In John 13, Jesus took a towel and a basin and washed the feet of his disciples.
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14). After he had washed their feet, he asked them, “Do you know what I’ve just done for you?” In other words, “Do you understand the spiritual significance of foot washing?”
I believe when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, he was teaching a profound lesson on how to obtain unity of fellowship within the Body of Christ.
When Jesus approached Peter to wash his feet, the disciple drew back in astonishment. “Lord, you aren’t going to wash my feet!”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me” (John 13:8). Jesus was saying, in essence, “Peter, if I wash your feet, we have precious grounds for fellowship, a basis for true unity.” He wants his children to serve and submit to one another in the house of God.
What did Jesus do to you when he cleansed you? He wiped away all your guilt and you were made clean, whole. He put gratitude and joy in your soul. He filled you with such love for him that you would follow him anywhere and do anything for him. All you wanted was communion with him because of what he did for you.
Beloved, that is the secret of unity. When you take up the towel of mercy for a hurting, fallen brother, you encourage him by embracing him in his hurt — by submitting in godly fear, washing away his feelings of worthlessness, anguish and despair, and by loving and caring for him.
What have you done to that person by washing his feet, whether in a spiritual or physical sense? You have constructed a firm foundation for true unity and glorious fellowship. You are one by your common experience — that is, by being washed by the water of the Word.