Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 135 - The Responsibilities and tests of Leadership - compassion, indignation, and sorrow.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 135 - The Responsibilities and tests of Leadership - compassion, indignation, and sorrow.  


Announcements/opening prayer:


The responsibilities and trials in Christian leadership will mimic our Lord's. He stood firmly against evil and had compassion and benevolence upon His creatures who were beset by evil.


The most frequent emotion ascribed to our Lord is compassion. The Greek term (splagchnizomai) is unknown in Greek classics.


It was not a virtue that the world held in any esteem.


His inward movement of compassion always resulted in an external act of benevolence. He not only pities the miseries of His creatures but He relieves them. Whether it was individual distress or man's universal misery, it moved Him within and also moved Him to action.


Compassion welled up in Him at the leper being used by the Pharisees, the appeal of two blind men, and at the sight of a bereaved widow wailing at the coffin of her only son.


He was also moved to compassion at the sight of the misery of the multitude in that they lacked a Shepherd and that in coming long distances to hear Him and be healed by Him they suffered hunger.   


It is the spiritual destitution of the world that makes for and enables the evil in the world.


People go hungry because of other evil people or because of the cursed earth (famine, natural disaster, lack of water). Sin and death and the curse upon this world is what Jesus came to correct, and that He did with His own life, a life that is by nature divine, but he emptied Himself of the characteristics of deity and limited Himself to humanity so that He may deliver all of humanity.


Henry Norris Bernard writes in his work The Mental Characteristics of the Lord Jesus Christ: "The miracles of Christ formed part of that warfare which was ever waging between the Son of God and the power of evil which He was manifested to destroy. The rage of the elements, the roaring wind, and the surging waves ever seeking to engulf the fishers' boat: the fell sickness racking with pain man's body; the paralysis of the mental powers destroying man's intellect, and leaving him a prey to unreasoning violence, or to unclean desires; the death which shrouded him in the unknown darkness of the tomb - these things were to the Savior's vision but objective forms of the curse of sin which it was His mission to remove. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan were brought together in opposition. The battle between the Lord's Christ and the great adversary was ever going on. Man's infirmities and his sicknesses, in the eyes of Christ, were the outward symbol of the sin which was their cause. So the inspired writer, in the healing of the sick, and in the casting out of devils, sees direct blows given, which in the end, shall cause Satan's empire to totter to its fall. Every leper cleansed, every blind man restored to sight, every helpless paralytic make to walk, every distracted man brought back to sweetness of life and light of reason, above all the dead recalled to life - each, in the salvation accorded them, furnished a proof that a greater than Satan was here, and that the Kingdom of God was being manifested upon earth."


The evil He witnessed that weighed heavy on the captives to whom He was to free, moved Him with compassion as well as stirred Him with indignation. This is fully spiritual and not physical, though the physical is affected.


The people's fatal ignorance of spiritual things, their evil position under the dominion of Satan in all the effects of his terrible tyranny, are alike the subject of our Lord's compassion.


All good leaders feel such compassion, and at times, it burdens them with sorrow. It also causes them to work and strive in great self-sacrifice to lead in the way that lightens burdens on others - the way of following Christ.


MAR 6:34 And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.


In Matthew's parallel account:


MAT 14:13 Now when Jesus heard it, He withdrew from there in a boat, to a lonely place by Himself; and when the multitudes heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.


MAT 14:14 And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and felt compassion for them, and healed their sick.


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MAT 9:35 And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.


MAT 9:36 And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.


MAT 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.


MAT 9:38 "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."


Notice the description, "they were distressed and downcast." It is a very strong description of the spiritual status of the people.


"They are compared to sheep which have been worn out and torn by running hither and thither through the thorns with none to direct them, and have fallen helpless and hopeless to the ground." [BB Warfield]


We also read of His weeping when looking upon the uncontrolled grief of Mary and Martha after the death of Lazarus as well as His weeping over the city of Jerusalem.


LUK 19:41-42

And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.


Love is the foundation of compassion and so our Lord even sighed from the bottom of His heart at obstinate sin and persistent rejection of Him.


Directly after His compassion led Him to feed the four thousand, He and the disciples entered a boat and sailed to the southern region of the Sea of Galilee. Just as He had no rest from the multitude seeking a Shepherd, now the Pharisees and Sadducees seek Him out in order to trap Him.


MAR 8:11 And the Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him.


They thought Jesus to be a Law-breaker who taught of a kingdom that was inconsistent with Jewish expectancy. This made Him a false prophet who did miracles by the power of the devil.


The Jewish leaders and priests had added rules and ritual to the Law over the centuries and had come to be convinced that they were divine in origin and were proof that a man was righteous. Jesus did not do these silly things, such as added Sabbath rules, cleansing rules, and tithing rules. Convinced of these things they immediately determined that Jesus was a false prophet, which was further fueled by the knowledge that He was Galilean. Yet it was unmistakable that He performed miracles. They concluded that He could only do the miracles by means of Satan. None of this was sending Jesus away as they had hoped and so they decided to demand from Him a miracle from heaven. So they demanded a sign from heaven. What they are likely referring to is something like the manna from heaven that fell during the Exodus.


JOH 6:32-33

Jesus therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world."


MAR 8:12 And sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, "Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation."


We can be fairly certain that both anger and sorrow played a part in this deep sigh or groan.