Jesus was the head of an organization, the CEO of a corporation. He made a carefully defined organization with a clear business plan. We easily forget today, that Jesus the CEO still has a purpose, and a direction, and a final goal.
But first let me tell you why I am not rich. At least one reason can be blamed on other people. My father has told me stories about a manufacturing business owned by some of his old relatives, more than a hundred years ago, the “McIntosh Munro Carriage Company.” These craftsmen made high quality vehicles that were powered by horses, and the owners were related to my father, who is 93 years old, as I write this. If you have one of those carriages in good condition now, it might be worth a fortune.
Not far away from my father’s family was another company, owned by a man named Henry Ford, and I am not related to Henry Ford. You would probably never know about the carriage company, if I didn’t tell you, but just look out your window at the mass-produced cars, many of from the Ford Motor Company. The difference between the two corporations is ‘carriage – motor.’
One side looked back, and perfected the old crafts, and the other side looked forward and developed new ideas. It’s a case of ‘guards at the museum’ versus ‘disruptive pioneers.’ In history, the disrupters always win; there is no future in the past. Steve Jobs started in a garage, with a few friends and some soldering irons, and rapidly built the wealthiest corporation in the world “Apple.” That was another innovative disruption.
Some people are good at changing the world.
Disruption is not always morally good. Disrupters with world-changing ideas include the Nazis and the Communists, and also some people we admire, but there is a strange power in forward-focused ideas.
Now back to Jesus. If He was the founder and CEO of a corporation, He did it all wrong. He was born in a barn, with farm animals, and his family became refugees while He was a baby. Later they moved to a poor northern province, where He grew up to be a village carpenter. He started ‘Jesus Inc’ with twelve employees, probably unpaid, and they were village people from the same backward province.
The power was in the city of Jerusalem, to the south. The Jewish temple, with centuries of tradition was there, all constructed and governed by the powerful Herod family, who were actually not Jewish, and over them all was the army of the Empire of Rome. Jerusalem was filled with people who could refer to history when they explained how they were more important than you.
Jesus went to Jerusalem, and He was quickly arrested and executed; and His corporation collapsed in panic. It’s strange today that about one third of the Earth’s population identifies with Jesus. They might not all be devout believers, but the Jesus brand is everywhere, and the ‘brand’ symbol is the tool that executed Jesus, the cross. That’s like marking a building with a guillotine or a hangman’s noose. It’s strange, if you think about it.
It seemed insane to disagree with the great powers, but today they are all gone. The Herod family lost power, the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, and forced all the Jews to leave. A few centuries later, barbarian tribes captured Rome, and ended the Empire. Looking back, the first-class passengers were fighting over the best deck chairs, on a sinking ship, when Jesus was nailed to a cross. That carpenter-preacher was a nuisance, and it probably felt good to get rid of Him, but the winners had no future.
Jesus won by doing everything wrong, and the other side lost everything, by doing it all correctly. Now, two thousand years later, the disruptive innovator has completely replaced the guardians of the power and traditions.
The loser won everything.
If we wonder how such a strange thing could happen, there was a corporate business plan:
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9: 57 to 62)
Note that Jesus was homeless at that time, the wild animals were better off then Him. If this is a corporate success story, Jesus was a great innovator and disrupter, two thousand years before Henry Ford and Steve Jobs. I believe He still is the great disrupter, and I think many Christians don’t know that. We don’t see the wonder of it all.
Our CEO wants to focus our vision forward, so we can get back to changing the world.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. (Philippians 3: 12 to 15)