John 13:16

16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

John 13:16 in Other Translations

KJV
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
ESV
16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
NLT
16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.
MSG
16 I'm only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn't give orders to the employer.
CSB
16 "I assure you: A slave is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him.

John 13:16 Meaning and Commentary

John 13:16

Verily, verily, I say unto you
This is a strong way of asseveration, and is used when anything of moment and importance, and worthy of attention and observation is delivered.

The servant is not greater than his Lord;
it is enough that he be as his Lord, which was a common phrase among the Jews; (See Gill on Matthew 10:24), (See Gill on Matthew 10:25); and as it is there made use of, to inform the disciples they must expect persecution, and to encourage them to bear it with patience; here it is designed to engage to humility; for if a master condescends to perform such an action, much more may a servant:

neither he that is sent, is greater than he that sent him.
This is also a way of speaking in use among the Jews;

``R. Meir says, F26 who is greatest, he that keeps, or he that is kept? from what is written in ( Psalms 91:11 ) , he that is kept, is greater than he that keeps: says R. Judah, which is greatest, he that carries, or he that is carried? from what is written in ( Psalms 91:12 ) , he that is carried, is greater than he that carries: says R. Simeon, from what is written, in ( Isaiah 6:8 ) , (xltvmh Nm lwdg xlvmh ywh) , "he that sends, is greater than he that is sent".''

Which is the very phrase here used by Christ; and his meaning is this, that if it was not below him, who had chose and called, and sent them forth as his apostles, to wash their feet, they who were sent by him, should not disdain to wash one another's.


FOOTNOTES:

F26 Bereshit Rabba, fol. 68. 1.

John 13:16 In-Context

14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turnedagainst me.’

Cross References 1

  • 1. Matthew 10:24; Luke 6:40; John 15:20