The meaning of footwashing
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Why did Jesus wash the disciple's feet at the beginning of his last Passover? What is the profound meaning of performing a footwashing service during the yearly commemoration of Jesus' death? Which of Jesus' twelve disciples REFUSED to have him wash their feet?
In the 13th chapter of John we find Jesus performing a simple act during his last few hours on earth that reveals not only his true character but the character he wants ALL believers to develope. Jesus' act of humility teaches so much and is so critical to the life of a Christian that he commands all those who follow him to do the same.
Interestingly, John is the only one of the four gospel writers to record Jesus humbly washing the feet of his disciples during Passover. John, the last gospel writer, may have wanted to include information Matthew, Mark and Luke left out.
What is known as the "footwashing ceremony," found in John 13, offers us a glimpse of Jesus' character. Just like Jesus, Christians should wash each other's feet as a humble act during the yearly Passover service.
How did Jesus serve?
At the very beginning of his last Passover Jesus performs a simple task with a profound meaning.
14 If I then, your Master and Rabbi, have washed your feet, it is also your duty to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example in order that you may do what I have done to you. (John 13)
What a humble action our Savior performed! The custom at the time was that it was left to the lowliest servant to perform the disliked duty of washing the dirty, filthy feet of strangers or travellers before they entered a house.
Jesus also makes it very plain that he did not expect from the disciples (or us, by extension) something he himself did not do. This is the mark of a true spiritual leader.