“Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1-2)
After demonstrating how to heal diseases and get rid of demons, Jesus gives His disciples the same power. He may have had concerns, such as them not doing it well, or a potential abuse of power; however, the benefits outweighed the concerns. Giving them the same power meant that the gospel could spread further and it gave the disciples an opportunity to trust God more.
Humility is relinquishing control, when necessary, to empower others to do the same job with their God-given abilities.
Jesus understood that the gospel would go further if the disciples were empowered and equipped to do what He was doing. For us, when delegating, it’s important to remember that:
- He made more than one person for the task.
- He can help you be a good mentor/coach.
- He will show you who to delegate to and will not permit failure (if they’re faithful) OR give you the strength/resources to work through their mess.
It would have been easy for Jesus to hog the ability to cast out demons and heal the sick. But He didn’t. People flocked to Him because of what He could do, and to keep that as just Him would have been tempting. However, He understood that it wasn’t about Him; it was about God. With His impending crucifixion, it was also important to implement good succession planning. Being the ‘designated healer’ would have caused more damage in the long run.
Was Jesus the best at healing? Yes. Did that mean that no one else could do it? No. The trap I often fall into is thinking that if I don’t do something, then no one else can. Or if I let someone else do it then they’ll do a ‘worse’ job than me. These thoughts stem from my inner-perfectionist, and whilst they’re well meaning… they’re laced with arrogance. They imply that I’m the best at doing thing X and if anyone else does, it’ll be less than the best. It’s humbling to watch the show go on without you and everything be perfectly fine. You suddenly realise that you aren’t the glue that holds everything together.
Jesus wants willingness not self-importance.
Jesus didn’t need to ‘upgrade’ the disciples by giving them the power to heal; they could have just remained as speakers and teachers. However, by modelling and guiding them through healing, He allowed them to grow in this area, too. How they implemented this gift would have borne a nuance that was unique to each disciple i.e. they would have been doing the same thing, differently. And that’s ok. Jesus didn’t want twelve clones, He wanted people who He could trust with their new skills. It may seem difficult to picture someone doing ‘your’ thing, perhaps something that’s characteristically ‘you’, but remember that you’re not indispensable. Jesus was indispensable and even He delegated. Don’t feel concerned or threatened by delegation, it can be a wonderful thing.
- Delegate appropriately – it isn’t an opportunity to shirk your responsibilities by lumping them on someone else. Be patient with others as they get to grips with the task.
- Be open minded – don’t assume the way they’re doing something is wrong just because it’s different to the way you’d do it.
- (Knowledge) sharing is caring – someone invested in you to get you to this stage (or you invested in yourself if you’re self taught). How can you share that with someone else so they can one day be at your ‘level’?
Delegation isn’t the enemy when you do it prayerfully… temperance is key, don’t overwork yourself when help is readily available.