On the second Sunday of Lent, the Gospel reading for the Mass (Luke 9:28-36) described how Jesus took three of His disciples – Peter, John, and James – up on a mountain to pray. While Jesus was praying, His disciples fell asleep. When they woke up, Peter and his companions saw Jesus, Moses, and Elijah standing together. Their bodies were radiant from being in a glorified state.
When Moses and Elijah began to depart from Jesus, Peter reactively said, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Luke 9:33) While Peter was speaking, Moses and Elijah entered into the cloud, and a voice came out of the cloud and said, “This is my beloved son, listen to him.” (Luke 9:35)
So why was Peter the only one of the three men who stepped forward with a plan about how to preserve what was taking place?
Last year I listened to an interview of Dave Logan, the author of two best-selling business books, Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization and The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life.
In the interview, Logan was asked to give his definition of leadership. He answered by saying, “Leadership is very simple. If you look over your shoulder and people are following you, you’re a leader. It’s not any more complicated than that.” He later said, “Leadership’s about two things. It’s about making something happen that wasn’t going to happen anyway, and it’s about creating other leaders who can do the same.”
The reason Peter stepped forward and proposed a plan of action to Jesus was that he was a natural leader. He didn’t need to think before he talked. He automatically assumed a leadership position and came up with a plan to make something happen that wasn’t going to happen anyway.
Not only did Jesus recognize Peter’s leadership abilities, but the devil also took note of them. That’s why the forces of evil were unleashed upon Peter. The devil did everything in his power to alienate Peter from Jesus. The reason the devil’s plan did not succeed in the same way it succeeded with Judas was that Peter had the humility and courage to admit he was wrong and to ask Jesus for forgiveness. Every great leader possesses those two traits: humility and courage.
Are you being called by God to be a leader? If not, maybe you aren’t listening very well.