Who’d be a Tory MP right now? Partygate has fuelled huge anti-Government sentiment and every day there seems to be a new party being uncovered. Where it will lead I wouldn’t like to speculate. All other parties want the Prime Minister to resign, as do several Tory MPs, but their problem is that they don’t have an obvious replacement who could unite the Tory party. So we watch and wait. Don’t be surprised if this drags on for a good while longer, the Prime Minister is a born survivor who won’t go easily.
To be a leader in any sphere requires example, courage, integrity and principle. Of course, you can lead through fear but that’s not true leadership. For examples of this look to Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Un. Sadly, it’s much harder to identify leaders who display the positive qualities I have mentioned. Nelson Mandela springs immediately to mind so how did he manage to unite a nation? His Christian faith was undoubtedly a key element giving him an understanding of reconciliation, forgiveness, love and honesty.
Jesus is the only leader who perfectly expressed true leadership. In terms of example and courage, there’s a verse in the Gospels which says, “They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way.” (1) It doesn’t sound much until you realise that Jesus knew he was going to die when he reached Jerusalem. Let’s repeat the verse and look at what happens next. “They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.” (2) This is true leadership, leading from the front, willing to sacrifice himself for others even when the others were his enemies. Above all, that’s what singles Jesus out from other leaders. Jesus alone chose to die for his enemies, or sinners, which includes you and me. He saw mankind in great need because sin had overwhelmed us and turned us against God, pretty much how most of the world is today, and he chose to die for us. He left heaven and came to earth to take the punishment for our sins knowing it was the only way to save us, and he led the way to Jerusalem despite knowing what would happen to him there. Out of love for us, he prioritised our needs over his own and nothing could stop him in his onward journey to death.
In terms of integrity and principle, he had the opportunity to avoid the cross on more than one occasion. He could have abandoned us and looked after himself. After he was baptised he spent 40 days in a wilderness without food. He must have been emaciated because although he helped others by performing miracles he didn’t do it for himself to create food out of nothing. In the wilderness, Satan tempted him three times but each time he rejected the temptation, choosing instead to use God’s word to repel the attack against him.
When Jesus was arrested his disciples tried to put up a fight to stop the arrest from happening but when one of them drew a sword Jesus said, “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (3) Jesus didn’t call on his Father. He didn’t need to leave heaven, and at any time while on earth he could have changed his mind but he went to the cross. He chose to die for us suffering the pain and rejection that came with it.
Is it any wonder that Jesus is the leader of a worldwide movement incorporating billions of people, millions today who face daily persecution and threat of death? He is the perfect leader, who lived by example, who introduced us to the best way of living and who loves us so much he chose to die for us. No Prime Minister, President, dictator, king or queen could hold my allegiance like Jesus.
- Mark 10:32
- Mark 10:32-34
- Matthew 26:52,53