STUDY TWO: CHRIST THE ULTIMATE SERVANT-LEADER
© Rosemary Bardsley 2005, 2016
A. CHRIST IDENTIFIED WITH THE PEOPLE
Although he is the eternal Lord and Creator of all Jesus became one of us; he shared our human lot with all of its limitations, its temptations and its suffering.
How do these passages describe Christ’s identification with us?
Hebrews 2:10 -11
How does this challenge you to be one with the people you are serving?
B. CHRIST WAS COMPASSIONATE
‘Compassion’ is a deep-seated, overwhelming gut feeling of tenderness and kindness towards others. It characterised Christ’s attitude to individuals and groups in relation to both their physical needs and their spiritual needs.
Identify those to whom Christ showed compassion. Indicate the type of need (physical or spiritual) that aroused his compassion.
C. CHRIST WAS CONFIDENT
Jesus Christ exuded spiritual confidence. The verses referenced below are just a few samples of the many evidences of Christ’s confidence.
Discuss these aspects of Christ’s confidence. How do they relate to you in your service in the church? Are you seeking to follow Jesus in this confidence as you serve him?
He knew who he was
John 4:25,26: ‘The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” ‘
He knew what he was supposed to do
Mark 10:45: ‘the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’
Luke 19:10: ‘the Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost’
He knew what he was supposed to say
John 12:49: ‘I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it’
He had complete confidence in the Word of God
Matthew 5:18: ‘I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.’
Matthew 19:4: ‘Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female …’
He had complete confidence in the sovereignty of God
John 6:44: ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him’
John 10:29: ‘My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.’
John 19:11: ‘You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.
He had complete confidence in his role in the purpose of God
Matthew 16:21: ‘From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.’
Matthew 26:64: ‘In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’
Luke 24:44: ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Low of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’
Although some of the details are not the same for us as for Christ, everyone can have these same areas of confidence, and this confidence is an essential part of effective leadership.
D. CHRIST HAD, AND EXERCISED, DISCERNMENT
The Bible refers to a spiritual gift of ‘discerning’ [KJV] or ‘distinguishing’ between ‘spirits’ [1 Corinthians 12:10], but it also lays upon everyone the responsibility of exercising spiritual discernment. This is particularly evident in Matthew 7:6-27, and in each of the many passages dealing with false teaching or false teachers. It is also obvious where we are called upon to discern between right and wrong action. This necessary discernment calls for a knowledge of God’s word, a sensitivity to the leading of the Spirit, a commitment to the glory of God, and spiritual courage. Jesus was the Master of discernment, exercising acute discernment concerning spiritual truth, concerning actions, and concerning people.
Discuss Christ’s discernment in the following passages.
Jesus exercised discernment concerning spiritual truth
Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28
Jesus exercised discernment concerning actions
Matthew 6:5-8, 18-19
Jesus exercised discernment concerning people
E. CHRIST EXHIBITED SELF-DENIAL AND SELF-SACRIFICE
The self-sacrifice and self-denial of Christ can be seen in:
2 Corinthians 8:9
The rejection and lack of recognition he experienced during his life
What similar self-sacrifice and self-denial challenge you in your ministry role?
F. JESUS WAS A ROLE MODEL FOR HIS DISCIPLES
As a leader Jesus was a role model or pattern. What he taught was the same as what he lived. What he did was the same as what he expected of others.
Thus he said things like:
‘love each other as I have loved you’ – John 15:12
‘as the Father has sent me, so I am sending you’ – John 20:21
‘may they be one as we are one’ – John 17:22b
G. JESUS SET THE PATTERN FOR SERVANT LEADERSHIP
A significant aspect of the role model that Jesus provides for his followers is the pattern of servant leadership. Although he was God, he humbled himself and became of no account in order to serve us. By his teaching and by his example he requires that we also demonstrate humility in servant leadership/
What actions or attitudes are modelled by Christ in the following texts? And what makes them difficult for you to follow?
H. JESUS TRAINED A TEAM
The Gospel records how Jesus chose a group of disciples to train for ministry. They accompanied him as he went about teaching and healing; he sent them out by themselves delegating areas of authority to them, he taught them more than he taught the crowds. Within the group of twelve he identified three for extra attention and extra teaching. When he returned to heaven he commissioned them to carry on his work.
How does this challenge you as a leader?