John 13:1-11

Talks for Growing Christians

The Beginning of the Upper Room Events: Footwashing

John 13:1-11

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Lesson Number 61

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The foot washing event pictures our cleansing from sin.
  2. The foot washing event pictures the path of Christ.

Practical Application

  1. Would you wash the feet of Judas?


  1. In which chapters does John record the upper room discourses?
  2. In which of the gospels is the Lord’s Supper recorded? In which of the gospels is foot washing recorded?
  3. Why was foot washing done?
  4. What is the difference between the two words, “wash,” used in John 13:10?
  5. What does foot washing picture spiritually? Why is there reference to two washings?
  6. How does foot washing picture the path of Christ?


  1. John 13-17
  2. The Lord’s supper is in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The foot washing is recorded only by John.
  3. People wore sandals and the roads were dusty, so it was common courtesy for a host to make his guests more comfortable by washing their feet.
  4. The first word is best translated “bathe,” and refers to washing the whole body; the second word refers to washing only part of the body, like the feet.
  5. Foot washing pictures cleansing from sin. Believers need the bath of salvation (Titus 3:5) and the daily cleansing from defiling sin (1 John 1:9). See also Psalm 139:23-24.
  6. There is a vivid portrayal of the self-humiliation of Christ as He left heaven’s glory to go to His death on the cross for us, and finally through His glorification return to His place with the Father.


  1. When were you washed (saved)? When do you wash your daily defiling sins? How close is your communion and fellowship with the Lord Jesus?
  2. Have you ever been betrayed by a fellow believer? What was your response and attitude toward him? Would you wash the feet of this “Judas?” In other words, how great is your love for the brethren?


  1. Read Philippians 2:5-8. Do you have the attitude of Christ?

Key Verses

  • “Jesus rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:4-5
  • “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” John 13:8
  • “Jesus said, ‘You are not all clean.’” John 13:11

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