PASSOVER: Cp Joh 1:29: "The Lamb of God"! Background:
Contentions among the disciples as to who will be the greatest (Luk 22:24). Note
Christ's parable of high and low seats (Luk 14:7-11).
John lists all four Passovers in Jesus' ministry: Joh 2:13;
5:1; 6:4; 13:1. Proof of 3 1/2 year ministry.
THE FULL EXTENT OF HIS LOVE: Or, as mg, "to the last";
or poss "he now loved them completely," or "he now loved them to the uttermost".
Gr "eis telos" lit = "to the end"; there is a verbal link, in Greek, with John
19:30: "It is ended [Gr 'tetelestai'], or finished."
"Unto the end" (as AV): "I am with you unto the end": Mat
28:20. "He loved them unto the end": Joh 13:1. "Who shall confirm you unto the
end": 1Co 1:8. "The rejoicing of hope firm unto the end": Heb 3:6. "Beginning of
our confidence steadfast unto the end": Heb 3:14. "Full assurance of hope unto
the end": Heb 6:11. "Keepeth my works unto the end": Rev 2:26.
LOVE: Agape. The "love-feast" (Jud 1:12; cp 2Pe
SERVED: Lit "being", although some mss have "having
been". Based on past tense, AV translates "ended", but this does not accord with
the rest of the narrative: cp vv 1,12,26.
DEVIL: Jewish leaders intent on using Judas to arrest
Jesus. "You belong to your father the devil" (Joh 8:44). "Satan has desired to
have (one of) you" (Luk 22:31).
ALL THINGS: The disciples? Cp Joh 3:35;
UNDER HIS POWER: Lit "in his hands": Used of
consecration of priests in Exo 29:9; Lev 8:27. Jesus is aware of his impending
sacrifice. Ct 1Co 15:27: "under his feet".
FROM GOD: Phi 2:6: Being in the form (or status) of
TO GOD: (1) As a priest, to offer sacrifice, and/or (2)
His ascension to heaven, after resurrection.
TOOK OFF HIS OUTER CLOTHING: Laying aside garments: a
preview of coming crucifixion: Joh 19:23,24 (sw Joh 10:15). He "humbled himself"
(Phi 2:5,8), being "clothed with humility" (1Pe 5:1-6). Special garments -- like
the High Priest on Day of Atonement.
Had Jesus asked the servants NOT to do their customary
foot-washing, to see if any of the disciples would realize the need and
undertake this work? But instead they were all interested in the best seats at
HE POURED WATER INTO A BASIN: The same water that was
carried in the jar by the servant of the householder into that room (Mar 14:13;
FEET: That part of the body which, like the cursed
serpent, tastes the dust. (Jesus kneels down, as a servant: Luk
"Human nature combines with history to demand that power must
be in natural opposition to humility and servitude. In revealing His love to man
God shows how false such a conception is. He sent His Son for the salvation of
man. We look for a revelation of glory and power; we find a man of sorrows and
acquainted with grief. We look for a conscience-stricken people bowing in
reverence before his majesty, but we see the Baptist lifting him from the
flowing waters of the Jordan. We wait for the fiery judgment of Heaven upon a
faithless people, but we see the gentle touch of healing and hear the contented
cries of little children. We look for the denunciation of the traitor, but we
see the Savior kneeling at his feet with water and towel" (MP 320).
"Jesus also washed the feet of Judas Iscariot, removing from
them the dust of the road that led to the High Priest's house... the opportunity
for Judas to repent of the evil deed in his heart, passing, as Jesus paused,
washed his feet, and then moved on" (Shaul Arnold, Sh 106:7:10).
WHAT I AM DOING: The greatest sacrifice, the greatest
humility: to lay down life for his friends (Joh 15:13).
PART: Inheritance (cp Deu 12:12; 14:27).
The 3 cleansings in dedication of the priest (Lev 8:6,24; Exo
CLEAN: Through the word: Joh 15:3; 17:17; Eph
NOT EVERY ONE OF YOU: Ref to Judas (see Joh
HE PUT ON HIS CLOTHES: Taking off / putting on
garments: the High Priest on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:23,24; cp Zec
The humility of Jesus: Rom 15:1-4; 1Co 10:33 and 11:1; Phi
2:4-7; Eph 5:1,2.
I, YOUR LORD...: No one else could use such
Washing of feet: An "example" (Do as I have done), not an
official church ordinance. A practical task, which in those days would convey a
real benefit (1Ti 5:10). How is this to be done today? Consider 1Pe 5:5,6.
YOU WILL BE BLESSED IF YOU DO THEM: "Happiness is not
in catering to desire, but in putting desire away. Happiness is not in seeking
pleasure, but in recognizing and thankfully enjoying the myriad of pleasures
that God showers bountifully on us every moment: in His love, in His Word, in
His Purpose, in His marvelous Creation: from the infinitely small to the
infinitely great -- all infinitely beautiful. Happiness is not in getting, but
in giving: not in being served, but in serving (though truly there is happiness
in being served -- if the service is of need beyond our own capacity to fill,
and if the service is in love). Christ tells us where happiness is: in pureness
of heart, in meekness, in mercifulness, in hungering and thirsting after
righteousness. Don't look for it anywhere else. It isn't there. It must be
created within ourselves. Its source is of God" (GVG).
Quoting Psa 41:9: "My close friend, whom I trusted." Cp also
Psa 55:12-14. Note: Jesus broke bread with Judas! Cp Joh 13:26.
HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME: 'As though I were
the "serpent" (Gen 3:15; Num 21:1-9; Joh 3:14) and he the righteous
I AM HE: Cp usage in Joh 8:24,28,58.
Context (vv 18,26...): Esp to accept one at the breaking of
bread (cp 3Jo 1:5-8 with Mat 25:40; ct 3Jo 1:9,10 and Mat 25:45).
There is no hint that any of the disciples suspected Judas. An
indication of how completely the traitor lived his own life in his own world
even while continuing to be an intimate member of the apostles' band.
RECLINING NEXT TO HIM: Cp same phrase, Joh
(Peter had taken one of the "lower" seats: Luk 14:7-11.)
Peter thinks that a traitor may be dealt with before he can do his work
(explaining Joh 18:10). John, evidently wiser than Peter, learns the traitor's
identity but does not tell Peter.
"The greatest mark of esteem a host can pay a guest is to
select a choice morsel out of the common dish and place it in his guest's
SATAN ENTERED: A messenger (from the High Priest?)
comes into the house looking for Judas, and he goes downstairs to see him.
(Since Judas is the treasurer, he is required from time to time to deal with
people unknown to the other disciples.)
The disposal of Jesus' personal effects: his purse to Judas
(Joh 13:29), his clothes to soldiers (Joh 19:23), his mother to John (Joh
19:27), his "spirit" to God (Luk 23:46), and his body to Joseph (Joh
HE WENT OUT: Like Cain (Gen 4:16) and the unforgiving
debtor (Mat 18:28). "They went out from us" (1Jo 2:19).
AND IT WAS NIGHT: As at Passover, he went out into
Egyptian "darkness" of death. Judas was one who walked in darkness (Joh
11:7-10). "This is your hour, when darkness reigns" (Luk 22:53). "Outer
darkness" (Mat 25:30).
Judas' final departure (purging the "leaven") marks the
beginning of Jesus' most intimate conversation with the remaining
NOW: From the time Judas goes to see the Jewish
authorities. Now, everything is set in motion for final act.
GOD IS GLORIFIED: God's "glory" is that of grace and
truth (Joh 1:14). For Christ, glory comes through suffering (Phi 2:9-11; Heb
2:9; 1Pe 1:11).
NEW: Why "new"? Because no one (until Christ) had ever
given the perfect example (cp v 15) of how this command should be kept (Joh
15:12,13). Christ had set the "standard" for all men and all times and for all
circumstances! Note: "AS I have loved you..."
ALL MEN: That is, all kinds (classes, or races) of men.
Examples of "all" prob meaning "without distinction" rather than "without
exception": Joh 1:7,9; 3:26; 5:28; 8:2; 12:32; Rom 10:13; 1Ti 2:1,2; 4:15; 5:20;
6:17; Heb 2:9.
LOVE: Agape, or "love feast" (v 1; Jud 1:12). In the
Breaking of Bread, disciples "proclaim", in Christ's death, his love for them
FOLLOW LATER: In a similar death, by crucifixion (Joh
Peter thinks he will lay down (sw Joh 10:11,15) his life for
Jesus. Instead, Jesus will lay down his life for Peter. A great irony: cp
David/God/build house: 2Sa 7.
Cp Peter's boast to the impotent bluster of the rooster. (And
so do all our pretensions and boasts sound to God!)