Real Leaders...

A reading for Saturday, December 7, 2013: Matthew 22:15-22

As we remember and celebrate the life of one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century, here's a Nelson Mandela quote on leadership...  "Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people."

The priests and the Herodians (those from the court of King Herod) come to Jesus in hopes of scoring a political victory over an opponent.  They hoped to catch Jesus with a difficult question so that they could twist his message and to use it for their own political gain.  It seems what they had in mind was their own survival and even advancement and not at all what would be in the best interest of the people they were called to lead.  They were not leaders.  They were politicians.

Perhaps it would not seem so in our world of celebrity politics and sound bite discussions, but all leaders are not politicians, and all politicians are not leaders.  Perhaps one of our greatest deficiencies as a nation and a culture is our significant lack of real leaders.  We have lots and lots of politicians, but not may leaders.

Jesus was not a politician, but Jesus was a leader.  He was not infatuated with those in power.  He did not want to play their game.  He was not in it for himself.  He simply wanted to seek what was best for all God's people.  That's what made him worthy of following, and why Jesus was such an effective leader among all the other things Jesus was and is to us as Christians.

Even those who tried to trap him and spin his message for their own use, in the end even they went away amazed...  In the end all the world will be amazed by the power and the grace of our leader.

"Real leaders are ready to sacrifice for the freedom of their people."  Rest in peace Mandiba, through the grace of God and the power of Jesus Christ.


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