The Strategy of Jesus: Luke 8-10
Updated: Feb 7
“Jesus may be the greatest strategist of all times.” I said this sentence to a global group I was speaking to some years ago. We continued as I talked them through the Bible passages found in the book of Luke, chapters 8, 9, and 10.
Let’s begin at Luke chapter 8 verses 1 and which reads:
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out.
In this passage, we see Jesus doing three things. First, he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom. Second, he cured people of evil spirits. You could say that he set people free from dark spirits. Third, he healed people of diseases. An important strategic piece here is the fact that he didn’t do this alone. He did these things in front of his twelve disciples as well as some accompanying women.
Strategic leaders stay focused on what’s important and they model this for the people on their teams. We can ask ourselves, “am I tracking well with our priorities and am I modeling this well for my team?”
Let’s move to Luke chapter 9 verses 1 and 2
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Notice we see the same five elements here that we saw in Luke 8. First, we have Jesus and his followers. Next, we see them doing the same three things. They were proclaiming the kingdom of God. They were driving out dark spirits, and yes, they were healing people of diseases. The strategic piece we see here is delegation. Instead of Jesus doing the same things himself, he empowered them to do these things.
Strategic leaders delegate for two reasons. First, it provides learning opportunities for the team. You can’t do the things your team leader is doing if they never give you the opportunity to practice. Second, it extends the capacity of the team. If the team leader is the only one who can do the important things, that leader will become the bottleneck. We expand the impact of our teams as we equip and empower those on the team.
The third passage is Luke chapter 10. Let’s look at verses 1 and 2 which read:
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. 5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
Here we see Jesus taking his vision of equipping and empowering to the next level and beyond. In verse 1, Jesus appoints 72 with their assignments. Before they go out, however, he says, let’s pause for prayer. He then prays to the Lord of the Harvest for even more workers.
In this time of vision casting, he emphasizes the need for them to do what he has done. But he wants to expand their vision even further as he paints a picture of a preferred future.
Strategic leaders are not just building and equipping their teams, they are painting an even bigger picture of what the future holds. Jesus does just that in these verses.
What about three things that Jesus and the twelve did? Sometimes, we think that the most important things can only be done by the special leaders here. Jesus emphasizes that the three priorities can be moved forward by the 72 as well as others.
In verse 9 we see that they were to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal sick. Okay, that is two of the three, what about the third element? If we drop down to vs 17, we read:
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Here we see them delivering people from dark spirits. Can you hear the joy in their voice. There is nothing more exciting than seeing an expanded team with people who realize they can move the team priorities. I like to say on this point, “Everyone is on the team and is in the game.”
Our important priorities are not for just a few, but for everyone.
I like to quote Kate Beatty here from her Forbes article entitled, “The Three Strengths of a True Strategic Leader.”
The job of strategy is not limited to a few top executives. Strategic leaders are needed throughout our organizations if they are to adapt, innovate, and succeed well into the future.
Jesus demonstrated a strategic mindset that changed the world. In review, we see these important elements:
1. Jesus demonstrated his priorities and lived them out before he asked his team to live them out.
2. Jesus equipped and empowered his team to advance their priorities.
3. Jesus expanded the team from 12 to 72.
4. He cast a vision for an even larger team that would have an even larger impact.
5. There was joy in the journey as everyone got to be on the team and in the game.
If you want to grow the strategic capacity of you and your, consider when and how you could apply these principles to your life and work.Luke 8-10 gives us insight on the strategy of Jesus.