Why Jesus Was Never in a Rush
April 8, 2007 • By Joseph Matterawww.josephmattera.com
In this harried society, many of us feel guilty if we relax and are not engaged in hard work moment by moment. This often results in unnecessary stress and intensity that can lead to mental and emotional burnout.
As I ponder the life of Jesus, I notice that He was never in a rush as He walked among us, often taking time to minister to someone while He was on His way to minister to someone else (read Mark 5:21-43). This is foreign to many of us who attempt time management methodologies instead of utilizing life management principles in which each day centers around a major agenda or category instead of mapping out each minute of the day.
The more focused a person is, the less rushed and harried they are because their specificity enables them to have less of a chance engaging in unnecessary activity that eats up time. The general rule of thumb is: The more unfocused activity a person is involved in, the less productivity, profit, and time they have for self-renewal, family, and meaningful ministry.
Here are twelve reasons why Jesus was never in a rush:
I. He knew His purpose
1. In John 18:37 Jesus told Pilate that He is the King: “For this reason I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.”
2. There was nothing ambiguous about Him; He knew the what and the why regarding His birth and purpose on the earth.
II. He knew His mission
1. Luke 4:18-19 shows that Jesus had a vision regarding what He was supposed to do in ministry to fulfill His mission.
III. He had specific goals
1. Luke 13:31-33 shows that He had a goal of where and when He was going to be in His travels.
IV. He spent much time daily in prayer and only did what He saw His Father do
1. Read John 5:18-19 and Isaiah 50:4-7.
2. Harald Bredesen once said to a group of pastors: “If ministers would concentrate on only doing that which pleases the Lord and put that first, then everyone they are supposed to please will be pleased and ministers would not suffer burnout.”
V. He was focused on people, not programs
1. Matthew 9:36 shows us that Jesus was cognizant of the people and felt compassion for them.
2. In Matthew 23:2-3 Jesus teaches against putting heavy burdens on people without helping them.
3. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus put down leaders who emphasized the tithe without also emphasizing justice and mercy for people.
VI. He concentrated on “catching” men (Luke 5:11)and leadership development instead of administrative duties
1. Jesus only focused on what He and His 12(and later on His 70) could accomplish. He wasn’t bogged down with a lot of administration because He delegated to His disciples everything needed to release Him to concentrate on preaching, teaching, and training His disciples.
2. Most churches would prosper if they would attempt to do away with every ministry that doesn’t focus on evangelism and making disciples.
VII. He knew where He came from and where He was going
1. In John 8:14 Jesus told the Jews that His testimony was true because He knew where He came from and where He was going.
2. If people don’t know where they came from (the genesis of life reveals the purpose and journey of life) then how are they going to know why they are here and where they are supposed to go?
VIII. He wasn’t ego driven but was moved to minister by compassion (Mark 1:41-44)
1. Leaders who are driven instead of being led of the Lord are often competitive, insecure, and egocentric in regards to their ministry. They may work hard but their low self-esteem drives them hard in their search for significance.
IX. He knew when His ministry would be finished
1. John 19:30 shows that Jesus knew when His ministry was over and said “It is finished” before He gave up His spirit and died.
2. Many people either don’t end well, don’t finish their purpose, or they stay at a position long after they should have handed it off to a younger or more gifted leader to adequately accomplish the corporate mission.
X. He didn’t minister outside of His assignment
1. Mark 7:27 shows that Jesus wasn’t going to minister to the Syrophenician woman because she wasn’t under the covenant with God and didn’t fit His target audience.
2. In Matthew 10:5-6 He instructed His disciples not to go to any of the Gentiles or Samaritans; He wanted them to stay focused and purposeful. When you go outside of your God-given assignment you step out of His grace and favor and minister out of the flesh. This leads to ministerial burnout.
3. We can’t be everyone’s savior. We are not everyone’s answer to prayer. You are not called to help every person you meet. (Sometimes Satan will even send people your way to wear you out!) Stay within your assignment and you will prosper and be satisfied.
4. In our church I refuse to start a ministry (even if there is a great need) until God gives me a leader qualified oversee it. The reason for this is that if I don’t have a leader to manage a ministry then either I or my office staff will have to manage the new ministry, which will put undue stress on us.
XI. He didn’t waste His time in meaningless conversation
1. John 12:20-23 says Jesus never honored the request of the Greeks (who wanted to see Him) but ignored them and continued to enter the next phase of His ministry.
2. I am not obligated to return everyone’s phone call, email, or meet with every person who wants to meet with me. I can’t satisfy everyone’s agenda for my life! I am only obligated to please the Lord and do what I see my Father command me to do.
XII. He operated out of His inner circle and delegated to them the ministry of helps that released Him to focus on preaching, teaching, praying, and accomplishing His purpose
1. He had His 3, His 12, and His 70 minister to Him and for Him.
2. The Gospel accounts show that it was His disciples who shopped for food (John 4:8, 27, 31) which released Him to minister to Samaria. Also, it was His disciples who arranged for the multitudes to sit down so He could feed them (John 6:10); Peter and John were told to prepare the Upper Room for Jesus to conduct the famous Last Supper (Luke 22:8-13); Jesus was asleep on a boat while His disciples took Him to His next destination (Mark 4:35-41).