The footwashing that the Lord Jesus instituted is more than a mere custom. According to tradtion, slaves washed the feet of the master, never the reverse. The Lord, however, washed the feet of His disciples even though He was their master. Peter, not realizing the significance of this footwashing, objected to being washed by the Lord (Jn 13:6,8).
Footwashing is directly related to salvation for the following reasons:
- Jesus told Peter, â€œIf I do not wash you, you have no part with Meâ€ (Jn 13:8). To receive footwashing is to have a part with the Lord. As such, footwashing cannot be simply a custom.
- Jesus also said, â€œHe who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely cleanâ€ (Jn 13:10). A person who is baptized also needs to receive footwashing.
Though formerly a custom, footwashing became a sacrament that carried great spiritual power and effect after the Lord Jesus had performed it and explained its meaning and efficacy, and had commanded His disciples to do likewise.