Directing People To Christ
John 1:35-37 MKJV Again, the next day afterward, John stood with two of his disciples. (36) And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he says, Behold the Lamb of God! (37) And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
The disciples of John were men who sought religious truth and who wanted to live authentic and penitent lives. John pointed these keen learners to a greater truth, Christ the Lamb of God, so they left John and followed Jesus. This was the right thing to do. The first duty of the Christian disciple is to learn from God, which is even a higher duty than personal loyalty to a great leader.
Every now and then we find a human leader who inspires us, but we have to remember that such a person is not the end of the story. We may have to move on, to discover new things of our own, to learn things that they cannot teach us or will not teach us. Ultimately we are always following Jesus and learning from God.
My bible college principal Dr. Gibson was such a man, a very wise and great and learned man of God for whom I am forever grateful. He taught me how to mine the Scriptures. Yet he was not the end of my learning curve. The theology I have now is a development, an unfolding, of what was taught back then.
This can be difficult for Christian movements that follow a clear defining leader. Necessary changes can be resisted if they mean going against the historical precedent set by the great one.
But all such leaders, if they are any good, want you to follow Christ and learn from Him. They say, “behold, the Lamb of God” and are happy when you go off to follow Jesus.
You must follow the Truth wherever the Truth leads you.
The earnest disciple hungers for the Kingdom of God far more than for the comfort of tradition or the routines of the organization.
Sometimes the Truth we find can put us at odds with those around us. We move to drink the new wine and they prefer the old. Share your joy tactfully, create a hunger, and feed only the hungry. Do not force-feed the rest.
What about those of us who lead? They need to recognize that all Christian leaders are like John the Baptist, pointing people to Christ. They need to let people move on in their spiritual journey, and follow Christ in the way that He has called them to.
Leaders also need to be hungry disciples and followers of truth themselves. The leader needs to be a learner, and be constantly at the feet of Christ to learn new things about His Kingdom and to receive grace from His throne.
No human leader “owns” his flock, they are on loan from Jesus, and the leader is only an under-shepherd. The sheep are followers of Christ that the leader is caring for; the sheep are not the followers of the leader.
Sheep have feet and will go where they feel they are fed. The two disciples left John for Jesus because they were seeking spiritual food. Therefore a great and high duty of the Christian leader is to provide the food that leads to eternal life.
There comes a time in the life of some pastors when they say “I cannot feed you any more, you need another pastor, I must move on to another church.” And there comes a time for the missionary when he says “You are now leaders and you have great men of God among you, it is time I went away. Please go on and learn from God.” There comes s time to hand over, to go, to let the sheep be led by someone else.
However such handovers need to be in the Lord’s timing. If they are premature the church can collapse, if they are delayed it can be split.
Look at your own life: Are you hungry for the Truth? Are you so ruthless in your search for the kingdom that you would walk away from a great prophet to find someone even greater? Do you have a passionate desire to learn of God?
Look at your own leadership: Are you pointing people to Jesus? Are you feeding the sheep? Are you letting the sheep learn from God?
Blessings in Jesus,