John 13: Washing the Disciples’ Feet

How did Jesus knowledge of his soon-coming departure affect his love for his disciples?

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John 13:1 Before the Passover feast, Jesus knew it was time to leave the earth and go to the Father. He had loved his disciples and would love them until the end.
King James
John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

What was Judas’s plan for betraying Jesus?

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John 13:2 As the meal progressed, Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, assembled his devilish thoughts on how he would betray Jesus.
King James
John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;

At the time he was born, if Jesus was not aware of who he was, that he had come from God and would return to God, when did he become fully aware?

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John 13:3 Jesus was fully aware of who he was and that the Father had given him complete power. He had come from God and would return to God.
King James
John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

Only John reports the washing of the disciples’ feet. Why did he include it when other Gospel writers did not?

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John 13:4–6 He rose from the table, set aside his outer garment, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After pouring water into a basin, he washed each disciple’s feet and dried them with the towel—until he reached Simon Peter.
“Master,” Peter said, “are you going to wash my feet?”
King James
John 13:4–6 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

Why did Peter protest when other disciples didn’t object to Jesus washing their feet?

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John 13:5–8 After pouring water into a basin, he washed each disciple’s feet and dried them with the towel—until he reached Simon Peter.
“Master,” Peter said, “are you going to wash my feet?”
“Right now, you do not understand what I am doing, but you will.”
“You are not going to wash my feet.”
“If I do not,” Jesus said, “we cannot be together.”
King James
John 13:5–8 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

Before and after Jesus’ answer, what does Peter’s reaction say about his character?

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John 13:8–9 “You are not going to wash my feet.”
“If I do not,” Jesus said, “we cannot be together.”
“In that case, do not stop with my feet. Wash my hands and my head as well.”
King James
John 13:8–9 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

How could the disciples be clean by only having their feet washed? What was Jesus talking about?

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John 13:10 “Those who have bathed need only wash their feet to be clean. You are clean, but not everyone.”
King James
John 13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

If Jesus washed Judas’s feet, why wasn’t he clean like the other disciples?

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John 13:10–11 “Those who have bathed need only wash their feet to be clean. You are clean, but not everyone.” Because he knew who would betray him, he said, “Not everyone.”
King James
John 13:10–11 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

After Jesus explained what he had done, how well did the disciples understand the principle demonstrated when he washed their feet?

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John 13:12–16 After he had washed everyone’s feet, he dressed and returned to his place at the table. “Do you understand what I have done? You do well to call me Teacher and Master, for that is who I am. As I, your teacher and master, have served you, so you should serve one another. I have given you an example, so you should do for others as I have done for you. I cannot overemphasize this truth: the servant is not greater than his master. The messenger is not greater than the one who sent the message.”
King James
John 13:12–16 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 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.

Why is serving so crucial in experiencing happiness?

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John 13:17 “Knowing the truth is not enough. You must do the serving to experience true happiness.”
King James
John 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

What made Judas different from the other disciples?

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John 13:18 “I am not talking about all of you. I know those I have chosen, but the scripture must be fulfilled: My trusted friend who ate bread with me has turned against me.
King James
John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

Why was it important for Jesus to tell the disciples beforehand that he would be betrayed?

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John 13:19 “I tell you this beforehand so after it comes to pass you will believe who I am.”
King James
John 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

How is receiving God’s messenger also receiving Christ?

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John 13:20 “You can be sure that anyone who receives the one I send also receives me, and anyone who receives me also receives the one who sent me.”
King James
John 13:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Why couldn’t the disciples discern who the betrayer would be?

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John 13:21–22 Troubled in spirit, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth. One of you will turn against me.”
They looked at one another, wondering who the man was.
King James
John 13:21–22 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

Why did Simon Peter have to use gestures to communicate with John?

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John 13:23–25 One disciple whom Jesus loved sat next to Jesus. With gestures, Simon Peter asked him to find out who the betrayer was. So the disciple leaned closer to Jesus and said, “Sir, who is it?”
King James
John 13:23–25 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

Why didn’t Peter and John understand who the betrayer was?

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John 13:26–30 “I will dip this piece of bread into the sauce and give it to him.” He dipped the bread and offered it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. When Judas took the bread, he saw this as the opportune moment for his devilish scheme. Jesus said, “Hurry and do what you must do.”
No one else at the table understood what Jesus meant. Since Judas had the moneybag, some thought Jesus wanted him to either buy something for the feast or give money to the poor.
Still holding the piece of bread, Judas rushed out into the night.
King James
John 13:26–30 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

What did Jesus mean when he said, “It is time for the Son of Man to be glorified”? What is the glory in arrest, torture, and crucifixion?

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John 13:31–32 With Judas gone, Jesus turned to the disciples. “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. And God will be glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, he will not delay his plan to glorify the Son of Man.”
King James
John 13:31–32 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.

With all that Jesus had said earlier about his death, why didn’t the disciples understand where he was going?

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John 13:33–37 “My students,” Jesus said, “I cannot be with you much longer. I must tell you what I told the Jewish leaders: you will look but not find me because you cannot come to where I am going. I give you a new commandment: love one another in the same way that I have loved you. If you love one another, people will know you are my disciples.”
Simon Peter said, “Sir, where are you going?”
“Where I go, you cannot follow. But you will, later.”
“Why can’t I follow you now? I would die for you.”
King James
John 13:33–37 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.

Why is love an unmistakable quality in those who follow Jesus? What message is sent when Christians fail to show love?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 13:34–35 “I give you a new commandment: love one another in the same way that I have loved you. If you love one another, people will know you are my disciples.”
King James
John 13:34–35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

How did the other disciples feel after Jesus told Peter that he would deny him three times?

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John 13:37–38 “Why can’t I follow you now? I would die for you.”
“Die for me? I guarantee,” Jesus said, “before the rooster crows tonight, you will deny me three times.”
King James
John 13:37–38 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.