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Wonded-healers; The burden of Godly leadership

Rev. Enoch Thompson | September 12, 2023 | Matthew 26:31-32


³¹Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: "'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' ³² But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." Matthew 26:31-32 (NIV)


It has been said that leadership is a lonely job, and there is a lot of truth in that saying. Those who carry on the task of leadership, in the general course of life, but especially in the context of the Church, travel a path of extreme difficulty, danger, and enormous responsibility. An authentic leader, and a Christian leader at that, must be a wounded-healer, a person with sensitive tough skin; so vulnerable, and yet so caring of those he or she leads.

In Matthew 26:31-32 the Lord Jesus gave us an example of the vulnerability of the godly leader. As the true Shepherd of the sheep, God’s flock, Christ the Shepherd was about to be struck by the pre-determined purpose of God, to be handed over to sinful people who would maltreat Him and put Him to death. He knew the intricacies of His impending sufferings, and He spoke so freely about it to the disciples. He was to be wounded and He was aware of it. Godly leaders must be conscious of the sufferings attached to their positions, accept them as necessary evils, and forge ahead with their divine mission. Otherwise, they will be taken unawares and will become disorganized in their mission.

The sufferings of the godly leader are sometimes to the point of those they love and serve distancing themselves, either because they cannot withstand the pains of the leader enough to share in them, or because they are sufficiently influenced by the bad press given their godly leader, which poison gets into them and makes them disown the leader.

The above notwithstanding, the godly leader, as wounded as they might be, still has to be a healer of their followers. They must wipe the tears of others while they themselves struggle with their unwiped tears. Again, the Lord Jesus is our supreme example. He said to His soon-to-be scattered disciples, in verse 32, “But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." He looked beyond His sufferings and their desertion of Him and announced His seeking loving care, that will make Him look forward to meeting them and loving them after His resurrection. Godly leaders, for the sake of their followers, learn to smile through their pain, not as an act of hypocrisy but as an attitude of their understanding of their place in the lives of those who look up to them. A godly leader must be a wounded-healer; they must also have sensitive-tough skin. This is the burden of Christ-like leadership.


Are you a leader in the home, in the marketplace, in the hospital ward, over a church community, or over an auxiliary in a local church? Then be reminded to be a true wounded-healer and develop a sensitive-thick skin. God will help you.

Will you commit to praying for and supporting those who lead you in any aspect of your life, especially in the context of the Church? If you did, the Lord would answer you and provide more godly leaders in a world that needs leadership and direction.


Dear Father, in Heaven, thank you for the gift of leadership which you give to us to assist our life on earth, and our journey to you in eternity. Please keep us from making our leaders suffer. And when they have to suffer, please grant them the grace to suffer patiently, with a firm reliance on you. Please grant us godly leaders who, in spite of personal pain, continue to care for the flock of God under their care. In Jesus’ matchless Name, Amen


SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! ___________________________ DAILY word study: SHEPHERD The word "shepherd" in Matthew 26:31 is translated from the Greek word "ποιμήν" (poimēn). This Greek noun specifically refers to a "shepherd". In a broader sense, it can also symbolize a leader, guide, or protector.

The use of the word "shepherd" in this verse has both prophetic and pastoral significance. Prophetic because it foretells the scattering of Jesus' disciples when He is arrested, and pastoral because it reflects Jesus' role as the Good Shepherd who cares for and guides His flock.

In the prophetic sense, this verse reminds us of the frailty of human faith and the disciples' vulnerability in the face of crisis. It underscores the reality that even those who are closest to Jesus can falter in their commitment.

In the pastoral sense, Jesus' reference to Himself as the shepherd offers comfort and assurance. He is the One who will be struck, ultimately by His crucifixion, but He will also be the One who gathers and restores His scattered disciples after His resurrection.

Reflections: How does Jesus' role as the Good Shepherd resonate with your own faith journey? In times of trial or when you face challenges, how do you find comfort and guidance in the knowledge that Jesus is your Shepherd? How can you be more mindful of following His guidance in your life?

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