Leadership, Jesus our great example! – Part 3
The third aspect of Jesus’ leadership example is that based on love. The scripture says: “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him,” (John 13:1-2). Also, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many,” (Mark 10:45).
People of God, it is quite amazing to note that Jesus knew that one of His disciple will betray Him, another will deny Him and soon all will desert Him, yet, He love them to the very end. Also, He knows the sins we have committed, He knows the sins we are yet to commit, yet, He loves us. Rom. 5:8 says: “while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us’. Indeed, at the Passover, He knew that His end was around the corner and soon He will return to the Father, He made time to love His own.
The death of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary was a painful death. One nailed on the Cross, died slowly. The Romans delighted in using it to punish offenders, yet, in their Senate, one of their Senators, Gaius Rabirius said that the word ‘Cross” should not be mentioned in the ears of the Roman citizen but such was what they used as an instrument of punishment to offender. One may then ask, what was the offence of Jesus? Was He a common criminal? It pleases the Jews to give Him away to go through the way of the cross. Thank God, what the first Adam could not achieve, this second Adam achieved by His death on the Cross and resurrection.
Necessarily, it takes a leader with such a broad heart to love even those as it were who offended Him. His love was sacrificial and that pacified the Father. He became the Paschal lamb. The Bible was correct when it observed thus: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13). Notice, in the world today, some people feel that their leaders don’t love them well enough. They hardly can make sacrifices and most times live in comfort to the detriment of the people. The resultant effect is bad roads, youth unemployment, epileptic power supply, moribund hospitals, poor educational environment, corruption and looting of public funds among others. Indeed, when wicked rulers are on the throne, the people groan, Prov. 29:2b.
On the other hand, the Church is also not free from blame. They talk about the life style of leaders, love of materialism, hypocrisy and eye service, ethnicism and some hardly can live sacrificially to the effect that some Church congregations are overburdened. But this should not be so. The challenge we have, therefore, to leaders both in the Church and in the society is: how can they demonstrate their love to those under them? Practical ways may be helpful here: Leaders should learn to live sacrificially no matter the situation, they should be patient listeners, they should make time for the people, they should not be too judgmental, they should also make time to pray for those they are leading, they should learn to depend on the Holy Spirit at all times.
Remember, “this is how we know what love is: Jesus laid down His life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers, (1 John 3:16). Therefore, let us resolve as leaders to do so in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen!
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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