24. Lord's Supper, Foot Washing, Communion.

"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega .. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, .. they .. have right to the tree of life, and .. enter .. the city."


I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

This page editorial help: Sister Lynn near Atlanta, GA


Lord Jesus Christ gave us three observances. They are, the Lord's Supper, foot washing, and holy communion (breaking of bread). The Lord's Supper is that believers eat together for fellowship, like potluck. Foot washing is a ritual to show that we should correct and edify one another. Communion is a sacred ritual, as we partake of his broken body and his shed blood, to remember him and to show his death in our life. If we take it unworthily, it is damnation, even death to us. So, we must examine ourselves before we partake of it.


The Lord's Supper, foot washing, and communion (breaking of bread) are three different functions. God started the Passover feast. God told Moses and Aaron that the congregation of Israel should kill the lamb without blemish, strike the blood on to the door posts, and eat the flesh roasted with fire. "Exodus 12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel,.. take to them every man a lamb, ... 4 ... every man according to his eating ... 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year .. 6 .. Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it." The Lamb without blemish was Jesus Christ. Being a Jew, Jesus Christ kept and ate the Passover, with much desire, fully knowing that he was the Passover Lamb. "Luke 22:14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." The Passover was a feast of the Old Testament. Jesus Christ has divided that into three ordinances. "John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father,... 2 And supper being ended,..." This supper part is called as the Lord's Supper. When the supper was finished, Jesus Christ had done two things, he gave communion to his disciples and he washed their feet. "Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." This observance is called communion, it is holy and supposed to be taken with caution. "John 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a  towel, and girded himself. 5 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." This is called "foot washing service." Jesus Christ has given these three ordinances. The Lord's Supper is fellowship dinner, Communion (breaking of bread) is a holy ritual, and foot washing is a ceremony.

The Lord's Supper is to have fellowship and a full meal. There is no description or details given about what foods to eat, but it is to be a full meal in the evening (night, supper). Passover comes once a year, but the Lord's Supper can be done each time the believers get together. It is like a pot luck or a community dinner. In the Passover feast, the main food items were meat, bitter herbs, and bread. But, food for Lord's Supper can be any food. For the Lord's Supper, everybody shall wait until all come, and eat together. Please notice that apostle Paul rebukes Corinthians for not waiting to eat the supper together. "1 Corinthians 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not?" The purpose of the Lord's Supper is to have oneness with the brethren in the Lord. They eat together as God's family to have love and unity together.

Communion is not the Lord's Supper, but it is symbolic of the partaking of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Communion or breaking of bread. It is a holy ritual. Now, let us look at the communion from the scripture. "1 Corinthians 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." Communion is a holy sacrament. It must be observed with high reverence. It is to be a part of the cruel death of our Lord Jesus Christ. His body is broken and his blood is shed for us to participate and we take him inside us to be a part of us, and if we mean it, he is inside us. We are not only one church, but we have become the body of Jesus Christ. A caution comes with it; don't take it as a casual event. Examine yourself and if you are not worthy of it, stay away from it. If you take it unworthily, you will get sick or you may even die. If you are worthy, partake of it often, to remember Jesus Christ and show his death in your life. How will you remember him and show his death? "2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again." He died for us and so, let us live for him and show him in our life.

In our churches, the foot washing is observed as a ceremony. A little knowledge in the eastern culture will help us to be more effective in life. If we are wealthy enough to have a servant in our home, if we take a journey on a dusty path, as we reach home, me may sit on a bench and the servant will wash your tired, dusty feet. If you are not wealthy, you wash your feet yourself. It is symbolical. It is reversed here that the master washes the feet of his disciple, instead of the disciple washing the feet of the master. They did not come from outside, but were sitting at supper. It is not usual. "John 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 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.. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord;" Here, Jesus Christ washed the feet of his disciples and told them to wash the feet of each other, even the feet of their servants. We can very easily take this to observe it as a ceremony, as our churches do it. In churches, they are not washing dirty feet, but the feet are clean wrapped up in socks and shoes. There is nothing to clean. But the truth of the matter is this. Jesus Christ teaches two things here. 1. He says that most of you are clean, except the feet (walk of life), but some of them are not clean at all (like Judas, no use to wash their feet, they are dirty all over). The washing refers to correcting their sins in life, but not the dust on their feet. 2. It is not just to wash the feet, but it is the servitude. You are servants, we are to help each other, even masters serve servants, and it is what you must do in life. 

God Bless You

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