Skip to main content

Matthew 4:1-25: Jesus establishes Himself as an effective leader

Mathew builds a progression in the text that shows a natural establishment of Jesus as a leader. First Jesus establishes credibility in verses 1-11 showing that a Christian leader is proven. Second, He strategically positions Himself in verses 12-17 presenting a Christian leader as relevant. Third, Jesus builds a coalition to fulfill God’s purpose in verses 18-25 proving that a Christian leader influences others to accomplish God’s plan. The influence progresses from one (Jesus develops credibility), to a few (Jesus builds His coalition) to many (Jesus influences the multitudes). Matthew presents Jesus as a servant leader that is transformational in His approach. Notice in Verse 19: “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” . Jesus’ call to leave profession and family was radical, the sort of demand that only the most radical teacher would make. This text provides us several examples of servant-leadership and shows His transformational style. Jesus’ seeking out disciples himself represents a serious breach of custom as Jesus is seen “coming down to their level” socially. This challenging of the “status quo” process is a quality of great leadership. Notice also that Jesus relates to his followers in terms they can understand. Jesus did not call professionally trained rabbis to be his followers. He called fishermen and encouraged them that the skills they already had were serviceable in the kingdom. These disciples leave their fishing nets, but they do not stop fishing. They are now, in the service of the kingdom of heaven, fishers for people. Their lives have been transformed by Jesus’ call to follow. Jesus is an effective leader because He seeks to improve His followers (from fishing for fish to fishing for people). This is transformational leadership. Transformational leaders seek to improve and influence their followers.