He riseth from supper
In the midst of the entertainment, and which no doubt was considerable, his mind being intent on something else; and it being his meat and drink to do his Father's will, he rises and leaves his disciples sitting to finish their meal; and whilst they were murmuring at the waste of the ointment poured on his head, and were filled with indignation at it, as they all of them were, see ( Matthew 26:8 ) ; he rises up to wash their feet; amazing patience and humility!
And laid aside his garments;
not all his garments, only his upper ones, that he might better dispatch the business he was going about; and which was an emblem of his laying aside, as it were for a while, his glory and dignity as the Son of God, and of his appearing in the form of a servant.
And took a towel;
or "linen cloth", (lention) , the same with (tyjnwl) in the Jerusalem Talmud F18:
and girded himself;
with the towel, or linen cloth, which served both for a girdle, and after he had washed his disciples' feet, to wipe them with. This was a servile habit; so servants used to stand at the feet of their masters, girt about with a linen cloth F19; and shows, that the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.
F18 Sabbat, fol. 3. 1. & 12. 1.
F19 Suetonius in Caligula, c. 26.