Eugene Peterson’s book Eat this Book teaches us to chew on a passage of scripture, digest it, and then put it to use in practical ways. Our early Christian fathers and mothers called this process Lectio Divina. The following story of the temptation of Jesus reveals several important traits that are key to Jesus’ leadership style as he gathers his disciples and confronts the religious leaders of the day. Read this passage at least twice and then chew on the comments and soul-training exercises below:
1-3″Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.”
4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
5-6 For the second test the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, “Since you are God’s Son, jump.” The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: “He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone.”
7 Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: “Don’t you dare test the Lord your God.”
8-9 For the third test, the Devil took him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.”
10 Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”
11 The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs.” (MSG)
In her book Jesus CEO, Laurie Beth Jones lists these affirmations which arose from her study of Jesus as a leader of the disciples.
- I have learned in my own wilderness experiences what my strengths are.
- I use “desert times” to get clearer on my calling and my true goals.
- I am clear about my mission. I spend my time working on and accomplishing what is deepest and truest and most inspiring.
- I keep in constant contact with God, knowing that I need added insight to see the road up ahead.
- I do not need or seek others’ approval.
- I behold others, taking time to be entered and to embrace them.
- I empower others through my example.
- I urge myself and others on, unwilling to settle for less than the highest to which I am called.
- I see others as God’s gift to me. I believe in others and am open to their ideas. I acknowledge their contributions.
- I am transparent. I know my strength is in my openness and honesty with others.
- I manage my life from the inside out.
- My yes means yes and my no means no. I come to be a blessing. My goal is to bless others.
♥ These affirmations can be see in Jesus leadership style. Do you see these traits in your own life? Make a note of the affirmations that others would probably NOT say about you. Even better, give the list to others who know you well and ask which ones they see in you and which ones they don’t. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you become more of the leader in your family, your work place, and your church.
♥ Think through some of the interactions Jesus had with his disciples. Which of the affirmations can you see in his words or actions?
MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“One person trained twelve human beings who went on to influence the world that time itself is now recorded as being before or after his existence . . . . This person worked with a staff that in spite of illiteracy , questionable backgrounds, fractious feelings, and momentary cowardice went on to accomplish the tasks he trained them to do. . . . His leadership style was intended to be put to use by any of us.” (Laurie Beth Jones in Jesus CEO)
*leadership image by leadermundial.org