What does it mean to wash the feet of others? How often do you wash the feet of brethren? Jesus gave an example to follow if we want blessings. And in this post, I share an understanding of what that example of Christ means.

So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them – John 13:12-15, 17 (NKJV).

Many believing Christians don’t wash the feet of others as Christ had commanded. And those who do, struggle with who to wash and who not to wash. This has robbed many believers of God’s blessings. Therefore, it’s important that you understand “washing of others feet” and to do as Jesus had instructed.

What is ‘washing the disciples’ feet?’

This means to some Christians humility and to some others literal washing of feet to receive blessings from God. However, washing disciples’ feet also means serving brethren without reservations. Surely, people serve others, but with conditions and restrains. But, Jesus Christ, our Lord, served all the disciples and did the same things to them. And He showed no reservations for any of them. This is what God expects of all His children.

What is expected of a servant?

A servant is to serve without complaining or murmuring. Also, he should wait on the other person, giving any assistance as required of him. Furthermore, he is to put the other person ahead of himself or herself at all times; that is, the other person comes first at all times. Interestingly, I believe, this is how God wants us to serve one another. This may involve something as small as wiping water poured and left by another. And it may involve you putting aside your urgent assignments to help someone who is in the dying minutes of something.

Why The Feet?

Jesus said that whoever baths only needs to wash his feet and that the disciples were clean, though not all of them. This means when you’re saved, you are clean, and you only need to wash away any committed sin.

Now, the feet take you to places where you say or do the wrong things. So, the feet are evidence of your wrongdoings. However, when they’re washed there will be no more trace of the sin. So when you wash the feet of others, you wash off the traces of their sin.

How can you effectively do this?

It takes the love of God to wash the disciples’ feet. This we can see by the example of Jesus. For in John 13:1-5, the scriptures said that Jesus having loved His own to the end rose up and started washing the feet of the disciples. Also, the scripture says that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). So, when you love others deeply you will wash their feet and cover their sins. This doesn’t mean you encourage them to continue in sin. Rather, you uphold such a person with words of correction or admonition based on God’s words and in love, and also in prayer. Furthermore, you will not expose him or her to further problems because of the wrong done.

In addition, you need humility to effectively wash brethren’s feet. This is because some actions of love require that you are humble before you can carry them out. Therefore, allow the mind of Christ in you to come alive at all times towards others.


As much as many Christians may not deserve to be served, Christ requires that you wash their feet as He did. However, know that the strength to achieve this is with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, go to Him in prayer today and He will help you to always wash the feet of others as Jesus did. Now, should others include your family? The answer is yes because charity begins at home.

Jesus is Lord!

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Ngozi Nwoke

Grace and peace of God be unto you.

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