TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. (John 6:38 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• For several weeks, I’ve been working on an awards banquet for one of my clients. Over the last month, I’ve been preparing performance reports, ordering trophies, designing a PowerPoint, writing a script, etc. As we’ve been fine-tuning the script, a description keeps coming up—a really important one. The description is “servant-leader.”
Being a servant to others is an example Christ set for us. And as important as a service-mindset is in business, it’s even more important in our faith journey.
Putting others first does not come naturally to us. Just watch any group of toddlers who race to be the first in line… It is instinctual to look out for our own best interests before we care about others. Putting others first is a learned behavior.
A few days ago, I briefly mentioned when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples (John 13:1-17), but didn’t get into much depth about it. I don’t write about this passage often because honestly, I have issues with feet. I love Jesus and I understand the importance of what He was demonstrating… but my gross-out factor is pretty high on this. The only feet I want to touch are my dog, cats, or babies. The idea of my Savior on His hands and knees washing gross and disgusting men-feet—it’s a beautiful act of service, but eww.
But the example He modeled wasn’t the only mention of servant leadership. It’s the model of His whole ministry and entire life on earth. He lowered Himself from His rightful throne of divinity to be a perfect human in a fallen and sinful world so we could be saved. We all know—this world is a hard place to be because of all the hurt, pain, and sin we have here. I think all of us would choose the comfort of heaven over the pain that accompanies earth.
But moreover, Jesus came to do God’s will. He said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38 ESV). I admit this causes my brain to hurt. Jesus is God—so how He obeys Himself is a concept that is way too complicated for my feeble mind. But I accept that this is way bigger than me and that as the Creator of the world, He makes the rules. And I trust Him.
Yet I know that Jesus’ journey to earth, His crucifixion, and resurrection were acts of obedience. As a human, He dreaded the act of crucifixion to the point that Luke 22:44 says, “And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44 ESV) Yet, we also know His prayer—“not My will, but Yours.”
Again, His life was an act of obedience I can’t fully understand but it comes full circle to servant-leadership and Jesus’ willingness to put our own desperate need above His own well-being, and even His own life.
His willingness to serve was so powerful that if I trepidatiously revisit the foot-washing passage, we realize that He even knelt down to wash the feet of Judas who was on the verge of the worst betrayal in the history of humanity. Can you imagine what Judas was thinking?? John 13:2 says, “…the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him…” (ESV). I would love to know what thought went through his mind as much as I’d love to know what Jesus was thinking as He scrubbed the feet of His betrayer.
I say all this to say—if Jesus can lower Himself to the point of obedience at the cross… and if He can humble Himself to the point of washing man-feet… then we must be willing to do the same.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for the example of servant-leadership that He modeled. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you put the needs of others first, and to follow the example of Jesus.
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