New Testament

Gospels and Acts of the Apostles

Why did Jesus wash the apostles’ feet?

In ancient times, roads were dusty or muddy, depending on the weather. Hosts provided their guests with someone, usually a servant, to wash their feet after their travels. Foot washing was part of daily life. Jesus washed the apostles’ feet to set an example for them. Jesus said, “You also should wash one another’s feet.” (NIV, John 13:14)

Jesus added, “I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” (NIV, John 13:16) By washing the apostles’ feet, Jesus emphasized the fact that he was taking upon himself the position of a servant. Jesus’ role as a servant culminated in his death on the cross.


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