THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
A SERVANT LEADER LIKE JESUS
“Lord, I am your servant”
Today’s reading: John 13:1-15
Jesus did something remarkable at the last supper: he washed
the feet of his apostles. It was so unthinkable that Peter
objected vehemently. A Master would never do the work of a
slave. But that is what Jesus did. He manifested authentic
was Master, Lord and God. He knew it and his disciples knew
it. Jesus was “fully aware that the Father had put everything
into his power and that he had come from God and was returning
to God” (v.3). But he chose to do the work of a slave,
“to wash the disciples’ feet” (v.5b). Peter
said: “You will never wash my feet.” (v.8a). Never.
No way. Unthinkable.
we realize what this is all about? “Do you realize what
I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and
‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.”
(v.12b-13). How could they realize such an incredible and
unbelievable act? It simply was not done. A master was a master,
and never acted as a slave.
that is what Jesus did. And that is what we are supposed to
do. “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed
your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.”
(v.14). You too are to serve one another. This is not dependent
on the worthiness of the one being served. Jesus washed the
feet of even Judas, whom he knew was going to betray him (v.2,11).
And if you are called to be a leader, you are to be a servant
we often still misunderstand. We do not realize what it means
to be a servant leader. Yes we serve, but we are focused on
being a leader. Rather, we are to lead, but in doing so are
mere servants. We are not the greatest but the least. Even
as we are first, we take the last place.
who are called to servant leadership, learn the lesson well.
May we fully understand what this means, if not now then later.
“What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you
will understand later.” (v.7). We have been instructed
by our Master. If we are to be worthy to be his servant leaders,
we must obey. “I have given you a model to follow, so
that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (v.15).