There are many great leaders in the Bible. From Abraham, to Moses, to King David, they led a nation to great triumph, a well as through difficult days. There is much out there today about the raising of a leader. I believe Jesus reveals so much about what He views as the characteristics of a good leader as He raised up Peter.
#1: A Leader Knows Who Ultimately Leads Him. (16:13-16) If someone were to ask you today, “Who is Jesus?“, how would you answer them? I mean who is He, really, to you? Because who He is to you determines how you respond to Him. Peter said, “You are the Messiah!” Peter knew that Jesus was Lord and Master of His life, and He was willing to follow in complete trust and faith. How about you?
#2: A Leader Humbly Honors His God-Given Authority. (16:17-20) Do you consider yourself a “self-made” person? Jesus made sure that Peter was fully aware that even discovering who Jesus was, was not of his own brilliance, but rather because Father God revealed it. How humbling. What better way to keep ourselves humble than recognizing that even our coming to Christ was the Father’s Will, as the Spirit drew us to Him.
Then, Jesus prophesies over Peter, telling him that he, “petros”, a piece of the Rock, would be the one who would initiate and build the Church (“ekklesia”: “the called out”). Jesus tells Peter that Hell will try to come against the Church, but that Hell would not prove stronger than the Church. Then, Jesus gives Peter authority; an authority He has given all of us. Jesus said that He would give Peter keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. He would have total access to all of Heaven! That is our inheritance as a child of God! Whatever Peter would bind in the earth would have already been bound in Heaven. And whatever Peter loosed on earth, was already loosed in Heaven. What is already bound in heaven? Satan and all his demons and their wicked influence. You and I have that same power to do this on earth. What is already loosed in heaven? Grace, peace, favor, supply, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, power, and the list goes on and on!!! You and I have that same power to do this on earth.
Have you humbly received the God-Given authority granted you by the Father?
#3: A Leader Develops The Mind of Christ. (16:21-23) When life doesn’t turn out in a way that is logical, when you give your opinion about situations, or decisions are made that make total sense, are you thinking with your flesh, when you need to be offering your thoughts to the Lordship of the Spirit? When Jesus explained the horrific future that was about to unfold, Peter spoke (note: Jesus had just given Peter the power to speak binding and loosening words) words opposing God’s Will, loosening Satan’s will. Hence, the “Get behind me, Satan” statement! Isaiah 55:8 says, ““For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.” A leader surrenders his mind to the Lord.
#4: A Leader Serves To Make A Difference. (16:24-28) Are you living for yourself or are you living for others? God planted you in the city, the state, the subdivision, the area, the community, and around the people at your workplace, for such a time as this because He wants you to make a difference for His glory. What is getting in the way? Do you even know where the needs are in your city and community? It’s time for us to lay aside some other things that are getting our time and energy, so we can focus on what Jesus has called us to do. Amen? Or, Oh me!?
#5: A Leader Listens To Those Wiser Than He. (17:1-9) Jesus gives a very special treat to Peter. He takes him up the mountain and allows him to see the transfiguration. Peter’s first response is to get busy doing what seems to be the right and “common sense” thing to do. But God interrupts Peter and says, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” Whoa! Um, YES SIR! There are times when Jesus reveals things to us to make our faith and confidence strong. There are other times when He reveals things to us because He wants us to respond and do something. A great leader knows to ask for wisdom from the Lord as to what He wants him to do, instead of just reacting from our flesh.
Jesus prayed for God to bring forth laborers. Jesus was looking for leaders. May we invite the Spirit to develop us as leaders and partner with the Spirit as He develops our heart.