Who is the
1. AT the last
Passover, what did Christ say to His disciples?
"And he said unto them,
With desire have I desired to eat
this Passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I will not
any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Luke
2. Concerning what had there been a strife among the disciples?
"And there was also a strife among them, which of them
should be accounted the greatest." Verse 24.
3. How did Christ rebuke this spirit?
"And He said unto them, The kings
of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise
authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but
he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is
chief, as he that doth serve." Verses 25,26. See Mark 10:42-45.
4. What did the Saviour say of His own position?
"For whether is
greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that
sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth." Verse 27.
5. Notwithstanding that He was their Lord and Master,
what example of humility and willing service did Christ give?
"He riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments. and took a towel,
and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin, and began
to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith
He was girded." John 13:4,5.
6. What was the custom anciently respecting feet-washing?
"Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet." "And
he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's
house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet." "And the man brought
the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their
feet." Gen. 18:4; 19:2; 43:24. See also Judges 19:21; 2 Sam. 11:8.
7. How did Christ reprove Simon for misjudging Him in permitting a woman
who was a sinner to wash His feet?
"And He turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this
woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest Me no water for My feet:
but she hath washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of
her head." Luke 7:44.
NOTES.-From the scriptures just cited, it appears that the usual
custom in Christ's time was for the guests to wash their own feet.
sandals were ineffectual against the dust and heat of an Eastern
climate, washing the feet on entering a house was an act both of
respect to the company and of refreshment to the traveler:"- Complete
Dictionary of the Bible, by Smith and Barnum, article "Washing the Hands
At a feast it was an Oriental custom for servants or slaves to wash the
feet of guests. See 1 Sam. 25:40,41. It was not the custom, however,
of equals to wash the feet of equals, much less for superiors to wash
the feet of inferiors. But this is the very thing that Christ did when
He washed the disciples' feet, and instituted the ordinance of
feet-washing. In this lies the lesson of humility and willingness to
serve which He designed to teach.
8. What question did Peter ask concerning this proffered service?
"Then cometh He to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto
Him, Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?" John 13:6.
9. What answer did Jesus make?
"Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest
not now; but
thou shalt know hereafter." Verse 7.
10. How did Peter feel about the Saviour's washing his feet?
"Peter saith unto Him, Thou shalt never wash my feet." Verse 8.
11. What was the Master's reply to Peter?
"Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me."
ordinance is a type of a higher cleansing,-
the cleansing of the heart from the stain of sin. It is a rebuke to all
selfishness and seeking of place and preferment among Christ's professed
followers, and a witness to the fact that, in God's sight, it is true
humility and loving service which constitute real greatness.
12. Learning that union with Christ depended on this service, what did
"Simon Peter saith unto Him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands
and my head." Verse 9. See verse 10.
13. After having washed their feet, what did Christ say?
given you an example, that ye should do as I have
done to you." Verse 15.
14. What did He say about their washing one another's feet?
"Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then,
your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one
another's feet." Verses 13,14.
15. What did
Christ say would be their experience in obeying His
"If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." Verse 17.
16. How does Christ regard an act performed toward the humblest of His
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren,
ye have done it unto Me." Matt. 25:40.
NOTE.-The great lesson intended to be taught by the instituting of
this ordinance evidently was such humility as would lead to willing
service for others. The ordinance itself has been practiced by many of
the most devout followers of Christ during the Christian era, and is
still observed by some. Kitto, in his Cyclopedia of Biblical
Literature, says it became "a part of the observances of the early
Christian church," and that "traces of the practice abound in
ecclesiastical history." The Waldenses held it as an ordinance of the
church (see their "Confession of Faith," page 12); and according to the
Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature (Vol. III, page 616), "the Church of
England at first carried out the letter of the command." It is a great
test of character, and its observance tends to unite hearts in Christian
fellowship and love.
I WILL never, never leave thee,
I will never thee forsake;
I will guide, and save, and keep thee,
For My name and mercy's sake:
Fear no evil,
Only all My counsel take.
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