This last time that Jesus spends with His friends is really revealing. We learn that Jesus clearly knows that His time has come. It is here that Judas instigates his plan to betray his friend. The other disciples reveal their human weakness by arguing over the pecking order of importance. And Peter brashly declares his courage while Jesus knows his failure to come.
What challenges me as I read through this passage this week is how focused Jesus remains even though the pressure and strain on Him are incredible. I’m sure He would have loved for this to have been a time together filled with stories of faith, hope and encouragement. Instead, He steps into the mess and teaches, challenges and models for them what genuine and real trust in God looks like. He has no one to depend upon but His father and instead of self-pity, anger or bitterness Jesus chooses to lead.
This is the kind of leadership lesson that raises the bar high. Of course leaders have needs and desires. Of course they want to be “off duty” at times and relax. But the woman or man who wants to be a leader who honors our Lord and Savior is always “on duty” as an example to others. In fact, it is when we are at our weakest that we may have the most impact. Here is a promise that tells us what Jesus knew and experienced and what is also available to us as we follow Him and lead:
“We dare to say these good things about ourselves only because of our great trust in God through Christ, that he will help us to be true to what we say, and not because we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power and success comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 (TLB)