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The Lord Jesus instructed his disciples, "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet" (Jn 13:14). But why is it that during the sacrament of footwashing in your church, only the ministers wash the fe

The washing of feet, as instituted by the Lord Jesus, serves two functions, namely: 1) sacrament and 2) spiritual teaching.
1) As a sacrament, footwashing enables us to have part with the Lord. The disciples did not wash each other's feet during the sacrament. It was performed by the Lord Jesus for the disciples. That is why he did not say, "if you do not wash each other's feet, you have no part with me." Rather, he said, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with me."

Today, during the footwashing sacrament, rather than washing one another's feet, the church performs footwashing on the Lord's behalf so that the believers who receive the sacrament may have part with the Lord. The sacrament does not involve mutual washing. Instead, the task of performing the sacrament is given to "he who is sent" (i.e. those in the church who administer the sacrament on the Lord's behalf; "he who is sent" = apostles; see Jn 13:16).

2) As a spiritual teaching, footwashing shows believers that they should love one another (Jn 13:1), humbly serve one another (Jn 13:4-5,12-17), forgive one another (Jesus also washed the feet of Judas Iscariot), and keep their holiness (Jn 13:10). While the mutual washing of feet with water is still practiced in the church on occasion as a sign of love and forgiveness, what is most essential is that we follow the spiritual teachings behind this action.

Publisher: True Jesus Church