Why We Wash Feet at Passover

Foot Washing

Passover was the last meal Jesus shared with His disciples before His death. In fact, it is the only thing He said that He eagerly desired to do (Luke 22:15). When Christ was at the table with His disciples, he instituted a powerful act for us to imitate.

Jesus is the only perfect individual to ever walk this earth. He never sinned. Before he ate the meal with them, he washed the feet of His disciples. John 13:3-17 (ASV) records these events:

3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came forth from God, and goeth unto God, 4 riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments; and he took a towel, and girded himself. 5 Then he poureth water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6 So he cometh to Simon Peter. He saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt understand hereafter. 8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew him that should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 12 So when he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and sat down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me, Teacher, and, Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord; neither one that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.

Consider the context of this passage a little more. At that time, most people wore sandals. Their feet were covered in dirt, mud, and even animal dung. Instead of exalting himself at the table, Christ humbled himself to the place of a servant. He washed their feet.

In the process of doing this, He instituted a statute for us: “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” He even said that we would be blessed by doing this (John 13:17).

With this act, Jesus taught us that true leadership is humbling ourselves in service. Each of us must be willing to do this for each other. We must be willing to reach down to our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ to help wash them off when they are dirty and in time of need. Jesus was willing to humble himself and clean us up, so we should be willing to do the same.

This Passover, as you wash another person’s feet, think about washing the feet of Jesus. As your feet are being washed, think about Jesus washing your feet.

Christ said that we would be blessed if we do this! Is there a blessing from God that you do not want? We should want everything that Christ has for us. He has a special revelation He desires to impart to you as you wash feet this Passover Season.

“1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal 6:1-2, KJV).

Let’s honor Passover this year with humility as we consider what Christ has done for us.

About Evangelist Kelly McDonald, Jr.

Child of God, Servant of God, Evangelist, Blogger, and Writer
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