If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. - Your thoughts


#1

As I was reading the Bible, this verse caught my attention:
Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. (John 13:8).
I feel that there is an important message here, but as it happens my mind is not working, and I can’t figure out what it’s trying to tell me. These are the thoughts that came to my mind:

“Jesus answered him, if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me; he does not say, if I wash not thy feet, but thee, meaning not with water, but with his blood.”
Maybe. But I think it talks about accepting being ministered to. We want to save ourselves, and not to be saved. We want to be self-sufficient. To let another serve us is to accept our fragility. Also, to accept too great a gift can be humiliating. It’s humiliating when others humiliate themselves before us. Because somehow, at the back of our minds, we always know that it makes them superior… When others serve you, that’s when you realize to what an extent you don’t deserve to be served.
Maybe. It’s that without accepting the act of love on the part of Christ no salvation can be possible. It’s not about what we give, it’s about what we accept to receive. Also, in order to help others, we must be helped first. The true giver is the one who recognizes that what he gives is not his, but had been given to him. To let Christ wash your feet is to learn a lesson of love from him. He whose feet have been washed is the one who is now ready to wash the feet of others…

I feel this is too shallow though, and only grazes the surface of the meaning. Please, give your thoughts on this! What does this verse make you think about?


#2

What about confession: If Jesus we do not humble ourselves to be washed in confession of our sinfulness, then we have no part with Jesus


#3

I understand John 13 to be the verse where Jesus transforms the disciples to be priests of the new covenant. This relates back to Leviticus 16, which concerns the priestly Day of Atonement ritual:

Then Aaron shall come into the tent of meeting, and shall put off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there; and he shall bathe his body in water in a holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, and make atonement for himself and for the people. (Lev. 16:23-24)

Observe the pattern: The high priest undresses, bathes, dresses, and offers sacrifice. It’s the same pattern found in John 13: Jesus undresses, washes the disciples’ feet, dresses, and will soon offer himself in sacrifice. Whereas in Leviticus the high priest washes all of himself, in John, Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. Jesus is sharing his high priesthood with the disciples; he must wash them—that is, ordain them as priests—lest they have “no part” in his own priesthood.

This insight is taken from an article by Fr. Jerome Neyrey, SJ, longtime professor of New Testament at Notre Dame

Matthew 19:26


#4

I’ve been wondering if it has something to do with confession also. Peter goes on to say…

9 Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” 10 Jesus *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.” 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So, is Jesus refering to baptism and trusting Jesus as Savior when he says you"ve already been bathed, so now you just need to be cleasned by confession. Then Jesus refers to Judas as not being clean, maybe because he had not accepted Jesus as Savior, and would not confess his sins.

I definitely think it has a much deeper meaning than just telling us to serve others, although that is also an application of it.


#5

What I thought about was authority. Those who have authority not only tell us what we should and should not do–they do this in the context of caring for us, which is the true nature of their task. Washing our feet is caring for us; if we will not let Christ care for us, we are in a way rejecting His authority over us.

(But maybe I think this way because I would think of this passage when I dried my toddlers’ feet after their bath!)


#6

My thoughts exactly!:thumbsup:


#7

It’s kind of like the oxygen warning in jet travel: Put the mask on your head first before helping your children. Else you’d black out and be unable to help them.

A number of us postmoderns have tried to reduce the Gospel to a lesson about helping neighbors. But no matter how much good we try to do, we can obtain life everlasting only from Him.

ICXC NIKA.


#8

I think the literal sense of the passage, as indicated in John 13:12-15, is that Christians, especially ordained church leaders, are called to “wash each other’s feet,” i.e., to humbly serve others. I think one of the spiritual senses is that Christian baptism (by water, martyrdom or desire), by which the merits of Jesus’ death on the cross are applied to the individual, is necessary for salvation.


#9

I share your thoughts. There does seem to be something profound here but I am unsure if I have interpreted correctly.

I think I lean mainly to your explanation that we cannot be saved without God and it is up to us to be humble enough to open ourselves up to encounter and receive His help.

My :twocents: worth.


#10

I agree that it was primarily an ordination. We also read in Numbers 18:20, The Lord said to Aaron, “You will not have an inheritance in their land, nor are you to have any portion among the people. I am your portion and your inheritance among the Israelites.”

So, when Jesus says to Peter, “You will have no portion of me.”, Peter immediately understands and says “Wash all of me”.

The calling of servitude is inherent in the priesthood. I think, also, seeing it in John’s gospel gives it more of a sacramental leaning.


#11

I have also liked the ordination interpretation. But it seems important to merge the ordination interpretation of the foot washing with the teaching that immediately follows in verses 12-16. 13:12-16 When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 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 also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. Their ordination is to a priesthood of service or servanthood, especially in relation to their fellow priests. (Contrary to their previous concern to be considered the “greatest” in their group. cf Luke 22:24-26)


#12

=Nemorivaga;13418432]As I was reading the Bible, this verse caught my attention:
Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. (John 13:8).
I feel that there is an important message here, but as it happens my mind is not working, and I can’t figure out what it’s trying to tell me. These are the thoughts that came to my mind:

“Jesus answered him, if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me; he does not say, if I wash not thy feet, but thee, meaning not with water, but with his blood.”
Maybe. But I think it talks about accepting being ministered to. We want to save ourselves, and not to be saved. We want to be self-sufficient. To let another serve us is to accept our fragility. Also, to accept too great a gift can be humiliating. It’s humiliating when others humiliate themselves before us. Because somehow, at the back of our minds, we always know that it makes them superior… When others serve you, that’s when you realize to what an extent you don’t deserve to be served.
Maybe. It’s that without accepting the act of love on the part of Christ no salvation can be possible. It’s not about what we give, it’s about what we accept to receive. Also, in order to help others, we must be helped first. The true giver is the one who recognizes that what he gives is not his, but had been given to him. To let Christ wash your feet is to learn a lesson of love from him. He whose feet have been washed is the one who is now ready to wash the feet of others…

I feel this is too shallow though, and only grazes the surface of the meaning. Please, give your thoughts on this! What does this verse make you think about?

Firstly allow me to extend to you a warm welcome to CAF!:slight_smile:

Personally, I like your take on this.

More commonly though in its significance is the comparison to Jesus Baptizing them.

Haydock’s Commentary relates it to being an act of submission: a 'Thy will; NOT my will be done"

God Bless you,

Patrick


closed #13

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