What Was So Important About Jesus Washing the Disciples Feet?

When we think of Jesus, we often think of his miracles, his teachings and his death on the cross. However, one of the most significant moments in Jesus’ life was when he washed the feet of his disciples. This act was not just a humble gesture but held great importance and symbolism.

The Context

This event took place during the Last Supper, where Jesus gathered with his disciples to have dinner and to celebrate Passover. During the meal, Jesus got up from the table and began to wash his disciples’ feet.

The Symbolism

In those times, washing feet was a task reserved for servants or slaves. It was considered a lowly job as people’s feet were dirty from walking on dusty roads in sandals. By washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus demonstrated humility and servitude, reminding them that they should serve others as well.

Peter’s Reaction

At first, Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet because he didn’t want to accept such a humbling act from his Master. However, Jesus explained that if he didn’t allow him to wash his feet, then he would have no part in him. Peter then allowed Jesus to wash his feet along with all the other disciples.

The Lesson

Jesus used this moment to teach an important lesson about leadership and service. He said in John 13:14-15 “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 also do just as I have done for you.”

Jesus wanted his disciples (and us) to understand that being a leader does not mean being served but serving others. He wanted them (and us) to be humble like him and be willing to do even lowly tasks for others.


In conclusion, Jesus washing his disciples’ feet was not just a kind gesture but held great symbolism and significance. It was a reminder to his disciples (and us) to be humble, serve others, and to follow his example of leadership. As we strive to be more like Jesus, may we also embody the spirit of servitude and humility in our daily lives.