“And you are clean, but not every one of you. John 13:10.
It’s tough to have inside information and not act on it immediately. Leaders always have “inside information” just like Jesus did with Peter and Judas. The disciples had been with Jesus as part of the leadership internship program and they wondered why he spoke continuously about denial and betrayal. He had come to earth as the Messiah with a strategic plan to build a team would help restore a nation using an eight-step process: Identify thePROBLEM, select a related PURPOSE defined by the vision of a returning Messiah; institute a PROGRAM(preach loving-kindness), specify the PEOPLE (a target audience of multitudes), select delivery PERSONNEL (the disciples), launch a PROMOTION (a witnessing drive), establish a PRICE (personal sacrifices and His death), and suffuse the entire plan with constant PRAYER and reflection. There’s nothing like a strategic design, fit for time and place.
The twelve disciples were called and chosen, an equal opportunity group. The name Judas, meant “Jehovah Leads” and James and John were “sons of thunder”. They hailed from northern Galilee, except one (Judas), a motely group of uncultured men, except one (Judas). They were all close to Jesus visibly, except one. They knew each other and hung out together, all except one (Judas). They had pure motives of loyalty, all except one (Judas). They were all clean, except one (Judas). Sometimes, it is like that with leadership teams, but to all he gave miracle power. James and John hoped for top positions and Judas figured that he would cash in on whatever treasury profits came by. Everybody was in it for something. A group of common men, tackling an uncommon situation for holy purpose. And Jesus knew!
Jesus had a destination vision for the team to take them from where they were to an eternal future. He saw the end, and discounted the beginning for where you are headed counts far more than where you are. Peter denied Jesus three times, but repented. Judas never denied him visibly but in the end, really did—he had been all along, quietly. Sometimes, you’ll have a team of fishermen, except one. We are molding common teams to an uncommon purpose in Adventist leadership. Its gruesome, but Judas will ultimately hang himself. Teams are made of imperfect people; patience is necessary, purpose is uppermost. Sometimes, Gethsemane comes. The question remains, “have we been with Jesus”? This counts for more than experience, position and degrees, yet we are tempted to elevate these items. They took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). There is a Pentecost ahead.