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John 13:1 Washing Feet

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Washing Feet

These verses describe Jesus’ was washing feet of the disciples. I have heard of churches washing feet of members of the congregation. It was a humbling experience.

John 13:1-16

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.

If you do not have a Bible, I invite you to go to or another online Bible.

1. Why was Jesus’ washing feet of his disciples?

“Jesus washed their feet because He knew that He would ‘depart out of this world.’”

He loved His own.

Satan was in the room.

(McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 451)

2. Satan had put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him

Jesus “knew that Judas would betray Him. Judas is mentioned eight times in John’s gospel, more than in any of the other Gospels.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 345)

3. Jesus knew He was going back to God.

Washing feet

4-5. What did the disciples think?

They watched Jesus rise from supper, laid aside his garments, wrap a towel around his waist and with a basin of water began to wash feet of the disciples.

“As a special mark of affection, a host or hostess might wash a guest’s feet, but it was not standard operating procedure in most homes.” (Wiersbe, 345)

Do you think the disciples were shocked?

“Through this action Jesus taught the lesson of selfless service that was exemplified supremely by His death on the Cross.” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1401)

6. Peter says something like “Lord! What are you doing? Washing my feet!”

7. Do you ever tell your children “Someday you’ll understand?”

Peter “failed to see beyond the humble service itself to the symbolism of spiritual cleansing involved. Jesus’ response made the real point of His actions clear: Unless the Lamb of God cleanses a person’s sin (i.e., as portrayed in the symbolism of washing), one can have no part with Him.” (MacArthur, 1401)

8. I’m not taking a bath!!!

Jesus responded: If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

The word translated ‘wash’ here means “to wash a part of the body.” (Wiersbe, 346)

“Why is it so important that we ‘keep our feet clean’? Because if we are defiled, we cannot have communion with our Lord.” (Wiersbe, 346)

Not Just my Feet

9. Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head

Peter wanted his whole body cleaned.

10. “When God ‘bathes us all over’ in salvation, He brings about our union with Christ, and that is a settled relationship that cannot change.” (Wiersbe, 346)

“Our communion with Christ depends on our keeping ourselves ‘unspotted from the world’ (James 1:27)” (Wiersbe, 346)

“If we permit unconfessed sin in our lives, we hinder our walk with the Lord, and that is when we need to have our feet washed.” (Wiersbe, 346)

“We can learn an important lesson from Peter: don’t question the Lord’s will or work, and don’t try to change it. He knows what He is doing.” (Wiersbe, 346)

But not all

John was careful to point out that Peter and Judas were in a different relationship with Jesus. Yes, Jesus washed Judas’s feet! But it did Judas no good because he had not been bathed all over.” (Wiersbe, 346)

“Some people teach that Judas was a saved man who sinned away his salvation, but that is not what Jesus said. Or Lord made it very clear that Judas had never been cleansed from his sins and was an unbeliever (John 6:64-71).” (Wiersbe, 346)

11. Jesus knew who would betray Him.

He washed his feet, anyway!

Why did Jesus Wash Feet?

12. Do you know what I have done to you?

“Before we can wash the feet of a brother, we need first to have the Lord of glory wash our feet. We should come to Him every time that we are dirty and be cleansed by Him.” (McGee, 453)

Jesus “had given them a lesson in humble service, an example for them to follow.” (Wiersbe, 347)

13. Ye call me Master and Lord

Ye say well; for so I am

But Jesus “served them! He gave them an example of true Christian ministry.” (Wiersbe, 347)

“By becoming a servant, our Lord did not push us down: He lifted us up!” (Wiersbe, 347)

14-15. “We need foot washing; we need to be cleansed. Before we can wash the feet of a brother, we need first to have the Lord of glory wash our feet. We should come to Him every time that we are dirty and be cleaned by Him.” (McGee, 453)

We need to be humble and love others.

16. “Similar statements are found elsewhere in Gospel settings (cf. 15:20; see also Matt 10:24-25; Luke 6:40), but the force of the statement here is to remind the followers of Jesus that there is no reason to become puffed up over their calling, accomplishment, or spirituality, a problem that plagued the Corinthians (1 Cor 4:6-7; 5:6; etc. ) and is not unknown in Christian communities today.” (Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25B, John 12-21. [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002], 87)

Share the Gospel

17. “It is not enough just to know this truth; we must put it into practice.” (Wiersbe, 347)

“Be sure to keep these lessons in their proper sequence: humbleness, holiness, happiness. Submit to the Father, keep your life clean and serve others. This is God’s formula for true spiritual joy” (Wiersbe, 347)

18. “It is important to note that Judas was not a true believer; he was a hypocrite. He had never believed in Jesus (John 6:64-71), he had not been bathed all over (John 13:10-11), and he had not been among the chosen ones who the Father gave to the Son (John 13:18; 17:12).” (Wiersbe, 347)

He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Psalm 41:9

19. I am telling you this before it happens so you will believe in me.

Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

“John wanted his readers to understand that the death of Jesus was no accident and that the sacrifice of the Lamb of God was God’s means for dealing with the sin of the world (1:29.)” (Borchert, 88)

20. “Jesus adds this because Judas had been sent on missions with the rest of the disciples. He had preached and he had healed.” (McGee, 454)

“No one is saved by the faith of the messenger or preacher. We are saved by hearing the Word of God and receiving Christ.” (McGee, 454)

“Judas had gone out preaching and had won converts, not because he was Judas, but because he had given the message. God will bless his Word. We are saved by hearing the Word.” (McGee, 454)

I have heard it said, “Tell others the Gospel and leave the results to God.


Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25B, John 12-21. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004

Believe                                                                                                            Betray Jesus

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