Foot Washing

Question: Jesus with disciples – why did he wash their feet?

Jesus with disciples – why did he wash their feet?

Jesus with disciples on Footwashing

Footwashing is not superficial or hypocritical. Like bathing, it serves a purpose. Footwashing is done for spiritual reasons as water baptism is performed for the purpose of salvation.

Jesus with disciples – He washed their feet for the following reasons:

  1. Jesus with Disciples ~ “Having loved his own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.” (Jn 13:1)This is what motivated Jesus to wash His disciples’ feet. He regards us as His own. Not a hair of our head will perish (Lk 21:18). He did not avoid our filthy feet.From head to sole, our whole person is in His loving concern. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom 8:35) Since the Lord so loves us, we should love one another.
  2. Jesus with Disciples ~ “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” (Jn 13:8) The Lord regarded His disciples as part of His body. For such a close relationship, He washed their feet that they have a part with Him. “The head cannot say to the feet: I don’t need you.” (1 Cor 12:21)Although feet are positioned lowly, they are important parts that support the body. Therefore, all parts should have equal concern for each other, sharing sufferings and honour (1 Cor 12:25-26). This is what having a part with Jesus means.
  3. Jesus with Disciples ~ “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet: his whole body is clean.” (Jn 13:10) and “…to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.” (Eph 5:26) It is easiest for the feet to be dirty, which can become a concern to the whole body. Jesus wanted to cleanse us thoroughly so that we may present ourselves as a glorious church. He also wanted to crush Satan under our feet (1 Cor 15:25; Rom 16:20). This requires the church to be holy. As individuals, we should get rid of all moral filth (Jas 1:21) and throw off the sin that so easily entangles (Heb 12:1). The church may have worldly thoughts and actions such as jealousy and quarrelling (1 Cor 3:3), which have to be cleansed through the word. Was it `, not regrettable that the disciples were reproached as “not all clean” because of Judas?
  4. Jesus with Disciples ~ “Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (Jn 13:14) Jesus had the image of God. Yet He humbled Himself in the image of a servant, obedient to the point of death. As disciples, can we be proud, conceited and refuse to associate with people of low position? (Rom 12:16) Do we clamour to be first (3 Jn 9) and slight everyone else? Should we be mean and exploit others? Or treat the elderly with contempt? Or be greedy for power and make others obey us? If we are humble and honour one another above ourselves (Rom 12:10), submitting to each other (1 Pet 5:5), serving one another (1 Pet 4:11) and forgiving one another (Eph 4:32), we fulfill the duty of washing one another’s feet. This practice is badly needed in the church today which should be carried out according to the Lord’s instructions.

To conclude, Jesus has placed high emphasis on footwashing in order to have a part in Him. Christians today should obey and continue the practice as a sacrament directly relating to our salvation.

Jesus with disciples – He washed their feet because He wanted them to have a part in Him.

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Jesus with disciples

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