What Does John 13:14 Mean?

"If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.

John 13:14(NASB)

Verse of the Day

The hour had come that Christ was to leave the disciples He loved so dearly and for whom He had devoted His life. The hour had come that He was to purchase them with His own blood. 

The Lord Jesus had laid aside His eternal glory and set apart His life for this hour, and in humility and grace, He took a basin of water and washed His disciples' feet. This was a physical scene that was to illustrate a spiritual truth that would become the guiding principle of every member of His Body. If Christ washed our feet, we ought also to wash one another's feet in love, in truth, in humility, and in grace.

This was not an instruction for a religious observance to be carried out once a year at a denominational ceremony. It was the most graphic illustration of humility, a lesson in meekness and grace, a willingness to take up the meanest office and give preference to others before ourselves. It was a life-principle that was to become the code of conduct of all spiritual Christians. All believers that would grow in grace by dying to self and living to Christ and those who would imitate the conduct of Christ, would have the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit become manifest within their life. 

Peter, however, balked at the idea of his Saviour washing his feet, but after Jesus told him, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me," Peter urged Jesus to wash his whole body. Jesus then gives a beautiful picture of our justification (initial salvation) and sanctification (ongoing walk with the Lord): "Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean."

Justification happens once in a believers life. They do not need to wash their whole body again. However, their sanctification walk is filled with mistakes, setbacks, and mis-steps, and the ongoing washing of ones's feet signifies the ongoing process of returning back into fellowship with the Lord. Paul tells us that all who would become His Body in the coming Church age, would be continually cleansed (sanctified) with the washing of water with the Word.

When Jesus had finished washing His disciples' feet, He left them with some wonderful words of encouragement: "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet." And this is as relevant today for us as it was for Jesus' disciples. 

Let us heed Jesus' words, walk in His ways, cleanse ourselves and others by the washing of water with the Word, and as we bless others, we will also receive wonderful blessings, to the glory of God. As Jesus told His disciples, so He tells us: "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."

My Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, what a beautiful example the Lord Jesus Christ gave of how I should live my life. May I decrease in all I say and do so that the new-life in Christ may increase in me. May my life be one that is lived out in love and truth, and in humility and grace, so that Christ may be seen in me as I die to self and live to Him. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.

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