Why We Wash Feet (Version 1)


Series: Holidays and Special Events / Communion

Title: Why We Wash Feet (Version 1) #communion #foot-washing


  • 2005-03-26: Linden
  • 2014-10-04: White Rock Lake


  1. 371: “Lift Him Up”
  2. 343: “I Will Sing of My Redeemer”

Scripture: John 13:12-15

  1. Introduction: Our bodies are an amazing creation. All over our bodies we have nerve sensors which are constantly picking up all sorts of data from the world around us. But if all these sensations were brought to our consciousness we would soon go crazy. So God has designed it so that we only consciously notice the sensations that are uncomfortable, different, or being thought about. All other feelings go unnoticed. Just as your conscious won’t notice something your body has gotten used to your brain can do the same thing with things that we get used to doing like religious ceremonies. We can get so used to them that we forget the meaning that we are to find in them. This is not a good thing so today we will take a quick look at the meanings of one of the aspects of the Communion Service—Foot Washing.
  2. Luke 22:7-13—This story leads up to the institution of the Communion Service.
  3. John 13:1-5—Jesus washed His disciple’s feet. To understand this we must first understand that in Jesus day the feet were considered to be the nastiest part of the body. Because they walked around on dirt roads in sandals their feet would get very dirty and need to be cleaned more often than other parts of the body. This job was reserved for the lowest of the slaves. Yet here Jesus, their master is performing the lowest duty that a slave could be given. The disciples were doubtless speechless in surprise at the strange act that Jesus was doing. But it did get their attention and that, I’m sure, was what Jesus wanted.
  4. Meanings:
    1. (John 13:6-10—Peter was the first to regain his tongue. Here we see the first important meaning in this ceremony.) Continued forgiveness for the believer
      1. Acts 22:16—One of the reasons for baptism is to symbolize the washing away of your sins. But after you’re baptized you still occasionally sin. (see Jn 13:10) Foot washing symbolizes the fact that God continues to forgive your sins even after you’ve been initially cleansed
      2. (see Jn 13:8) If we don’t continue to seek God’s forgiveness we have no part in Jesus
      3. John 13:12-17—Jesus followed up his foot washing by giving two more important meanings to this symbol as well as telling us that we should continue this ceremony.
    2. Jesus Forgave Us So We Should Forgive Others
      1. Matthew 6:14, 15—Forgiveness is important
      2. (see vs. 14, 15) Since Jesus is so willing to continually wash away our sins, as symbolized by the foot washing, we should also forgive others.
      3. Matthew 18:21-22—keep on forgiving.
    3. We Should Be Humble Like Jesus—Who was willing to do the lowest slave’s work
      1. Philippians 2:5-7—Jesus took the form of a slave to serve and rescue mankind. We should share the same humility.
      2. “Servanthood is not wimpy. Servanthood is Godly.”
      3. James 4:6-10—If you want to be near to God you must be humble. Lament your sin and ask Him to cleanse you. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.