Lead as Jesus led
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday, he was received as a King, they proclaimed “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” which is an Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah.
Their view of a king was one who would overthrow the Roman government and reestablish freedom and sovereignty in Israel
Jesus’ plan was to set all men free not just those in Israel and reign as King over the whole world taking back the authority man gave to Satan. He did it with his terms in His way. Let’s take a look at this part of His-story
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
Before they completely finished the meal of Passover, (it was represented by the drinking of 4 cups as outlined in exodus 6, Jesus only drank three with them bring you out, I will deliver, I will redeem, I will take you) Jesus was about to do something that no leader had ever done before, it was going to be an act of servanthood but he wasn’t doing it based on fear, worry, doubt, concern about what was about to happen, these verses set the stage
- He did it out of love – he loved his own, even to the end. He knew what he was about to go through the beatings, rejection, betrayal (even by one of his own) the final attacks by Satan yet he chose to love and to display this love in a very intimate way.
- He was in complete control “the Father had given all things into his hands” he determined when everything would begin, later he will cause the rest of the disciples to escape the Jewish cohort, He will cause the dead to rise in the garden, He overthrew the entire garrison sent to take him…he chose everything about his capture, treatment, crucifixion, and resurrection. Jesus is completely in charge
John 13: 4,5
(Jesus) rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
In Palestine the roads were filthy and dusty. It was an honoring thing to wash someone’s feet, wives would wash the feet of their husbands, children would wash the feet of their parents. Coming into a household the homeowner would honor the guest by having a slave there to wash the feet of the guest. However, a Jewish slave could never be forced to wash anyone’s feet.
Jesus disrobing the way he did was a sign of acting as a slave so this was doubly humbling for the disciples as Jesus was a Jew and should never be in this position and secondly, he was their teacher, mentor, messiah.
Jesus is leading us in teaching us that even though we have the authority and or the position we are always to be strong enough and secure enough to serve. Jesus’ mode was always enabling, not in the negative sense of being and enabler but he was enabling those closest to Him to become all that they should be by leading as a servant.
John 13: 6-11
Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never 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, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed (washed) needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
Peter is emotional, passionate, we see him often in the mode of “ready, fire, aim” but he also was faithful to the Lord, he is, after all, the only one who walked on water
It was belittling for him to have his feet washed by his Lord, but Jesus teaches an important lesson to us. There are two different words used here for, wash…Peter asked Jesus are you washing my feet meaning are you cleansing a particular part of my body that needs cleansed daily?
Jesus says you won’t get it now but you will later…I’ll explain in a moment what he meant by that…once again Peter says Lord, I am not going to allow this washing of my feet, this one particular daily cleansing to take place
Jesus says, if you don’t let this happen daily, you have no friendship with me….
Peter saying OK basically give me a complete baptism then Jesus but Peter missed the point but had to receive it by faith for now….Jesus answer, which we don’t get in English is in a little while because I am going to the cross, my blood will cleanse you completely and you will have relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because you accepted what my blood has done by obliterating all of your sin….but daily you will fail, daily others will offend you so daily you need to have that part of you cleanse, your salvation is secure but we need to keep the relationship right so you can always have the peace, love, and joy I have called you too with no junk building up in your life to condemn you, I want you free and your relationships to all be good…
– The word used most for wash meant to clean a particular area (of sin) daily
– The other word was the total cleansing Jesus did for us by dying on the cross and we accept the freedom offered through Christ sacrifice to have relationship with God purified not by our works but Jesus’ blood.
It is important for us to understand that Jesus did this even to Judas…he had already come into agreement with the devil to turn Jesus over to the leadership of the Jews and Jesus knew this but remember, Jesus was completely in control…He forced Judas hand to do this betrayal now. We read in the other Gospels the leadership did not want this to happen during the festival but Jesus is the Passover lamb offered as a sacrifice so the death angel (eternal death) would Passover everyone who accepts him as Lord
Next Jesus explains his management style for all who claim to be Christ-followers
John 13: 12- 17
So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Can you imagine for a minute, God washing your feet?
The idea of washing someone’s feet is that you serve them, and bless them. It is humbling and an honor at the same time to wash someone’s feet. It is an opportunity to speak blessings over them from a vulnerable position.
Jesus’ strength comes from being fully confident of who he is, his call, purpose and where he was going…
His challenge to each of us is to follow him in like manner, not to be a doormat but to understand, God has given us the power to change the world and when are to approach our world with that confidence and that the Lord is always with us and able to do more than we can imagine so we can be humble, listen to people, love on them, be patient to help bring the best out of them. To look for the best in them…Paul would tell us later about what real love is and end that discourse with love bears all things, believes all things, and hopes all things…we are always to look for the best not necessarily in people but to what God can do in someone…we have to be confident in God’s plan and power so Jesus challenges our servant leadership
And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Do you want to be great, fulfill the call on your life, impact the most lives possible? All everything the Lord has called you to be?
Do you want to truly follow Jesus?
Do you want to have real joy, real peace, real hope, real success? Then trust the Lord in His style of leadership.
First know who you are in Christ…Jesus was fully confident in His call, purpose, personality and gifts. Are you? If not get confident, talk to family and friend about who you really are! Study God’s word to understand your character and God’s character
Second, know who God really is in your life. Pray, read the word, get a mentor, watch those who are following closely to Christ. The confidence of really knowing who God is, His great love for you, His grace toward you will give you the confidence in your relationship to serve.
Third, look for ways with your gifts, personality and talents to serve others to enable them to become who God has called them to be….the difference between someone who is going to use and a abuse your servanthood verses someone who really wants help is their growth….if you see growth you know your serving is being affective if not they are simply taking advantage of you
Serving like Jesus served is loving people enough to enable them to become who God has called them to be so they can change their world…that is what Jesus did with the twelve and even one of them turned on Him but he still loved him even at the last moment