The book of Daniel gives us some fascinating glimpses into the future, the most interesting one concerns Jesus – the Son of Man.
Jesus was an unusual example of a world leader as we know them. Considering the fact that we see Him as God’s Son, His anointed, He waits in line for His turn at the baptism, He rides into Jerusalem on a donkey, He walks the streets like an ordinary person, He subjects Himself to the lowest and most shameful form of punishment and death. Compared with many of the leaders of the past and today who have come to change the world, His story is simply unimpressive. All He said was, “follow Me” and we will re-create the world. Yet His legacy and influence on the world today is unmatched.
Jesus was humble, open, and willing to invite people into His world. The main group being His disciples, who He coalesced to become the future leaders of the Christian world. Is there any leader today or from the past who operated in any way close to this?
What Jesus teaches us in terms of leadership is quite unusual and yet insightful. We see in Jesus, right from the beginning that it was not about Him. He put everything He had to give into His chosen twelve (the ones God gave Him) so they could lead the world to Him. Can we name any of the disciples of Buddha or Gandhi? However, most people today, who hear about Jesus, know the names of most of His disciples. And Jesus has disciples even today -- in every part of the world. Jesus shares the stage and the spotlight with others right from the beginning.
He also shares His glory: I have given them the glory that you gave me
This is the same glory we today share as followers of Christ.
Another trait of His leadership was the patience and long-suffering Jesus exhibited in training these men to become disciples. We often forget what it took to become disciples in those days and the hard work involved, especially with these twelve. They often took a long time to “get it.” This must have been very exasperating for Jesus. This proves that His humility is genuine. A lot of leaders today, especially Christian ones, fake it for a while, but often it is not genuine. Jesus shows us that developing leaders, requires endurance and patience as well as being gracious – qualities of true humility:
Who, though He was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.
(Phil 2:6 NRSV).
Jesus chose to live as a genuine human, with no special privileges, to draw His power from His Father as we must do, to live and lead as He did in these difficult and confined times.
Let’s be true disciples of Jesus and make disciples like He did.