When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, they weren’t meant to see the amount of cleansing but WHO did the cleansing. The picture was the LORD and Master of all, the soon-to-be Savior of the world, stooped as a servant.
“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.” (John 13:14)
In Matthew’s gospel, we are given a similar image in one line of text: “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11)
Leadership at any level requires a servant’s heart. It is not SELF-serving or SELFish but seeks to help those it has been positioned to lead. The purpose of being a leader is to provide for the needs of the people. Otherwise, any leader whose efforts are SELF-based, who seeks to push their own agenda, goes strictly against Scripture.
Now, all men and women are human. We all have times when, as my mother has always said, we won’t share a piece of pie. So this is not about perfection. But looking at these instructions from an opposite direction, who do we, the people, give our worship to? A man? This is equally wrong. Who is KING in this nation and all the nations of the earth? Who died for our salvation? Wasn’t it the Son of God, Jesus Christ?
The other day, the LORD made a statement that struck me hard. He said, “IT IS NOT YOUR POWER THAT SAVES. IT IS MINE.”
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” it says in Exodus 20:3. Then in Matthew 4:10, we read, “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Idolatry is forbidden from the beginning of man. Most in the church tend to think of it as involving a fat, golden statue. But idolatry takes many forms. At its basic definition, it is the worship of anything that isn’t Almighty God. It is placing Him AFTER something else or someone else and thereby giving them more importance.
We worship sports stars and celebrities, for instance, when these are but people created in God’s image. Instead of looking toward the Creator of all as our Sustenance, our Provider, and Redeemer, we turn to other cracked and broken vessels, seeking peace, confidence, and internal satisfaction. We look toward the pot instead of the Potter Himself. (See Romans 9:20-21)
Leaders are exalted into position by God to serve those they lead. God is the HEAD of all government. (See Isaiah 9:6) Anyone in any position of authority SHOULD be there because they seek the best for their constituents. They SHOULD follow Jesus’ example, as a servant of all, and we should see them that way. They are worthy our respect because of the office they hold, yes, but only ONE MAN should ever be KING.
ONLY ONE MAN DIED IN OUR PLACE TO SAVE US FROM HELL’S DESTRUCTION. Only He gets the glory for what is happening.
This is not to give disrespect to anyone called to lead.
But the order is GOD FIRST, the people second, leaders third.
Ask any mother what she spends most of her time doing. Motherhood is but a position of leadership in which a woman is called to serve the needs of her children, and she delights to do it because she loves them. And they can depend on her because she is faithful. The father, equally, works to provide as a servant to his wife and his children. He seeks to meet their needs over those of his own out of his love for them. This is God’s ideal of the home, modeled after Christ and the church. (See Ephesians 5:25, 28)
Any other picture of leadership, from that of the church itself to a school environment to state or national government works in this way or it is out of alignment. And from our perspective as the people, we give God the glory and leadership our prayers. This is not to say we capitulate to wrong actions. When leadership is not according to God, then we obey God first.
Look at Daniel and his friends who refused to eat like the people of Babylon and see how God honored them for it. (See Daniel 1:8) Look at Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers. When he was approached by Potiphar’s wife, he ran away from her seduction and ended up in prison. But see how God promoted him there, until he was head of the land. (See Genesis 39:10, 13, 23; Genesis 41:40)
There are moments to stand for truth, and being frank, this hour is one of them, but NO MAN is our Savior except Jesus Christ and Him only will I serve. My faith is in GOD ALONE. I SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, placing the care of my home, my job, and my nation where it belongs. (See Matthew 4:10; Matthew 6:33)
Not in a man, although God uses men to promote His work. Instead, I exalt Jesus. For He came to earth in the form of humble man and gave the ultimate sacrifice, so that I could be free. God gets all the glory.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)
Suzanne D. Williams, Author