What does ‘woe’ mean and why does Jesus use it so much?
When we see the word WOE in the scripture, particularly when Jesus uses it, we know we better pay attention. Jesus has lots to say, all prefaced with WOE! Jesus is speaking to the leaders of the day. Jesus is speaking to the elites.
I am going to pay attention. Jesus is talking to me. I must learn.
This is critical in my life. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.
Whenever we see the word “woe” in the New Testament, then it is always a translation of the Greek word “ouai“. This Greek word “ouai” is used 47 times in the New Testament: 41 times in 33 verses it is translated as “woe“, and six times in three verses it is translated as “alas“.
Jesus was constantly getting under the skin of the religious leaders and scholars. At the conclusion of the story Jesus tells, they wanted to stone him.
Why this level of hate of Jesus by the religious leaders? Jesus saw what was in their heart, pointed it out clearly, and wouldn’t back down. They were constantly being embarrassed and the people loved Jesus.
The last will be first | Leadership the Jesus Way
Jesus is clear about what is important. It is not about being a leader. It is not about who sits in authority at the right hand of Jesus. It is not even about being a servant leader. Jesus never talks about that.
Jesus calls on us to be servants. That is it. There is nothing else. That is our daily job. We live it out at work and at home.
Jesus only came to serve us and sacrifice for us. It is God that put Jesus in charge of God’s country (aka Kingdom). Jesus simply did what his Father wanted him to do.
Jesus is clear about what it takes to follow him (i.e. be a Christian). There is no ambiguity here at all. I have to do it.
I have to change my mind (aka repent) about who is in charge. Jesus is in charge. A follower of Jesus commits to letting Jesus lead. God is God. I am not. This is the “main thing about the main thing”. Everything starts here.
So where is Jesus going to lead me? Jesus leads me to the cross. Suffering is ahead of me. I have to sacrifice what I think God would do to let Jesus be in control. This is not easy stuff for me. I don’t want to suffer. I really don’t.
“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.” ~JesusSource: Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)
Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.
There is a lot being said, by “leaders”, about being servant leaders. I have a friend that has written a book on it. He runs a truly great company. It seems to work for him. The premise is you can be a leader as long as you are a servant.
What does Jesus think? Can you say “Argle Bargle”? Argle Bargle is meaningless talk. It is hokum. Jesus isn’t enamored with my being a leader who serves. Jesus calls on me to be a servant or a slave. Jesus thinks it is Argle Bargle to be called a leader.
Please take a minute to read what Jesus says about this.
We live in a world where men are portrayed as being out-of-touch, old fashioned, intolerant and sometimes just plain stupid. On television Fathers are mocked and are to be pitied most of all. It seems that no one is more out-of-touch! While it’s true that we have brought some of this on ourselves by our own actions, … I want to remind you that we are created in His image and He has a totally different perspective on what it looks like AND means to be a man.
It is a joy and privilege to have such a diverse staff here at CTCI, not only in terms of their individual talents and abilities, but also in the different cultural perspectives that each brings to our work and family environment.
Here is a devotional thought from our beloved Ambiorix Caldéron (native from the Dominican Republic) on his perspective on what it means to be a good shepherd. (See below for an English translation):
Esta mañana mientras caminaba en la cerca, me di cuenta que los obejos me seguian dondequiera que yo caminaba. Me hizo pensar en Jesús cuando dijo, “…el pastor llama a cada obeja por su nombre y las obejas reconocen su voz…y cuando ya han salido todas camina delante de ellas y las obejas lo siguen porque reconocen su voz.
¿Y tú, quiere ser un pastor que te sigan las obejas, y que te conozcan? Tu ejemplo determinará si las obejas te sigan.
-Ambiorix Caldéron (CTCI Staff)
This morning as I was walking in the field, I realized that the sheep were following me wherever I went. It made me think of Jesus when he said that the Shepherd calls every sheep by name and the sheep recognize His voice. When they have all come out, He walks before them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize His voice.”
What about you? Do you want to be a shepherd whom the sheep know and follow? Your example will determine if the sheep will follow you.