Danger in the Sphere of Influence

Revecca Van Noord

Leviticus 7:1–8:36; John 7:45–52; Song of Solomon 6:1–5

Leadership is like a bright spotlight; when the heat intensifies, it’s difficult to conceal the areas where we fail. But that’s where true character is revealed.

The Pharisees didn’t fare well with the pressure of authority. We can see why Jesus had such compassion for the masses by observing the Pharisees’ behavior in John 7. After Jesus claimed to be the source of life and ratcheted up the conflict, the Pharisees became angry. Sensing that their authority was slipping, they judged Jesus before they had a chance to give Him a hearing. They intimidated Nicodemus, harshly rebuked the captains, and cursed the people: “this crowd who does not know the law is accursed!” (John 7:49).

Those who hold positions of authority have great influence—a reason why bad authority can be so detrimental: “Not many should become teachers, my brother, because you know that we will receive a greater judgment” (Jas 3:1). But influence isn’t relegated to leaders, supervisors, or pastors. Anyone who has a measure of influence over others should carefully consider how they use that trust.

When we have earthly teachers who let us down, we can turn to God, our heavenly teacher. For those who were under the heavy hand of the Pharisees, Jesus’ words must have been as refreshing and soothing as the water He spoke of: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and let him drink, the one who believes in me” (John 7:37–38).

How are you using your authority to lead others to Christ? How can you seek out forgiveness from those you may have harmed?

This article was originally posted in Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan.