Would Jesus be allowed to be a leader in your church?

Would Jesus be allowed to be a leader of your church? Would we even allow him to attend?

I think we have become too civilized in our Christianity. So civilized, in fact, that if Jesus was here in the flesh we would be like the Pharisees and not accept Him. Surely, we wouldn't want him to be in the leadership of our churches with the behavior he exhibited. Here is three examples of actions we would not accept in our church leaders. I think just one of the examples would exclude a person from leadership. Jesus did all three.

Jesus, the drinker and provider of alcohol

Matthew 11:19

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners.'" But wisdom is proved right by her actions.

Here we have an example of people accusing Jesus of being a drunkard. Why would they think he was a drunkard? I would assume that it was because he came "eating and drinking" more than most. Would we allow our leaders to live in such a way that people accused them of being drunkards?

John 2:1-11

1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine." 4 "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come." 5 His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." 11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

To be accused of being a drunkard is one thing. To actually be the one that carries the kegs to the party seems to be another (or in this case to turn the water at the party into alcoholic beverages). Here we have Jesus turning water into wine so that the wedding party can continue with alcoholic beverages. Would we allow our leaders to drink at a wedding party, let alone be the ones that provide the alcohol?

Jesus, the politically incorrect

Matthew 21:12-17

12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 "It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers.'

What an attitude! It just doesn't seem like the nice, gentle, and civilized approach we expect out of our church leaders. We like our leaders to be political and diplomatic. Jesus could've held a meeting with those in charge of the activities of the temple and discussed what they were doing. If that didn't work, he should've just submitted to their authority. That is what we would expect our leaders to do. Would we allow our leaders to come into the church building and destroy something that he thought was contrary to what God intended for his people to be doing?

Jesus, the outcast

Luke 7:36-50

36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner." 40 Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said. 41 "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?" 43 Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said. 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." 48 Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" 50 Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Talk about disturbing. If I had a individual over for dinner and the town whore heard about it and wanted to come into my house, clean, and annoint his feet with oil, I would be disturbed to say the least. I would wonder why in the world would this guy let this whore spend so much time cleaning his feet. It would seem a little erotic to me. I surely wouldn't let that guy be a leader in my church. Would we allow our leader to have the town whore lather his feet with oil?

Luke 19:1-10

1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.'" 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." 9 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

Imagine a guest speaker coming into our town. This guest speaker had the opportunity to meet with any of the people in the church or the leaders in the community, yet he chose to meet with the most despised people in our community (probably the poor family who doesn't bath their kids or the owner of the bar) instead of any of the people of good reputation. Would we want that kind of speaker as a leader in our church?

I think we have a long way to go until we are really followers of Christ and genuine accepters of Him. I really don't think we would accept Jesus as a leader in our churches. So if we wouldn't do that, are we really accepting him as the Lord of our lives? I fear we have turned "following Christ" into something it isn't.

Watch out for the potholes.