First Baptist Church of Herndon

681 Elden St., Herndon, VA 20170-4722, Phone 703-437-3620

Thursday of Holy Week 2021 Foot Washing

Sean Roberds | Mar 25, 2021


John 13:1-17;31-35

Foot Washing


One option for today is to read this passage over dinner and discuss with your family or call a friend and discuss the passage over the phone as you eat together. 


Action step: Buy bread from Great Harvest.  Maybe buy a loaf for a friend.

 John 13:1-17; 31- 35

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

13 Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4 got up from the table,[a] took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet,[b] but is entirely clean. And you[c] are clean, though not all of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants[d] are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.


The New Commandment

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him,[a] God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”



I am sure the disciples never forgot the feeling of Jesus washing their feet.  Their teacher, the one they followed, the Messiah washing their feet. Can you imagine what it felt like?  Jesus pouring warm water over your feet. The Messiah’s soft gentle hands washing the dust away. The Savior of the world drying every drop with a clean towel. I bet their feet never felt so clean. Jesus knew this would be the last night with his disciples and instead of being served, demanding rest or comfort before his trial, Jesus takes the role of  a servant humbly washing his followers' feet.   

Washing his disciples feet was a sign of love.  Tonight is Maundy Thursday. Maundy means new commandment.  After the washing of the feet Jesus gave the disciples a new commandment. Verse 34  “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”   Jesus is saying don’t seek to be served but seek to serve, wash people’s feet!

Points to Ponder

Take a moment and imagine you are a disciple and Jesus is washing your feet. 

What would you feel?  Would you hesitate? When have you hesitated to receive a gift from God?


Servants washed people’s feet in Jesus' day. We don’t really do that any more, so what would be similar to foot washing today?  


What feet do you need to wash (humble service) today?