The Messiah Complex
© December 2000 by Asher Intrater
Over the years, I have noted a similar mistake in great leaders in Israeli politics and in the Charismatic Church. It is what I call, "the Messiah Complex." In some ways it is nothing more than good old fashioned male ego. But in these cases it is coupled with a zeal to save the world through Israel or the Church. Take a super gifted individual, with a large ego, add political power, religious zeal, Israel, the end times, and an urgent situation; and - poof - you get the Messiah complex.
Yeshua said that the greatest man that ever lived, according to natural human gifting and capabilities was John the Baptist. But John said:
John did not let the greatness of his calling "go to his head." He was quick to remind himself and others that he was not the Savior. He was not the Messiah. Those who are called to great roles in the kingdom of God must also remind themselves often of this simple principle. You, my friend, are not the Messiah. You are not our Savior. That is for Yeshua and Yeshua alone.
No matter how important the calling we may be given, we should never become the center of the picture. Yeshua is the center of the picture. You and I are not the issue. He is the issue.
I am amazed at how talented and capable the men are who have been the prime ministers of Israel in our generation. Both left wing and right wing: Begin, Rabin, Shamir, Peres, Netanyahu, Barak. Netanyahu and Barak, being younger than the other men in this group, were more tempted to see themselves as "saving" the situation. In turn they both alienated others around them in the government and fell into trouble. (Presumably they are learning from their mistakes and will be better leaders in the future.)
When we recognize that Yeshua is the Savior, and that we are human beings walking out His will upon the earth, humility has to accompany our faith. Not every situation is ideal, and we need to make room for temporary compromises. Of course, I do not mean here moral compromise. Morally we need to strive for an absolute standard at all times. Yet when dealing with other people in cooperation and teamwork, and when searching for solutions when well-intentioned men have differences of opinion, compromise can be a virtue.
Some of the greatest leaders of faith (apostles, prophets, and evangelists) in our generation, have caused great damage and division when they have seen the importance of their own role as central to the success of the kingdom of God. My ministry becomes the central issue. My calling is the most important thing. Well, not necessarily. If you were Jesus, that might be so. But then, He knew how to lay down His whole life for others.
Looking at the success of our ministry and the importance of our calling actually becomes a satanic form of pride when it takes priority over laying down our lives for others.
Peter was trying to convince Yeshua to think of the success of His ministry and the importance of His calling, instead of laying down His life. Yeshua rebuked that perfectly human attitude as a satanic offense. Getting rid of your pride might be more helpful to those around you than your fulfilling your giftings, callings and ministry.
We don't need you to be the Messiah. We've got one already.