In any crisis there is a call for leadership. Many will step forward to try and fill that gap. What kind of leader do we need? What kind of person will we choose to be? Let’s read some more verses of Matthew …
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3 v 13-17)
- He didn’t come with a vitriolic advertising campaign riding in from Jerusalem or with a band of discontented rebels. I don’t want to line up with self-proclaimed conquerors or complainers anymore. He came in from Galilee to be baptised by John. He came from Nazareth (it means hidden place). ‘Can anything good come from Galilee?’ We need leaders who know the hiding place. Heroes are to be found in humble surroundings. Throughout his ministry he was known as ‘Jesus of Nazareth and when he died it was written above his head. Where you have been is as important as where you are going.
- He didn’t come to fulfil his personal dream and desires with a 10 point plan for greatness. I don’t want to line up with man-made strategies and the latest business plans guaranteed to solve problems. He came to fulfil all righteousness and by doing so he was baptised along with the common man. His identification with the baptismal sin-confessing candidates showed his desire to be obedient to God’s plan of salvation revealed through the prophets. We need leaders who know the Bible and who have a desire to fulfil the directives of God within it.
- He didn’t come out of the water surrounded by an angelic army. When heaven opened all the riches in heaven didn’t fall on him. I don’t want to line up with leaders who live lavish lifestyles and pursue worldly gain. I do want to follow the dove. He got the dove. A poor man’s sacrificial offering for the Temple; what Noah sent out to determine if the floodwaters had receded and it is a term of endearment in the Song of Songs. We need leaders who are sent out as a sacrifice of love.
- He didn’t come to crave man’s praise, appreciation and acceptance. He didn’t pursue the popular vote. I don’t want to line up with leaders who are concerned with what people think about them. There is no confidence in that approach. We need leaders who live confident in the love and appreciation of God and that this is all that matters to them.
This pandemic is a breaker. The world is shaking. It is not as strong as we thought it was. It has given time for us to pause, to reflect and to re-evaluate what is important. Choose who you will follow and choose who you will be.