Jesus As A Leader: 5 Characteristics Of Jesus On Leadership

Being a leader.

One of the loneliest and most difficult tasks to execute in life.

Are they born or made?

Do we learn to be one?


Certainly an immense challenge and the aspiration of many.

How many books have not been written about it?

Because, let’s be clear, it’s one thing to be a leader and another to be a good leader or rather a true leader.


I’d like to talk to you about the leadership style of the greatest leader in human history.

A radically different style of leadership to the current one, of a man who split history in two.

Certainly, regardless of what your convictions are, no one can deny that in terms of leadership there is too much to learn from Him.

In addition, everyone in any scenario of our life exercises leadership.

Whether as parents, as husbands, as friends, or on our social media.

So we can apply to our daily life the teachings of this post.

Read with me the story of something unusual that Jesus once did.

This event allows us to analyze several important details of true leadership:

It was just before the Passover Festival.

Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.

Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

| John 13:1,3-5,17

How many leaders do you know would do something like that?

Maybe not many, right?

Imagine that tomorrow comes out a news story where the President of the United States washes the feet of his entire cabinet of ministers.

That would be an international scandal.

Although, obviously, something like this is very likely that would never happen.

That’s how controversial Jesus is.

His leadership defies reality and all existing paradigms.

#1 A true leader focuses on building a family.

The first key to leadership that we find in this scripture, we can see it in this short fragment:

Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

You know, one of the characteristics of a true leader is that he doesn’t just focus on building teams.

The true leader focuses on building family.

This passage reveals that Jesus loved his disciples.

For him, his disciples were not just subordinates, or people to coordinate and direct.

For Jesus, they were his family, his closest friends.

They were so close that, under the circumstances, the disciples risked their lives following Jesus, willing to die with him if necessary.

They were so close that Jesus gave his life for them, as well as for all of us.

If you really want your leadership to have a major impact on the lives of the people you lead and on the processes you perform, open yourself up to people.

Do not look at them as objects, but as human beings, and lead with love.

With dedication, with patience.

Of course, you’re still going to have to hold a different position from the rest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love them and unite them.

#2 Be consistent. Practice what you preach.

Another very, very interesting thing about Jesus’ leadership can be seen in this little fragment of the story:

The devil had already put in the heart of Judas Iscarus, son of Simon, to hand Jesus over.

Look at this text, it mentions that Judas had already decided to betray Jesus.

It also mentions that Jesus already knew it.

As contradictory as it may seem, it also mentions that despite that, and as a reaction to that, Jesus washed his feet.

I was deeply shocked by this.

Two details of this seem important to me for the life of a leader.

The first is consistency.

Look, Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said:

(…) Love your enemies (…) |  Matthew 5:44

Or when he said:

(…) bless those who curse you (…)  | Luke 6:28

In this short passage, we can see that he himself lived it.

Jesus loved Judas, Judas was one of his own, even if he was a traitor and a thief.

And Jesus blessed Judas even though Judas was cursing him by handing him over.

He treated him with love and in the same way as everyone else.

Look, a true leader is a consistent person, a person his followers can trust, and imitate.

A person in whom they can see transparency and truth.

If you ask your team to do something, it’s because you’re willing to do it yourself.

Don’t ask others for things you wouldn’t do or don’t do.

Over time people notice it and that makes you fail and lose complete credibility.

#3 Use grace to deal with difficult people

The second thing is the way you deal with difficult people.

Jesus knew that Judas was not at all the most committed member of his team or the most faithful.

But Jesus always had a redemptive attitude toward him until the last moment.

Jesus didn’t just throw him away for being the way he was or for acting that way.

Nor did Jesus just keep him there, holding him out until he could get rid of him.

On the contrary, he fought for his heart till the end.

Jesus understood his inner struggles and always gave him opportunities to serve in any way he could and opportunities to change.

He always had a redemptive attitude towards him.

The Bible does not record that he treated him with contempt or disdain, but that he treated him the same as everyone else.

How would you behave as a leader in such a case?

A lot to learn.

#4 Be humble

The third incredible thing in Jesus’ leadership can be seen in this excerpt:

(…) Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God (…)

Jesus was an incredibly humble leader.

This passage is saying that Jesus was clear about his position in the universe, who his father was, and he knew that position would be restored to him shortly after.

But even so, that did not make him take an attitude of superiority towards others.

He did not look over his shoulder at them as inferior beings.

On the contrary, it made him recognize that this position was not an opportunity to dominate but to serve.

A true leader is humble.

He doesn’t feel superior to his team, he works for them, he works with them, he mingles with them.

Don’t just sit on top of a pedestal to give orders.

Serve your team in the most humble way possible.

#5 Train your team by serving them. Work for them.

Finally, I want us to ponder the meaning of what Jesus did:

(…) he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

You don’t know what my heart feels when I think about this and read these words.

My savior, my God, my king, my lord, the owner, and creator of the universe.

He did not skimp on being God as a thing to cling to.

Instead, He took the form of a servant and knelt to wash away the smelly, dirty, grime-filled, dusty feet of the people he loved and even those who betrayed him.

That moves me deeply and teaches me so many things.

It confronts me with so many flaws in my character and makes me admire Jesus and love him more.

It makes me want to be more like him and nothing like me.

Jesus, the king of the universe, gave us an example that being a leader is not just commanding, it is not being superior.

Being a leader is working for your team, working harder than your team, giving everything for your team, serving your team.

Being a leader is not an opportunity to be served.

It is a privilege.

The privilege to serve.

Being a leader is not to be upstairs, being sustained and nurtured by the work of others.

Being a leader is putting yourself down and carrying everyone on your shoulders.

Working for everyone and motivating everyone.

Setting an example for everyone, teaching everyone.

This is how the universe that God created works.

Contrary to the systems, we have created.

God is the Lord of the universe, but the entire universe obeys him in response to his love, to his selflessness.

it does not obey him out of fear of his power and authority.

It is God who formed it, it is God who sustains it with his power, it is God who cares for the universe.

He cares for you and me, for every star, every bird, every plant, every cloud, every bacterium, every galaxy, every atom.

God is the greatest leader, that is why he is the greatest servant.

It is our privilege as leaders to serve and imitate the Lord, he set an example for us.

Let us therefore lead by example, just as he did, with the example of being coherent, humble, willing to love to the end, to redeem the fallen, to work more than others and to serve with simplicity.

I hope these words have been a blessing to you and motivated you as much as I have. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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