It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world. It was time for him to go to the Father. Jesus loved his disciples who were in the world. So he now showed them how much he really loved them.
The evening meal was being served. The devil had already tempted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. He had told Judas to hand Jesus over to his enemies.
Jesus knew that the Father had put everything under his power. He also knew he had come from God and was returning to God.
So he got up from the meal and took off his outer clothes. He wrapped a towel around his waist.
After that, he poured water into a large bowl. Then he began to wash his disciples' feet. He dried them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter. "Lord," Peter said to him, "are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus replied, "You don't realize now what I am doing. But later you will understand."
"No," said Peter. "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you can't share life with me."
"Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet! Wash my hands and my head too!"
Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs to wash only his feet. The rest of his body is clean. And you are clean. But not all of you are."
Jesus knew who was going to hand him over to his enemies. That was why he said not every one was clean.
When Jesus finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes. Then he returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them.
"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord.' You are right. That is what I am.
I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet. So you also should wash one another's feet.
I have given you an example. You should do as I have done for you.
"What I'm about to tell you is true. A servant is not more important than his master. And a messenger is not more important than the one who sends him.
Now you know these things. So you will be blessed if you do them.
"I am not talking about all of you. I know those I have chosen. But this will happen so that Scripture will come true. It says, 'The one who shares my bread has deserted me.'#1(Psalm 41:9)#2
"I am telling you now, before it happens. When it does happen, you will believe that I am he.
What I'm about to tell you is true. Anyone who accepts someone I send accepts me. And anyone who accepts me accepts the One who sent me."
After he had said this, Jesus' spirit was troubled. Here is the witness he gave. "What I'm about to tell you is true," he said. "One of you is going to hand me over to my enemies."
His disciples stared at one another. They had no idea which one of them he meant.
The disciple Jesus loved was next to him at the table.
Simon Peter motioned to that disciple. He said, "Ask Jesus which one he means."
The disciple was leaning back against Jesus. He asked him, "Lord, who is it?"
Jesus answered, "It is the one I will give this piece of bread to. I will give it to him after I have dipped it in the dish." He dipped the piece of bread. Then he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.
As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. "Do quickly what you are going to do," Jesus told him.
But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.
Judas was in charge of the money. So some of the disciples thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast. Others thought Jesus was talking about giving something to poor people.
As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
After Judas was gone, Jesus spoke. He said, "Now the Son of Man receives glory. And he brings glory to God.
If the Son brings glory to God, God himself will bring glory to the Son. God will do it at once.
"My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me. Just as I told the Jews, so I am telling you now. You can't come where I am going.
"I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you.
If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples."
Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus replied, "Where I am going you can't follow now. But you will follow me later."
"Lord," Peter asked, "why can't I follow you now? I will give my life for you."
Then Jesus answered, "Will you really give your life for me? What I'm about to tell you is true. Before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don't know me!