We know that reading the Gospels has multifaceted value. They introduce us to Jesus. We see God’s unraveling plan of salvation. The love and grace of God are on full display. Many things can be said, but one thing can often be neglected—learning leadership lessons from our Rabbi, Jesus.
He (Jesus) also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. (Luke 6:39-40, NIV)
How does this verse guide us in how we read the Gospels?
Since Christians are rightly also referred to as “disciples” of Jesus, we can learn leadership from Him by reading the Gospels. Every time we read the Gospels we have a chance to observe the way Jesus leads.
Notice the techniques Jesus uses, but more importantly, pay attention to Jesus’s heart of leadership. How does His heart differ from what we would expect to see in the narratives? How can we emulate that? These are the sort of questions that can drive the way we learn leadership from Rabbi Jesus. While we relate to Jesus so much more than just our Rabbi, He is also not less than that. In many regards, we are called to live like Jesus.
As you read the narratives in the Gospels, try these things:
1) Watch for what causes conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders. Where does Jesus stand on the issue? What motivates him?
2) Note how Jesus responds specifically. It is entirely possible to be right in the way you think about a situation, while wrong in how you handle it. We have all been there! But Jesus, being “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14) knew how to be right and righteous at the same time.
3) Contextualize the situation for today’s world. For example, our dilemmas within the Church or with culture may not be about Sabbath regulations. But there is something at the heart of every encounter Jesus has which can provide us keen insight into Jesus’s heart and how he leads out of that heart. After all, Jesus is in the business of training us to be like him (Luke 6:40), and the world can really use more Christians emulating Christ in how we think and act and in all we do.