One of the first principals of servant leadership is grasping the truth that it is only possible if you’re confident in the role. So many people think that “lowering oneself” to completing selfless acts for others is a sign of weakness. That is absolutely the polar opposite of reality.
John recounts Jesus washing the feet of the disciples with a critical reminder for all servant leaders:
“ 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands,
and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God…”
Emmanuel, God with us, knew all things and had title to all things. Jesus was God and His death was the only way to restore the relationship between God and mankind. It was from that place of confidence in who He was that gave Jesus the ability to strip down and wash feet.
As Jesus reached out and took hold of each man’s feet, He looked at them with the genuine love of God and served them as He knew one day, they would have to serve others. When Peter objected to the Lord washing his feet, Jesus told him that he would understand in full later, but that this act was of supreme importance.
Ironically, it was Peter that would later call out the Sanhedrin and tell them, “You can decide whether or not it is right or wrong to talk about Jesus, but I am compelled to tell people what He has done for me!” It was Peter that would later shatter the wall between Jew and Gentile. Finally, it was Peter, after receiving a death sentence, who asked humbly to be crucified upside down, saying he did not even merit dying the same way our Savior did!
In our lives, the world screams that one must “Look out for old number one!” Sadly, that myopic focus completely nullifies any opportunity to be great. The “Me First” mentality only makes one small and insignificant in the sight of others. Sure, the selfish may get their way in the short term, but they will never leave a positive and lasting impact on those that pass through their lives.
Jesus began the transformation of the world by showing that true greatness and power has to be wrapped in a humble heart and a confident, but selfless life. As His chosen, we can no longer be conformed to the pattern of this world. Instead, like Peter, we must be transformed into His image by the renewing of our minds. Romans 12:1-2.God Bless You
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, 4 *got up from supper, and *laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
5 Then He *poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He *came to Simon Peter. He *said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter *said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” 10 Jesus *said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and [b]you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 19 From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”