All seven points of Christian Servant Leadership is contained in John 13:1-17
1. “1Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;”
Christian Servant Leaders are motivated by love to serve others (John 13:1–2). Jesus’ love was selfless, undeserved, unending, and unconditional. It was not the disciples’ worthiness or merits that compelled Jesus to serve them. He was expressing grace, not gratitude. He served his disciples out of love. Consider this: Jesus washed the feet of Judas Iscariot, the man who would later betray him and have him assassinated.
2. “3Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;”
Christian Servant Leaders possess a security that allows them to serve others (John 13:3). Jesus was aware of his identity and had no problem descending to the floor to wash his disciples’ feet. He was not required to establish anything. Indeed, he had nothing to prove, no stake in the outcome, and nothing to conceal. The insecure are obsessed with titles. The safe have a thing for towels. Jesus’ security enabled him to stoop and stretch at the same time.
3. “He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”
Christian Servant Leaders initiate servant leadership to others (John 13:4–5). Jesus did not pause to await clarification of protocol. Instead, he identified a need and met it. Because no one else volunteered for the foot-washing job that night, Jesus turned the incident into an object lesson. He began something he hoped would be passed on to others by those twelve disciples (see John 13:12–15). Foot washing will never become fashionable. It will be accomplished by leaders willing to pioneer an act of self-sacrifice and humility.
4. “6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”
Christian Servant Leaders receive servant-ministry from others (John 13:6–7). A servant’s heart reveals others’ pride. Peter struggled with allowing Jesus to serve him. He retained a worldly mindset, believing that someone of Jesus’ stature would never stoop to wash feet. Occasionally, leaders must learn to relinquish control and allow others to serve them. It can be challenging to relax and receive because they have grown accustomed to serving others. Jesus requested that Simon Peter sit and allow the Master to serve him in this instance. A servant’s heart reveals others’ pride. Peter struggled with allowing Jesus to serve him. He retained a worldly mindset, believing that someone of Jesus’ stature would never stoop to wash feet. Occasionally, leaders must learn to relinquish control and allow others to serve them. Because they have grown accustomed to serving others, it is not easy to unwind and to receive. Jesus was requesting that Simon Peter sit and allow the Master to serve him in this instance.
5. “8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.”
Christian Servant Leaders want nothing to hider their relationship with God (John 13:8–9). Peter veered between two extremes. If Jesus intended to wash him, he did not want to miss any of his actions. Instead, he desired that Jesus wash his entire body. Simon Peter demonstrates an excellent attitude in this scene. If Jesus was giving away, he desired to receive everything Jesus had to give; he desired no barrier between himself and his Lord.
6. “12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”
Christian Servant Leaders teach servanthood by their example (John 13:12, 15). Following that, Jesus discussed the significance of his foot washing. He reminded them that their Master and Lord had just washed their feet and that no position should prevent them from doing the same for another. Jesus informed them that if the Master washed their feet, they should follow suit. His prototype was to be replicated. Indeed, his example was far more powerful than a lecture on service principles. The actions speak louder than the words.
7. “16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
Christian Servant Leaders live a blessed life (John 13:16–17). Jesus reminded them that they would be blessed if they followed his example in this way of life. The greatest blessing awaits those who take a leap of faith and do the polar opposite of what the world is doing. God blesses those who “go against the grain” and serve others without expecting anything in return. The reward is God’s blessing.