Text: John 13:1-11
The phrase "servant leadership" was coined by Robert Greenleaf in a 1970 publication. A quick search on Amazon.com will reveal Greenleaf and many others who have authored countless books on this leadership style.
But long before Greenleaf, Jesus perfectly modeled servant leadership. Jesus taught the lesson of selfless service by washing his disciple's feet. In this selfless act, he illustrated the gospel, the supreme example of servant leadership.
Jesus mentions two types of cleansing in verse 10. The bath refers to the once-for-all washing at salvation where our sins are forgiven and forever washed away by the blood of Jesus (see Titus 3:5). All the disciples, except Judas, were clean in this sense. But in our relationship with God, we often fail Him by sinning. We need to receive the ongoing cleansing for those sins symbolized by Jesus washing our feet. In the epistle of First John, John writes, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
As Christians, we should desire to be servant leaders like Jesus. Living in genuine fellowship with God makes this possible. Although union with Christ can never be broken, lost, or removed for all who are in Christ Jesus, fellowship with God and communion with Him can be broken when we ignore our sins. We are commanded to humble ourselves and confess our sins. Will you honestly assess yourself in light of God's holiness? Will you confess your sins? He is faithful!