Is it just an example of humility and serving others, or does it
symbolize the ongoing forgiveness of sins paid for by Christ's death?
Jesus says that if we do not forgive others, he will not
Jesus says that we should forgive our brother not just
seven times but seventy seven times.
Paul says that sometimes the good that he wants to do,
he can't and the evil that he doesn't want to do, he keeps on doing (Romans Ch
7). If Paul found it difficult to stop sinning after his
conversion/baptism, then surely we are no different.
Hebrews tells us that Christ sacrificial death was a
once and for all sacrifice. Priests in the Old Covenant had to sacrifice
sin offerings year after year but Christ's death is sufficient to pay for all
our sins, even the ones we haven't committed yet!!
Foot washing symbolizes the ONGOING FORGIVENESS OF
SINS paid for by Christ's once and for all sacrifice.
How should we be
following Christ's example?
We may not literally have to wash our brother's feet,
but we do need to keep forgiving our brother when he sins against us. This
is what is meant by you should also wash one another's feet.
Otherwise, why would Jesus have said "A
person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet"
See Message - The significance of Foot Washing
See Message - How many
times should we forgive our Brother?
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.
Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"
Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you."
For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place.
"Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them.
"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.'
"I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He.
I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me."