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John Chapter Thirteen


John 13

Now, then, the Lord has taken His place as going to the Father. The time was come for it. He takes His place above, according to the counsels of God, and is no longer in connection with a world that had already rejected Him; but He loves His own unto the end. Two things are present to Him: on the one hand, sin taking the form most painful to His heart; and on the other, the sense of all glory being given to Him as man, and of whence He came and whither He was going: that is, His personal and heavenly character in relationship with God, and the glory that was given Him. He came from God and went to God; and the Father had put all things into His hands.

But neither His entrance into glory, nor the heartlessness of man's sin, takes His heart away from His disciples or even from their wants. Only He exercises His love, to put them in connection with Himself in the new position He was creating for them by entering thus into it. He could no longer remain with them on earth; and if He left them, and must leave them, He would not give them up, but fit them for being where He was. He loved them with a love that nothing stopped. It went on to perfect its results; and He must fit them to be with Him. Blessed change that love accomplished even from His being with them here below! They were to have a part with Him who came from God and went to God, and into whose hands the Father had put all things; but then they must be fit to be with Him there. To this end He is still their servant in love, and even more so than ever. No doubt He had been so in His perfect grace, but it was while among them. They were thus in a certain sense companions. They were all supping together here at the same table. But He quits this position, as He did His personal association with His disciples by ascending to heaven, by going to God. But, if He does, He still girds Himself for their service, and takes water [1] to wash their feet. Although in heaven, He is still serving us. [2] The effect of this service is, that the Holy Ghost takes away practically by the word all the defilement that we gather in walking through this world of sin. On our way we come in contact with this world that rejected Christ. Our Advocate on high (compare 1 John 2), He cleanses us from its defilement by the Holy Ghost and the word; He cleanses us in view of the relationships with God His Father, unto which He has brought us by entering into them Himself as man on high.

A purity was needed that should befit the presence of God, for He was going there. However it is only the feet that are in question. The priests that served God in the tabernacle were washed at their consecration. That washing was not repeated. So, when once spiritually renewed by the word, this is not repeated for us. In "he that is washed" it is a different word from "save to wash his feet." The first is bathing the whole body; the latter washing hands or feet. We need the latter continually, but are not, once born of water by the word, washed over again, any more than the priests' first consecration was repeated. The priests washed their hands and their feet every time they engaged in service-that they drew near to God. Our Jesus restores communion and power to serve God, when we have lost it. He does it, and with a view to communion and service; for before God we are entirely clean personally. The service was the service of Christ-of His love. He wiped their feet with the towel wherewith He was girded (a circumstance expressive of service). The means of purification was water-the word, applied by the Holy Ghost. Peter shrinks from the idea of Christ thus humbling Himself. but we must submit to this thought, that our sin is such that nothing less than the humiliation of Christ can in any sense cleanse us from it. Nothing else will make us really know the perfect and dazzling purity of God, or the love and devotedness of Jesus: and in the realisation of these consists the having a heart sanctified for the presence of God. Peter, then, would have the Lord to wash also his hands and his head. But this is already accomplished. If we are His we are born again and cleansed by the word which He has already applied to our souls; only we defile our feet in walking. It is after the pattern of this service of Christ in grace that we are to act with regard to our brethren.

Judas was not clean; he had not been born again, was not clean through the word Jesus had spoken. Nevertheless, being sent of the Lord, they who had received him had received Christ. And this is true also of those whom He sends by His Spirit. This thought brings the treachery of Judas before the Lord's mind; His soul is troubled at the thought, and He unburdens His heart by declaring it to His disciples. What His heart is occupied with here is, not His knowledge of the individual, but of the fact that one of them should do it, one of those who had been His companions.

Therefore it was, because of His saying this, that the disciples looked upon one another. Now there was one near Him, the disciple whom Jesus loved; for we have, in all this part of the Gospel of John, the testimony of grace that answers to the diverse forms of malice and wickedness in man. This love of Jesus had formed the heart of John-had given him confidingness and constancy of affection; and consequently, without any other motive than this, he was near enough to Jesus to receive communications from Him. It was not in order to receive them that he placed himself close to Jesus: he was there because he loved the Lord, whose own love had thus attached him to Himself; but, being there, he was able to receive them. It is thus that we may still learn of Him.

Peter loved Him: but there was too much of Peter, not for service, if God called him to it-and He did in grace, when He had thoroughly broken him down, and made him know himself-but for intimacy. Who, among the twelve, bore testimony like Peter, in whom God was mighty towards the circumcision? But we do not find in his epistles that which is found in John's. [3] Moreover each one has his place, given in the sovereignty of God. Peter loved Christ; and we see that, linked also with John by this common affection, they are constantly together; as also at the end of this Gospel he is anxious to know the fate of John. He uses John, therefore, to ask the Lord, which it was among them that should betray Him, as He had said. Let us remember that being near Jesus for His own sake is the way of having His mind when anxious thoughts arise. Jesus points out Judas by the sop, which would have checked any other, but which to him was only the seal of his ruin. It is indeed thus in degree with every favour of God that falls upon a heart that rejects it. After the sop Satan enters into Judas. Wicked already through covetousness, and yielding habitually to ordinary temptations; although he was with Jesus, hardening his heart against the effect of that grace which was ever before his eyes and at his side, and which, in a certain way, was exercised towards him, he had yielded to the suggestion of the enemy, and made himself the tool of the high priests to betray the Lord. He knew what they desired, and goes and offers himself. And when, by his long familiarity with the grace and presence of Jesus while addicting himself to sin, that grace and the thought of the Person of Christ had entirely lost their influence, he was in a state to feel nothing at betraying Him. The knowledge he had of the Lord's power, helped him to give himself up to evil, and strengthened the temptation of Satan; for evidently he made sure that Jesus would always succeed in delivering Himself from His enemies, and, as far as power was concerned, Judas was right in thinking that the Lord could have done so. But what knew he of the thoughts of God? All was darkness, morally, in his soul.

And now, after this last testimony, which was both a token of grace and a witness to the true state of his heart that was insensible to it (as expressed in the Psalm here fulfilled), Satan enters into him, takes possession of him so as to harden him against all that might have made him feel, even as a man, the horrid nature of what he was doing, and thus enfeeble him in accomplishing the evil; so that neither his conscience nor his heart should be awakened in committing it. Dreadful condition! Satan possesses him, until forced to leave him to the judgment from which he cannot shelter him, and which will be his own at the time appointed of God-judgment that manifests itself to the conscience of Judas when the evil was done, when too late (and the sense of which is shewn by a despair that his link with Satan did but augment) but which is forced to bear testimony to Jesus before those who had profited by his sin and who mocked at his distress. For despair speaks the truth; the veil is torn away; there is no longer self-deception; the conscience is laid bare before God, but it is before His judgment. Satan does not deceive there; and not the grace, but the perfection of Christ is known. Judas bore witness to the innocence of Jesus, as did the thief on the cross. It is thus that death and destruction heard the fame of His wisdom: only God knows it (Job 28:22, 23).

Jesus knew his condition. It was but the accomplishing that which He was going to do, by means of one for whom there was no longer any hope. "That thou doest," said Jesus, "do quickly." But what words, when we hear them from the lips of Him who was love itself! Nevertheless, the eyes of Jesus were not fixed upon His own death. He is alone. No one, not even His disciples, had any part with Him. These could no more follow Him whether He was now going, than the Jews themselves. Solemn but glorious hour! A man, He was going to meet God in that which separated man from God-to meet Him in judgment. This, in fact, is what He says, as soon as Judas is gone out. The door which closed on Judas separated Christ from this world.

"Now," He says, "is the Son of man glorified." He had said this when the Greeks arrived; but then it was the glory to come-His glory as the head of all men, and, in fact, of all things. But this could not yet be; and He said, "Father, glorify thy name." Jesus must die. It was that which glorified the name of God in a world where sin was. It was the glory of the Son of man to accomplish it there, where all the power of the enemy, the effect of sin, and the judgment of God upon sin, were displayed; where the question was morally settled; where Satan (in his power over sinful man-man under sin, and that fully developed in open enmity against God), and God met, not as in the case of Job, as an instrument in God's hand for discipline, but for justice-that which God was against sin, but that in which, through Christ's giving Himself, all His attributes should be in exercise, and be glorified, and by which, in fact, through that which took place, all the perfections of God have been glorified, being manifested through Jesus, or by means of that which Jesus did and suffered.

These perfections had been directly unfolded in Him, as far as grace went; but now that the opportunity of the exercise of all of them was afforded, by His taking a place which put Him to the proof according to the attributes of God, their divine perfection could be displayed through man in Jesus there where He stood in the place of man; and (made sin, and, thank God, for the sinner) God was glorified in Him. For see what in fact met in the cross: Satan's complete power over men, Jesus alone excepted; man in open perfect enmity against God in the rejection of His Son; God manifest in grace: then in Christ, as man, perfect love to His Father, and perfect obedience, and that in the place of sin, that is, as made it (for the perfection of love to His Father and obedience were when He was as sin before God on the cross); then God's majesty made good, glorified (Heb. 2:10); His perfect, righteous, judgment against sin as the Holy One; but therein His perfect love to sinners in giving His only-begotten Son. For hereby know we love. To sum it up: at the cross we find, man in absolute evil-the hatred of what was good; Satan's full power over the world-the prince of this world; man in perfect goodness, obedience, and love to the Father at all cost to Himself; God in absolute, infinite, righteousness against sin, and infinite divine love to the sinner. Good and evil were fully settled for ever, and salvation wrought, the foundation of the new heavens and the new earth laid. Well may we say, "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him." Utterly dishonoured in the first, He is infinitely more glorified in the Second, and therefore puts man (Christ) in glory, and straightway, not waiting for the kingdom. But this requires some less abstract words; for the cross is the centre of the universe, according to God, the basis of our salvation and our glory, and the brightest manifestation of God's own glory, the centre of the history of eternity.

The Lord had said, when the Greeks desired to see Him, that the hour was come for the Son of man to be glorified. He spoke then of His glory as Son of man, the glory which He should take under that title. He felt indeed that in order to bring men into that glory, He must needs pass through death Himself. But He was engrossed by one thing which detached His thoughts from the glory and from the suffering-the desire which possessed His heart that His Father should be glorified. All was now come to the point at which this was to be accomplished; and the moment had arrived when Judas (overstepping the limits of God's just and perfect patience) was gone out, giving the reins to his iniquity, to consummate the crime which would lead to the wonderful fulfilment of the counsels of God.

Now, in Jesus on the cross, the Son of man has been glorified in a much more admirable way than He will be even by the positive glory that belongs to Him under that title. He will, we know, be clothed with that glory; but, on the cross, the Son of man bore all that was necessary for the perfect display of all the glory of God. The whole weight of that glory was brought to bear upon Him, to put Him to the proof, that it might be seen whether He could sustain it, verify, and exalt it; and that by setting it forth in the place where, but for this, sin concealed that glory, and, so to speak, gave it impiously the lie. Was the Son of man able to enter into such a place, to undertake such a task, and to accomplish the task, and maintain His place without failure to the end? This Jesus did. The majesty of God was to be vindicated against the insolent rebellion of His creature; His truth, which had threatened Him with death, maintained; His justice established against sin (who could withstand it?); and, at the same time, His love fully demonstrated. Satan having here all the sorrowful rights that he had acquired through our sin, Christ-perfect as a man, alone, apart from all men, in obedience, and having as man but one object, that is, the glory of God, thus divinely perfect, sacrificing Himself for this purpose-fully glorified God. God was glorified in Him. His justice, His majesty, His truth, His love-all was verified on the cross as they are in Himself, and revealed only there; and that with regard to sin.

And God can now act freely, according to that which He is consciously to Himself, without any one attribute hiding, or obscuring, or contradicting another. Truth condemned man to death, justice for ever condemned the sinner, majesty demanded the execution of the sentence. Where, then, was love? If love, as man would conceive it, were to pass over all, where would be His majesty and His justice? Moreover, that could not be; nor would it really then be love, but indifference to evil. By means of the cross, He is just, and He justifies in grace; He is love, and in that love He bestows His righteousness on man. The righteousness of God takes the place of man's sin to the believer. The righteousness, as well as the sin, of man vanishes before the bright light of grace, and does not becloud the sovereign glory of a grace like this towards man, who was really alienated from God.

And who had accomplished this? Who had thus established (as to its manifestation, and the making it good where it had been, as to the state of things, compromised by sin), the whole glory of God? It was the Son of man. Therefore God glorifies Him with His own glory; for it was indeed that glory which He had established and made honourable, when before His creatures it was effaced by sin-it cannot be so in itself. And not only was it established, but it was thus realised as it could have been by no other means. Never was love like the gift of the Son of God for sinners; never justice (to which sin is insupportable) like that which did not spare even the Son Himself when He bore sin upon Him; never majesty like that which held the Son of God Himself responsible for the full extent of its exigencies (compare Heb. 2); never truth like that which did not yield before the necessity of the death of Jesus. We now know God. God, being glorified in the Son of man, glorifies Him in Himself. But, consequently, He does not wait for the day of His glory with man, according to the thought of chapter 12. God calls Him to His own right hand, and sets Him there at once and alone. Who could be there (save in spirit) excepting He? Here His glory is connected with that which He alone could do-with that which He must have done alone; and of which He must have the fruit alone with God, for He was God.

Other glories shall come in their time. He will share them with us, although in all things He has the pre-eminence. Here He is, and must ever be, alone (that is, in that which is personal to Himself). Who shared the cross with Him, as suffering for sin, and fulfilling righteousness? We, indeed, share it with Him so far as suffering for righteousness' sake, and for the love of Him and His people, even unto death: and thus we shall share His gloryalso. But it is evident that we could not glorify God for sin. He who knew no sin could alone be made sin. The Son of God alone could bear this burden.

In this sense the Lord-when His heart found relief in pouring out these glorious thoughts, these marvellous counsels-addressed His disciples with affection, telling them that their connection with Him here below would soon be ended, that He was going where they could not follow Him, any more than could the unbelieving Jews. Brotherly love was, in a certain sense, to take His place. They were to love one another as He had loved them, with a love superior to the faults of the flesh in their brethren-brotherly love gracious in these respects. If the main pillar were taken away against which many around it were leaning, they would support each other, although not by their strength. And thus should the disciples of Christ be known.

Now Simon Peter desires to penetrate into that which no man, save Jesus, could enter-God's presence by the path of death. This is fleshly confidence. The Lord tells him, in grace, that it could not be so now. He must dry up that sea fathomless to man-death-that overflowing Jordan; and then, when it was no longer the judgment of God, nor wielded by the power of Satan (for in both these characters Christ has entirely destroyed its power for the believer), then His poor disciple might pass through it for the sake of righteousness and of Christ. But Peter would follow Him in his own strength, declaring himself able to do exactly that which Jesus was going to do for him. Yet, in fact, terrified at the first movement of the enemy, he draws back before the voice of a girl, and denies the Master whom he loved. In the things of God, fleshly confidence does but lead us into a position in which it cannot stand. Sincerity alone can do nothing against the enemy. We must have the strength of God.


[1] It is not blood here. That assuredly there must be. He came not by water only, but by water and blood; but here the washing is in every respect that of water. The washing from sins in His own blood is never repeated at all in any way. Christ must have suffered often in that case. See Hebrews 9 and 10. In respect of imputation, there is no more conscience of sins.

[2] The Lord in becoming a man took on Him the form of a servant (Phil. 2). This He never gives up. It might have been thought so when He went into glory, but He is shewing here that it is not so. He is now as in Exodus 21 saying, I love my master, I love my wife, I love my children; I will not go out free; and becoming a servant for ever, even if He could have had twelve legions of angels. Here He is a servant to wash their feet, defiled in passing through this world. In Luke 12 we see that He keeps the place of service in glory. It is a sweet thought that even there He ministers heaven's best blessedness to our happiness.

[3] On the other hand, Peter died for the Lord. John was left to care for the assembly: it does not appear that he became a martyr.

── John DarbySynopsis of John


John 13

Chapter Contents

Christ washes the disciples' feet. (1-17) The treachery of Judas foretold. (18-30) Christ commands the disciples to love one another. (31-38)

Commentary on John 13:1-17

(Read John 13:1-17)

Our Lord Jesus has a people in the world that are his own; he has purchased them, and paid dear for them, and he has set them apart for himself; they devote themselves to him as a peculiar people. Those whom Christ loves, he loves to the end. Nothing can separate a true believer from the love of Christ. We know not when our hour will come, therefore what we have to do in constant preparation for it, ought never to be undone. What way of access the devil has to men's hearts we cannot tell. But some sins are so exceedingly sinful, and there is so little temptation to them from the world and the flesh, that it is plain they are directly from Satan. Jesus washed his disciples' feet, that he might teach us to think nothing below us, wherein we may promote God's glory, and the good of our brethren. We must address ourselves to duty, and must lay aside every thing that would hinder us in what we have to do. Christ washed his disciples' feet, that he might signify to them the value of spiritual washing, and the cleansing of the soul from the pollutions of sin. Our Lord Jesus does many things of which even his own disciples do not for the present know the meaning, but they shall know afterward. We see in the end what was the kindness from events which seemed most cross. And it is not humility, but unbelief, to put away the offers of the gospel, as if too rich to be made to us, or too good news to be true. All those, and those only, who are spiritually washed by Christ, have a part in Christ. All whom Christ owns and saves, he justifies and sanctifies. Peter more than submits; he begs to be washed by Christ. How earnest he is for the purifying grace of the Lord Jesus, and the full effect of it, even upon his hands and head! Those who truly desire to be sanctified, desire to be sanctified throughout, to have the whole man, with all its parts and powers, made pure. The true believer is thus washed when he receives Christ for his salvation. See then what ought to be the daily care of those who through grace are in a justified state, and that is, to wash their feet; to cleanse themselves from daily guilt, and to watch against everything defiling. This should make us the more cautious. From yesterday's pardon, we should be strengthened against this day's temptation. And when hypocrites are discovered, it should be no surprise or cause of stumbling to us. Observe the lesson Christ here taught. Duties are mutual; we must both accept help from our brethren, and afford help to our brethren. When we see our Master serving, we cannot but see how ill it becomes us to domineer. And the same love which led Christ to ransom and reconcile his disciples when enemies, still influences him.

Commentary on John 13:18-30

(Read John 13:18-30)

Our Lord had often spoken of his own sufferings and death, without such trouble of spirit as he now discovered when he spake of Judas. The sins of Christians are the grief of Christ. We are not to confine our attention to Judas. The prophecy of his treachery may apply to all who partake of God's mercies, and meet them with ingratitude. See the infidel, who only looks at the Scriptures with a desire to do away their authority and destroy their influence; the hypocrite, who professes to believe the Scriptures, but will not govern himself by them; and the apostate, who turns aside from Christ for a thing of naught. Thus mankind, supported by God's providence, after eating bread with Him, lift up the heel against Him! Judas went out as one weary of Jesus and his apostles. Those whose deeds are evil, love darkness rather than light.

Commentary on John 13:31-35

(Read John 13:31-35)

Christ had been glorified in many miracles he wrought, yet he speaks of his being glorified now in his sufferings, as if that were more than all his other glories in his humbled state. Satisfaction was thereby made for the wrong done to God by the sin of man. We cannot now follow our Lord to his heavenly happiness, but if we truly believe in him, we shall follow him hereafter; meanwhile we must wait his time, and do his work. Before Christ left the disciples, he would give them a new commandment. They were to love each other for Christ's sake, and according to his example, seeking what might benefit others, and promoting the cause of the gospel, as one body, animated by one soul. But this commandment still appears new to many professors. Men in general notice any of Christ's words rather than these. By this it appears, that if the followers of Christ do not show love one to another, they give cause to suspect their sincerity.

Commentary on John 13:36-38

(Read John 13:36-38)

What Christ had said concerning brotherly love, Peter overlooked, but spoke of that about which Christ kept them ignorant. It is common to be more eager to know about secret things, which belong to God only, than about things revealed, which belong to us and our children; to be more desirous to have our curiosity gratified, than our consciences directed; to know what is done in heaven, than what we may do to get thither. How soon discourse as to what is plain and edifying is dropped, while a doubtful dispute runs on into endless strife of words! We are apt to take it amiss to be told we cannot do this and the other, whereas, without Christ we can do nothing. Christ knows us better than we know ourselves, and has many ways of discovering those to themselves, whom he loves, and he will hide pride from them. May we endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, to love one another with a pure heart fervently, and to walk humbly with our God.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on John


John 13

Verse 2

[2] And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;

Having now — Probably now first.

Verse 3

[3] Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

Jesus knowing — Though conscious of his own greatness, thus humbled himself.

Verse 4

[4] He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

Layeth aside his garments — That part of them which would have hindered him.

Verse 5

[5] 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.

Into the basin — A large vessel was usually placed for this very purpose, wherever the Jews supped.

Verse 7

[7] Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter — We do not now know perfectly any of his works, either of creation, providence, or grace. It is enough that we can love and obey now, and that we shall know hereafter.

Verse 8

[8] Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

If I wash thee not — If thou dost not submit to my will, thou hast no part with me - Thou art not my disciple. In a more general sense it may mean, If I do not wash thee in my blood, and purify thee by my Spirit, thou canst have no communion with me, nor any share in the blessings of my kingdom.

Verse 9

[9] Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

Lord, not my feet only — How fain would man be wiser than God! Yet this was well meant, though ignorant earnestness.

Verse 10

[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.

And so ye, having been already cleansed, need only to wash your feet - That is, to walk holy and undefiled.

Verse 14

[14] If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

Ye ought also to wash one another's feet — And why did they not? Why do we not read of any one apostle ever washing the feet of any other? Because they understood the Lord better. They knew he never designed that this should be literally taken. He designed to teach them the great lesson of humble love, as well as to confer inward purity upon them. And hereby he teaches us, 1. In every possible way to assist each other in attaining that purity; 2. To wash each other's feet, by performing all sorts of good offices to each other, even those of the lowest kind, when opportunity serves, and the necessity of any calls for them.

Verse 16

[16] 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.

The servant is not greater than his lord — Nor therefore ought to think much of either doing or suffering the same things.

Verse 18

[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.

I speak not of you all — When I call you happy, I know one of you twelve whom I have chosen, will betray me; whereby that scripture will be fulfilled. Psalms 41:9.

Verse 20

[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.

And I put my own honour upon you, my ambassadors. Matthew 10:40.

Verse 21

[21] 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.

One of you — The speaking thus indefinitely at first was profitable to them all.

Verse 23

[23] Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

There was lying in the bosom of Jesus — That is, sitting next to him at table. This phrase only expresses the then customary posture at meals, where the guests all leaned sidewise on couches. And each was said to lie in the bosom of him who was placed next above him.

One of the disciples whom Jesus loved — St. John avoids with great care the expressly naming himself. Perhaps our Lord now gave him the first proof of his peculiar love, by disclosing this secret to him.

Verse 24

[24] Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

Simon Peter — Behind Jesus, who lay between them.

Verse 25

[25] He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

Leaning down, and so asking him privately.

Verse 26

[26] 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.

Jesus answered — In his ear. So careful was he not to offend (if it had been possible) even Judas himself.

The sop — Which he took up while he was speaking.

He giveth it to Judas — And probably the other disciples thought Judas peculiarly happy! But when even this instance of our Lord's tenderness could not move him, then Satan took full possession.

Verse 27

[27] And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

What thou doest, do quickly — This is not a permission, much less a command. It is only as if he had said, If thou art determined to do it, why dost thou delay? Hereby showing Judas, that he could not be hid, and expressing his own readiness to suffer.

Verse 28

[28] Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

None knew why he said this — Save John and Judas.

Verse 30

[30] He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

He went out — To the chief priests. But he returned afterward, and was with them when they ate the passover, Matthew 26:20, though not at the Lord's Supper.

Verse 31

[31] Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

Jesus saith — Namely, the next day; on Thursday, in the morning. Here the scene, as it were, is opened, for the discourse which is continued in the following chapters.

Now — While I speak this, the Son of man is glorified - Being fully entered into his glorious work of redemption. This evidently relates to the glory which belongs to his suffering in so holy and victorious a manner.

Verse 33

[33] 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.

Ye cannot come — Not yet; being not yet ripe for it. John 7:34.

Verse 34

[34] A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

A new commandment — Not new in itself; but new in the school of Christ: for he had never before taught it them expressly. Likewise new, as to the degree of it, as I have loved you.

Verse 36

[36] 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 saith, Lord, whither goest thou? — St. Peter seems to have thought, that Christ, being rejected by the Jews, would go to some other part of the earth to erect his throne, where he might reign without disturbance, according to the gross notions he had of Christ's kingdom.

Thou canst not follow me now — But Peter would not believe him. And he did follow him, John 18:15. But it was afar off. And not without great loss.

Verse 38

[38] 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.

The cock shall not have crowed — That is, cock crowing shall not be over, till thou hast denied me thrice - His three-fold denial was thrice foretold; first, at the time mentioned here; secondly, at that mentioned by St. Luke; lastly, at that recorded by St. Matthew and Mark.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on John


John 13:1~17

When you go to another to wash his feet, or when another comes to wash your feet, be concerned as to the temperature of the water!

Some come with boiling hot water. They are so angry, so upset, so distracted by something that has happened in the past—and so mad about it—that they come to the other person and say, ”Here, stick your feet in here!” Nobody wants to have his feet washed with boiling water.

Some go to the other extreme and come with ice water. They are so righteous, so holier-than-thou, so above it all. They come with this frigid, freezing water and want to wash your feet. Nobody wants to have his feet washed with ice water.

Some find a third extreme and come without any water! They try to dry-clean your feet with “a piece of their mind,” just scrubbing away harshly. What they say may be true, but there is no water of love, nothing to wash the dirt gently away, but only a rigid insistence on scraping away every imperfection and the skin along with it!

There is another way—that is to come and wash one another’s feet in love, in the spirit of servant-hood.


John 13:34~37

The sign that you followed Abraham was circumcision.

The sign that you followed Moses was keeping the Sabbath.

The sign that you followed John the Baptist was that you were baptized.

The sign that you follow Jesus Christ is that you love one another.


Chapter 13. Wash Feet and Love One Another

Jesus Washes Disciples' Feet: Life
Judas Lifts up Heel Against Jesus: Death

I. Example of Washing One Another's Feet

  1. Out of Love
  2. Honest Intention
  3. The Word of God

II. Predict Judas' Betrayal

  1. Wash His Feet
  2. Dip the Bread and Give It to Him
  3. Satan Enters Him

III. Command of Loving One Another

  1. The Lord's Criteria
  2. Testimony of Loving One Another
  3. Peter Boasts
── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament
By This All Will Know (13:34-35)
1. How is the world to know that we are truly disciples of Christ,
   members of His body?
   a. Is it by the name we wear?
   b. Is it by having the right doctrine, organization, worship, etc.?
2. It is certainly important to have all these things; but if we
   a. That by these things alone we are truly the disciples of Jesus
   b. That by these things alone the world will know we are Christ's
   ...then we are sadly mistaken!
3. Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus identified a key mark of
   a. He gave what He called "a new commandment" - Jn 13:34
   b. It was a command to "love one another" - Jn 13:34
   c. He said "by this all will know" who were His disciples - Jn 13:35
4. Love for one another is how people will know that we are truly the
   disciples of Jesus...
   a. Do we know what kind of love that is?
   b. How do we develop that kind of love?
   c. How do we demonstrate this love?
[In this study I wish to encourage the kind of love Jesus commands of
us, so that "By This All Will Know" that we are truly His disciples!
Let's begin with...]
      1. There had always been the love of family, friends, etc.
      2. The OT taught to "love your neighbor as yourself" - Lev 19:18
      3. But Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you
         love one another" - Jn 13:34
         a. This is not simply a command to love one another
         b. But a command to love one another in a special way
      -- Jesus is calling us to new and higher standard of love!
      1. What kind of love does Jesus command?
         a. "as I have love you, that you also love another"
         b. It is a love patterned after Jesus' love for us
         -- This is what makes it a new and higher standard of love!
      2. The love Jesus had for us can be summarized in one word:
         a. As Jesus explained in Jn 15:13
         b. As John wrote in 1 Jn 3:16-18
         c. As Paul commanded in Ep 5:1-2
      3. It was this kind of love manifested by the first disciples of
         a. The church in Jerusalem - Ac 2:44-45
         b. The churches in Macedonia - 2 Co 8:1-5
      1. By such love Jesus declared "all will know that you are My
         disciples" - Jn 13:35
         a. The implication is that such love will be visible and
         b. And visible by ALL, not just by brethren!
      2. To be a visible love, requires a love...
         a. That goes beyond the four walls of the church building
         b. That extends beyond the few hours we are assembled together
         c. That can be observed by those of the world and in the world
      -- In some way, the world needs to have the opportunity to
         observe the disciples in action, in which their love that is
         patterned after Jesus' love can be seen
[Being a "warm and friendly church" while assembled is commendable, but
it alone does not fulfill the command to have a new, sacrificial, and
visible love patterned after the love of Jesus!
If we wish to manifest this kind of love in our lives, where do we
begin?  Consider...]
      1. The Thessalonians excelled in this love - 1 Th 4:9-10
      2. For they had been "taught by God to love one another"
      3. Certainly God's own love for us teaches us how to love
         - cf. 1 Jn 4:9-11
      -- Think of the Father's own sacrificial love for us, in sending
         His Son to be the propitiation for our sins!
      1. Jesus' own example of sacrifice teaches the true meaning of
         love - 1 Jn 3:16
      2. The more we contemplate upon the example of Jesus' life and
         death, the more likely we will love like He did!
      1. We are to stir one another to love and good works - He 10:24
      2. An important means of doing this is by frequent assembling
         - He 10:25
      -- Perhaps one reason why some don't love as they should, is
         because they don't assemble like they should!
[Through careful study of the Father's love for us, the Savior's love
for us, and through frequent assembling where we stir up another to
love and good works, we can develop the kind of love "By Which All Will
Know" we are Jesus' disciples.  Finally, a thought or two about...]
      1. When we are assembled and have guests, we have an opportunity
         to demonstrate our love for another
      2. What do our guests see?  Do they see Christians who...
         a. Are glad to see one another?
         b. Are willing to take the time to visit with each other?
         c. Even know each other's name?
      -- Our assemblies may be the only time some guests have the
         opportunity to see Christians interact; do they see an evident
         love and concern for one another?
      1. We often have the opportunity to be together in ways that
         others can see...
         a. Perhaps we work with other Christians
         b. Or we have neighbors that are Christians
         c. Or we gather to visit, or do things together
      2. What do those in the world see?  Do they see an interaction
         a. Reveals a strong love and appreciation for one another?
         b. Shows a sincere interest in each other's well-being?
      3. Where there are differences, is the way we handle them
         a. Christians will often sin against one another, offend one
         b. But will they see long-suffering and a quickness to
            forgive, even as Christ forgave us? - cf. Ep 4:32; Co 3:13
1. Jesus has revealed a powerful tool to persuade the world that we are
   His disciples...
   a. Certainly we show our discipleship by faithfulness to His
      doctrine - cf. Jn 8:32
   b. But in a world that cares little for doctrinal distinctiveness,
      a Christ-like love for one another is how Jesus would have us
      convince the world! - cf. Jn 13:34-35
2. How is your love for your brother in Christ?
   a. Is it Christ-like, i.e., a sacrificial love?
   b. Is it observable, i.e., do people see your brotherly love in our
      assemblies and community?
3. If you admit your love for your brethren needs work (and we all can
   a. Look to God and Jesus as the ultimate teachers of what it means
      to love one another
   b. Utilize opportunities to be with brethren
      1) Which provides occasion to grow and display your love
      2) Which can serve to stir you to love and good works - cf.
         He 10:24-25
So remember...
   "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as
   I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all
   will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one
   another." (Jn 13:35)
   "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
                                                  (1 Jn 4:11)


--《Executable Outlines