Leaders

The Resurrection: Disciples to Leaders

empty-tombThe Bible is worthy of glorification. The disciples of Jesus Christ are not. Often we view the disciples as born healers, born preachers and born leaders. The truth is, they were none of these things. What we know of these men is that they were simple, common, unimportant socially; skilled, but individuals of the ordinary. For all intents, they were the middle of the curve, wonderfully average.

Upon witnessing the risen Lord following his resurrection, these disciples are quickly transformed into preachers that convert thousands at a time, healers that publicly display healing powers of the lame and crippled, and leaders of the persecuted, notorious yet thriving early Christian Church. How? How did they suddenly possess the clarity and public speaking power to instruct and preach that which only days prior they could not even comprehend? A message they ran from in fear of persecution and arrest? How did they suddenly possess the power to overcome sickness and forgive sins as God does, in the name of Jesus Christ? The answer is in the name of Jesus Christ.

We are all aware that different people have different skills with clear limitations as to what we can do with them. We know that in order to attain a new skill and use it confidently we must be patient, practice, wait and then practice more. We do not see the disciples take time to hone these skills. They appeared quickly in the characters of these disciples and, when used, their effects were unparalleled in human history. Almost overnight, these men and women became new creations and new people. Without the resurrection, these transformations are unbelievable. The kind of change exhibited in the lives of the disciples is not explainable by logic or reason. The promises of Jesus that the disciples would go on to do greater things in his name, accomplish all they desire for the glory of God in his name, become new creations born again in his name suddenly become possible and suddenly become true with the resurrection.

Tuesday Devotional: 1 Corinthians 1

bibleRead 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

It is far too easy for us to place unjustifiable importance and honor on those men and women who lead us, while forgetting the role they play within the framework of spreading the Gospel of the one and only Jesus Christ.  There was only one sacrifice.  There was only one redeemer.  There was only one who became a servant to all in a mission to save all.  Church leaders, called to instruct others in the Gospel, are by nature sinners like you and I.  They could not save themselves, and required the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Becoming distracted by leaders and forgetful of the man Jesus Christ bypasses the necessity of faith in the life of a Christian.  Following a human requires little to no faith in the gospel: they are physically in our presence, we can hear their words directly as they speak them, and they can likewise hear ours.  We are tempted to accept these leaders as advisers with good stories and useful life lessons, and not representatives of Jesus Christ.  In fact, it is quite possible for one to attend church, read the Bible and pray without the deeply personal need for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  When we hope in man and not Christ alone, our transformation in the image of Christ is cut off at the source. We will never truly change, we will never be free and we will never truly have life in its purest form.  No man can change another man and make him new.  Only the work of Jesus Christ, and faith in Him as Savior, Lord and God can do that.  Church leaders are stewards of this love story of God and his children, but they are not characters in the story.  They, like us, have been given the story, blessed by it and now share it with others.  We must never forget the purpose of this story, that its focal point is always Jesus. By His name and by His stripes we are healed.