Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

A Continuation on our Influence discussion

A couple of things before we look at examples of Jesus exercising influence in the orientations mentioned in part 1.

The three orientations I have proposed are generalizations and they do not encompass every sphere of influence we encounter. They are only meant to help us think through specific areas influence can be exercised. And has Mark mentioned in the comments of part one, it is possible to find examples of influences that fit in all three orientations.

Also, certain influences can not only fit into all three orientations, but can move between orientations through seasons of a relationship. An example would be a mentor. The mentor / mentee relationship can move from orientation to orientation has the relationship evolves and grows. I am sure you can think of other examples.

My hope with these post is to help us think specifically about the places in our lives we can exercise influence and to help our students do the same thing.

Now lets look at examples of Jesus exercising influence in the specific orientations of Position, Proximity and Permission.

Position Oriented
Jesus used his position to exercise influence in lives of the disciples. He called them out to be prepared for the spreading of the gospel and the for founding of the church. Jesus also empowered them to do the work of the ministry he sent them out to do {Matthew 10:1-15; 26:26-29}.

It is seen also in his specific relationship with Peter, James and John. Jesus pulls these three aside on several occasions to see and experience things the others did not {Matthew 17:1; 26:36-38}.

Proximity Oriented
People were always around Jesus. Simply by there proximity to the Savior they were influenced. You see his influence with the crowds who followed after him {Matthew 4:23-25}. He healed the sick, cast out demons and proclaimed the gospel. He also taught the crowds with authority and power {Matthew 5-7}.

He influenced the religious community at the time. In most cases they did not respond positively, but Jesus’ presence had influence {Matthew 26:3-5}

Jesus presence at events in the community also had influence. The wedding where he performs his first miracle launches his ministry forward {John 2:1-11}.

Even at the cross Jesus had influence. At the dying of Christ a Centurion soldier is convinced Jesus is the son of God {Matthew 27:54}.

Permission Oriented
Many people gave Jesus permission to influence their lives. We see it with the sick and dying being brought to Jesus asking to be healed {Matthew 8:14-17}. Another example would be the Centurion servant. He sends the Elders of the Jews to Jesus asking for his servant to be healed {Luke 7:1-3}.

We can see it also in the friends of Jesus. Jesus is invited into the home of Mary and Martha. Mary sits at the feet of Jesus to be taught {Luke 10:38-41}. Again with the same friends, Mary and Martha send for Jesus to come and help their sick brother Lazarus {John 11:1-44}.

These examples are not exhaustive. You can think of many more. But in each orientation of influence you can see how Jesus maximized every day opportunities to exercise his influence.

Next time we will talk specifically about how to discover and how to help students discover opportunities to exercise influence.

In the mean time – what are your thoughts?