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Why Did Jesus Wash Feet

We know Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. We know that many pastors today expect special treatment and love to be called Reverend, and generally to be looked up too. In light of these facts, why do you think Jesus washed his disciples feet. Is there a lesson for pastors to learn here?

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 ---mima on 6/12/06
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Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,


along with extreme humility illustrated in so many ways, He prepared His disciples then as He prepares us now.
---aka on 9/20/10


PETER: "Our Lord was not instituting a new ritual of washing one another's feet that is to be observed by the church."

The Bible says you are wrong.

Joh 13:14,15 If then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
---jerry6593 on 9/21/10


I used to do it for my husband when he spent long hours on his feet and I completely enjoyed doing it for him. I love him so much and it doesn't feel "humbling" so much as it shows the love I have for him.
---Mary on 9/20/10


Foot washing goes way beyond mere charity. It's an act of personal humiliation - you are humbling yourself before other people, showingn that you are no better than they are.

Matthew 20:26 (also Mark 10:43)
"But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister" (i.e. "minister" means "servant").

The idea is that NO Christian is better than any other. The easiest way to bring that idea strongly home is by acts of personal debasement. Washing someone else's feet does this. So do other distasteful but necessary things like changing diapers of incontinent senior citizens, cleaning out your neighbor's cat's litter box when they are on vacation, etc.
---StrongAxe on 9/20/10


It was the ultimately act of servitude and Jesus was washing feet because He believed that He was here to serve us. Can you even imagine!!? Jesus in the flesh and certainly as our Savior in Heaven was the most incredible "Man" ever to place His precious footsteps in on the earth. For me it is like the old parenting adage "lead by example" (which I also believe may be scriptural). How many times have we heard to lead our own children by our actions and not by meaningless word. Words are meaningless if your not "doing, practicing" what you are preaching!!! I am still, after 40 years on this earth, so in awe of Jesus Christ and our BEAUTIFUL FATHER GOD!
---Jen on 9/19/10




Their feet were dirty: how blessed are the feet of them who carry the gospel of peace.
---Eloy on 9/19/10


I am sorry, friends, that my words posted 3 times....accident!
---Lin on 9/19/10


I agree with those here that state that 'foot washing' means just that-FOOT WASHING! Plain and simple. WE sometimes interpret scripture to mean what WE WANT it to be. Just because we might not want to wash someones foot doesnt mean we are to substitute it with charity acts instead! We cant pick and choose what we are to be obedient to do! We are to JUST DO IT!
---Lin on 9/18/10


I agree with those here that state that 'foot washing' means just that-FOOT WASHING! Plain and simple. WE sometimes interpret scripture to mean what WE WANT it to be. Just because we might not want to wash someones foot doesnt mean we are to substitute it with charity acts instead! We cant pick and choose what we are to be obedient to do! We are to JUST DO IT!
---Lin on 9/18/10


I agree with those here that state that 'foot washing' means just that-FOOT WASHING! Plain and simple. WE sometimes interpret scripture to mean what WE WANT it to be. Just because we might not want to wash someones foot doesnt mean we are to substitute it with charity acts instead! We cant pick and choose what we are to be obedient to do! We are to JUST DO IT!
---Lin on 9/18/10




The way I see it it's like this. "Men of God" are a dime a dozen. Godly men are are what God looks for in a leader. He also looks for greatness, "The greatest among you shall be a servent ". To many "Men of God think they are the mouth on the body of Christ, but the mouth is on the head not the body.
---jaskroy on 9/18/10


What is so wrong about feet washing? If Christ said wash each others feet, why debate. He also demonstrated this.... I just don't understand the contensions here, why can't some of you read scripture without presenting a new thing. (HERESY)

''Buy gas for someone's car''... is that not charity?

where is the feet washing and communion of breaking of bread and drinking of wine in rememberence of him?

Please how simple is that command?

The answers on this site is becoming confusing,(not That I am in any way confused) Thank God!
---Carla on 9/18/10


Mary just remember we can spiritually "wash someones feet" by doing things like fixing dinner for them when they can't. It is a simple issue of helping others in their need. Cutting grass for handicap neighbors is the same thing. All of those little acts that make things easier on those who are struggling are true Foot Washing.
God Bless you in your service for Him.
---Elder on 9/18/10


Hmmm...I do see your point Elder. Not sure I agree completely but I understand your point indeed. I have no idea how many people came with dirty feet though--I didn't smell them lol :D Seriously, though, you do make a good point.
---Mary on 9/18/10


Mary when your church announced that there was going to be a "foot washing" service how many people came to church with dirty feet?
Do you see what a mockery this makes of the concept of foot washing?
The concept is that we are to do "spiritual foot washing." That is supplying the need of others so they can continue on serving the Lord. That maybe buying gas for their car, food for their health, clothes for their body or even really washing their feet.
Who really practices the real concept of this example by Jesus?
---Elder on 9/18/10


This past Good Friday, my church offered foot washing--beautiful. :) Only thing is, my minister was saddened and puzzled to see that only women took advantage of it--no men for some reason. At least the women were blessed :)
---Mary on 9/16/10


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I personally have not witnessed, in any bible-believing church I have attended over the years, this unselfish act. I remember as a child and teenager my church performing foot washing once a month, just like communion. It was usually scheduled during midweek prayer meeting. After a few scriptures being read and a brief worship ensued, the men and women members would separate into different areas of the church, for their privacy (all while quietly singing hymns of praise) and practicing the act: the washing and towel drying of one another's feet! The beauty and humility in seeing the body of Christ coming together into an even closer relationship thru Christ was something to see and remember for a lifetime. Does your church practice it today?
---Lin on 9/16/10


Hehehe--good one Lea! :D We definitely need some more humor on these blogs sometimes, we get way too serious! :D
---Mary on 9/15/10


now dont you all know you missed it a mile with this question? Jesus washed the deciples feet cause they were dirty, they hadnt been washed in months and they were stinking up the house , he got out the clorox and some lye soap and when he was done them men had some clean smelling feet, even their sandals had to be dusted off. See we wash our cars but back then they walked everywhere just think of how much money they saved in gas and not owning a vehicle........i know i know you are laughing and shaking your head, but a little humor is good for the soul even Jesus is laughing at this one cause he knows i know the truth of the matter.
---Lea on 9/13/10


Jesus washed feet, and taught us to do the same. He was showing servanthood and humility - if you want to be first, you must become last, if you want to be great, you must become least, if you want to be a leader, you must first be a servant.
---Leslie on 9/13/10


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It is the example of humility that Jesus showed in serving his disciples. Our Lord was not instituting a new ritual of washing one another's feet that is to be observed by the church. Jesus simply used this custom to teach some very powerful lessons. The custom has no virtue in itself, and if the ritual of "foot washing" is emphasized at the expense of the lesson, then washing someone's feet becomes a meaningless tradition. We are commanded to carry our brother's load or burden. Thats a command. Thank you Jesus when I am putting my faith and trust in you I am fulfilling the law (Rom. 8:4), when I walk in the spirit and not in the flesh.
---PETER on 9/13/10


It is the example of humility that Jesus showed in serving his disciples. Our Lord was not instituting a new ritual of washing one another's feet that is to be observed by the church. Jesus simply used this custom to teach some very powerful lessons. The custom has no virtue in itself, and if the ritual of "foot washing" is emphasized at the expense of the lesson, then washing someone's feet becomes a meaningless tradition. We are commanded to carry our brother's load or burden. Thats a command. Thank you Jesus when I am putting my faith and trust in you I am fulfilling the law (Rom. 8:4), when I walk in the spirit and not in the flesh.
---PETER on 9/13/10


jesus always spoke in parables and metaphors,the foot was symbolic of the heart,scripture says judas lifted up his heel against against christ ,but judas never assaulted jesus with his feet,nor did judas ever kick jesus.it was the heart of judas that was lifted against christ,satan had entered the heart of judas to betray christ,so when jesus washed their feet it was symbolic of our hearts.jesus says the things that come from the heart is what defiles a man,but to eat with unwashed hands defiles not man,all the deciples had been water baptised,but jesus says if i wash you not you will have no part with me, speaks volumes of a divine baptism,you are clean by the WORD i have spoken unto you abide in me and i in you.WATER OF THE WORD BAPTISM
---alex on 10/31/09


The lesson is for all christians and is quite simple. If we are to be servants of Jesus Christ, we must be willing to serve everyone. If the King of Glory could come down to this earth and do the things He did for us lowly humans, why do we think we are any better than Him and refuse to do deeds that we consider "below our station in life?" All that Jesus did while He was here among us was for our example. If we are thinking of "serving God", but, don't want to do the dirty little jobs, then we should just forget it, until we can humble ourselves. If we aren't willing to serve ANYWHERE, then God probably won't use us ANYWHERE!
---tommy3007 on 10/30/09


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the foot washing was symbolic of how the word cleans our hearts and minds.it was ametaphor for the 1 true baptism of the water of the word.you are clean by the word i have spoken unto you abide in me and i in you.eph 5 speaks of the water of the word,jesus knew they had all been water baptised,but he warned them if i wash you not you will have no part with me,which speaks volumes of a divine baptism,jesus said ,its the things that come from the heart that defile a man, not his feet,judas had lifted up his heart against jesus not his feet,satan had entered the heart of judas not his feet, the blood washes our hearts,and minds not our feet
---alex on 10/30/09


'jesus told peter if you dont wash my feet you will have no part with me'

Gene, your quote is incorrect. It was the other way round. John 13:8 'Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.'
---RitaH on 10/14/08


He washed the feet of the disciples to teach them that his mission was to be that of a servant and also a lesson in humility.The word pastor means servant.Yes,there are alot of church leaders today that do not practice servanthood and that is alot of the reason that the church is in the state it is in.One of the first things that should be taught to baby christians is humility and servanthood.Onr of thr most endearing things about my pastor is the fact that he knows he is first and foremost a servant and I admire that and am glad that he is my mentor!
---ron on 10/13/08


I think Jesus did this for many purposes, alot which has been mentioned. Jesus also did this to teach the disciples how filthy this ole world is to walk through, but how Jesus can cleanse us all and make us clean again. What a wonderful example Jesus gave us as He humbled Himself as a servant. Praise God for His infinite wisdom!
---Margaret_Mitchell on 10/13/08


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Jesus and His disciples observe the Passover by eating meal together.He teaches the meaning of humble service by washing their feet. This was a menial chore that only the most lowly slave would perform for household guests.
---joe on 10/13/08


Mima,

There are many lessons to be learned here.

1st. only God is Reverend. Men are sinners, and if saved, they are saved by the Grace of an Almighty God and the shed blood of Christ.

2nd. The lesson of foot washing is for all of God's children. The Creator, Savior, Son of God, Son of Man, Ancient of Days, etc. bowed down and served his disciples. We are to humble ourselves as well and serve each other. Are we better than the Savior?

Lord bless you all,
---trey on 10/13/08


mima, you answered your own question. Jesus did not tell his disciples to wash his feet, but instead, He the Head Master served by washing his servants feet. How blessed are the feet of him whom carries the gospel of peace to the lost.
---Eloy on 10/13/08


He was acting out in parabalish form that all sins where you have walked "Behind" you are clean because of HIM ! Washing all where you have walked, not as most of the christian world has been taught ! He even says you will not know now why, but hereafter ! By saying, you ought to wash one another's feet as I have washed yours, He means to forgive those who have walked over YOU ! Thats the real "Hidden" Truth behind the "Footswashing"
---Lowell_F_Hammond on 10/13/08


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Yes,most pastors,do want to be looked up to and treated in a special manner.But do remember. Even if a pastor wants to be one of the guys(members) the members,most times, will not allow him/her to do this.Members idolize thier pastors and make little gods out of them. Pastors should not allow this and let them know he is honored but he too,is a servant of God.But what pastor is strong enough and humble enough to tell their members to do this? Not very many.We love to have our flesh tickled.
---Robyn on 3/19/08


The greatest among you is the servant of all.
---Linda6563 on 3/18/08


jesus washed the disciples feet to show humbleness and he expects us to do the same jesus told peter if you dont wash my feet you will have no part with me and that is plain as day
---gene on 6/21/07


There is a lesson for us all to learn there. We are to serve one another with humility.
---Bruce5656 on 6/21/07


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if you observe the Lord's supper, makes sense to have a foot washing too
---r.w. on 7/3/06


I know many pastors, and none of them "expect special treatment and love to be called Reverend and generally be looked up to"
We are all servants, even Christ. We have a song here about Him, called "The Servant King"
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/3/06


Yes he was teaching humility showing that no one is greater then the other, including himself, though he is our Saviour, our king. He showed them to be kind, merciful, & above all not to be haughty. In heaven we are all on the same level no matter if we're higher/lower society on earth, God doesn't pick favorites (except his son ;-) )
---candice on 7/3/06


Our congregation, including ME, calls my husband Pastor, out of respect for the office he holds- our undershepherd, spiritual authority, and leader. Once in an illistrated message he preached, he washed the feet of our youth pastor and his brother. He is a servant in the truest sense of the word. He treats everyone in our church the same, and is there for them whenever they need him. He loves and cares for them like they're his own family
---T.S. on 6/16/06


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Amen Linda. A lesson I am learning every day.
---joseph on 6/15/06


There is a lesson there for everyone, not just pastors.
---Linda on 6/14/06


Jesus came to serve, not be served. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the pure at heart for they shall perceive and recognize the Father. We should all have a mindset that is wrapped in a humble, quiet and peaceful spirit (attitude).
---joseph on 6/13/06


Because the master wasn't above his servents. This is a great lesson from Christ that we all need to learn and practice. We need more humility. My Pastor doesn't look down upon the congragation, we are all equal in the sight of God.
---Rebecca_D on 6/12/06


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