Leadership in a Culture of Cowardice (part eight)

Jesus exemplified the second of nine leadership traits we’re examining in this series: Take full responsibility for your own emotional being and destiny.

At his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is in complete control of his emotions and reactions.

He does not personalize Judas’ betrayal: “Oh Judas, how could you?”

He doesn’t negotiate: “Hey fellas, what if I agree to stop teaching in the Temple—would that be OK with you?”

Nor does he play the victim: “Doggone it you guys. If you’d just stayed awake and prayed like I asked you, none of this would’ve happened!” [Mk 14:43-50]

25 sanhedrinBrought before the Sanhedrin [Mk 14:53-64], Jesus does not tantrum, collapse in an ocean of tears, call down fire, nor even expose his accusers’ hypocrisy. The only response recorded by Mark is his unmistakably clear admission that yes, he is the Christ, and that they will one day see him sitting at the Father’s right hand.

See, Jesus lived as if his being and destiny were securely and completely in his Father’s hands.

 

Clear about his calling to serve humankind as he fulfilled the Father’s will [Mk 10:45], Jesus’ being and destiny was undeterred by the autonomous choices made by the autonomous human beings all around him: Pilate, Peter, Judas, the false accusers before the Sanhedrin, and on and on.

Engaging his life in this way, Jesus catalyzed the maturing of the followers to whom he turned over the Church after his crucifixion.

And today, he’s turned that Church over to you, and me.

How often do the actions and decisions of other autonomous human beings affect your sense of wellbeing? How common is it for your confidence to be shaken when some human in whom you placed your trust turned out to be…well…human?

In the face of disappointment and betrayal, can you and I stand confident that our sovereign, loving God has not been caught by surprise, even if we are?

Yup. We can.