Saturday, March 17, 2012

“Your Leader Is One, the Christ”


“Do not . . . be called ‘leaders,’ for your Leader is one, the Christ.”—MATT. 23:9, 10.


 Spiritual Prince of Israel

 Centuries before the founding of the Christian congregation, Jehovah had an angelic leader over his people Israel. After bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, Jehovah told them: “Here I am sending an angel ahead of you to keep you on the road and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. Watch yourself because of him and obey his voice. Do not behave rebelliously against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; because my name is within him.” (Ex. 23:20, 21) It is reasonable to believe that this angel, who had ‘Jehovah’s name within him,’ was God’s firstborn Son.

 Prior to his birth as a human, God’s Son apparently had the name Michael. In the book of Daniel, Michael is called “the prince of [Daniel’s] people,” Israel. (Dan. 10:21) The disciple Jude indicates that Michael was involved in the affairs of Israel long before Daniel’s day. After Moses’ death, Satan apparently intended to use the corpse to further his own interests in some way, possibly by inciting Israel to commit idolatry. Michael stepped in to prevent this. Jude relates: “When Michael the archangel had a difference with the Devil and was disputing about Moses’ body, he did not dare to bring a judgment against him in abusive terms, but said: ‘May Jehovah rebuke you.’” (Jude 9) A little later, before the siege of Jericho, it was doubtless Michael, the “prince of the army of Jehovah,” who appeared to Joshua to reassure him of divine backing. (Read Joshua 5:13-15.) When a demon prince tried to prevent an angel from delivering an important message to the prophet Daniel, the archangel Michael came to that angel’s assistance.—Dan. 10:5-7, 12-14.


 The Foretold Leader Comes

 Previous to this incident, Jehovah had sent his angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel to convey to him a prophecy concerning the coming of “Messiah the Leader.” (Dan. 9:21-25) Exactly on time, in the fall of 29 C.E., Jesus was baptized by John. Holy spirit was poured out upon Jesus, making him the Anointed One—Christ, the Messiah. (Matt. 3:13-17; John 1:29-34; Gal. 4:4) As such, he was to become an incomparable Leader.

 From the beginning of his ministry on earth, Jesus proved himself to be “Messiah the Leader.” Within a few days, he began gathering disciples, and he performed his first miracle. (John 1:35–2:11) His disciples followed him as he traveled the length and breadth of the land, preaching the good news of the Kingdom. (Luke 8:1) He trained them in the preaching work and took the lead in preaching and teaching, setting a fine example. (Luke 9:1-6) Christian elders today do well to imitate him in this respect.

 Jesus pointed to another aspect of his leadership by comparing himself to a loving shepherd. Oriental shepherds literally lead their flocks. In The Land and the Book, W. M. Thomson wrote: “The shepherd goes before, not merely to point out the way, but to see that it is practicable and safe. . . . With [his] staff he rules and guides the flock to their green pastures, and defends them from their enemies.” Showing that he is a true Shepherd and Leader, Jesus declared: “I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his soul in behalf of the sheep. My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:11, 27) True to his word, Jesus died a sacrificial death in behalf of his sheep, but Jehovah “raised him up to be leader and Saviour.”—Acts 5:31, New Jerusalem Bible; Heb. 13:20.

Why not check the Scriptures here?


No comments:

Post a Comment




About Me

My photo
Christian view the Bible as the inspired Word of God, absolute truth, beneficial for teaching and disciplining mankind.