Feet Washing6 Minute Read

"Ye also ought to wash one another's feet."

Feet washing is a New Testament ordinance as well as the Lord's Supper and water baptism.

Paul said "keep the ordinances" - special observances.

I Corinthians 11:1-2 - Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

Feet washing was commanded by Christ and given by his personal example.

John 13:1-17 - 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 bason, 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 andmy head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash hisfeet, 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. 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.

It was given to the New Testament church to be practiced perpetually until Christ comes again. Christ's disciples did it in that day. We as Christ disciples ought to do it in our day.

John 13:14-15 - 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.

By literally partaking of this ordinance, it reveals and teaches a spiritual lesson and blessing.

John 13:16-17 - 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.

Some people today argue that Jesus and his disciples were merely practicing an oriental custom of washing other's dirty feet.

If that were true Peter would not have been surpised about what Jesus was doing.

John 13:6-7 - 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.

The old custom was for people to wash their own feet.

Genesis 18:4 - Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree

On this most solemn night - the night of his betrayal - Jesus instituted something new: the New Testament ordinance of feet washing.

We are commanded to wash feet by the head of the New Testament church, Jesus Christ.

Jesus said "ye also ought to wash one another's feet."

John 13:14 - If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

Ought means obligation, duty bound.

Other uses of the word "ought":

We ought also to love one another.

I John 4:11 - Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Loving one another is not an option.

We ought to obey God rather than men.

Acts 5:29 - Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Obeying God is not an option.

Men ought always to pray.

Luke 18:1 - And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Praying is not an option.

The ordinance of feet washing is not an option.

Partaking of this doctrinal observance is a test of fellowship.

John 13:8 - Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

By knowingly and willingly refusing to partake of this ordinance, Jesus said "thou hast no part with me."

This ordinance teaches a spiritual lesson.

John 13:14, 16 - If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 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.

Regardless of age, intelligence, material prosperity, or position in the church we humble ourselves to wash one another's feet.

Romans 12:3 - For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Pride is the very reason why many people refuse to practice this ordinance.

Feet washing was practiced by the church after this date.

I Timothy 5:9-10 - Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

A widow must have practiced the ordinance of feet washing in a local congregation as a qualification necessary for her to be cared for by the church.

It showed her humility and fellowship with the saints.

It should be done in decency and in order.

I Corinthians 14:40 - Let all things be done decently and in order.

Brothers in Christ wash their brother's feet and sisters wash the sister's feet.

There is a blessing by obeying God and participating in this ordinance.

John 13:17 - If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

All those that truly love Christ are willing to obey Christ.

John 14:15 - If ye love me, keep my commandments.