You Also Wash One Another’s Feet

Jesus spends his last few days with his disciples in Jerusalem and evenings in Bethany. Martha prepares a dinner for them and Lazarus joins, then Mary brings a flask of perfumed oil and pours it on Jesus, anointing him for burial. At the time of Passover, Jesus eats the meal in Jerusalem with his disciples and stops to wash their feet. He then tells them to wash one another’s feet, a symbolic gesture so they would help each other in the days ahead.

Jesus is Anointed at Bethany

Mark 14:1-11
Matthew 26:1-16
Luke 22:1-6
John 12:1-11

The Poor You Always Have With You

Mark 14:1–11
This comment was not a slight on the poor by Jesus. Instead, he was recognizing that his time was near and in Mark 14:8 “she has anointed my body beforehand for burial”. This was a kind and good act. 

The Son of Man Will be Handed Over to be Crucified

Matthew 26:1–16
Jesus had been teaching in the temple courts during the day and it seems spending nights at Bethany. He tells his disciples it is time for him to be crucified. The chief priests and the elders are plotting to find a way to kill him, but Jesus has already seen how it will happen. And on this evening, in Matthew 26:6 “Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper”.

And Satan entered into Judas

Luke 22:1–6
Then it says in Luke 22:3-6 “who was of the number of the twelve … began looking for a favorable opportunity to betray him”. 

Jesus came to Bethany

John 12:1–11
This was the hometown of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary who Jesus knew well. And Lazarus in John 12:1 “whom Jesus had raised from the dead”. John 12:2 says “they made him a dinner there, and Martha was serving” which is what we expect from Martha who is given to hospitality. Martha expresses her love through her acts of service. Then it goes on to say, “Lazarus was one of the ones reclining at table with him”. So, Lazarus is expressing his love through quality time. Lazarus simply wanted to be with Jesus. And now Mary comes in with “a pound of ointment of very valuable genuine nard and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair”. Mary expresses her love by first giving a gift, and then physical touch.

The Passover

Mark 14:12-17
Matthew 26:17-20
Luke 22:7-14

On the First Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread

Mark 14:12–17
The disciples ask Jesus where they will eat the Passover meal and he describes in detail what he has seen. In Mark 14:13-15 there is “a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him” This man isn’t the one they want. They want the master of the house the man with the water jar takes them to. Now they say to the master of the house, “The Teacher says, ‘Where is my guest room” and they find exactly what they need.

And They Prepared the Passover

Matthew 26:17–20
It is hard to imagine every man going to Jerusalem three times a year for the feasts, but this was one of those times. “According to Deut 16:5–8, Passover could be celebrated only within the walls of Jerusalem. This produced a great influx of pilgrims into Jerusalem each spring, causing the population to swell to many times its normal size”.1

“The Israelites who came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover were received by the inhabitants as brothers, and apartments were gratuitously furnished them where they might eat the feast. In return the guests gave their hosts the skins of the paschal lambs and the vessels they had used in the ceremonies”.2

Just As He Had Told Them

Luke 22:7–14

He Began to Wash the Feet of the Disciples

John 13:1–11
Jesus knew that he was, in John 13:3 “going away to God”. So, he performs one last act, he begins to wash the feet of his disciples. This is to remind them that they are living in the world and must keep themselves clean. Their heads may be in heaven and their hearts sealed by the Holy Spirit, but every day they walk on the earth. Every day they must keep themselves clean from the world. 

You Also Ought to Wash One Another’s Feet

John 13:12–20
After washing their feet as an example to them, Jesus teaches them in

John 13:14 (LEB) If then I—your Lord and Teacher—wash your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

Cain, who killed his brother, replied to God in Genesis 4:9 “am I my brother’s keeper?”. But Jesus is looking for a different response from his disciples. He wants them to help each other, to love each other, to encourage each other, to strengthen each other. Then he finishes his message to them by saying now they should do as he has told them.

John 13:17 (LEB) If you understand these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • Matthew 26:1-20
  • Mark 14:1-17
  • Luke 22:1-14
  • John 12:1-11
  • John 13:1-20

The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – The Gospels

This series follows the order of readings from the Tyndale One Year Chronological Bible. Covering these events chronologically as they happened, gives a much different context and helps us understand the move of God as He is introducing the Saviour, the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. This series begins with Return To Me And I Will Return To You at the end of Malachi and introduces the “Witnesses” writing the Gospels.

Operation Exodus

is helping Jewish people return to their homeland. You might fund one that desires to go home.


  • 1. Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 419). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
  • 2. Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (p. 474). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers.