I grew up in a church that practiced foot-washing, but I had never really thought about why we wash feet. So, I asked The Father, “Why do we wash each others feet?” Almost immediately scripture began coming to mind and of such as I had never put together before.
From Luke 3:3, we know that John came preaching a baptism of repentance, those responding to that call of repentance “immersed” or what today is called, baptism. In Hebrew the concept of immersion in a mikveh is a separating or departing oneself from the old, profane thing and/or way of life and coming up cleansed, new, holy, this can be done as often as is necessary. Repentance has this connotation; separating the profane from the holy as YHVH said, “consecrate yourselves and be holy as I am holy.” In John 13:5-15 is the story of Y’Shua washing His disciples feet. Peter didn’t want his feet washed by Y’Shua, but Y’Shua said to him, “If I don’t, you have no part with me.” And Peter responded, not my feet only then, but wash all of me. But Y’Shua said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean and you are clean, but not all of you.” In this exchange I believe Y’Shua was referring to their immersion of repentance; they had left off the profane for the holy. So the question begs to be asked, why the feet?
Genesis 13:14-17 YHVH is giving Abraham a view of his inheritance and in vs. 17 YHVH says to Abraham, “Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.” Deuteronomy 11:24 is a reaffirming of this promise to the children of Israel, “every place on which the sole of your foot shall tread shall be yours…” and again in Joshua 1:3 and Joshua 14:9, “…surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance to you and to your children forever…” So what does this have to do with foot-washing? Y’Shua said to his disciples, “What I do you do not realize now, but you shall understand hereafter.” In Matthew 28:18-20 Y’Shua tells His disciples to go therefore and make disciples of all the nations… immersing them – separate them unto holiness.
Y’Shua was giving an example of: go into all the land, take possessions in all nations, but do so in holiness. Bring salvation, goodness, kindness, mercy, compassion, healing, deliverance, restoration, redemption with holy, set apart feet. Wash away, separate yourself, do not walk in, domination, arrogance, pride of self, haughtiness, love of money, selfishness, every evil thing that besets, but bring the good news of My Kingdom to the nations with holy set-apart feet. Humble yourselves brethren and walk about the land, through the nations, making disciples in the mikveh of repentance and teaching them to observe all that I command you… 2Corinthians 5:10-21 talks about the new man in Messiah; vs 17, “Therefore if any man is in Messiah, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.”
I shared this revelation with about 20 ladies one Shabbat afternoon and we all decided to wash each others feet. We wanted to wash each others feet! And oh how the Ruach moved in our midst! Tears, hugs ,confessions; over and over the ladies washed each other’s feet; each lady was eager to wash every other ladies feet and then several would come together and wash someone’s feet, mine were washed three times and our feet were not washed with just water, but with soap, it was a loving, massage experience! A beautiful release settled upon the room and us, smiles erupted on faces; such joy as the ladies caught on to the significance of what they were experiencing. In a word, ”restoration.”
“How often should we do this,” they asked when we were sitting around the room, some on benches and some on the floor all of us basking in the warm glow of the Ruach. “How often should we do this?” I thought a moment thinking about how to answer that question, my childhood of once each quarter with the communion service, or during the Passover Feast, but that seemed wholly inadequate to what we had just experienced. Then I believe the Ruach spoke these words, “when you have taken offense or been offensive, go to that person offended or offensive and wash their feet. You are ambassadors of Messiah, bringing His good news to your family, your neighbors, your community, your nation, this world. Let them know we are His disciples by the love we have for one another.”