Christ Washes the Disciple’s Feet
Verse 1 – Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
Verse 2 – And super being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him,
Verse 3 – Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
Verse 4 – rose from super and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.
In these next few chapters, 13-17, Christ only has hours left with His disciples. He teaches them many things, but the first is that of a servant.
Verse 5 – After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciple’s feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
The custom of washing the feet, was done upon travelers or strangers, who had been on a journey. It was done by servants.
Verse 6 – Then He came to Simon Peter and Peter said to Him, “Lord, are you washing my feet?”
Verse 7 – Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
Verse 8 – Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet! Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Peter still didn’t understand that to be a leader one must be a servant.
Verse 9 – Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hand and my head!”
Verse 10 – Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”
Verse 11 – For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
Jesus is talking about Judas not being clean. This must have sounded strange to the disciples. Jesus taking the position of a servant must have been strange also, but He was trying desperately to show them that they needed to have a servant’s heart in order to be leaders of His church.
Verse 12 – So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?
Verse 13 – “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.
Verse 14 – “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
Verse 15 – “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
Jesus didn’t wash their feet just to get them to be nice to each other. He wanted them to carry on His mission after He was gone. These men were to move into the world serving God, serving each other, and serving all people to whom they took the message of salvation to.
Verse 16 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
Verse 17 – “If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.
The duties they owed to Him, and to one another, love and respect to each other along with humility.
Verse 18 – “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’
Jesus quoted Psalm 41:9 – Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. Eating someone’s bread indicated close fellowship.
We’ve all been betrayed by a friend or family member at one time or another. It hurts deeply. However, we are not to seek revenge. Jesus didn’t, so neither should we. Leave them be, revenge is not ours to inflict. Judas was sorry afterwards for what he did, but never returned to Jesus to tell him he was sorry. He was swallowed up in his own misery and hanged himself.
Verse 19 – “Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.
“Omniscient” – the One who knows and declares things before they come to pass.
Verse 20 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
Verse 21 – When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
Verse 22 – Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.
The 11 disciples didn’t have a clue who the betrayer was. Judas never openly showed any signs of betraying Jesus. We might have a suspicion sometimes of things people are doing behind our backs, but when we are blind-sided, it hurts even more.
Verse 23 – Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.
This is not a conceited recording by John. He simple stated a fact. Jesus didn’t love John any more than He loved the rest. John simple knew that Christ loved Him. Jesus loves each one of His children, know it and believe it!
Verse 24 – Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.
Verse 25 – Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”
Verse 26 – Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
Verse 27 – Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said, “What you do, do quickly.”
Satan’s part in the betrayal of Jesus does not remove any responsibility from Judas. (“The devil made me do it,” doesn’t fly!)
Verse 28 – But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him.
Verse 29 – For some thought, because Judas had the money-box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.
Verse 30 – Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.
Judas immediately got up and left. I think it odd that none of disciples yelled, “Hey, where are you going, Judas?” I don’t believe they understood the significance of Judas’ actions.
Christ Announces His Departure
Verse 31 – So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him.
Verse 32 – “If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.
God will not leave Jesus in the grave, nor suffer Him to see corruption.
Verse 33 – “Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer, You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you.
Verse 34 – “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Love is more than a warm fuzzy feeling. It is an attitude that reveals itself in action. Doing for others when you don’t feel like it; giving when it’s a sacrifice to you; and not just loving those who love you back. It is all done by a supernatural power – the Holy Spirit, because this is not easy.
Verse 36 – Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.”
Verse 37 – Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”
Verse 38 – Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three time.
In our enthusiasm, it is easy to make promises and commitments. But Paul tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3). Instead of bragging about what we do, or what we are going to do, just do it, step by step, as we continue to grow.