Foot washing..........Is it a command?

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Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
4,363
1,542
113
#41
I think it doesn't matter when or where, just that our hearts are intent on serving. I believe He was washing His point home about service and humility more than specifically washing feet. He showed that a true servant of God is willing, even eager to care for. I just see that some see it as a command and so I am curious if those that do, do this. I think it could present some awkward moments, lol. Would you feel comfortable having your feet washed by a brother? Those were all good examples.

I think it doesn't matter when or where, just that our hearts are intent on serving.
Legalist have to worry about the when and where. Traditions often become religious. The specific act becomes more important than the lesson. Even the tradition of taking the bread and wine I wonder how many people mindlessly do it with no thought on why and the lesson of the example.
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
4,363
1,542
113
#42
I would say the act, if it is a commandment of God'
So what if you physically or do not have the resources to commit such acts what happens to you then? It is symbolic for acts of servitude. Wherever we are and with whatever we have to offer in servitude is the example of Christ who came not to first rule the world but to sacrificially serve it. But this lines up with Paul's teaching on if this act in your conscience is holy then by all means do it. But dont cause others to stumble or divide.
 

Bbrdrd

Active member
Apr 2, 2020
375
92
28
#43
Is it a commandment? I don't think it was meant to be a universal decree to literally wash the feet of one another, though it could be for some. Though for me the issue is decided on a larger thrust. It seems to me that the very idea of commandments that are to be fulfilled simply on the grounds that they are listed in the Bible misses the heart of obedience. We are to be led by the Spirit so treating the Bible as if it were a rule book, whether that be the law of Sinai or the commandments of Christ, is looking to things that are naturally accessible. In some instances, for some people, this will be something that is immoral for them to reject. For others there is no need. The Spirit will lead each to their own conclusions.
 

jaybird88

Senior Member
Jan 7, 2015
5,395
448
83
#44
Many churches today use Jesus' example of washing His disciples feet as a church ordinance, saying that it is a commandment of God. It wasn't uncommon for early Christians to wash a guests feet at their home as an act of hospitality and during church it was done by the humblest of servants with sincere humility. Is it a commandment? Should a church have it as part of their church ordinance? Most church leaders who practice foot-washing, point to the passage in John 13:1-16 as proof that our Lord and Savior was giving us a command. As we study scripture we can't take what is being said out of context and be mindful of the culture in those times. In the book of John chapter 13, we have to recognize the emphasis on the person's inner character or heart and not so much the physical aspect of what the verse is saying.

John 13:4-7 After supper Jesus began to wash His disciples feet, "he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples feet..." Jesus is teaching them humility and servant leadership. Then in verse 7, "what I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter." Jesus explains their not going to understand right away, but He is setting an example for them to follow: Charitable deeds and acts of humility are duties that all Christians should follow.

Luke 22:24-27 "and there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. But he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." The disciples were in a kind of debate with each other about their respective positions in the coming Kingdom. Jesus, upon hearing them argue, set an example of servitude and leadership.

1 Timothy 5:10 "well reported of for good works...if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints feet..." Studying the context, this is simply some qualifications for a widow in helping the church. Having "good works", such as showing humility or hospitality in washing the "saints feet" is a qualification widows must have if their wanting to help the church.

Luke 7:44 Jesus said to Simon, "see this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head." The woman must have felt genuine gratitude and a tremendous amount of humbleness in seeing our Lord Jesus.

1 Samuel 25:41 "Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my Lord." Here, David sends his servants to Abigail, a woman he wants to marry. Abigail offers her handmaids to wash their feet as a form of hospitality and gratitude.

Genesis 18:4 Abraham was greeted by three angels. Notice that he did not wash their feet, but allowed water to be brought so they may wash their own feet.

Final thoughts
It was common practice in ancient times for the household servants to wash the feet of guests. Due to people wearing sandals and the combination of the mud and dirt on the roads people traveled, it was a continuous problem. When Jesus washed the disciples feet, He was teaching that those who lead must also serve, being humble and gracious. The feet are always apt to contract some dirt or dust, just as we are always apt to sin, so the foulness of the feet when the rest is clean symbolizes our earthly faults. As Christians we are to spiritually cleanse daily through prayer, kindness, or other forms of servitude. Foot washing is an act of servitude, but there are many forms of servitude that can be practiced everyday by Christians.
do these churches teach it as a command or ordinance? there is a difference.
 

biker

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2020
1,389
244
63
#45
Jesus in every way and form showed to us the example of being a "servant." In fact, His biggest reminder to us was to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. is feeding the hungry a command? is clothing the naked a command? Is giving money to the poor a Command? Not specifically. But it is a reminder of how we can be servants. And to wash someone's feet is to serve that person, the same way we can feed, clothe, and give money to them.
 

garee

Senior Member
Mar 28, 2016
14,120
1,331
113
#46
Book, chapter and verse would be helpful.
It is one of the few ceremonial laws a shadows to the world having to do with the wedding of two. A picture of the union the gospel

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.
 

Marcelo

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2016
2,215
757
113
69
#47
Book, chapter and verse would be helpful.
Book, chapter and verse are mentioned in the post you are referring to.

The Lord Jesus did indeed teach his disciples to literally wash one another's feet....
.... (John 13:14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet).
 

CharliRenee

Member
Staff member
Nov 4, 2014
5,997
6,506
113
#48
Jesus in every way and form showed to us the example of being a "servant." In fact, His biggest reminder to us was to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. is feeding the hungry a command? is clothing the naked a command? Is giving money to the poor a Command? Not specifically. But it is a reminder of how we can be servants. And to wash someone's feet is to serve that person, the same way we can feed, clothe, and give money to them.
BAM!!! Well said!!!
 

azamzimtoti

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2019
1,488
758
113
#49
Book, chapter and verse are mentioned in the post you are referring to.
I'm speaking of an old covenant command - you stated " because that was the law of Moses ".

Where in the Law of Moses did he command foot washing?
 

Mii

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2019
1,092
757
113
#50
This is a topic I've not ever encountered except in idle discussion among a few times that I didn't join in on.

I've been in quite a few churches and rarely ever heard of this. I saw it once in a wedding and I didn't phase me or anything

I thought if that's what they wanted to do, awesome. Cool example. If it speaks to you and you feel led to...by all means.


I'm not opposed to it, I simply would expect that it was of the same importance as communion or baptism or marriage that it would have been further specified QUITE clearly. Something along the lines of "if anyone does not do this (referring to more than just the disciples) they have no part with Jesus"


...perhaps it requires further thought. I can say that it is indeed incredibly hard (short of a full shower) to wash one's own feet efficiently, so it is something highly practical to have someone else do. We just aren't mechanically designed to be able to wash our own feet without odd contortions and inefficiency (without a foot washer).

So my own personal experience is that it would be far better and I would feel less humbled by having someone else do it for me. I feel somewhat ridiculous when I do it myself so I wear shoes and shower often. It would be nice though in the summer with sandals.
 

Marcelo

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2016
2,215
757
113
69
#51
I'm speaking of an old covenant command - you stated " because that was the law of Moses ".

Where in the Law of Moses did he command foot washing?
OK!

Exodus 30:17-21

17 The Lord said to Moses, 18 “You shall also make a basin of bronze, with its stand of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it, 19 with which Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet. 20 When they go into the tent of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn a food offering to the Lord, they shall wash with water, so that they may not die. 21 They shall wash their hands and their feet, so that they may not die. It shall be a statute forever to them, even to him and to his offspring throughout their generations.”
 

CharliRenee

Member
Staff member
Nov 4, 2014
5,997
6,506
113
#52
This is a topic I've not ever encountered except in idle discussion among a few times that I didn't join in on.

I've been in quite a few churches and rarely ever heard of this. I saw it once in a wedding and I didn't phase me or anything

I thought if that's what they wanted to do, awesome. Cool example. If it speaks to you and you feel led to...by all means.


I'm not opposed to it, I simply would expect that it was of the same importance as communion or baptism or marriage that it would have been further specified QUITE clearly. Something along the lines of "if anyone does not do this (referring to more than just the disciples) they have no part with Jesus"


...perhaps it requires further thought. I can say that it is indeed incredibly hard (short of a full shower) to wash one's own feet efficiently, so it is something highly practical to have someone else do. We just aren't mechanically designed to be able to wash our own feet without odd contortions and inefficiency (without a foot washer).

So my own personal experience is that it would be far better and I would feel less humbled by having someone else do it for me. I feel somewhat ridiculous when I do it myself so I wear shoes and shower often. It would be nice though in the summer with sandals.
I know this is just an image but it would be an honor to wash your feet, brother Mii. I say that with familial, Christ centered, care in mind.

You, your feet and your back are in my Screenshot_20200406-170729_Chrome.jpg prayers.
 

ForestGreenCook

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2018
3,772
444
83
#53
So what if you physically or do not have the resources to commit such acts what happens to you then? It is symbolic for acts of servitude. Wherever we are and with whatever we have to offer in servitude is the example of Christ who came not to first rule the world but to sacrificially serve it. But this lines up with Paul's teaching on if this act in your conscience is holy then by all means do it. But dont cause others to stumble or divide.
I am motivated to defend Jesus's doctrine, as I understand it, but I hope I never pressure anyone to accept his doctrine, because I firmly believe, by my personal experience, that a person has to not rely upon their own entilect before the Holy Spirit will reveal the truths of Christ's doctrine.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
30,753
9,017
113
65
Florida
#54
John 13:8-10
“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, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”

My sense is that Jesus saying "Unless I wash you" is referring the remission of sin by Jesus paying the penalty for dying on the cross. This is the 'bath' that He referred to. It is this bath that cleans the body from sin. Saying that they only need to have their feet washed is referring to reconciliation if one should stumble and sin. The feet only because the whole body has been made clean by confession of sin and Jesus paying the price for their sins.

The washing of the feet is also an example of humility and servitude but the main spiritual application is referring to salvation.
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
5,047
2,058
113
#55
Many churches today use Jesus' example of washing His disciples feet as a church ordinance, saying that it is a commandment of God. It wasn't uncommon for early Christians to wash a guests feet at their home as an act of hospitality and during church it was done by the humblest of servants with sincere humility. Is it a commandment? Should a church have it as part of their church ordinance? Most church leaders who practice foot-washing, point to the passage in John 13:1-16 as proof that our Lord and Savior was giving us a command. As we study scripture we can't take what is being said out of context and be mindful of the culture in those times. In the book of John chapter 13, we have to recognize the emphasis on the person's inner character or heart and not so much the physical aspect of what the verse is saying.

John 13:4-7 After supper Jesus began to wash His disciples feet, "he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples feet..." Jesus is teaching them humility and servant leadership. Then in verse 7, "what I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter." Jesus explains their not going to understand right away, but He is setting an example for them to follow: Charitable deeds and acts of humility are duties that all Christians should follow.

Luke 22:24-27 "and there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. But he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." The disciples were in a kind of debate with each other about their respective positions in the coming Kingdom. Jesus, upon hearing them argue, set an example of servitude and leadership.

1 Timothy 5:10 "well reported of for good works...if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints feet..." Studying the context, this is simply some qualifications for a widow in helping the church. Having "good works", such as showing humility or hospitality in washing the "saints feet" is a qualification widows must have if their wanting to help the church.

Luke 7:44 Jesus said to Simon, "see this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head." The woman must have felt genuine gratitude and a tremendous amount of humbleness in seeing our Lord Jesus.

1 Samuel 25:41 "Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my Lord." Here, David sends his servants to Abigail, a woman he wants to marry. Abigail offers her handmaids to wash their feet as a form of hospitality and gratitude.

Genesis 18:4 Abraham was greeted by three angels. Notice that he did not wash their feet, but allowed water to be brought so they may wash their own feet.

Final thoughts
It was common practice in ancient times for the household servants to wash the feet of guests. Due to people wearing sandals and the combination of the mud and dirt on the roads people traveled, it was a continuous problem. When Jesus washed the disciples feet, He was teaching that those who lead must also serve, being humble and gracious. The feet are always apt to contract some dirt or dust, just as we are always apt to sin, so the foulness of the feet when the rest is clean symbolizes our earthly faults. As Christians we are to spiritually cleanse daily through prayer, kindness, or other forms of servitude. Foot washing is an act of servitude, but there are many forms of servitude that can be practiced everyday by Christians.

No, footwashing is not a command.