Through the Bible in a year – May 5

The scheme for May – June can be found here

Jdg 13-14; Mark 10:1-31; Psalm 8

We get the leaders we deserve. At the end of the day those who lead are those who fit best our own inner desires for power. Thus the story yesterday. Our concepts of leadership need revision in the light of the Kingdom of God. When did any nation last vote for a leader like Jesus?

This is writ large in the book of Judges and comes to a peak in the narrative of Samson. Wild rebellious Israel is finally given the leader they crave, one who mirrors their untrainable mature. Much as we stand in awe of Samon’s feats – he is a wild man – out of control. Just like Israel.

Again Jesus confronts us – and starkly. After once more putting a small child at the centre of the picture – in the next moment one who embodies all the values we worship – the self made individual – the sort of person we’d want to lead our company, or our nation, or indeed our church steps into the foreground. Wanting, like the man who sought to justify himself, to check out that he was on the right path. Jesus falls in with his demand. ‘Yes, on your own terms you’re following the right path – but why ask me? If you were already sure of yourself?’ The man is undone. He has everything. But he does not have the one thing necessary. His Life is full of himself and his acheievements – but he has not the true wealth, only that which will decay. He now has to choose which path to follow, except he has already determined his path.

There is a sense of predestination in this story. It is far far far harder to follow Christ, having for so many years invested ourselves in the things of the world. When we are told we can have both, we are sold a lie . . . at least that is what the Scriptures tell us . . .

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