Is foot-washings required for salvation?
We are used to sealed roads and footpaths. In Jesus' time, roads and paths were unsealed and dusty. In the wild west the roads and footpaths were also unsealed and messy. The difference between the two was that the cowboys were wearing boots, while people in Jesus' time were wearing sandals. Sandals are notoriously leaky, and feet needed to be washed frequently for that reason. It is possible to wash ones own feet, but it is a tedious endeavor. It is a lot easier to wash somebody else's feet.
1 Tim 5:9,10 (NIV) says that it was a good deed to wash somebody's feet:
"No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds".
A common inclusion in foot washing was also massage with various ointments, probably because foot-skin-cracks was a common problem. John 12:3 (NIV) says:
"Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume".
Furthermore, James 2:14-17 (NIV) says:
"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead".
Consequently, in todays modern world good deeds like foot washings is not required for salvation, like it ones was. However, doing up-to-date good deeds is.
Rev 19:8 (ESV) "it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints".
Acts 10:31 (NIV) "Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor".
Mat 7:21 (NIV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven".