What are the implications of the fact that God sent Jesus into the world to redeem us? First, it speaks to our worth. The God who created us in his image felt that we were worth redeeming. He died for our sins, instead of us, to reconcile us to God and to each other. None of us will ever understand that sacrifice by a holy God. So, we are valuable. Remember that as we consider this next part.
Second, according to James Plueddemann, because we are all broken and sinful, “all the problems in the world are directly or indirectly caused by sin.” Poverty, war, greed, injustice, illness and tragedies of every kind stem from a broken creation spoiled by sin. Therefore, government or business solutions are like applying a topical cream to treat cancer.
Jesus is the only solution to the sin problem… so the most competent leader in the world cannot solve any major problem without the gospel of Jesus.
The gospel alone — God rescuing us from our brokenness — is the answer for the deepest needs of humans and creation as a whole.
Third, Plueddemann adds, “the goal of leadership is to point people to Jesus.” Rather than work independently, we realize we are branches on a vine, and we can do nothing without him (John 15). Rather than draw attention to ourselves, we realize we are nothing without him. Our goal is to co-lead with him, if you will, pointing to him as the solution and primary source of any gifts and ability we have or success we enjoy.
Fourth, leaders have a model for their own leadership style. Jesus is the ideal leader who modeled servant leadership, an “astounding and universally countercultural” concept. Mark 10:45 lays out the standard for our leadership practice:
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.
So, a failure to understand what Jesus did for us leads to the misunderstanding that we are something on our own and down the ugly road of pride. This sure isn’t a feel-good post. I feel really small. Thank God that the gospel doesn’t end with how bad we are. It’s worth reading the first paragraph again.