Saturday, April 11, 2009

Follow the Leader

Mt 23

Whether we be parents, teachers, bosses, pastors, officers, etc., most of us are called at some point to be a leader. If there is one thing people despise, it is someone in leadership who really has no business being there. The scribes and Pharisees were such people. A scribe was like a secretary of Jewish religious law. At times they were called lawyers. They knew the Scriptures backward and forward, literally. The Pharisees were religious separatists. Both were considered to be in the exalted "seat of Moses," that is, in the place of the law-giver.

"Do as I say and not as I do" is the kind of attitude of which they were often guilty. Let us look at some good ideas for leadership, learning what not to do from these guys.

To be a good leader:

1. One must not be a hypocrite, but must practice what he preaches. "…but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." (3)

2. One must lead the way. "...they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” (4)

3. One must work to please God, not man. "But all their works they do for to be seen of men" (5)
When a person works to please God, he or she will always do right. However, trying to please people is a great snare.

4. A good leader shows humility, working to be productive, not to advance his/her career. The cream will always rise to the top, it doesn’t need our help. "…and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues" (6)

5. Leadership seeks the good of many, not many titles for self. "And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." (7)

6. A good leader waits for his promotion from on high. He/she does not promote self. "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." (12)

7. Leaders ought to encourage and assist others in their efforts, and not block their advancement. "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." (13)

8. Leaders need to observe ethics and morality. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation." (14)

9. Good leaders must exhibit the following characteristics: "...the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith" (23)

And finally,
10. Leaders need to keep the important things important. Major on the majors and minor on the minors.
"Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." (24)

Jesus knows all about great leadership. In this chapter we have much to learn from His teachings. Let's utilize these aspects of good leadership in our ministry as leaders at home, work and church.

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