What Manner of Man
(A weekly program for knowing and following Jesus Christ)
By Richard M. Eyre
Month 7: His Leadership
WEEK 25: CHARISMA
Close your physical eyes for a moment and let your mind’s eye visualize the Savior:
1. Speaking to groups of people with such spell-binding power that the officers sent to arrest him simply become part of the enthralled audience. (Later, in trying to explain to the Pharisees why they did not take him, the officers are able only to say “Never man spake like this man;” John 7:46).
2. Teaching principles with such inner force that his enemies nervously report, “He stirreth up the people” (Luke 23:5), and that his disciples feel in their hearts such singular devotion that one cries to the others, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16)
3. Riding into Jerusalem with the inexpressible dignity and power that draws multitudes saying “Hosanna,” and that creates a scene such that “all the city was moved” (Matthew 21:6-10).
Dictionaries define charisma as “a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure; a special magnetic charm or appeal” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary).
From whence did Christ draw his supreme charisma? Was it from his actual spoken words? From his physical stature and presence? From the white-heat brilliance of his insight and teaching? Yes, it was all of these perhaps, but it was from at least two more things:
1. A love so unconditional and so universal, yet so individual, that all who contacted it felt it.
2. A basic realness—an open, straightforward candor and honesty-with-self that removed any hesitation and that attracted people like a magnet.