John 13

1 It was almost time for the Jewish Passover Feast. Jesus knew that it was time for him to leave this world and go back to the Father. He had always loved those who were his own in the world, and he loved them all the way to the end.
2 Jesus and his followers were at the evening meal. The devil had already persuaded Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to turn against Jesus.
3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him power over everything and that he had come from God and was going back to God.
4 So during the meal Jesus stood up and took off his outer clothing. Taking a towel, he wrapped it around his waist.
5 Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 Jesus came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
7 Jesus answered, "You don't understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later."
8 Peter said, "No, you will never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "If I don't wash your feet, you are not one of my people."
9 Simon Peter answered, "Lord, then wash not only my feet, but wash my hands and my head, too!"
10 Jesus said, "After a person has had a bath, his whole body is clean. He needs only to wash his feet. And you men are clean, but not all of you."
11 Jesus knew who would turn against him, and that is why he said, "Not all of you are clean."
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and sat down again. He asked, "Do you understand what I have just done for you?
13 You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and you are right, because that is what I am.
14 If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other's feet.
15 I did this as an example so that you should do as I have done for you.
16 I tell you the truth, a servant is not greater than his master. A messenger is not greater than the one who sent him.
17 If you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.
18 "I am not talking about all of you. I know those I have chosen. But this is to bring about what the Scripture said: 'The man who ate at my table has turned against me.'
19 I am telling you this now before it happens so that when it happens, you will believe that I am he.
20 I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send also accepts me. And whoever accepts me also accepts the One who sent me."
21 After Jesus said this, he was very troubled. He said openly, "I tell you the truth, one of you will turn against me."
22 The followers all looked at each other, because they did not know whom Jesus was talking about.
23 One of the followers sittingn next to Jesus was the follower Jesus loved.
24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus whom he was talking about.
25 That follower leaned closer to Jesus and asked, "Lord, who is it?"
26 Jesus answered, "I will dip this bread into the dish. The man I give it to is the man who will turn against me." So Jesus took a piece of bread, dipped it, and gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus said to him, "The thing that you will do -- do it quickly."
28 No one at the table understood why Jesus said this to Judas.
29 Since he was the one who kept the money box, some of the followers thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the feast or to give something to the poor.
30 Judas took the bread Jesus gave him and immediately went out. It was night.
31 When Judas was gone, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man receives his glory, and God receives glory through him.
32 If God receives glory through him, then God will give glory to the Son through himself. And God will give him glory quickly."
33 Jesus said, "My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and what I told the Jews, I tell you now: Where I am going you cannot come.
34 "I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you.
35 All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other."
36 Simon Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."
37 Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I am ready to die for you!"
38 Jesus answered, "Are you ready to die for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don't know me."

Images for John 13

John 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

Christ washes the disciples' feet. (1-17) The treachery of Judas foretold. (18-30) Christ commands the disciples to love one another. (31-38)

Verses 1-17 Our Lord Jesus has a people in the world that are his own; he has purchased them, and paid dear for them, and he has set them apart for himself; they devote themselves to him as a peculiar people. Those whom Christ loves, he loves to the end. Nothing can separate a true believer from the love of Christ. We know not when our hour will come, therefore what we have to do in constant preparation for it, ought never to be undone. What way of access the devil has to men's hearts we cannot tell. But some sins are so exceedingly sinful, and there is so little temptation to them from the world and the flesh, that it is plain they are directly from Satan. Jesus washed his disciples' feet, that he might teach us to think nothing below us, wherein we may promote God's glory, and the good of our brethren. We must address ourselves to duty, and must lay aside every thing that would hinder us in what we have to do. Christ washed his disciples' feet, that he might signify to them the value of spiritual washing, and the cleansing of the soul from the pollutions of sin. Our Lord Jesus does many things of which even his own disciples do not for the present know the meaning, but they shall know afterward. We see in the end what was the kindness from events which seemed most cross. And it is not humility, but unbelief, to put away the offers of the gospel, as if too rich to be made to us, or too good news to be true. All those, and those only, who are spiritually washed by Christ, have a part in Christ. All whom Christ owns and saves, he justifies and sanctifies. Peter more than submits; he begs to be washed by Christ. How earnest he is for the purifying grace of the Lord Jesus, and the full effect of it, even upon his hands and head! Those who truly desire to be sanctified, desire to be sanctified throughout, to have the whole man, with all its parts and powers, made pure. The true believer is thus washed when he receives Christ for his salvation. See then what ought to be the daily care of those who through grace are in a justified state, and that is, to wash their feet; to cleanse themselves from daily guilt, and to watch against everything defiling. This should make us the more cautious. From yesterday's pardon, we should be strengthened against this day's temptation. And when hypocrites are discovered, it should be no surprise or cause of stumbling to us. Observe the lesson Christ here taught. Duties are mutual; we must both accept help from our brethren, and afford help to our brethren. When we see our Master serving, we cannot but see how ill it becomes us to domineer. And the same love which led Christ to ransom and reconcile his disciples when enemies, still influences him.

Verses 18-30 Our Lord had often spoken of his own sufferings and death, without such trouble of spirit as he now discovered when he spake of Judas. The sins of Christians are the grief of Christ. We are not to confine our attention to Judas. The prophecy of his treachery may apply to all who partake of God's mercies, and meet them with ingratitude. See the infidel, who only looks at the Scriptures with a desire to do away their authority and destroy their influence; the hypocrite, who professes to believe the Scriptures, but will not govern himself by them; and the apostate, who turns aside from Christ for a thing of naught. Thus mankind, supported by God's providence, after eating bread with Him, lift up the heel against Him! Judas went out as one weary of Jesus and his apostles. Those whose deeds are evil, love darkness rather than light.

Verses 31-35 Christ had been glorified in many miracles he wrought, yet he speaks of his being glorified now in his sufferings, as if that were more than all his other glories in his humbled state. Satisfaction was thereby made for the wrong done to God by the sin of man. We cannot now follow our Lord to his heavenly happiness, but if we truly believe in him, we shall follow him hereafter; meanwhile we must wait his time, and do his work. Before Christ left the disciples, he would give them a new commandment. They were to love each other for Christ's sake, and according to his example, seeking what might benefit others, and promoting the cause of the gospel, as one body, animated by one soul. But this commandment still appears new to many professors. Men in general notice any of Christ's words rather than these. By this it appears, that if the followers of Christ do not show love one to another, they give cause to suspect their sincerity.

Verses 36-38 What Christ had said concerning brotherly love, Peter overlooked, but spoke of that about which Christ kept them ignorant. It is common to be more eager to know about secret things, which belong to God only, than about things revealed, which belong to us and our children; to be more desirous to have our curiosity gratified, than our consciences directed; to know what is done in heaven, than what we may do to get thither. How soon discourse as to what is plain and edifying is dropped, while a doubtful dispute runs on into endless strife of words! We are apt to take it amiss to be told we cannot do this and the other, whereas, without Christ we can do nothing. Christ knows us better than we know ourselves, and has many ways of discovering those to themselves, whom he loves, and he will hide pride from them. May we endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, to love one another with a pure heart fervently, and to walk humbly with our God.

John 13 Commentaries