It was the night before His execution — Roman style; not a lethal injection, but a public hanging on a cross, for the world to see and remember. But first, the Passover Meal.
Jesus and His disciples make their way to an Upper Room along a dust-covered street. At the house, a servant stood at the front door to wash the feet of guests as they arrived. This night the foot washer didn’t show and no disciple volunteered to replace him. Ever wonder why? Maybe they thought:
“I’m not a foot washer; not me; not my job.”
“I’ll do hands — maybe; not feet.”
“I’m not a slave.”
“Have back problems; Doctor recommends no bending or stooping.”
“I’m hungry. Need to eat.”
Each one walks in the front door, looks around the room at the dinner table and takes a seat.
Then Jesus enters. He walks to the table, sitting between John and Judas. He notices the dirty feet of his men reclining at the table. He doesn’t say much. Maybe He remembers His sermons, His challenges, His teachings about serving one another, about greatness. Maybe he thought:
“Did it do any good?”
“Will no one have the humility to wash even my feet?”
“My death is imminent.”
“Will no one serve me?”
When no one makes a move, Jesus makes His. Quietly, as the others ate, He slips away from the table, removes His outer robe, wraps a towel around His waist, and takes in hand a pitcher of water, a basin, and towel. Without saying a word (until He gets to Peter) He carefully washes the feet of each disciple.
NO FANFARE, NO HYPE
NO BELLS AND WHISTLES OR HORNS BLARING
NO MEDIA PHOTO OP
NO ATTENTION DRAWN TO HIMSELF
NOTHING IS BENEATH THE DIGNITY OF A SERVANT LEADER. THEY SIMPLY WANT TO SERVE.
Jesus even washed the feet of Judas. JUDAS! Backstabber. Betrayer. Backslider. Conspirator. Double-crosser. His picture hangs in the same Hall of Shame as Benedict Arnold.
Knowing what Judas the Fink was up to, Jesus stooped down, removed Judas’s sandals, and washed his feet without a word. GOD BENT OVER TO WASH FEET, EVEN THE FEET OF A JUDAS!
Servant leaders stoop to meet needs. They’re foot washers. They get involved in people’s lives. Servant leadership is doing---not talking about it in board meetings, or preaching it to others. Jesus said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. . . Now that you know these things, you will be blessed IF YOU DO THEM.”
SERVANT LEADERS ACCEPT THE CALL TO SERVE WHETHER OTHERS DESERVE TO BE SERVED OR NOT—EVEN A JUDAS!
Fred Campbell is the President of Living Grace Ministries and the former pastor of Grace Church of Ovilla. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org OR www.livinggraceminsitries.com