Who is the good leader?  The good leader is the one who is working for the good of those who are following their lead.  

Who is the bad leader?  The bad leader is one who is working only for their own personal benefit without regard for the welfare of those they are leading.

This principle is true in parenting, business, church life, and politics.  When leaders truly care for and develop those they are leading for their joy and welfare, they are leading well.  All too often, though, we see leaders who are only in it for themselves … their accolades, ego, compensation, agenda, or perks.

I think part of the reason people are so reluctant to follow leadership today is because we have seen so many leaders who are self-serving.  But good leadership?  Well, who wouldn’t want to follow a leader that is willing to sacrifice for our benefit?

Let me ask you a question … Is Jesus a leader?  Of course He is!  He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  He is the Leader of leaders.  But let me ask you another question.  Is He a good leader?

In John 10:14 Jesus makes the following assertion:  “I am the good shepherd.”  What does He mean when He says this?  He is saying that He is the perfect example of the Good Leader.  So at least Jesus thinks He is a good leader … in fact He believes He is THE BEST leader!

But what makes Jesus so certain that He is the good shepherd/leader?  He continues and provides us the reason why, “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down  His life for the sheep.”  What makes Jesus such an amazing leader is that He is willing to lay down His own life for us.

This idea is further elaborated on in Philippians 2:5-11.  Jesus (as God, the ultimate Leader) left the comfort of Heaven to come to this earth to ultimately lay down His life on the cross, paying the penalty our transgressions deserved, so that we might be forgiven of our sins and reconciled to God.  He is the good leader because He lay down His life for us.

Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was the action of the best leader.  Coming to educate us on who God is by showing us what God is like.  And His birth gave Him a human life that He would one day lay down as a sacrifice for us.  Jesus, the good shepherd, is a leader we can follow in faith and obedience as He is seeking our ultimate good.

Jesus as the good shepherd also shows the pattern and style of leadership He longs for in His followers.  Why would we want to be a bad leader/parent/boss?  Good leaders follow the example of Christ and lay down their lives for those they lead.

So, this Christmas, remember that Jesus (whose birth we remember) is a good leader, unlike so many other “leaders” in our lives.  Therefore, let’s follow Him together to the glory of God.

The statement “I am the good shepherd” is the third revelatory statement John mentions arguing that Jesus is God.


This devo is a part of the 2022 Wildwood Christmas Daily Devotional, “God with us.”  You can find the entire Christmas Devotional here.

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