Updated: Jul 11
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
John 13:3-8 ESV
I read these verses over and over for days. I would read and ask the Holy Spirit for understanding. I would read again, wait and listen. My heart longed to get “inside” this passage.
The Greek word for wash is Nipto, which means to cleanse; ceremony to perform ablution: —wash. To wash a part of the body.
After reading the definition, the phrase “perform ablution” caught my attention, so I looked up the meaning. The word ABLUTION means the act of washing ONESELF.
My heart began to beat faster, and I went back to read verse 8 “if I do not wash you, you have no share with me”.
Then I reread verse 7:
“Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
John 13:7 ESV
The moment I finished reading the words, “afterward you will understand”,
I heard in my spirit, “You are MY body”. When He washed them, He washed, claiming them as His own body. My mind could hardly absorb this unity. Jesus knew the Father had given all things into His hands.... and He washed “HIS feet”. We are in Him and He is in us. We are the body of Christ.
Before this encounter, I had thought of this foot-washing ceremony as a commission to humble service. I also believed it to be a foreshadowing of the Cross. These are both true. Yet now, I have a deeper connection to my brothers and sisters in Christ As you read on in John 13, Jesus also tells them to wash one another’s feet. We claim one another as Christ claimed us. We are “His body” …. each one connected to the other in this deep love of Christ. It is supernatural. This oneness is settled in Heaven:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 2:4-7 ESV