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As Jesus headed towards Jerusalem, Mark records, “with Jesus leading the way” (Mark 10:32).
The Greek word for “lead” is proago. The prefix pro- means before or in front, and the root word -ago means to lead oneself, to lead by accompanying, or to lead by taking hold. This means that Jesus never sends us off by ourselves. He goes before us, with us, alongside us.
One would think that this would give the disciples great comfort. But Mark also records two unexpected responses from these men: “astonished” and “afraid.”
The words “astonished” or “amazed” are both the same word in Greek and are used both here and just a couple of verses earlier (verse 24), when Jesus said how hard it was for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God. That statement amazed the disciples. Now they are astonished that Jesus is going to Jerusalem. “After all,” they might be thinking, “That’s where His main antagonists are headquartered! Why would He go there?”
It appears that the father they went on their journey, the more their astonishment morphed into fear. The Greek word here is the one for which we get the word “phobia”—the kind of fear that can paralyze us or tempt us to run away.
There are two things that Jesus does here to help His fearful friends:
(1) He gives them the unvarnished facts: “We are going up to Jerusalem…and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles, who will mock Him and spit on Him, flog Him and kill Him….”
(2) He gives them an unshakable assurance: “…three days later He will rise” (Mark 10:32-34).
Leaders who want to honor Jesus in their leadership would do well to follow this example—Give your fearful friends both the facts (no matter how painful they might seem) and the unshakable hope that God is sovereignly in control.
A mark of a godly leader is one who is striving to lead more and more like Jesus.
Let’s keep studying His life and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us the lessons we can apply in our leadership roles.
This is part 70 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.
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