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What is the message of the washing of the feet?

Jesus Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet has always been a powerful story in the Bible. The message that Jesus conveyed to his disciples through this simple and humble act goes far beyond the act itself. It truly embodies the essence of Christ’s teachings, emphasizing the importance of humility, service, and love for one another.

In this blog post, we will explore the meaning and significance of the washing of the feet and how it continues to inspire us today.

What is the story of the washing of the feet?

The story of the washing of the feet is recorded in John 13:1-17. It was during the Passover supper, and Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave the world and go to the Father. Before he left, he wanted to leave his disciples with one final lesson – the lesson of love and humility.

Jesus arose from supper, laid aside his outer garments, and took a towel and wrapped it around his waist. He then poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet. This was an act of humility and service that was reserved for the lowest slaves in Jewish society. It was a clear sign that no one was above the task of serving others.

When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter objected, saying, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter then said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

Peter then replied, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus answered him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” (John 13:4-10).

After washing their feet, Jesus put on his garments and sat back down with his disciples. He then asked them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:12-15).

The message behind the washing of the feet

The washing of the feet is a profound act of humility and service. Jesus, the Son of God, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, served his disciples in the most humble way possible. He did not come to be served but to serve, and this act exemplified that attitude.

By washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus was also teaching them about their need for cleansing. Peter’s rebuke reveals how the disciples were uncomfortable being served by Jesus in such a manner. But Jesus explained to Peter that if he did not wash him, he would have no share in him. This meant that if they did not allow Jesus to cleanse them, they would not be able to participate in his kingdom.

The washing of the feet also modeled to the disciples how they should treat one another. Jesus commanded them to love one another as he had loved them. He demonstrated by example what genuine sacrificial love looks like.

The act of washing each other’s feet represented the way of humility, self-denial, and service to others that Jesus modeled. It was a symbol of the mutual care that should exist among Christ’s followers. It was a visual representation of how Christians should treat each other – with love, compassion, and humility.

What can we learn from the washing of the feet?

The washing of the feet serves as a reminder that as Christians, we are called to serve one another in humility. We are called to love one another, put others before ourselves, and take on the role of a servant to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jesus’ act of washing his disciples’ feet was not a one-time event. He commanded them to follow his example and serve one another with the same humility. Jesus was setting a standard of love and service that should be practiced by his followers throughout history.

When we follow Jesus’ example of serving, we demonstrate the love of God to others. We show them that they are valuable and loved, not just by us but by God himself. When we serve with humility, people can see the character of Christ in us. It is by loving and serving one another that we fulfill the mandate to love our neighbor as ourselves.


The story of the washing of the feet is much more than just a Biblical tale. It is a powerful message and example of how we should live our lives as Christians. Jesus’ act of washing the feet of his disciples was a demonstration of humility, selflessness, and unconditional love.

As Christians, we are called to live out this love and service to one another. We are called to follow Jesus’ example and serve one another with humility and love. By doing so, we can show the world the transformative power of God’s love and the true meaning of being a disciple of Christ.


What does washing of feet signify in the Bible?

In the Bible, the washing of feet is a significant act that is rooted in the culture and traditions of ancient times. It was common in the ancient Near East for hosts to provide water for their guests to wash their feet before entering their home or participating in a meal. This practice was not only a matter of hygiene but also a sign of hospitality and respect.

The washing of feet takes on even greater significance in the Christian tradition. The early Christian church introduced the custom to imitate the humility and selfless love of Jesus Christ, who washed the feet of the Twelve Apostles at the Last Supper (John 13:1–15), the night before his Crucifixion. Jesus’ act of washing the feet of his disciples was an expression of service, love, and humility. In a culture where washing feet was a menial task reserved for servants, Jesus, as the leader of his disciples, was showing that true leadership is about serving others.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus explains the significance of his action: “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:12-15).

Through this act of humility, Jesus teaches his followers to love and serve one another. The washing of feet is a way of reminding us that we are all equal in the eyes of God and that we should treat each other with kindness, compassion, and respect, regardless of our social status or position. It is an act that calls us to put the needs of others before our own, to humble ourselves before God and one another, and to serve each other in love.

In the Christian church, the washing of feet is often practiced on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday when Christians commemorate the Last Supper, the crucifixion, and the death of Jesus Christ. This act of service and humility remains an important tradition in many churches today, reminding us of the sacrificial love of Jesus and our call to imitate his example of selflessness, compassion, and service.

What does it mean to let Jesus wash your feet?

In John 13:1-17, Jesus performs an act of service that has become known as the foot washing. This act, which seemed menial and servile at the time, was actually a powerful symbol of Jesus’ humility and sacrifice. Washing feet was a customary practice in biblical times, as people would walk around in sandals on dusty roads, and feet would become dirty and dusty. However, this task was considered too demeaning for a master or a rabbi to do, and it was usually left to the lowliest of servants.

When Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, He was demonstrating that no task was too beneath Him. In John 13:14-15, Jesus explains to His disciples that He has set an example for them to follow. He says, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”

However, the washing of feet was more than just an example of humility. It was also a symbol of cleansing. In John 13:8, Peter protests Jesus’ act, saying, “You shall never wash my feet!” But Jesus replies, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” This statement indicates that the foot washing had a deeper spiritual meaning than just cleanliness. It was a symbol of the spiritual cleansing that Jesus provides for His followers.

In this sense, allowing Jesus to wash our feet is a symbol of surrendering ourselves to Him. It means recognizing that we are in need of His cleansing and allowing Him to wash away our sins. It is an act of humility and submission, acknowledging that Jesus is our Lord and Master.

Moreover, washing feet also means serving others in humility. As Jesus said to His disciples, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14). Jesus’ act demonstrated the importance of serving others in humility and love and set an example for His followers to do the same.

Allowing Jesus to wash our feet is a symbol of both our surrender to Him and our willingness to serve others in humility and love. It reminds us of His sacrifice and His call for us to follow in His steps, serving and loving others as He did.

Why are feet important in the Bible?

Feet are an important part of the human body and are mentioned extensively in the Bible. In the Bible, feet are often used as a metaphor for one’s walk with God. As part of the Armor of God, we receive “shoes for [our feet], having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15).

The idea of putting on shoes to walk in peace suggests that we need to be prepared at all times to spread the message of peace and love in God’s name. Our feet take us from place to place, and by putting on the right shoes, we gain the readiness to spread the gospel wherever we go.

The term “footstool” is often used in reference to God’s enemies (Hebrews 10:13; Psalm 110:1). This term refers to a defeated enemy who is forced to bow down before their conqueror. The idea of a footstool being used to refer to an enemy is similar to treading on an enemy, which is a powerful metaphor.

In addition to these metaphors, feet are also important in the Bible because of the various journeys taken by the biblical figures. Abraham and his household left their home and traveled to a new land, and similarly, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years on their way to the Promised Land. The apostle Paul also traveled extensively, spreading the gospel to distant lands.

Feet are important in the Bible because they symbolize our journey and walk with God, and they are also used to represent victory over our enemies. The various journeys taken by the biblical figures highlight the importance of perseverance and faith, reminding us that even when we face difficult journeys, we have God by our side, guiding our every step.