Jn 9:5-6 (NKJV)  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.        

Jesus knew the Rabbis had made a rule against anointing a blind person’s eye with mud made with saliva on the Sabbath day.

  • Jesus deliberately defied religious leaders who enforced a man made rule in the name of God. 

The man was healed but that only provoked more persecution. 

  • The Pharisees were more interested in their own authority than in what God might be actually doing. 

  • They were confident in what they knew of religion but not hungry to learn new things from God.

There are two kinds of leadership. The Pharisees were legalistic rulers.

Mt 23:4 (NKJV) … they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

  • They compiled a system of strict rules and used them to control the lives of everyone who was not in the elite leadership group. 
  • Their knowledge of the system gave them power and position. 

The ordinary people could not possibly understand the detailed system which required serious study to master. 

The rulers created their own light and then kept the ordinary people in the dark.

We see this today in some churches. 

  • In traditional churches the clergy must have a degree in academic theology which is too complicated for ordinary believers to understand without much deep study. 

The priests or ministers tell the people they have the right to organise and control the church according to their theology. 

  • Only the ordained preacher can administer baptism or communion. 

  • Only the ordained preacher can explain the Bible because you are supposed to know theology to be able to understand the Scriptures. 

All of this is quite contrary to the New Testament.

Lk 10:21 (NKJV)  In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 

 When the Apostle Paul planted a church of new believers in Corinth, the converts were baptised. 

  • Who baptised them?

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth.

1Co 1:14 (NKJV)  I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius.

The Corinthian church at that time was made up of new believers and the Apostle Paul was the only ordained senior leader. 

  • Other new converts were obviously baptised by other recently converted believers. Wow!

When the first church was established in Jerusalem, there were thousands of new believers but only twelve ordained preachers in the beginning. 

  • In the early chapters of Acts, the only other ordained preachers were the seven Deacons, so there were 19 ordained preachers ministering to a church of many thousands which was growing daily.

Ac 2:46 (NKJV)  So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.

The Holy Communion was celebrated in informal gatherings in private homes. 

  • There were not enough ordained preachers to be able to be present at all these events. Clearly they did not need to be present.

  • It is time for ordinary believers like you and me to go back to the Word of God and check up on the things we have been taught!

The second kind of leadership is based on the leading of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all believers. 

Senior leaders are still important but their role is to encourage, liberate, train and empower other believers to be like Jesus, to release the power and love of God to heal lives.
I recently took some new believers to our church. My senior pastor encouraged me to mentor them but did not tell me how. He operates on the principle of mutual respect, trust and empowerment. Then I told him the new believers wanted to be baptised. He suggested maybe I could baptise them, although I am not an official leader or office holder in the church.

  • It is time for ordinary believers like you and me to go back to the Word of God and check up on the things we have been taught!

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