10 Jesus said to him: “The person who has had a bath does not have a need to wash (except his feet], but is clean all over; and you are clean, though not all of you.”
11 For He knew the one who was going to betray Him; this is why He said that you are not all clean.
When I was playing football there were no facilities for having a bath at most local grounds, so I would have to wait until I got home to have a bath.
Having had a bath there was no need to have another one too soon afterwards, but there would have been the need to wash my hands before a meal etc.
We can assume from the response of Jesus to Peter that they had all recently had a bath in preparation for entering someone else’s home to eat together. In this case it was the Passover Meal.
It is generally agreed that there is another meaning to what Jesus said about bathing, and that it is a reference to baptism.
We know that Jesus told us to: “go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” – Matthew 28.19 (NLT). Baptism is, therefore, a part of being a follower (disciple) of Jesus. Being baptized is one of the first things that we submit ourselves to when we first receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
It is the preparation of our entering into the house of Jesus (the Kingdom of God).
In baptism we recognize that Jesus has completely washed us clean from our sin. We recognize that Jesus has changed our life; changed the colour and complexion of our life. Baptism was a commercial word that meant to dye fabric, to change its’ colour. This is why being baptized changes the colour of our life.
Once we have been baptized there is no need to be baptized again. However, we still do things wrong and we still need to be wash clean of our sins. This is why we need our feet to be washed, in a spiritual sense, to wash away from us the wrong things (sins) that we do each day.
As we confess our sins to Him there is the wonderful promise in 1 John 1.9: 9 If we should confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous so that He may forgive us our sins and might cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Cleanse me from my sin, Lord, put Thy power within, Lord, take me as I am, Lord, and make me all Thine own.
Keep me day by day, Lord, underneath Thy sway, Lord, make my heart Thy palace, and Thy royal throne.
R Hudson Hope