Jesus used foot washing as “an example, so that you will do what I have done to you.” The reality is brokenness, serving, humility, no favoritism, “a servant is not greater than his master,” and “no one who is sent is superior to the one who sent him,” is the idea in foot washing. The Beauty is serving; the Presentation is washing. The “robes of protection” must be dropped to wash others. The key is to wash all the feet knowing full well that some are Judas’ feet and some are Peter’s feet. Some will betray us and some will be apostles of the good news of the Kingdom.
Many times presentation is as symbolic as washing feet. The parables and examples of Jesus in the Prodigal Son, the Samaritan by the Road, the Sower, the Mustard Seed, Hidden Treasure, Laborers in the Vineyard, the Fig Tree, etc. are examples and presentations that take on great and serious reality.
There is not one single suggestion in scripture or theory that foot washing, which is a literal action, ever ceased as an “example, so we can do to others what has been done to us.” With humility, brokenness, and serving, we are to wash each other’s feet. But anyone who has ever participated in this act knows it is more humbling to have your feet washed than to wash someone else’s. Receiving is always more difficult than giving.
“So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example that you also should do as I have done to you.” Jesus