Washing of disciples feet?


(Chukwudi Kingsley Ononiwu) #1

Sir pls help me throw more light on john13:5-10

I want to know more on why he washed their feet and also commanded them to do so. Are we supposed to wash people’s feet ?


(SeanO) #2

@Chukwudi_Kingsley_Ononiwu If we read a bit further in the passage, we see that Jesus’ point was not necessarily that we have to wash peoples’ feet literally, but that we should have the same attitude that Jesus had - one of humility. If we read Philippians we see that Paul exhorted us likewise not to be selfish or conceited, but to imitate Jesus in the way that we serve others. If our Master and Lord gave His life for sinners, how much more should we humbly serve others with the same mindset as Christ?

I have been at foot washing ceremonies and they were a powerful and moving experience, but I do not think that this passage requires us to wash feet. I think the main point is that we should imitate Jesus in the way we humbly serve others - not seeking position or power but the good of others.

Hope that was helpful :slight_smile:

John 13:13-17 - “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Philippians 2:3-8 - Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!


(Sieglinde) #3

Thank you for your question. I sat and pondered this until I literally got a lump in my throat at the concept. John 13 addresses this. Jesus was about to face the most excruciating part of His ministry.
Jesus, God Almighty, takes on the form of a servant, bows down to wash His disciples feet and gives us the ultimate example of humility and love. Not only for a friend but an enemy also.
Judas Iscariot was present and Jesus washed his feet knowing what Judas was about to do.
“Love your enemy.” I think of that mostly in abstract. Imagine how the disciples felt after the horror they witnessed their Savior endure. They had to have been disgusted and sick about how He was treated. And infuriated with the ones who carried out the act. And then, after things have settled, in a moment of reflection, they would remember this act.
Jesus knew. He knew what was coming and still showed extreme love. Wow!
To answer your question, no, I don’t believe we have to literally “wash eachothers feet.” But it is a powerful example of how we should treat one another. Even enemies. I am humbled…We do not know if or when we will be tested to this extreme. Many people are. God I pray I would not fail.


(Rose Amer) #4

Jesus did this not to teach us what does it mean to be Christian. If we look at the context, back then washing feet was not a pleasant job. People didnt have daily shower routines or socks and shoes to wear. The feet were exposed to everything that was on the dusty ground. Feet were the most dirty part of ones body. Due to walking and exposure to elements some of their feet might be covered with scabs and warts, sores,etc. There were servants in middle eastern households to do this job and special utensils were used to wash feet. So when Jesus stooped down to wash, he had to wash the dirt, and filth of the day, off of his disciples feet including Judas’ his enemy. If you think about it, it was a pretty humbling and loving thing to do, in fact extreme example of love. I wonder how many Christians today are willing to do it?

By the way, I do it- literally in our church every other year because I do not want it to become a meaningless tradition. We are a non-denominational Bible believing church but love to keep some traditions from our Christian heritage.


(Chukwudi Kingsley Ononiwu) #5

Thank u sir I found it helpful and I understand it clearly now


(SeanO) #6

@Chukwudi_Kingsley_Ononiwu Excellent! Christ be with you as you seek His face :slight_smile:


(Chukwudi Kingsley Ononiwu) #7

Amen…Thanks I appreciate .this is a deep teaching and God will help us love our enemies.


(Kenny) #8

To just build on @roze4jesus 's input on this subject. I loved her analogy that our feet are the ones being dirtied because we “walk in this world”.

It is interesting that Peter not only wanted Jesus to wash his feet, but also his hands and head.

However, Jesus’ reply was that only the feet is needed.

"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” (John 13:9)

Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” (John 13:10)

And the method of “washing of feet” is found in the bible as well:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:25-27)

Our feet is washed through hearing the Word being preached, and as we constantly listen more, our walk is being cleansed from the things of this world.

I do believe that when Christ asks us to wash one another’s feet, it is to share the gospel and remind each other about the goodness of God, and the amazing things that He has done. :slight_smile:


(Chukwudi Kingsley Ononiwu) #9

Thank you so much