John 13:1

Now before the feast of the passover (pro de th eorth tou pasca). Just before, John means, not twenty-four hours before, that is our Thursday evening (beginning of 15th of Nisan, sunset to sunset Jewish day), since Jesus was crucified on Friday 15th of Nisan. Hence Jesus ate the regular passover meal at the usual time. The whole feast, including the feast of unleavened bread, lasted eight days. For a discussion of the objections to this interpretation of John in connexion with the Synoptic Gospels one may consult my Harmony of the Gospels, pp. 279-84, and David Smith's In the Days of His Flesh, Appendix VIII. The passover feast began on the 15th Nisan at sunset, the passover lamb being slain the afternoon of 14th Nisan. There seems no real doubt that this meal in John 13:1-30 is the real passover meal described by the Synoptics also ( Mark 14:18-21 ; Matthew 26:21-25 ; Luke 22:21-23 ), followed by the institution of the Lord's Supper. Thus understood verse 13:1 here serves as an introduction to the great esoteric teaching of Christ to the apostles ( John 13:2-17:26 ), called by Barnas Sears The Heart of Christ. This phrase goes with the principal verb hgaphsen (loved). Knowing (eidw). Second perfect active participle, emphasizing the full consciousness of Christ. He was not stumbling into the dark as he faced "his hour" (autou h wra). See John 18:4 ; John 19:28 for other examples of the insight and foresight (Bernard) of Jesus concerning his death. See on John 12:23 for use before by Jesus. That he should depart (ina metabh). Sub-final use of ina with second aorist active subjunctive of metabainw, old word, to go from one place to another, here ( John 5:24 ; 1 John 3:14 ) to go from this world (8:23) back to the Father from whom he had come (Jo 14:12; Jo 14:28; Jo 16:10; Jo 16:28; Jo 17:5). His own which were in the world (tou idiou tou en twi kosmwi). His own disciples (Jo 17:6; Jo 17:9; Jo 17:11), those left in the world when he goes to the Father, not the Jews as in Jo 1:11. See Acts 4:23 ; 1 Timothy 5:8 for the idiom. John pictures here the outgoing of Christ's very heart's love (chs. John 13:1-17:26 ) towards these men whom he had chosen and whom he loved "unto the end" (ei telo) as in Matthew 10:22 ; Luke 18:15 , but here as in 1 Thessalonians 2:16 rather "to the uttermost." The culmination of the crisis ("his hour") naturally drew out the fulness of Christ's love for them as is shown in these great chapters ( John 13:1-17:26 ).