Why We Wash Feet (Version 2)


Series: Holidays and Special Events / Communion

Title: Why We Wash Feet (Version 2) #communion #foot-washing


  • 2017-03-25: White Rock Lake


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

Scripture: John 13:12-15

  1. Introduction: Communion/Lord’s Supper
    1. Adventists practice it differently from most churches
    2. Open communion
      1. Participating in communion carries spiritual meaning
      2. All who sincerely accept the spiritual meaning are welcome to participate in communion, regardless of church membership status
      3. Participation should not be taken lightly
      4. Children’s participation
        1. OK if the child understands what he/she is doing
        2. Parent’s discression
    3. Foot washing (sometimes called the ordinance of humility): The part most churches omit
  2. Foot washing
    1. Background
      1. Shoes off in Korea
        1. Even in-and-out
        2. Cleanliness
        3. Life lived on the floor
      2. Bible times
        1. Sandals, not shoes
        2. Still a need for cleanliness
        3. 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.
        4. This job was reserved for the lowest of the slaves.
    2. The story
      1. Luke 22:7-13—This story leads up to the institution of the Communion Service.
      2. Normally, someone would have washed everyone’s feet as they entered the Upper Room. However, there is no record of that happening in this instance.
      3. John 13:1-5—Jesus washed His disciple’s feet—during the meal.
        1. Remember: 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.
        2. 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.
  3. 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 John 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. John 13:14, 15: We should serve others, even when it’s unpleasant
      1. We practice foot washing because Jesus told us to.
      2. Foot washing figuratively shows our willingness to serve others.
      3. Mark 10:42-45: Greatness is found in service
    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.