"And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan."
Joshua and Jesus are two names that have the same meaning. Before Joshua celebrated the Passover he set up a monument, or a memorial, of twelve stones as a testimony that God had split the waters of the Jordan River so that the people of Israel could cross on dry land. Joshua knew in his heart that those twelve stones signified God’s strategy for governing the nation of Israel.
In the beginning of His ministry, Jesus chose twelve men whom He called Apostles, and while He was changing Simon’s name to Peter, Jesus said, “I will build my church,” (Matthew 16:18b).
Leading consists of exercising influence over others and achieving the development of their highest potential. This influence includes molding their character, discovering their value, and recognizing their qualities. In its best form, true leadership is the one that develops each person to the very best of their ability. In other words, a successful leader is the one who imparts their best to others, positively influencing them so that they, too, can go and do the same. The way the Lord exercised His leadership was by motivating His disciples so that with willingness, the right attitude, and diligence, they could fulfill the desire of His heart. The Lord’s work in His twelve was so effective, that they not only strived to spread His gospel to the entire world, but also offered their lives with joy for the cause of Christ.
Matthew, the evangelist, tells how Jesus was moved with deep compassion for people; leading Him to establish His team of twelve people so that they could help Him with this extensive job. “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field’” (Matthew 9:36-38).
Jesus brought freshness to the way that religious leaders normally related to the people. He showed that the most important thing for a leader is to get close to people and to feel their need; in this way, the leader manages to help them. Jesus warned that the religious leaders of the time had lost the meaning of the ministry. They had effectively left the people ‘drowning’ in deep abandonment and ‘sinking’ in life without any direction. Jesus instructed the twelve whom He had chosen, saying, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Freely you have received; freely give” (Matthew 10:8). The effect of this on the people was like splitting the waters of the sea so they could all cross without being drowned weighed down by sickness and demonic oppression.
The Lord Jesus Christ, before departing from this world, told His disciples, “All authority has been given to Me; therefore, go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). With this declaration He was revealing His purpose, the divine will of salvation for all men. The best way to disciple people, in a personal way, is through small groups of twelve, just as Jesus did!
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Abraham Lincoln said, “To alleviate the pain of someone else’s heart, is to forget your own pain.” Two of my daughters went to visit an orphanage. As they walked in, a small one-year-old baby girl extended her hands and held on to them with all her strength; she did not want to let go. Although she was a beautiful baby, she was very sick and the only thing she asked for was love and affection. They noticed the same thing with each child they came in contact with in that place; each child had a great need for love and affection. They were abandoned children because they lacked a true home. I think this is the same way the Lord felt. His heart felt grieved to see the multitudes without a father and without a home. This is why He dedicated the greater part of His ministry to training the twelve, so that later, they could walk in His footsteps.
"The power of love works together with compassion, and their union will result in action."
Today's post is an excerpt from Pastor Cesar Castellanos' book, Declarations of Power for 365 Days of the Year: Volume Three.
TODAY'S BIBLE READING
- Old Testament: Ezra 10; Proverbs 8
- New Testament: Luke 15:11-32; 1 Timothy 5:16-25