Greatness Redefined

Greatness Redefined
Theme of the week: Holy Week: Our Servant-Savior
Thursday, April 5, 2012

Key Bible Verse: 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. (John 13:5, NIV) Dig Deeper: John 13:5-11

When Jesus walked in on his disciples’ argument about who was the greatest, at first he didn’t say a word. He didn’t have to; his actions spoke volumes: “You want to see greatness? You want to see power? Look here. I’ve been telling you all along that those who would be great must serve. Well, this is what it looks like.”

He disrobed, knelt, and did the work of a slave.

You may know the story: When Jesus got to Peter, the fisherman said, “No, you shall never wash my feet” (John 13:8, NIV et al.).

I have to admit, I don’t blame Peter. Jesus was the Messiah, the future king. From Peter’s perspective, kings didn’t wash the feet of fishermen. They ruled kingdoms. They commanded armies. Peter may have thought Jesus had lost his mind. No leader had ever performed such a humiliating task. What Peter didn’t realize was that Jesus was redefining leadership, power, and greatness.

Whatever Peter thought, his words were a veiled rebuke—a pushback against Jesus. In response, the Lord pushed back harder. He said, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me” (John 13:8). In other words, “I either wash your feet or show you the door.”

Given that choice, Peter relented.

Bill Perkins in The Jesus Experiment

Thought to Apply: Jesus, by example, tells us that every true leader should be a helper, a servant, or even a bond slave. This is a command, not a suggestion.—Billy Graham (evangelist)

Adapted from The Jesus Experiment (Tyndale, 2011) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher.

Prayer for the Week
Dear Father, help me to slow down and think deeply and often about the truth that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Copyright © 2012 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine.


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