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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Foot washing – ordinance or metaphor?

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Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1133
Germany NRW

 Foot washing – ordinance or metaphor?

John 13
13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

There is only one more about widows in passage in 1.Tim 5:10
(...)well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.

We have spent some time trying to come to grips with this text. I still have not been able to conclude whether this is to be taken literally such as breaking break and water baptism. I would not see any practical benefit in washing someones feet or having my feet washed. I can see that this is a very humbling, if not embarrassing service to each other. When Jesus says, blessed are you when you know these things and do them, do we miss something if we don't? Or else, if that is not to be taken literally, is there any practical application how to follow the example Jesus set for us?

 2009/8/23 15:30Profile

 Re: Foot washing – ordinance or metaphor?

as the Spirit leads an assembly, I believe it should be an ordinance.

 2009/8/23 19:28

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7504


We wash feet in our church.

The context in which this admonishion is given, it also teaches the communion of the bread and wine. Would it not be a violence to Biblical Interpretation to take one literal but spiritualize the other?

And no, it has no practical use, much like baptism and the taking of the cup. It is a ritual to remind us of a deeper truth.

The deep truth in feet washing is that I must be willing to stoop down and serve my sister. Even to the point of doing mundane things.

The context in which this teaching occurs is fascinating, including Peter's response to Jesus washing their feet. Now if Jesus were here in your midst, how would you react if he asked someone to bring a basin of water and a towel and he would proceed to go wash your feet? Imagine that! Quite revealing, is it not?

Washing feet has such profound implications, teaches us so much...if you question it, try it! See what happens!


Sandra Miller

 2009/8/23 22:06Profile

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