SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : General Topics : Foot Washing

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 Next Page )

Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 301

 Foot Washing

The other night, while reading out of and expounding on Joshua 22, I taught my kids that one way to maintain humility and thereby "hold fast to [the LORD]" (Joshua 22:5) is one that is very seldom practiced in the assembly today: foot washing.

I have never personally been a part of an assembly where this is practiced; though I have felt the Lord lead me to wash the feet of my family a couple times during times of significant tension, turmoil, and strife.

But in John 13 we see Jesus (the Lord of Glory) do just this, in a very real and practical way - and He goes on to teach:


So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 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. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."

~ John 13:12-17


It seems to me that the Lord was instructing the apostles to very literally practice foot washing; "If I then, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet," [in a very real and literal way, not in a merely allegorical/symbolic way] "you also ought to wash one another’s feet."

It seems that there is little reason to interpret His instruction as purely symbolic/allegorical.

Right after instructing them to wash one another's feet, Jesus says:

"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."


"If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."

While I do feel that there is much benefit and revelation in the allegorical meaning of 'foot washing', and that the spiritual practice of it is also imperative; I do not feel that to neglect the literal practice of it is wise or warranted.

I speak from experience (and as one who has only ever washed the feet of my wife and children/step-children): it was a very humbling and heart-melting experience for all involved.

I sincerely believe that if we would but humbly submit ourselves to this practice in obedience to the Lord; not esteeming ourselves better than Him; and "knowing these things", that we would be very "blessed..if [we] do them."

I believe that it would be very instrumental in maintaining love, humility, and unity among the brethren.

~ Forrest

 2016/7/28 17:21Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2007
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Foot Washing

Forrest: The church I grew up in practiced footwashing, and I know of several others where it occurs. I can say that it was a time of humility, often repentance, and it seemed the Holy Spirit really attended to the practice  I think we would do well to practice this more.


 2016/7/28 18:55Profile

 Re: Foot Washing

Brother Forest, you wrote:

"I believe that it would be very instrumental in maintaining love, humility, and unity among the brethren."

and having been allowed to participate in such a heavenly holy, anointed, and beautiful ordinance JUST ONCE, your words are true.

I would testify, but for the truth that my mere human words would not convey in totality, how beautiful this little utilized ministry is.

God love you , neil

 2016/7/28 19:06


We don't need foot washing today - we don't lie semi reclined to eat and have to be near the smelly dirty feet of our neighbours!

The equivalent action today would be car washing. However, there are many ways we can actually serve others in real ways that will take up our time, and especially for the sick and elderly amongst us. I have no - one to ask for help with my computer for example and would not appreciate having my feet washed instead. Why an empty ritual?

 2016/7/28 20:55


I was thinking the same thing, Brenda. Foot washing was a cultural thing back then to serve a cultural need and no one really wanted to wash someone else's feet. The principle behind foot washing is serving one another with humility and preferring one another. There is a reason foot washing was humbling to people back then. They did not wear shoes and their feet got very, very dirty. Today, most people's feet are clean (socks and shoes). I was part of a foot washing service once and because it was so foreign to me and everyone else, it was more of a novelty rather than a humbling experience. Everyone was just trying to do it right and extract some spiritual experience from it. Nothing humbling about it since it was planned. Funny. That the object of the exercise...was to extract a spiritual experience from it...and we took this scripture literally not grasping the spiritual meaning behind it...we were young...what did we know?

How about offering to clean someone's house, today...including the bathrooms...for free...for someone that has wronged you? Or bring dinner over for them or any number of things. Yeah, help them with things they struggle with.

 2016/7/28 23:08

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5584


I agree with J & B-

Jesus washed his disciples feet because they were grimy and needed it.

Surely we can serve our brothers and sisters in more relevant ways today.

I guarantee that in churches that practice foot washing as an ordinance, no one shows up with dirty stinky feet.

I see no reason whatsoever to try and force an ordinance out of Jesus' action. He was teaching a principle and attitude to emulate, not an action.


 2016/7/28 23:41Profile

Joined: 2011/8/14
Posts: 1081

 Re: Foot Washing

There are SO many things in The Word,that Jesus taught us that have
a Spiritual meaning,...and,I believe foot washing is one of them.

*First we see 'Jesus teaching humility'

*Then there is more,I believe that Jesus wants us to see.

Jn13:5,..."He poured 'water' into a basin,and began to wash the disciples' feet,..."
V.7,Jesus says, "What I do thou knowest not now,but thou shalt know
He goes on to tell Peter,..
V.8, "If I wash thee not,thou hast no part with me."
V.9, ..."Peter saith unto Him,Lord,not my feet only,but also my hands and
my head."

V10, "Jesus saith unto him,He that is washed needeth not except to wash
his feet,but is entirely clean; and ye are clean,but not all of you. "

*When Jesus washes us,we are clean,but I believe we are to remind our
brothers /sisters,that we are to walk with clean feet.

V.14, Jesus tells the 'disciples', "If I,then,your Lord and Master,have washed your feet,; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
V.15, "For I have given you an example,that ye should as I have done to you.

"Disciples" (learners)

+ Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me.

We too,are learners.

And there are more to compare of the things that Jesus did in the natural,
that needs to be compared with the Spiritual,...many ,many,but I must go for now.

I appreciate you bro.Forest,


 2016/7/28 23:58Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37517
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


Foot washing is a very Biblical practice and just like the Lord's Supper it is a physical act. If we reason the same way about these things then we can nullify almost every practice in the early Church and Book of Acts. Why even do water baptism?

Of course this is not reasonable and there is a reason why 90% of sisters in the Church wore head-coverings for all the history of the Church until the last 50 years in the modern feministic movement and liberal theologians.

Foot washing is a symbol of "service" of serving others in the body of Christ. Though there is no yoke to have to practice this, I encourage and am blessed by a brother who see's significance and blessing in it. Fasting, prayer, baptism, lords supper, headcovering, etc are other practices that are wonderful to maintain as believers in the Lord.

There are very few symbols given for us to do physically, the Lord's Supper, holy kiss, water baptism, foot washing and headcovering are New Covenant symbols given. I am not sure if I am missing any?

"Why do we kiss and hug? To show our affection for each other as sisters and brothers in Christ. We often call this the holy kiss. In several of his letters, Paul tells us to kiss one another in greeting." from:

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2016/7/29 0:23Profile

Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632


Actually, as between communion and washing feet, Jesus only commanded them to wash each others feet as following His example. He never told them to observe the communion meal.


 2016/7/29 0:31Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37517
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


It is interesting how Paul shares "For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you" so I believe he was saying the Lord by the Holy Spirit was showing him the importance for assemblies to practice this symbol.

You are right that our Lord said to his disciples to do foot washing:

John 13:14New International Version (NIV)

14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.

Dear brother does this verse not mean that we are to do the practice of the Lord's Supper in remembrance of him?

Luke 22:19New International Version (NIV)

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

1 Corinthians 11:23-34New International Version (NIV)

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

And when I come I will give further directions.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2016/7/29 1:26Profile

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy