They reclined on couches leaning on the left elbow and extending their feet. This position made the foot-washing convenient and much less disturbing to the guests who were eating than sitting at a table would have been. Jesus’ position was no longer the host and master but that of an obedient servant.
This washing symbolizes daily communion with Jesus. Peter needed to go to Jesus for help, strength, and forgiveness whenever he was exposed to contact with the world, and Jesus offers us this constant refreshing.
On a continuing and constant basis, Christians are invited to seek Jesus for forgiveness and encouragement in daily life and ministry. We are to remain always yielded and humble.
Peter seems to have thought he was above needing this service, but Jesus told him there was more to this than Peter understood at the time.
He proceeded with the foot washing and did not exclude Judas. I wonder what Judas’ emotions were at this critical time. Did he agonize when Jesus performed the humble task of cleaning his feet? Did he recognize this as an opportunity to repent? Or was his heart hardened to the path he had chosen?