Christ washing the feet of the apostles carried an important symbolic
lesson. He did it for a reason!
First the following should be clarified;
- He did NOT do this to establish a New Testament ritual
- He did NOT do this to call for humility between brethren.
Christ washed the feet of the disciples and told
them to do the same for others to emphasize a
vitally important aspect of the New Testament.
John 13:12 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?
:13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so
:14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,
you also ought to wash one another's feet.
:15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as
I have done to you.
:16 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.
:17 If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.'
It is unfortunate that so many, having a physical mind set, have failed
to discern the symbolism portrayed by this act of Christ.
One needs to realize the symbolism of water.
Eph 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the
washing of water by the word,
And the symbolism connected with feet.
Luke 1:79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the
shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of
Rom 10:15 ... How beautiful are the feet of those who preach
the gospel of peace, ...
Eph 6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of
the gospel of peace;
Heb 12:13 and make straight paths for your feet, ...
Matt 3:3 ... Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths
'Water' is commonly used in Scripture to represent;
'the word of God'.
'Feet' are connected with what one uses to;
'walk the spiritual path or way'.
The footwashing performed by Jesus Christ was a symbolic message to His
disciples. The message being that we should help our fellow Christians
in their Christian walk. This being in tune with the thought,
Matt 25:40 ... 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did
it to one of the least of these My brethren, you
did it to Me.'
The 'washing' concept focuses upon the idea of cleansing. This being much
more than just the washing of new converts, it signifies the removal of
false teaching/paradigms absorbed by long-standing Christians. The hardest
aspect of growth is the removal of false perspectives. Their removal
though is necessary, because otherwise these false Christian perspectives
can prevent us from perceiving the true nature and teaching of God.