I've always been intrigued by Luke's phrase "and Jesus fixed his face for Jerusalem" (9:51). Others have translated this action as "resolutely set out for Jerusalem." Regardless of the translation, it is clear Jesus adopted a posture of focus on the mission and he calls business leaders to do the same. If we're going to follow Jesus in this manner, let us consider three leadership principles from this passage:
- Good leaders know the mission.
Throughout Luke 9, we see Jesus reveal significant aspects of his character and work to the followers. Although often misunderstood, the gospels paint a picture of Jesus as one with clear purpose and passion -- that he pursued resolutely.
- Good leaders pursue a purpose beyond themselves.
From the miracles to Simon Peter's proclamation to the Apostles debate over greatness, Luke 9 weaves together several instances where Jesus could have easily decided to pursue his own greatness. In fact, it seems the disciples in their misunderstanding actually believed this to be His intent. In the end, Jesus knew his purpose was to pursue the will of the Father and only in His "leastness" would "greatness" be found (9:48).
- Good leaders strive for goals that require the work of others.
Luke opens chapter nine with Jesus' commissioning of the Twelve and follows with multiple instances of Jesus doing work requiring their participation. From managing the crowds (9:13-17) to conversation about His identity (9:18-27), the disciples were integral to Jesus' mission.
So, the work of business leaders is to build culture and lead organizations that create value. In order to do these things, Jesus' lessons from Luke 9 encourage us to (1) be clear on the mission, (2) make sure that the mission is more than our personal gain and (3) pursue goals big enough to require the work of others.
Dale Gauthreaux teaches leadership and organizational behavior at Georgia State University's Robinson College of Business in Atlanta, Georgia.
BIBLE VERSES TO REFLECT ON:
Luke 9 vs 48-48
Luke 9 vs 51