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Holy Week Perspective of Leadership By R. Scott Rodin

Three Moments for a Holy Week Reflection

Amid this Holy Week, I invite you to listen to the words of Jesus in his High Priestly Prayer recorded in John 17. Before his final days leading to Calvary, Jesus prays to His Father on our behalf. Here are three reflections for us as leaders as we meditate on our Savior’s petitions.

Seeing our work from a kingdom perspective

“I glorified You on the earth having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.

John 17:4

In these opening words, Jesus looks back on his three years of ministry, his proclamation of the kingdom of God, his demonstration of the values of that kingdom, his confrontation with evil and his revelation of the heart of God toward His people. As he nears the hour of his death, he is able to say to his Father that he has accomplished the work he was sent to do.

Holy Week allows us to ask bigger questions and consider eternal matters more than we might do in the more ordinary days that precede or follow. As we do, let us as leaders consider what we would say to our heavenly Father about our time on this earth. 

I reflect on Paul’s statement about David,

“When David had served the purposes of God for his generation, he fell asleep.”

Acts 13:36

Can it be said of us that we served God’s purposes in our generation? Can we look back on our leadership and say that we have brought God glory on earth by finishing the work He gave us to do? Is there any greater purpose in life?

As Jesus prepares for His last week of life on earth in his bodily form, he declares the glory of God revealed in the work for which he came. May God grant us a fresh vision for the purpose of our life as ones who bear the image of God and bring him glory through our knowledge, trust, and obedience to him.

Leading under the covering of Jesus’ prayer for us

I am no longer going to be in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are.

John 17:11

When we surrender our lives, confess our sins, and follow Jesus, this name covers us, the name we love, the name we honor, and the name we proclaim. His name defines us; by His name, we are guarded and covered. 

Do you need a word of encouragement today? Consider this: Jesus prayed specifically for you that by his name, the name which is above all names, the great I AM, you would be guarded, protected, and covered to the glory of the Father. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Jesus described himself as the good shepherd, the bread of life, the light of the world, the resurrection, and the life. Meditate on the name of Jesus today. Say it repeatedly and thank the Father for the covering it gives you as one who bears his image in all you do. 

Unexpected Joy

But now I am coming to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.I am not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them away from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 

John 17:13-17

Jesus prays that the joy he knows as the Son of the Father in the Spirit may be ours. Just by hearing his prayer we should experience a deep joy in bearing his image, living in his name, and being covered by his glory. What joy!

However, the prayer quickly turns to the reality of the opposition of the world to the things of God. We must note, the reason the world hates us is because we are not one of them. We are ‘not of the world’. This is the result of a life lived according to a set of other-worldly, kingdom values. It can include an unwillingness to participate in celebrating sin or sanctioning the enculturation of lies through our acquiescence. It can also point to our passion to share the good news of the coming of the kingdom of God in a world offended by the implications of its message; especially its call to repentance and the affirmation that we cannot save ourselves. In these and many other ways, haven been given God’s word in Jesus Christ, we will be changed, and that change will put us in direct opposition to our culture.

Knowing the implications of this truth, Jesus adds two powerful petitions to His prayer; that we be separated from the evil one, and that truth, God’s truth, absolute truth will sanctify us. In this Holy Week, are we committed to living as ones ‘not of this world’? Are we willing to speak and live the truth of God’s kingdom come and claim for ourselves the name of ‘Jesus followers’? 

May we experience what it means that Jesus’ joy is ‘made full in us’, and may that be enough to meet every need, still every fear and anchor every hope.

Blessed Holy Week!


Scott Rodin is Senior Consultant/Chief Strategy Officer for The Focus Group. Over the past thirty-eight years, Scott Rodin has helped hundreds of organizations improve their effectiveness in leadership, fund development, strategic planning, and board development. Be sure to read Dr. Rodin’s newest book is titled, The Greater Mission.

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