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The sacrament of foot washing

The sacrament of foot washing

The sacrament of foot washing

By John Chopores


Joh 13:1 ¶ Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

This sacrament was begun around the time that: the Lord’s Supper was. 


 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,

 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,

 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.

 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?"

 7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."

 8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me."

 9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"

 10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."

 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean."

 12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?

 13 "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.

 14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.

The Lord Jesus makes it very clear, in this verse: that servants of His should wash each other’s feet.

Why do we have communion (the Lord’s supper)? Is it not because He said that we should? And we have Baptism because He said that we should. Well, the Lord Jesus says in this verse: that we “ought to wash one another’s feet”! Cf. Lu 22:19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."

Mt 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,


Being humble and doing so: could bring us grace! Cf. 1Pe 5:5 ¶ Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."

Being humble makes one more like Christ! Cf. Lu 22:27 "For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.


The Greek word for “ought” is “opheilo”: since the word is in the Present Tense: it means we “ought to keep on washing feet”. This is not to be just a one-time event.


 15 "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

He gave us: an “example”: that we should wash feet: as He had!


 16 "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.

 17 "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.




Comments on foot-washing by Spurgeon:

“Those deeds of love, which the foot-washing sets forth, are continuous

among us, and are the sure tokens of his abiding love to us Our Lord’s

affection for his people is not a transient passion.”

“This foot washing once done was a fair representation of that honorable entertainment which the King extends to all believing souls when he bids them come to his banqueting table and drink of the wine which he has mingled. I like to think of the Lord as my host, and of myself as no mere waif and stray, but as a welcome guest, to whom he is daily

fulfilling all a host’s part, granting me all I want, yea, all that I wish for. He himself gives us honors and comforts more than could be expected even from our most familiar friend. See he even washes our feet! What better token need we of his abiding love? Since he continues to entertain his whole church, and treats us all as distinguished visitors, it is clear that he loves us still.”

“Brethren, I have told you that this foot-washing is a type of our Lord’s continuous love to us, a type which is followed by action like itself; and so it is in this respect, for he is often refreshing us.”

“From the occasion which our Lord selected for the foot-washing it is clear that he would have us seek the special purifying power of his presence during religious ordinances.”

“Thus I have shown you that this foot-washing is a symbol of our Redeemer’s continuous acts of love.”

“This foot washing among disciples should be done very cheerfully. Nobody asked the Master to bring the basin: no one would have thought of such a thing: it was his own heart of love that made him do it, out of spontaneous affection for those whom he had chosen.”

“I feel quite sure of my ground in having said that this foot-washing was meant to be a type of what our Lord is always doing, because he puts it thus: “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Evidently the inference would be “If I did this but once, ye ought to wash one another’s feet once;” but since the moral is, “You ought always to wash one another’s feet,” the doctrine is

that in effect our Lord is always washing the feet of his people. Let us carry out the lesson, and be always in a servant’s attitude among our fellow disciples. Let us be always on bended knee with the basin and the towel near at hand;” [Spurgeon]..