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A requirement of frequent literal recurrence under the law, but in the New Testament a term bearing commonly a moral force and application. Important truth may be learned from the different significations of the Greek words used for “washing” in John 13. The word in John 13:1010Jesus 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. (John 13:10) is λούω, “to cleanse, wash thoroughly.” One who is cleansed in this sense never needs to be thus washed again; he is, as the Lord said, “clean every whit,” yet in order to have “part with” Christ, he needs, because of the defilement of the way, that his feet should be washed (here the word is νίπτω), John 13:5-145After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10Jesus 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. 11For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 12So 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? 13Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. (John 13:5‑14), an action which is applied to parts of the body only. The same difference was typified in the cleansing of Aaron and his sons. They were at their consecration once “washed” by Moses, but were thenceforward required continually, when executing their service, to wash only their hands and feet in the laver (Ex. 40:12, 30-3212And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water. (Exodus 40:12)
30And he set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and put water there, to wash withal. 31And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat: 32When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the Lord commanded Moses. (Exodus 40:30‑32)