Having infuriated the religious leaders Jesus goes on to pick His twelve apostles. The text itself helps aid our theology of leadership and gives us some principles which enable us to identify potential leaders, submit to our current leaders and to be and become leaders.
1. God’s Sovereignty
Whilst we live in a time that depreciates leadership, the bible clearly teaches that all leadership is of God and therefore we must seek to submit to it (John 19:10-11a, Romans 13:1b). This, however, does not mean that we should tolerate or participate in sin and nor does it mean that God advocates all that is done by leaders. It means that sometimes this leadership is permitted by Him but is not preferred by Him and therefore we must seek to challenge it in a way that is befitting of a child of God. Think about the way in which Daniel both submitted to the Babylonian leaders of his day and challenged it. He was taken from his land, had his name changed, may have been castrated since it says he was a eunuch, worked for the regime but he refused to bow down to Darius.
Application: Recognise leadership within the home, the family, the workplace, society and the Church. In places where God has given you leadership then you must act accordingly. In places where you have not, you must be respectful and submit. Nonetheless, if there are areas which need to be addressed you are required to challenge them, but this is to be done in a way that maintains your dignity and seeks to win the other person. If you are someone who allows your husband to abuse your children, or your company to perform illegal activities or even bully its staff, you are using God’s sovereignty as an excuse to condone another ‘s sin and your cowardice.
2. The Disciple’s Industry
When picking His team Jesus chooses working men that have already left everything and followed Him. Peter, Andrew (who was also a disciple of John the Baptist before meeting Jesus), James and John we know are fishermen and Matthew Levi was a tax collector.
Application: Are you a person of industry? Are you where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there? Do you clean up after yourself? Do you notice when work is needed to be done and just do it or do you have to be told? This week why not read Luke 22:24-27 and meditate on what practical applications servant leadership might look like in your life.
3. The Team’s Diversity
The team picked by Jesus was a diverse team, Hendriksen writes:
“Included in this little band was Peter the optimist (Matt 14:28, 26:33-35), but also Thomas the pessimist (John 11:16, 20:24-25); Simon the one-time zealot, hating taxes and eager to overthrow the Roman government, but also Matthew, who had voluntarily offered his tax-collecting services to that same Roman government; Peter, John, and Matthew, destined to become renowned through their writings, but also James the Less, who remains obscure but must have fulfilled his mission.”
Application: We must appreciate that the best teams carry diverse people and therefore the best team members appreciate diversity. Why not be someone who cultivates this? Personally I try never to go on holiday to the same place twice, when we go out or have takeaway I try new places all the time, even when I go to the supermarket I always try one thing new (there’s been some real disasters but there’s been some great stuff too)! When I cook I like to experiment with different dishes and different ingredients and I love talking with different types of people and trying to see the world from different points of view.
John Maxwell says “leadership is influence” and therefore each and every one of us are leaders created by God to exercise that leadership (Genesis 1:28). When we acknowledge His sovereignty in leadership, cultivate industry and appreciate diversity we go one step further in being the kind of leaders that He has called us to be.
*Our infinite God has chosen to limit Himself by using finite men therefore the sermon and the study notes should be received in a spirit of humility for that was the spirit in which they have been given. It is therefore our prayer that by the power of the Spirit’s illumination they might be used for the glorification of God and the transformation of your life*