John 13

John 13

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 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. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

One of You Will Betray Me

After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

A New Commandment

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.


John 13 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

John would have known the story well. He (the disciple whom Jesus loved) was reclining against Jesus when it all unfolded, so this firsthand account is most likely as accurate a picture as we will get of that final betrayal scene. Jesus washed Judas’ feet, but He also revealed his sin. This was out of love, not shame. Jesus was giving Judas the opportunity to come clean and repent!

Dipping the bread was a special ceremonial honor. It is similar to what we know as “a toast.” Just think about that! Would you toast to your enemy right before they planned to kill you? This gesture by Jesus marked the extreme nature of His love. Judas had hatred in his heart, and Jesus sincerely loved him. He honored him with a toast, handed the bread over to Judas right in front of John’s eyes.

Jesus replied, “He’s the one I give the piece of bread to after I have dipped it.” When He had dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son.  27  After Judas ate the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Therefore Jesus told him, “What you’re doing, do quickly.”

John 13:26-27 HCSB

Some people feel bad for Judas thinking he had no choice in the matter. This is simply not true. Jesus extended His love. By saying nothing and eating that bread, what Judas believed in his mind was now set in his heart. By not confessing his sin, Judas gave the enemy a foothold in his life. His actions sealed his own fate. This is a sobering reminder for anyone who is continuing to live a secret life of sin after experiencing the love of Jesus. Judas would betray the Son of God even after receiving the honor of Jesus’ deepest love.

Jesus not only extended love to Judas, He actually protected him. There is no way the disciples knew at this point what was taking place. They may have thought Judas was just running an errand for Jesus or setting up a counter to the one who would betray Him. We can believe this to be true because if the disciples knew they certainly would have turned on Judas. Just think about what Peter did to Malchus when they come to arrest Jesus!

Jesus loved Judas. He prayed for him. He extended him the same love as everyone else. He even protected him in his darkest hour. This is what is so shocking about those who turn away from Jesus. Judas had a front-row seat for all of Jesus’ divine glory and still decided in his heart that he would not trust Him.

There are some today who are surrounded by Jesus and actively receiving His love, but as time will reveal, they are only posers in the end. They have never surrendered their life to Him and repented of their sin. Just as Jesus gave Judas every opportunity, He will do the same for us. He will never stop loving us even in our darkest sin. But, He also expects us to turn and follow with everything.

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