John 13:2-4 –The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
Then Jesus proceeded to wash His disciples’ feet. Many of you probably know the rest of the story. The disciples must have thought this act went way beyond unusual. Jesus took the positon of a lowly servant and did something that was considered a dirty job that nobody wanted to do.
Great teachers were not supposed to do the work of the lowest slaves. Jesus’ actions were improper and degrading. Peter recognized this and refused to be washed until Jesus insisted. This act made them feel uncomfortable. But Jesus didn’t care. He did something to deeply challenge His followers by loving them in a way that few leaders would have ever done. He modeled out service, humility and love by His radical act.
The most radical thing you can ever do is truly love others.
Why was Jesus able to do this? Why can’t more leaders go this low in modeling out freedom in leadership? The reason is found in the above Scripture.
John explained that Jesus had authority and had come from God. He knew the Father and understood His mission. Jesus was fully aware of His authority and did not doubt in His ability even though He was human just like all the other leaders who have ever been. Of course, the big difference is that Jesus was also God.
Many leaders feel very inadequate. They feel like they have something to prove. This can make people afraid of criticism. They become reluctant to rock the boat or do something that is out of proper protocol.
The Father had fully affirmed His love and approval of Jesus. Thus, Jesus was not concerned with what men think. He only did the Father’s will. This was seen by His obedience on the cross.
Pleasing men gets you no where. Jesus understood that truth. The only one you should ever make it a focus to please is God. Because Jesus knew who He was, He was able to do incredible things and be a leader worth talking about thousands of years later.
Jesus knew…. And that made all the difference.