Why Did Jesus Wash His Disciples Feet at Passover?

The act of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet during Passover has always been a captivating story in the Bible. It’s an act of humility and service that has touched the hearts of many people throughout generations.

But why did Jesus wash his disciples’ feet? Let’s delve into the significance of this event.

Historical Context

To understand why Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, we need to first look at the historical context. During the time of Jesus, washing one’s feet was a common practice before entering someone’s home.

This was because people in those days wore sandals and walked on dusty roads. Therefore, it was customary to wash one’s feet as a sign of respect for the host.

The Last Supper

The washing of the feet took place during the Last Supper, which was a Passover meal that Jesus shared with his disciples. It was a time when Jews celebrated their deliverance from slavery in Egypt and their journey to freedom. During this meal, Jesus knew that his hour had come, and he would soon be betrayed by one of his own.

The Act of Service

During the meal, Jesus got up from the table, took off his outer garment, tied a towel around his waist, poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet. This act of service shocked and surprised the disciples because it was usually done by servants or slaves.


But why did Jesus wash their feet? He explained that he had done this as an example for them to follow – “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:15).

The act of washing their feet symbolized cleansing them from sin and preparing them for their journey ahead. It also showed humility and service towards others – qualities that are essential for all Christians to follow.


Furthermore, Jesus washing his disciples’ feet was significant because it happened just before he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot. The act of washing their feet was a symbol of forgiveness and love towards Judas, even though Jesus knew that he would be betrayed by him.


In conclusion, the act of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet during Passover was a powerful demonstration of humility, service, and love. It served as an example for all Christians to follow and showed that true leadership involves serving others. Through this act, Jesus taught us the importance of forgiveness and love towards others – even those who may betray us.