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Phone: (888) 602-3456
After stooping in great humility and love to wash the disciples’ feet, the Lord put this question to their hearts: “Know ye what I have done to you?” This was a work in which only the lowest servants were employed during that age. For Christ to stoop and perform such a drudging work as this, should inspire our worship, praise and adoration. But this was nothing compared to the lowliest of work He would soon perform at Calvary. O what filth of sin He would soon be hard at work in His own blood, sweat and tears to wash it away! Do we know what Christ has done to us? Do we know what it took for the blessed Son of God to cleanse us from our sins?
A Picture of Salvation’s Work
The humility and love our Savior demonstrated in this washing is a beautiful picture of God’s saving grace for His own. “Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (v 1). In love, the Son of God set aside His robes of infinite majesty to be robed in human flesh. He took on Him the form of a servant and humbled Himself to serve God and His people as Jehovah’s faithful Servant. Through His faithful obedience unto death, He filled the basin of grace with His own precious blood for our souls’ cleansing. And by His knowledge of His own, He stooped in mercy to wash each one of God’s elect with great solemnity and lowliness. By one offering He has perfected forever God’s elect.
A Picture of Regeneration
This washing of feet is also a picture of the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-7). Christ told Peter, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me” (v 8). Only those that are spiritually washed by Christ, have a part with Him. “Ye must be born again” (Jn 3:7). All those who Christ owns and saves He justifies and sanctifies, and both are included in His washing of them by His Spirit. God’s people are “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:” (1 Pt 1:2). The Spirit of God sprinkles the hearts of His own elect with the blood of Christ in regeneration, causing us to submit to the righteousness of Christ by faith. Christ must be revealed in a man’s heart by faith. We cannot partake of His glory, if we do not partake of His righteousness through the washing of regeneration by His Spirit in the new birth. We must believe on Christ! We must come to Him by faith for cleansing.
The Washing of the Word
This washing is also a picture of the perpetual cleansing Christ performs to His own by the word of God and by His Spirit. Again, the Lord told Peter, “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit” (v 10). In those days, people went to bath houses to wash their bodies. But as they returned home, walking on the dusty road, their feet would get dirty and need to be rinsed off. The teaching is clear. The believer is clean every whit by God’s grace, being washed, sanctified, and justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:11). But as a believer walks by faith in his sojourn through this filthy, corrupt world, he needs daily cleansing from sin through the renewing of his mind, by the washing of the word. He needs a renewed repentance and believing application of the merit of Christ’s blood. This is for his own comfort and well-being, for his continual partaking of Christ’s righteousness, and for a continued fellowship with God.
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 Jn 1:6-7).
The blood of Christ has perpetual efficacy to cleanse us as we walk through this dark valley. And the fact that our Savior demonstrated such humility and love in stooping down to wash the disciples’ feet, shows us that there’s no depth of depravity and filth that our precious Savior will not stoop down from Heaven to cleanse us from. He is meek and lowly in heart! What filth of sin will He not cleanse? What failure or fall into the mire will He not lift us from? He is able and willing to save to the uttermost! There is no depth from which Christ cannot deliver us by His condescending love for His own. He stooped down into the lowest hell to redeem us! He still stoops in loving mercy to deliver His own from all the temptations of Satan.
An Example to Follow
Finally, our Savior stooped in humility and love to wash the disciples’ feet as our example. He said, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet” (vv 13-14). We should treat one another with the same humility and love, edifying our brethren in Christ.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you” (Eph 4:29-32).
Do we know what Christ our God has done to us? He has freely forgiven us of all our sins. We should do likewise and forgive one another.