Freedom to Serve
Freedom to Serve
Words of Faith 1-13-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Lengthy debates have surrounded the precise timing of this meal but these are dealt with better in other settings. As we read the text we find Jesus sitting down to a meal that was most probably the Passover meal on the Thursday before he was crucified.
The betrayal was already in the works prompted by the devil yet Jesus had no doubt regarding the sovereign control of God. He knew that the Father had put all things under His power. Jesus had no doubt about where He had come from and where He was going. The language indicates that it was out of this confidence that Jesus rose from the table to wash the feet of the disciples.
The task of washing the feet of guests was the responsibility of the host and was normally assigned to a house servant. Because of the secrecy of the meeting there were no servants involved but the task should have then fallen to one of the disciples to arrange.
Luke tells us that the disciples were distracted by a discussion of who would be the greatest in the Kingdom (Luke 22:24). The irony of the scene was that as they argued about who was greatest they all neglected a task that a true leader would have attended to. It was in response to this debate that Jesus rose from the meal, wrapped a towel around Himself and began washing the dirty feet of the disciples.
The power of this image is so enduring and should be burned into our collective memory forever as a centerpiece. The image of Jesus, the Lord of the whole universe, washing the dirty feet of disciples is one that forever changes the way we think about leadership. It is a picture that flies in the face of all our pride and reveals the true nature of what we now call “servant leadership”.
For a servant leader there is no task too menial. There is no distracting debate over rank and honor. There is no hesitation to do what needs to be done. There is no resentment. There is no inconvenience. There is no harsh response. There is only a willingness to lead by example.
Where does such leadership come from? Is it just a matter of acting out a role? Choosing a menial task? Grandstanding with a wash rag? No. Genuine servant leadership rises out of a certain faith perspective. Remember? Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist (13:3-4).
We rise to servant leadership when, by faith, we discover that God is in charge of everything. We trust, by faith, that we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us (Phil 4:13). We trust by faith that we have come from God and are returning to God. Out of this faith position we can from the table to joyfully wash feet. We have nothing to prove. Nothing to control. Everything to trust. God is in charge. We are here only to serve. We listen, hear, trust and obey.
What a wonderful freedom Jesus had! He had freedom from pride, arrogance, resentment and anger! By trusting in the Father, Jesus was free to wash feet. He had nothing to prove. Nothing to protect. He had everything to give. We can enjoy that freedom as well.
Are you prepared to be a servant leader today? Are you ready to do anything that the Lord may ask you to do? It starts when we trust that God is really God. He is in control of every circumstance. We can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us. There is no calling or job that could be “below us”. Are you ready?
Lord, I surrender to You. I want to be Your servant leader today wherever I go. I trust that You are in charge of all things and that You are ordering all matters in my life. I trust Your power in me to accomplish what concerns me today. I can do all things in Your strength. Show me where You want to me serve. In Jesus’ name.
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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2017
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.