The Bible is full of men and women of God whose journeys of faith have inspired us. But the leader who inspires me most must be our Lord Jesus, whose earthly life, though short was impactful and a model for our own earthly journeys. Born in a manger among animals and growing up in the humble neighbourhood of Nazareth as a carpenter’s son, he could not boast of the pedigree and privilege many of the rich and powerful would desire for their own children.
Yet Jesus was a leader par excellence, pouring out his life among the poor and needy, healing and touching those who were sick, not only in body but in mind and spirit as well. He revealed the wisdom of God and raised the despised and rejected to become leaders of the world, who would follow in His steps.
It has been said that Jesus was God Incarnate, the God became man, the paradoxical God-man who came as the perfect sacrificial Lamb. He rightly offered Himself to be crucified, the perfect atonement for the salvation of the world. But most importantly, as N.T. Wright and other theologians have pointed out, Jesus came to inaugurate the Kingdom of God, to reveal Himself as the King.
As the King who revealed His reign and rule, Jesus demonstrated what the standard of God’s Kingdom would look like. He was the Messianic King in history, full of grace and love, mercy and justice to show us what the prophetic banner “The Lord is Our Righteousness” means. In His earthly life and ministry, He has set a model for leaders of His Kingdom to follow, to live out His vision and values with all the authority granted Him in heaven and on earth. He revealed the justice and righteousness of God and gave hope and faith to the hopeless and helpess, to point us to hope and meaning, no matter how depressing our situations may be.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, He reminded us that we are to love God by serving our neighbours, the ones who live next to us, whom we encounter daily in the streets of the city and along the road of life, the ones who have needs which we can meet. This ethic of loving and serving our neighbor is the vision and mission of life, of discipleship He has commissioned His followers to live out. That is why Christology is so crucial in our missions because Jesus Christ is our leader and model for life and missions.
In the season of Advent and Christmas, we re-enact the wait for his historic birth. We are encouraged by His promise that He is with us always, Emmanuel to the end of age. But we also wait in anticipation for His Second Coming when His Kingdom will be fully revealed. That is why we celebrate the tender mercy of God and His light which shines on those living in darkness… to guide our feet into the path of peace.
Greetings from Singapore:
May God bless and inspire us this Christmas, as we make room in our hearts to follow Christ, to reach and touch lives, from our household, from our community to the nations.