jesus will do what is best for you. That may result in reversing the frustrating influence of sin in this world, in your marriage, in your children’s health, in your own life. It means that he may cure you or relieve you of some of the injury. But it also means, for the sake of your best interest, that he may let you continue to experience the fallenness of your sin-riddled life. In all this you can trust that he feels your pain and his decision to act is based on love as well as divine insight. All things work for good (Romans 8:28).
Blessings as you ponder the type of leader that Jesus is and the type of leader he is turning you into.