Devotional: June 3, 2021
Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything,
that he came from God and was on his way back to God.
So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”
John 13: 3-6 The Message
Jesus leads by serving in this scripture passage. He exercises servant leadership by washing the feet of His disciples. In Jesus’ day, sandals were worn in Israel. Streets were dirty. Therefore, people’s feet were often filthy. When Jesus began to wash their feet, the disciples were surprised. At least one of the disciples was uncomfortable with the situation. It was completely unexpected. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the story was told repeatedly, and then written down, and finally included in our scriptures. Servant leadership is rare, especially by someone who is viewed as being in a position of authority. It also creates a lasting impression on those who receive it.
The other night I was listening to radio personality and Financial Peace University founder Dave Ramsey. A man who is not ashamed to publicly proclaim his sincere Christian faith, Dave said,
“There is only one kind of leadership: servant leadership.”
Our world is filled with many leaders who believe that some of the menial tasks and jobs in life are beneath them. There is power in seeing a person of authority put on an apron, humble themselves, and begin to serve others. It can have a profound and memorable effect on others.
Anyone who studies the life of Christ, and takes it seriously, knows what servant leadership is all about. It is about putting on an apron, and bending down to wash feet, or whatever else needs to be done. A person may have just finished playing the role of host, or prime leader of an event, but the ability to put on a servant’s hat at a moment’s notice is always appreciated, and remembered.
Servant leadership is necessary because of Jesus’ truth: “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.”
A true servant does not boast and remind others that they should be in the front of the line. Instead, they voluntarily step to the back of the line. Our servanthood may or may not be noticed at the time we serve. However, we can always be an example for others. Such selfless acts of love and leadership make Christ and other “servant-leaders” first in people’s hearts.
I stand before You, and am in awe of all that You have done for me. You may not have physically washed my feet, but You have offered to cleanse my heart. Teach me to be that humble servant who helps others, quietly and without fanfare. May I set aside my priorities and make You the only priority in my life. I long to serve You whenever the opportunity to do so presents itself. I know that in serving others, I serve You.
Faithfully I offer this prayer to You, Amen