555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

427. Why Was Not Foot-washing Kept Up as Well as the Lord's Supper?

Foot-washing in the early centuries and in Oriental lands stood for kindly service and for comfort and hospitality. A guest would wash the dust from his visitor's feet, after removing his sandals, just as we take a friend's coat and hat and hang them up for him. Of course, the specific acts change with changing customs and even with climatic conditions, but the spirit is the same. We want to show our friends that we are willing to serve them. Christ emphasized this by his performing this service (a universal one in the East) for the disciples, though he was recognized as their Teacher, Master and Leader. It was a concrete sign of his whole message that his followers must be humble, and quick to serve others. He did not limit this spirit and motive to one act of life, but insisted that it become the principle of action for our whole lives. The courtesies and kindnesses that hosts show to guests Christians must show to one another at all times and in all ways, and to all whom they meet.