Jesus washes feet of the disciples
- 13:1 Jews were getting ready to celebrate Passover.1 Jesus knew his time on earth was almost over. He needed to go back to the Father. He would leave behind people he loved. He would love them to death—to the very end.
- 13:2 By suppertime, the devil had convinced Judas Iscariot, Simon’s boy, to help Jewish authorities arrest Jesus.
- 13:3 But Jesus knew the Father had put him in charge of everything that was all going to happen. Jesus understood that he had come from God and that he was going back to God.
- 13:4 He got up from the supper table, took off his robe, and wrapped a towel around his waist,
- 13:5 He poured some water into a bowl and started washing the feet of the disciples. He used the towel to dry their feet.
- 13:6 When Jesus got to Simon Peter, the disciple objected: “Lord, do you really think you’re going to wash my feet?”
- 13:7 Jesus said, “You don’t yet understand what I’m doing right now. But you will.”
- 13:8 Peter told Jesus, “There’s no way you’ll ever wash my feet!” Jesus said, “If I can’t wash your feet, you can’t have anything to do with me anymore.”
- 13:9 Simon Peter said, “In that case, Lord, wash my feet and my hands and my head!”
- 13:10 Jesus said, “You’ve had a bath. Aside from the dust on your feet, you’re clean. Most of you men are clean, but not all of you.
- 13:11 Jesus knew who was about to betray him. That’s why he said not all of the men were clean.
Jesus explains why he washed the disciples’ feet
- 13:12 After Jesus finished washing their feet, he put his robe back on and sat down at the table. He asked the men, “Do you understand what I just did for you?
- 13:13 You call me by the respected names of Teacher and Master. You’re right to do that because I am both of those.
- 13:14 Your Master and Teacher just stooped to wash your feet, so you shouldn’t be too proud to wash each other’s feet.
- 13:15 I just gave you an example to follow. So, follow it. You saw what I did. You need to do it, too.
- 13:16 This is the truth. A student isn’t more important than the teacher. And a messenger isn’t more important than the one who sent him to deliver the message.
- 13:17 Once you understand this and put it into practice, you’re going to be much better off.
Judas’ betrayal doesn’t surprise Jesus
- 13:18 What I’m saying doesn’t apply to all of you. I know those devoted to me because I chose them. But the Bible prophecy needed fulfilled: ‘A friend of mine who eats my bread will turn against me.’2
- 13:19 I’m telling you this ahead of time so that when it happens, you’ll believe I am who I said I am.3
- 13:20 Listen, this is the truth. When I send people out with a message, anyone who welcomes them is welcoming me, because I’m the one who sent them. And anyone who welcomes me welcomes the Father who sent me.
“One of you will betray me”
- 13:21 After Jesus said this, he became deeply upset and his spirit collapsed. When he spoke again, he said, “I’m deathly serious. This is the truth. One of you will betray me.”
- 13:22 This stunned the disciples speechless. They started looking around at each other.
- 13:23 One disciple Jesus deeply loved4 was sitting right beside him at the table.
- 13:24 Simon Peter motioned the disciple to ask Jesus who he was talking about.
- 13:25 So the disciple leaned backward, put his head against the chest of Jesus,5 and said, “Lord, who’s going to do this to you?”
- 13:26 Jesus said, “It’s the one I’ll give this piece of bread, after dipping it.” Jesus dipped the bread and handed it to Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son.
- 13:27 Judas ate the bread, then Satan came right into him. Jesus told Judas, “That business you need to take care of, do it quickly.”
- 13:28 No one at the table had any idea why Jesus said that.
- 13:29 Some figured that since Judas carried the group’s money sack that Jesus sent him on a shopping trip to buy whatever the group needed for the Passover festival. Or maybe Jesus sent him to donate something for the poor.
- 13:30 So after Judas ate the bread Jesus gave him, he left and went out into the darkness of night.
- 13:31 After Judas left, Jesus told the others, “It’s time. The Son of Humans is about to get honored,6 and God will be honored because of what the Son does.
- 13:32 If God is honored because of the Son, God himself will reciprocate by honoring the Son right back—and right away.
- 13:33 Dear children, I’ll be with you just a little bit longer. I’ll tell you the same thing I told the Jewish leaders. You can’t come with me. There you have it.
New law to live by: love one another
- 13:34 I’m going to leave you with a new law to live by: Love one another. You’ve seen how I love you. Love each other like that.
- 13:35 Here’s how people will recognize you as my disciples. They’ll see the resemblance when you love each other.
- 13:36 Simon Peter said, “Lord, exactly where are you going?” Jesus answered, “You can’t go where I’m going. Not yet. But you’ll follow me later.”
- 13:37 Peter said, “Lord, why can’t I go with you now? There’s no place I wouldn’t go because I’m willing to die for you.”
- 13:38 Jesus said, “You’ll die for me? Here’s what’s going to happen. Three times you’re going to deny you even know me. The rooster won’t crow in the morning until you do that.”
See note for 11:55.
Psalm 41:9. Bible scholars generally say the Psalms are poems and song lyrics. But Jesus said this verse was a prophecy that predicted Judas.
Possibly a reference to “I’m the Son of God” (John 10:36) or to his identity as the promised Messiah for whom the Jews had been waiting.
The description of this mysterious disciple is more literally “the one Jesus loved.” This becomes a code phrase throughout the rest of the book. It’s how the writer identifies one particular disciple, without using the man’s name. Many have guessed that this was a humble way for John to refer to himself, as the author of this Gospel. Jesus seemed to have had three best friends, men he took with him places where other disciples weren’t invited (Luke 8:51; 9:28). The men were Peter, and the brothers James and John. Peter was not this particular disciple. That becomes clear in John 20:1-10 when both this mysterious disciple and Peter race to the tomb of Jesus. We can exclude James, too, as the dearly loved disciple and author of this Gospel because King Herod executed him a few days after the crucifixion of Jesus (Acts 12:1-2). See also the note for 19:26.
People usually ate meals like this while sitting on the floor. They reclined on cushions beside a table built about as high as a coffee table.
More literally, “glorified,” apparently referring to how people will perceive him after the Resurrection and Ascension.