The biblical account for leadership varies in manner but similar in substance, as it is given in the Bible's major divisions, the old and new Testament. The biblical leaders prior to Jesus are chosen by God, and the circumstances that these leaders face has God's direct intervention. Jesus and the Old Testament leaders through Martin Buber, both show leadership in a non-conventional manner. Though there are differences, there are also similarities in their approaches to the sense of leadership.
Biblical leadership basically does not concern superiority of one over another; this is primarily due to the account that biblical leadership is not defined as the conventional and/or modern account of the position. In the Bible's Old Testament, God does not often choose the physically powerful individual, but the weak ones (Buber, 2002). Take the case of David for instance, David does not have brute force to begin with, yet he is chosen by God to lead the people of Israel against the Philistinians.
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There are conversely a few exceptions such as Samson, but still, his physical prowess acquired is through God's divine intervention (Buber, 2002). The Bible appears to conform to an unorthodox concept of leadership; which only goes to show that the law of nature is not always plausible (Buber, 2002(. . Meanwhile, biblical leadership in Christ's account generally calls for humility and simplicity. Christ constitutes that a person should not be called master because there is only one true master, the Lord (Matt 23:10-12, New American Version) (Mark 10:31, New American Version).
The context of leadership then does not encompass on the power that withholds people on earth but the power that is of God. Ironically, Christ's account of biblical leadership differs as it poses a challenge since people tend to invest on earthly pleasures such as houses, lands, and other property (Mark 10:29, New American Version). Jesus' leadership by example conforms to the main ideas of humility and simplicity. One is that he does not make use of his stature as the physical manifestation of God; he shows neither signs of any supremacy nor discrimination of man.
He washed his apostles' feet so as to prove that his leadership is more on service and not on being served. Jesus speaks of leadership as not to exercise his own will but to serve in instigating the will of God (Mark 10:33-34, New American Version). In addition, Jesus does not institute any commandment by his own authority, but the authority of God. It is now clear that the concept of Biblical leadership is far different from the conventional definitions of humans.
The human principle accords with nature as the strong always rule and the weak, otherwise. The modern take on leadership concerns power, wealth, influence, and in some cases, property, it is in this account that Biblical leadership differs from that of the modern. Current United States president George W. Bush exemplifies the modern approach to leadership; he differs from Christ and Buber's accounts.
One is because Bush is addressed as President or Mr.President; he is then called or addressed to as a master in this sense. Second is that the United States is considered the most powerful among nations, thereby giving Bush strength, and conformity to nature’s claims. Last is that Bush exercises his authority and leadership in his own will, and does not put any other will in to consideration but his will alone.
This is most blatant in his declaration of war against Iraq and Afghanistan; the United States president did not seek for congress approval, Biblical leadership by perspective differs from that of the secular, from how it is executed in the bible and how it is practiced in the modern standard. In any case, there is no implication of transparent supremacy in the Bible’s context of leadership. Furthermore, the Bible does not account with nature as far as strength in relation to leadership is concerned. The biblical outlook simply does not concur with the modern and worldly belief of leaders.
- Buber, M. Biemann, A. (Ed. ). (2002).
- The Martin Buber Reader: Essential Writings. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
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