Rabbi Jesus and His Band of Merry Men
“One day as Jesus was walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother, Andrew, fishing with a net, for they were commercial fishermen. Jesus called out to them, “Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and went with him. A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat mending their nets. He called them, too, and immediately they left their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men and went with him.”
In his day, Jesus wasn’t the only Jewish teacher in the land. There were many other rabbis with disciples. There are, however, some notable differences in the way that Jesus did things. As leaders, what can we learn from Jesus’ relationship with his disciples?
1. Traditionally, the student picked his rabbi. The student would shop around until he found a teacher that he felt comfortable with. Jesus, however, went out and handpicked His followers. The disciples did not pick Jesus. He picked them. Isn’t it interesting the kind of people he chose as his followers? He could have picked some bright young religious students but instead, he chose people out of different segments of society: fishermen, a tax collector, a revolutionary, probably some farmers, etc.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE: We are always on the lookout for people that have leadership potential. This will often mean giving untried people a chance and giving responsibility to people to see how they handle it.
2. Traditionally, the Torah or Law was what stood at the center of the relationship between the rabbi and his disciples. Jesus made it clear to his disciples that he was at the center of their relationship. Instead of teaching them the Law, Jesus taught them about the Kingdom of God. He even reduced the Law down to its most basic components: Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself. In Mark, Jesus’ teaching to his disciples is also focused on preparing them for His death. 9:30-32 “The shadow of the cross falls ever more darkly” as the gospel continues. Much of Jesus’ ministry was to equip his followers so that they could keep going when he was gone.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE: We bring the Kingdom of God into every situation of our lives. We bring the Kingdom to the people that we pastor in church, at our jobs, and in our neighborhoods. God’s will is that His Kingdom be established on earth as it is in heaven.
To be continued…
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