Jesus As A Servant Leader

Read these two accounts of the last supper and notice Jesus as a servant leader.

John 13:1-5, 12-17 1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.1

Now during the last supper a dispute arose among the disciples.

Luke 22:24-27 24Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? is it not the one who is a the table? But I am among you as one who serves."2

It appears that this dispute arose after Jesus had washed their feet and exhorted them to do likewise. How quickly they forgot and instead began jockeying for position and power. So Jesus challenges them once again to think and act differently from the world. Serving should be seen as a high honor and in keeping with the very character of God.

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1 John 13:1-5, 12-17, NIV.
2 Luke 22:24-27, NIV.