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Why Jesus Washed The Feet of Others

Reformed Eve is a daughter of God, which makes her royalty - no matter what the world throws at her. She straightens her crown quite often.

Jesus Christ as a Servant - Leader

Mark offers a portrait of Jesus as the Son of God, a servant who suffered and became a sacrifice for humanity's sins. While the Gospel of Mark highlighted the authority of Jesus, as a whole, it served as a declaration of the work that Jesus performed while he was here on Earth. The servanthood of Jesus is eloquently presented in one sentence in the Gospel of Mark: "For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve..." (Mark 10:45)
Mark starts the Gospel by presenting a servant's characteristics, then this particular servant ministry, ending with the ransom of Jesus Christ as the servant. This timeframe of the writing regarding this Gospel was AD 55 – 56. The revelation of Jesus appears through his actions, which Mark depicts in this fast-paced, action-packed Gospel.

Who was Mark to Jesus? I feel it is imperative to highlight Mark's relationship with Jesus to see how Mark, as a Gospel writer, understood Jesus to be. Mark's name was John Mark, and he was a servant and writer for Peter, the Apostle. Mark was an attendant with Barnabas and Paul when they set off on their first missionary journey together. (Acts 13)
Contrary to popular belief, John Mark, the writer of the Mark Gospel, was not one of the original twelve apostles, but he was considered a disciple. Mark himself knew what it was like to be a servant, as he matured into this particular role over time. He went from being a quitter, disheartened with the lack of converts in Cyprus, to help the ministry. (2 Timothy 4:11)

Mark was finally a faithful, dedicated servant of the lord. Even Paul eventually called him a fellow worker (Philemon 1:24). Mark focuses on the action of Jesus instead of the longer sermons that he shared in his travels. This is further propelled by the fact that Mark uses the word euthus quite often, which translates to mean immediately. Usually, the word euthus was immediately preceded by the phrase 'xai', which means 'and'. 1

This is important because the sense of urgency caused Mark to gloss over the teaching material and focus almost solely on the incidents and the incidents' effects. This style is considered colloquial, which ends up giving more rein in recounting the servant leadership of Jesus. 2 In a fast pace, we are introduced to Jesus as he prepares for ministry. He announced God's kingdom, calls disciples, and begins the work of being a healer, preaching, and driving demons away. While the first half of Mark mostly focuses on Jesus as an authoritative figure, Mark 8:31, through 16:18, focuses on Jesus's suffering and his status as Servant of the Lord.

An exciting element when reading Mark, which highlights Jesus's servant nature, is the details surrounding how Jesus did not want to reveal himself as the Messiah immediately. While Jesus frequently referred to himself as the Son of Man, he did acknowledge Peter's statement that Jesus is Christ, as seen in Mark 8: 27-30.
Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way, he asked them, "Who do people say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Messiah." Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him." (Mark 8:27-30) As a servant, Jesus was different from the scribes and Pharisees because he was taught with authority. (Mark 1:27) His words were spoken from his soul. Since he had the heart of a servant, he knew God's secrets and shared them.

Unsurprisingly, this jarred the Pharisees, and they clumsily tried to boost their egos by referencing other writings, laws, and references. How is the structure of the writings of Mark important in understanding who Jesus is as a servant? Mark's Gospel first highlights how Jesus is the Son of God, and the Messiah highly awaited for. (Mark 1: 1- 8: 30) After this, Jesus's mission is the main theme.
Upsettingly to many, Jesus did not arrive to obliterate the Romans as many hoped. He came on Earth to suffer, die, and become a sacrifice for the sins of the world. While many felt that the act of Jesus being crucified and not conquering the Romans meant that he was not the Messiah, Mark set out to prove, through his Gospel, how Jesus Christ is the Messiah. This is why Mark's Gospel focuses on Jesus's mission and his steadfast faithfulness to people. This servant-leader nature of Jesus became an example for everyone in regards to leadership, as well as discipleship.

To follow Jesus means to deny oneself, take up the cross, and follow Him. (Mark 8:34) How was Jesus Christ, our Savior, a servant? When one thinks of a servant, usually a negative connotation comes to mind. Jesus revolutionized what a loyal servant is, and he created the line between traditional leaders and servant leaders. Servant leadership is exemplified by a leader's desire to serve others. Traditional leadership is usually focused on mostly success, measured performance, power, rank, and control. Servant leaders use their leadership position as an opportunity to be a blessing to others. Power is shared with others to encourage engagement from others. Success is observed through personal development and growth. A servant leader listens and understands that the result isn't about oneself, but others and their journey. The core of being a servant leader is humility. Jesus was the Servant of God. Being a Servant of God requires one to be humble. (Petitt, 2008) Jesus Christ exists at an equal level of nature with God.

How does being a leader-servant help the behavior of others? There was an interesting study done recently that was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that showed how vital servant leadership is. Customer service was measured in an experiment where customer-oriented behavior was observed. It was discovered that a servant-leadership was able to enhance the customer-oriented behavior of the employees by increasing 4 their vitality and organizational identification at the same time. 3 Servant leadership leads to transformational leadership. Self-efficacy improves, as well as group identification, and the overall self-identity of individuals becomes more outlined, which all leads to behavior that is considered prosocial. 4

What does the Bible say, directly, in regards to being a servant?" This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they are found trustworthy." (1 Corinthians 4:1-2) "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." (Philippians 2: 5-7) "For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake." (2 Corinthians 4:5)

Jesus not only lived the life of a servant, with the intent to serve others, but he also died a servant. His messages were not merely words but actual action. He lived out the message of servanthood through his life and activities and served as the ultimate example of what it is to give your life for others. Jesus was shown, through the Gospel of Mark, to learn how to be a servant, a follower, and a disciple.

References:
Mengru Yuan et al., "How Servant Leadership Leads to Employees' Customer-Oriented Behavior in the service industry? A Dual-Mechanism Model," International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 7(March 29, 2020): 2296, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072296.
Zhijun Chen, Jing Zhu, and Mingjian Zhou, "How Does a Servant Leader Fuel the Service Fire? A Multilevel Model of Servant Leadership, Individual Self Identity, Group Competition Climate, and Customer Service Performance.," Journal of Applied Psychology 100, no. 2 (2015): 511–21, https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038036.
Chen, Zhijun, Jing Zhu, and Mingjian Zhou. "How Does a Servant Leader Fuel the ServiceFire?A Multilevel Model of Servant Leadership, Individual Self Identity, Group CompetitionClimate, and Customer Service Performance." Journal of Applied Psychology 100, no. 2 (2015):511–21. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038036.
Frans Neirynck. Duality in Mark: Contributions to the Study of the Markan Redaction.Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1988.
Paul Pettit, Foundations of Spiritual Formation: A Community Approach to Becoming likeChrist (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Kregel Publications, A Division Of Kregel, Inc, 2008).
Riley, Harold. The Making of Mark: An Exploration. Leuven: Peeters; Macon Ga, 1989.
Yuan, Mengru, Wenjing Cai, Xiaopei Gao, and Jingtao Fu. "How Servant LeadershipLeads to Employees' Customer-Oriented Behavior in the Service Industry? A Dual-MechanismModel." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 7 (March 29, 2020): 2296. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072296

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