The Weekly Perspective

by Burke Shade, Assistant Pastor

In John 13, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, and then encourages them to do the same to one another. What are we to make of that?

Foot washing does occur in other places in the scriptures. Abraham washes the feet of his three visitors in Genesis 18, Lot offers the same to the two angels, water is given for the feet of Abraham’s servant at Laban’s house, and Joseph gives water for foot washing in chapter 43. Jesus scolds Simon the Pharisee for not offering water in Luke 7, and a requirement for church-supported widows is that they have washed the feet of the saints, 1 Tim 5.

What’s the importance of washing feet when entering someone’s home? What is dirt/dust symbolic of ? The curse in Genesis 3. So as people come into your house, you are offering them purification from a cursed-setting to one of blessing through the door of your house. You are “escorting” them from one world to another, to a world clean of the curse, symbolically speaking.

So Jesus is escorting his disciples into his house where men enjoy cursed-free communion. In other words, he’s elevating them to his station. He is, in effect, anointing and purifying them into the same ministry he has been performing: bringing people into communion with the Father.

But Theologian Brian Moats has suggested another line of thinking as well: washing/purifying the feet of those who will soon crush Satan under their feet, (Romans 16:20) even as Jesus will soon do on the cross where he crushes the serpent’s head, Genesis 3:15 and Psalm 110:6. “The disciples’ feet are being purified for the same purpose as their Lord — to crush Satan under their feet, to take up their cross and follow Him.”

So during Lent, remember who you are: a descendant of the Apostles, who is in communion with THE head- crusher. And when you look at your own feet, reflect a little and ask yourself: how have I crushed Satan’s head today?