Jesus Washes His Disciples Feet
October 27, 2019
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Passage: John 13: 1-17
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Imagine you knew you only had a couple of days left on this earth. What would you do? Some say they’ll try to finish their bucket list, some say they’ll party, others indicate they’ll only do what makes them the happiest, selfish indulgence of self. Some will try to cling to the material things of this world as long as possible. 

It’s not likely we will know with certainty when we will die.

Jesus did know. 

  • John 13:1-17, Jesus knew when His hour would come. 
  • Matthew 16:21, He had already begun, several years before to prepare his disciples that His time to depart was coming nigh. 
  • Philippians 2:5-8
  • John 1:1-2, 14

Jesus was in Heaven with the Father, He was equal with Him. Yet, He made Himself of no reputation. He let go of some of the aspects of His deity, He lived as a man, humbling himself to a lowly man on the earth. 

He knew that His time had come to go back to the Father. What did Jesus do with His last days on the earth? What did He do with His last remaining hours?

  • John 12:35

He encourages his disciples to make the most of their time. He spends a lot of time in prayer. He made sure that His disciples, and thus, all of us as well, that He loved them, vs. 12, unto the end. This is agape love, the love that God has for man. The love that seeks the best for others. 

As Christians we belong to Christ. The disciples that belong to Christ were his one. 

  • John 17:6

They were His disciples, His friends. He loved them. This includes His disciple Judas, and we see that, He loved them unto the end. This carries the idea of the extreme. He loved them to the “utmost.” He loved them in every possible way that a person could love another. His love is boundless, from infinity to the earth, and back again. 

Showing Love Through Service

Dr. Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Language

Words of Affirmation

  • John 13:34-35
  • John 15:9-10 
  • John 14:1-3

Jesus spoke words of comfort, words of love to them. 

Giving/Receiving of Gifts

  • John 14:16-18

An act of expressing thoughtfulness, gifts that express ones’ feelngs of love. 

Jesus promised before He left, the gift of the Holy Spirit before His departure. That they would be comforted by the Spirit. 

Quality Time

  • Luke 22:14-15

Knowing the hour was come, Jesus had desire to spend time, quality time, the Passover meal with His disciples. 

Physical Touch

  • John 13:23

Touch communicates warmth, love. He touches them, when He washed their feet, and reclining with each other as they were eating. He shows His love through Physical touch. 

Acts of Service

  • John 13:1-7

Jesus shows an act of service when He washed their feet. 

When Jesus Washed His Disciples Feet

  • John 13:3-17 

It was the custom at this time, for the lowliest person in the room, the servant, a child, to wash the feet of the guests. At this time, no one had washed anyone's feet. Yet, Jesus humbles himself as a servant to take upon this task. He wants to teach them a lesson. He waits, and sees that no one is doing it so He arose, and girded Himself with a towel, and began to wash their feet. 

  • 1 Peter 5:5

Peter likely had this event in mind when He wrote to submit to one another in humility. 

We’ve got to be washed by the Lord, to have forgiveness.

  • The word of God is a soul cleanser, Isaiah 1:18.
  • Psalms 51:2,7, 10

Lessons for Disciples from the Washing of their Feet

He had a compassion.

He showed them His power, His deity. 

He loved His disciples and wanted them to know it, but also to teach them the lesson of humility and servitude. 

  • Mark 10:43-45

An Act of Love

He set an example of humility, love and service. 

  • 1 Peter 2:21-23

We need to do as Jesus did. He reminds them that He is Lord and Master, and we are to follow His example to serve others in love. We should be moved by their selflessness. 

  • Psalms 8:3-4

When Deity Washes Feet

When deity washes feet, we need to recognize that no act is too menial, or any act that is too far beneath us. 

  • Galatians 5:13

We are called to serve one another. 

He Recognized the Importance of making sure that his disciples knew that He loved, served, and wanted to spend time with them. He gave them great service. 

Jesus knew the hour of his departure. Can you know the same thing? Can you know the time you have left to the people in your life know that you love them? Are you showing by your actions and words the love you have? 

Have you shown to God your great love for him? Have you shown your love for Christ?

  • John 14:15

How do we show him? We must believe that God is, and that Christ is His son. We must know and believe that He loves us. If we believe, are we going to continue to live in our sins? Or, are we going to turn from our sins, and turn to Christ knowing He died on the cross for our sins.

We must repent from our sins. We must state that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God. And, live a life showing that we believe that. And, we must be washed in  baptism to be cleansed from our sins. And, we must life a faithful life as a faithful child of God, Revelation 2:10. 


- Jack McNiel, Evangelist

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