Why Did Jesus Only Wash the Disciples Feet?

One of the most memorable moments in the Bible is when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. This act of humility shocked his disciples, as it was considered a task for servants or slaves.

However, why did Jesus only wash the feet of his disciples? Let’s explore this topic further.

What Happened During the Foot Washing?

Before we delve into why Jesus only washed the feet of his disciples, let’s examine what exactly happened during this event. During the Last Supper, Jesus began to wash his disciples’ feet.

As he went around washing their feet, he came to Peter, who objected to Jesus washing his feet. However, Jesus explained that if Peter did not allow him to wash his feet, he could have no part in him.

After washing all of their feet, Jesus explained that he had set an example for them to follow. He had humbled himself and performed a task that was beneath him so that they might understand how they should serve one another.

The Significance of Foot Washing

To understand why Jesus only washed the feet of his disciples, we need to understand the significance of foot washing during biblical times. In ancient Israel, people wore sandals and walked on dirt roads.

As such, their feet would become incredibly dirty and covered in dust and grime. Upon entering someone’s home for a meal or gathering, it was customary for a servant or slave to wash the guest’s feet as a sign of hospitality and respect.

By washing his disciple’s feet, Jesus was demonstrating humility and serving them in a way that was typically reserved for servants or slaves. He was showing them that true leadership involves serving others selflessly.

Why Did Jesus Only Wash His Disciple’s Feet?

Now we come to our main question: why did Jesus only wash his disciple’s feet? Firstly, it is important to note that foot washing was not a common occurrence during Jesus’ time.

It was only done on special occasions or when someone of great importance visited. Therefore, it is unlikely that Jesus would have washed the feet of anyone outside of his inner circle.

Additionally, Jesus’ act of foot washing was symbolic. He was not just performing a simple task; he was demonstrating a deeper spiritual truth. By washing his disciple’s feet, he was illustrating the importance of serving others and being humble, even if it meant performing menial tasks.

Finally, we can surmise that Jesus only washed his disciple’s feet because they were the ones who needed to learn this lesson the most. They had been arguing amongst themselves about who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven and had not yet fully understood what it meant to be a servant-leader. By washing their feet, Jesus was showing them how they should serve one another and lead with humility.


In conclusion, we can see that Jesus’ act of foot washing was more than just a simple gesture. It was a symbol of humility and servant leadership that demonstrated an important lesson for all Christians to follow. While we may never know exactly why Jesus only washed his disciple’s feet, we can be sure that there is a deeper spiritual significance behind this act that we should all strive to understand and emulate in our daily lives.