Leadership Lessons of Jesus' use of conflict in the gospel of Matthew
Frank A. Wiggin
Jesus' use of conflict in the Gospel of Matthew acts as an example and as a means of ascertaining the proper use of conflict by leaders of today. I propose that Jesus uses a form of preemptive conflict rather than acting as a conflict-avoider. While traditional conflict theory and conflict-resolution practitioners strive for mutuality in conflict resolution through "win-win" scenarios, a growing body of literature supports that conflict is healthy for organizations and individuals alike, and should be embraced as a positive influence for organizational effectiveness and personal growth. Jesus' use of conflict in the gospels is examined via biblical exegesis utilizing Robbins (1996a) hermeneutic structure (socio-rhetorical criticism). The exegesis of conflict stories involving Jesus is limited to those found in the Gospel of Matthew.
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