12 When Jesus finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes. Then he returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You are right. That is what I am. 14 I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet. So you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have given you an example. You should do as I have done for you. 16 What I’m about to tell you is true. A slave is not more important than his master. And a messenger is not more important than the one who sends him. 17 Now you know these things. So you will be blessed if you do them. 18 “I am not talking about all of you. I know the ones I have chosen. But this will happen so that this passage of Scripture will come true. It says, ‘The one who shared my bread has turned against me.’ (Psalm 41:9) 19 “I am telling you now, before it happens. When it does happen, you will believe that I am who I am. 20 What I’m about to tell you is true. Anyone who accepts someone I send accepts me. And anyone who accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
John continues to write about Jesus washing the disciples feet – in this passage he tells them why he’s done it. He is giving the disciples (& us) a new leadership blue-print. To serve those we lead not dominate, control or be tyrants.
I think it’s interesting that John is the only Gospel writer to include this event, especially since we are told in Mark 10:35-45 that he and his brother James asked Jesus for positions of dominance & rulership in His glory! John is writing this gospel late in his life, I think he got the message, understood it & lived this teaching of Jesus on servant leadership. Verse 17 is the one that has hit me – “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
John wouldn’t have included this event, if he hadn’t lived it! There were too many to say, “you didn’t lead like this”. What do people say about my leadership? Am I practicing Jesus’ example of serving?
Lord Jesus, your example of servant leadership is easier to read about than to practice, it is so opposite the ‘worlds’ expectations & even our natural inclinations, but it is what everyone longs for. Holy Spirit continue to challenge & change my heart to love and serve others so much more. Amen
Written by Suzie Hodgson