John 13:1-7, Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.”
I have often been exposed to team concepts. In life and sports, I prefer the team aspect of working simply because combined resources can always accomplish more than individual efforts. Synergism is an incredible idea that demonstrates that two or more elements working together can achieve more than their sum. Simply put, combined efforts should always lead to greater success. However, there are times when teams can allow for individuals to become selfishly personal in their work so that they can become the standout. In that respect teams can cost us our efforts and deny us our goals.
Until sacrifice is learned, we can never really achieve what we are capable of. Willingness to sacrifice is a tremendous enigma for humanity. It is vulnerable to let myself go to allow me to serve those around me. For man, it is difficult to give up the present for the reward of a distant prize.
Jesus was able to do this because He was secure in Himself. He knew who He was and where He was headed. (v. 3) Jesus’ primary motivation was love. (v. 1) These would have been reason enough, except the Lord had another reason for His efforts. When He had finished washing their feet He told them that His efforts were an “example.” (v. 15) The Lord didn’t instruct them to do what He “said,” He called them to do what He had done. In fact, He commanded it. He wasn’t looking for full time foot washers. He was demanding full time servants.
Do we follow Jesus’ example? If we desire to be His, commitment on a great level is required. Jesus expended His resources in service to others. We are so impressed with Jesus example because we all realize that it transcends most of what we see as leadership and followership today. It is humbling and intimidating. Isaiah 53 can help us understand a greater picture of Jesus as a servant leader so that we can better understand our own place as His followers.
Many want to be leaders because they suppose some easier way of life for those who lead. The truth is that real leaders are servants and examples first. This is usually not the great luxury others presume. The most spiritual leaders we can have “do” first, then require. They are the first to sacrifice, the first to give up themselves, and the first to bleed. Religion is about legalism. Faith is about relationship. Jesus is easier to follow knowing that I can never out suffer, spend, sacrifice or in any way do more than He has already done. Jesus becomes easier to know when we become active participants and not just spectators. My Savior is the leader of leaders. He is the Sacrifice for all. May we all learn to put ourselves aside to be what He calls for us to be! Have the best week as you serve the Lord of Lords.