“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
— Jesus Christ
When we look for the epitome of leadership, I think it is safe to say that our Lord Jesus Christ fits the bill. He alone in three years raised a bunch of unlearned fishermen to become the pillars of the Christian faith. He was able to take these men who were filled with fear and doubt to great heights spiritually. From these men, the message of God’s saving grace was preached to the entire world. The world is still fascinated by Christ and His influence over many more than two thousand years after his earthly walk. While it is so obvious that our Lord Jesus possesses great leadership skills from which we can learn, we can also see that He was also a great follower.
At first, this may sound heretical but upon close examination, it is accurate. Jesus’ life style on earth showed His willingness to obey and follow God’s lead in everything that He did.
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.[Heb 5:7-9]“
Jesus was reverently submissive to the Father, even though He was the first begotten Son. We can see that it was this characteristic that endeared him to the Father. The scriptures say that Christ learned obedience or followership from what He suffered. He did not exempt himself from any of the requirements of the Law. He did not say, “I am God, so the law of followership doesn’t apply to me.” He went through every step, following and fulfilling the requirements of the law as a true follower of God the Father.
We see Jesus’ followership when He went to John for his baptism. Even though John sought to bypass this act given Christ’s higher status, Jesus Christ insisted that scriptures needed to be fulfilled and submitted Himself for baptism. This would prompt a strong declaration of affirmation of the validity of Jesus’ place with God.
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. [Luke 3:21-22]
God was pleased because Christ refused to take shortcuts; He refused to by-pass the process. Christ willingly gave Himself to followership, completely following the plans of the Father. Christ exemplifies this in the statement he made about God.
Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.[John 5:19]
Throughout His earthly journey (33 years), Christ’s preoccupation was to follow the commands and dictates of the Father without compromise. Christ was committed to only doing what He saw His Father do. If Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior practiced followership throughout the three years he was with His disciples and emphasized it so many times, shouldn’t we as followers of Christ, “follow” in His steps?
Curious to know your thoughts on followership and why it is not really discussed