“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” – Luke 4:18 (NKJV)
Though the seed of Christianity was planted in the garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve committed high treason and disobeyed God’s instructions, it took years before redemption came into the scene with the appearance of a Man. Before the arrival of Jesus on the ministry scene of Jerusalem and Nazareth, there was a crisis of faith and hope. The church leaders were struggling to make Judaism relevant to the issues of the day. Israel had lost its shine and they were besieged by Rome. There was a need for a new, fresh, and relevant approach to the issues of the day. The religious leaders of the day were focused on rituals rather than service, Law rather than grace, and sacrifice rather than obedience. In the midst of all this, Jesus came and brought a new approach to revive a dying faith and give hope to a people who had lost their sovereignty. He launched a new movement called Christianity, which today has become the largest religious affiliations in the world.
How did Jesus do it? How was He able to single-handedly spark this global movement? He innovated! Yes, Jesus did things different and better than other rabbis and leaders of His time.
Here are seven things Jesus did to innovate:
- He was different and bold. Jesus did not approach ministry like other rabbis and priests of His day. He taught as one having authority and approached the scriptures differently. He spoke more about the Kingdom than about tradition and religion. Don’t be afraid to be different and boldly demonstrate your uniqueness.
“And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” – Matthew 7:28-29 (NKJV)
- He was Spirit-led. Jesus was not ashamed of the fact that the Spirit of God was leading Him. He relied on and tapped into the Spirit of God for direction and wisdom. Let the Spirit of God direct you to new ideas and insights.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty tohse who are oppressed.” – Luke 4:18 (NKJV)
- He was people-focused. Jesus did not allow traditions, rituals, and the Law to stop Him from carrying out His mission. He recognized that His purpose was about meeting the needs of the people, so He focussed on that. He understood that the Law was made for people, not people for the Law. He focused on the needs of the people. Innovations come as we try to improve the lives of our customers.
“And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Step forward.’ Then He said to them, ‘Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they kept silent.” – Mark 3:1-4 (NKJV)
- He took the long view. Jesus understood that His ultimate reward was that He would be elevated at the right hand of God the Father. He did not take shortcuts nor was He tempted by short-term gratifications, but rather He focused on the long-term reward. Do not compromise your long term prospects for short-term gain, but rather focus on the long-term rewards.
“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.’” – John 18:36 (NKJV)
- He was resourceful. Jesus always used the little He had to make the most out of it. He did not focus on what He did not have but rather on what He had and trusted God to use it to take care of what He needed. There is a concept called "Frugal Innovation," which means responding to market needs in the simplest, efficient, and most cost-effective ways possible. Being a frugal innovator and use what you have to make things better for your business and customers.
“When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’ And they said to Him, ‘We have here only five loaves and two fish.”’He said, ‘Bring them here to Me.’” – Matthew 14:13-18 (NKJV)
- He took risks. Jesus was not afraid to risk His life or reputation to fulfill His mission. He did whatever He had to do as long as it did not violate the will of His father. Take risks and do what you must to be innovative. Remember, no pain no gain.
“Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, ‘How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?’” – Mark 2:15-17 (NKJV)
- He was diligent and worked hard. Jesus was always about His father's business and was committed to doing whatever it took to accomplish it. Being innovative takes work, it is not for the lazy. Be committed to putting in the time and doing whatever it takes to innovate your business.
“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” – John 9:4 (NKJV)
How committed are you to innovating your business to increase your top and bottom line so you can advance the kingdom of God in the marketplace? Follow Jesus’ example and innovate not just in your business but in your life as well.
My prayer for you today is that God will give you the wisdom to innovate as Jesus did so you can glorify Him in the marketplace.
Next week we will continue with our series on innovation.