The Crucible


43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him.47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant[e] of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled. 51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.

Mark 14:43-52

Everyone wants to be a leader. The thing that becomes quickly apparent is the skewed perspective of what constitutes a leader. Many people who are not in leadership positions look at those who are and think to themselves, “I could do that just as well, if not better than him.” These covetous individuals have a very rudimentary understanding of leadership and for the most part are infatuated with the personal benefits of leadership. Great leaders see their role as a responsibility and not a position of special privilege. The other thing about exceptional leaders is their willingness to make excruciating decisions in the midst of the battle. Peter had made bold pronouncements regarding his commitment to stay by Jesus’ side – no matter what happened. Now when this mob seized the Lord and the swords came out, Peter and the rest of the disciples abandoned Jesus.

At this present time, most Christian leaders do not have to fear arrest, torture or death (though there are brave brothers and sisters in certain places around the globe who are faced with this possibility every day). The battlefield decisions that most Christian leaders face deal with commitment to beliefs and sound doctrine. These men and women are being tried in the crucible where Scripture meets public opinion. At the moment the mob seized Jesus, there was not an option to do nothing; each man had to decide to stay with Jesus and face the consequences or abandon Jesus. Nothing has changed.

I hear a lot of convoluted talk about why we should not do this and why we should do that. I am close to a situation in which the decision appears to be to suspend judgment and try to ride the fence. My question: Is this the chosen position because leaders have sought God and are confident this is His will, or is it merely an attempt to stay out of the crucible? Being a Godly leader means doing the right thing and accepting the consequences. Better to obey God and lead a smaller group than to acquiesce and lead a larger group into sin. Finally, I learned a long time ago that doing the right thing does not immediately produce warm feelings and a sense of peace. Doing the right thing often leads you into a period of dealing with those who are angry and bitter. You do the right thing because you are God’s man or woman and you are committed to doing His will. Ultimately, God will bless that type of leadership.



August 3rd, 2015 by

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