“For I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15).
Christ’s enduring devotion to His disciples was evident even during their final moments together. While He must have been mindful of His suffering that was to come, He took the time to instruct them by example regarding sacred ordinances, unfailing love and service – by humbling performing the simple act of washing their feet. The Savior even tended to Judas, despite knowing that his betrayal was imminent. He, who was the greatest among them, voluntarily became the least – and left them with a new commandment: “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described the scene in this manner: “In the midst of [the Last Supper], Christ quietly arose, girded himself as a slave or servant would, and knelt to wash the Apostles’ feet (John 13:3-17). This small circle of believers in this scarcely founded kingdom were about to pass through their severest trial, so he would set aside his own increasing anguish in order that he might yet once more serve and strengthen them. It does not matter that no one washed his feet. In transcendent humility he would continue to teach and to cleanse them. He would to the final hour – and beyond – be their sustaining servant. As John wrote, who was there and watched the wonder of it all, ‘Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end’ (John 13:1)” (“He Loved Them unto the End,” General Conference, Oct. 1989).
Additional reading: “As I Have Loved You”