13:14 Footwashing continues as a regular ceremony in a number of modern denominations, which literally obey Jesus’ command, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. Others believe the language is figurative for the importance of serving one another, and that the act itself is not required.
14. If then I, who am your Lord and Master. This is an argument from the greater to the less. Pride hinders us from maintaining that equality which ought to exist amongst us. But Christ, who is far exalted above all others, stoops down, that he may make the proud men ashamed, who, forgetting their station and rank, look upon themselves as not bound to hold intercourse with the brethren. For what does a mortal man imagine himself to be, when he refuses to bear the burdens of brethren, to accommodate himself to their customs, and, in short, to perform those offices by which the unity of the Church is maintained? In short, he means that the man who does not think of associating with weak brethren, on the condition of submitting mildly and gently even to offices which appear to be mean, claims more than he has a right to claim, and has too high an opinion of himself.
14 This point is stressed by Jesus’ reversal of the order in which he uses the titles here: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” The goal of a servant is to become like his master. The priorities and practices of the greater must of necessity become those of the lesser. Since the Lord of the disciples had washed their feet, it was incumbent on them to extend the same humble service to one another. Jesus had set an example so that they would do as he had done for them.