"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
COMMUNION SERVICES -- THE FOOT WASHING quotes
1) “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
“After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.” John13:1-11.
2) Why did Jesus do this service for His disciples?
In those days, there were very little stone or paved streets. When leaving home and going somewhere, you would be forced to walk directly on dirt, and thus your feet would get dusty and dirty, while most of the rest of your body would remain clean. It then became customary to first wash your feet before entering the house in order to remove the dirt and help keep the level of the dust down in the home.
This cleansing of the feet was usually done by hired servants or slaves, who would take a wash basin and a towel and then wash and dry each of the feet of their masters. But if there were no servants, then one of the younger members of the family would be forced to perform this service for all their family members in order to show proper respect for their elders or other important guests.
This service of foot washing was considered to be the work for servants and slaves. And if no servants were available, then very few adults would voluntarily perform this service because they would be lowering and humiliating themselves down to the level of a servant or a slave.
When Christ and all of the disciples came into that upper room with dirty feet from having traveled some distance, they all noticed the pitcher of water, the wash basin and the towel placed in the room with which to wash their dusty feet, but they also noticed that there were no servants in the room. This meant that one of the disciples would need to perform that humiliating task for all the others. So what did each of the disciples do?
As Christ was their Master, He naturally went and sat down at the table for supper and then waited for one of His disciples to come and wash His dirty feet. But then Christ watched as each and every one of His disciples also went and sat down at the table along with Him. This showed that each disciple proudly believed themselves to be close to the same level of importance as their Lord and Master, and it also revealed that each proudly believed they were of more importance than the other since they expected to be served.
After the supper was over, Christ rose up from the table. This action caused the disciples to stop casting angry looks at one another, and to instead focus curiously on what their Lord was doing. And you can imagine their horror as they watched Jesus pour water into the basin, take the towel and then come over to where each was sitting and began to then wash their feet as their servant! It was at this point that pride and self-exaltation was fully crucified in each of their hearts, and then each disciple was bitterly reproaching himself for not being the first to perform this service for His Lord and Master without caring if it also meant becoming a servant to his fellow brethren.
3) When Jesus came to Peter, what did Peter say? Peter said: No Lord, do not wash me as my servant, because I am your servant. But then what did Jesus say to Peter? You must be washed by Me, or else you are not my disciple? Peter then said, then wash me completely, because I truly desire to be your disciple. Christ then said that they that are already bodily washed, are fully clean, but at times just their feet become dirty and need to be daily cleansed. Or in other words, those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour are indeed washed in His blood and are fully cleansed from all their sins, but there still needs to be the daily cleansing from the contamination of selfishness and pride so that self may become fully crucified and pride replaced with humility, so that they may completely represent Christ in character.
4) Why did Jesus Christ wash the feet of Judas?
Christ also washed the feet of Judas, and this was after Jesus knew that Judas had already agreed to betray Him to the Pharisees and thus was not cleansed in heart! Now just how humiliating is it to wash the feet of someone you know is your betrayer! This is tremendously more humiliating than it would normally be to perform this service! But yet that is exactly what Jesus did. Why? Because Jesus truly loved Judas – even after Judas had agreed to betray him! And since Christ loved him, then He was willing to humiliate Himself to the greatest extent in order to do all that He possibly could to bring Judas to repentance.
5) After washing their feet, what did Christ say to all His disciples?
“So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I 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. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” John13:12-17.
With this example, then who should we be willing to show our love to? To every one of our fellow brothers and sisters, no matter what they may have done to us – even to those whom we know are betraying us! This is because by our love being expressed to them – even to the extent of our willingness to become their servant in washing their feet – is the very example our Lord gave us in trying to bring them to repentance, and seeking to bind us closer to them in love and unity. And if our humiliation is to be done by us for those who have harmed us in the greatest degree – being betrayal, then our humiliation is most definitely to be done by us for those who have wronged us in the least degree!
6) This means that this foot washing service is not so that you are to wash the feet of someone that you have nothing against, as that would not be very humiliating to do because it involves little or no self-crucifixion on your part. But this foot washing service is mainly for the purpose of washing the feet of someone you know has hurt you in some way – even if this hurt is as great as their betraying you, or as small as a single wrong word! In this way you are showing Christ-like love for them, and hopefully this will be enough to bring them to repentance and then clear up the whole matter before the rest of the services of Communion occur.
Since this foot washing ceremony deals with humiliation and also the subject of hurt and repentance, this is why this service is performed first before the Lord’s Supper occurs. And since foot washing deals with the crucifixion of self and of showing humility and love for one another, then anyone is free to participate in this service regardless of whether or not they are yet baptized.