In John’s account of the “Last Supper,” Jesus says to the Apostles, “What I just did was to give you an example; as I have done, so you must do” (Jn. 13:15). The “example” Jesus had just given the Apostles was to wash their feet. Over and over again Jesus showed the disciples what His mission was all about by His example. Jesus spelled out His ministry through His examples of loving service to others. The later Church came to call Him the “Servant Leader.” But Jesus’ immediate disciples didn’t understand this.
When He fed thousands with just a few loaves and fishes, the people wanted Him to be their king, but He refused, and they didn’t understand. When He rode the little donkey into Jerusalem, they welcomed Him as their king. But He didn’t act like a king and they didn’t understand. When He knelt down on the floor and washed the Apostles’ dusty feet — obviously an enactment of the servant’s role…
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