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The washing of feet

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

Jesus Christ through the Scriptures

The books of the Bible, though 66 in numbers they stand as one with the unifying theme, Jesus Christ. His person and His work. For He said, "Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me."

The word search, denotes to search anxiously. The idea is having a miner who searches for precious metals while seeking a perfect balance for the value of the metal.

Illustratively speaking, in a mining terminology, the stratum of our interest is (John 13:4-5). A stratum is a series of layers of rock in the ground or layers of material arranged one on top of another. In the case of (John 13:4-5), we shall carefully dig out its layers and reveals the value therein. It reads, He (Jesus) rose up from the supper and laid aside His garments. And taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He put water into the basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe off with the towel with which He was girded. (John 13:4-5 LITV)

The washing of the feet before a meal or upon the arrival of a traveler, was customary during the time of our text. It was constantly the role of the servant to wash the feet of the guests. Here we have Christ the Saviour, taking on the office of a servant by the washing of the feet of His disciples.

The scope of the act of our Lord in washing The feet of His disciples, does carry two implications:

  1. the act meekness. He is the Master over His disciples. Yet, He humbled Himself for their sake, He became the servant.

  2. Secondly, those who sees and accept the meekness of Christ shall see the glory of Christ as God.

God became man through Jesus Christ by putting on flesh and blood (John 1:14) to redeem man from sin. Such is the illustrative lesson of Christ washing the feet of His disciples. (John 13:5) After that, He poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. This was the role of a servant.

As God step from the glory of heaven to serve us by being clothed in flesh through Jesus Christ, for the remission of sin. Now, the Lord girded Himself with the towel of a servant to wash His disciples from the filth of a sinful world. The source of the fall of man through sin was the result of pride. Therefore, if pride is to be dealt with, its antidote must be humility.

F.B. Meyer once wrote: This is the key to the Incarnation. He (Christ) rose from the throne, laid aside the garments of light which He had worn as His vesture, took up the poor towel of humanity, and wrapped it about His Glorious Person; poured His own Blood into the basin of the Cross, and set Himself to wash away the foul stain of human depravity and guilt.

Christ is the only Forgiver of sins. The illustration of the washing of feet portrays His love for humanity to wash away the sins of those who believe. If any men mimic the washing of feet for a religious purpose; it is without a value, but a mere publicity deception.



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