John 13:1-17
A true way to love
#john
#love
Published February 13th, 2021
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Main point summary
Bracket
Phrase
Notes
notes
Main point summary
Jesus, at the very end of his earthly life, washed his disciples feet, which was showing them how they would truly know about their future inheritance (the share) which they would get as part of their redemption in him , and also, Jesus gave them a model of servanthood as a pattern for their new way of love from now on. (The second point is a bit more emphasized than the first in this passage, though the first is important as well.)
Bracket
editing
NT
John 13:1-17
esv
mine
Now n before o the Feast of the Passover,
Now, just before the Feast of the Passover,
when Jesus knew that p his hour had come q to depart out of this world to the Father,
that is, the time coinciding when Jesus knew within his spirit that the time for him to complete his task on earth had come, as revealed to him by his Father, something quite remarkable happened.
ideaexplanation
r having loved s his own who were in the world,
To explain what this was : after having loved those who had known him (both on this earth, but including people who would later believe in him)
he loved them to the end.
he now revealed to them the true nature of this love.
temporal
During supper,
Because he loved them so much, at the time of supper,
when t the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him,
at the very time Satan had already worked inside Judas to betray Jesus over to the high priests, which would come soon,
Jesus , knowing u that the Father had given all things into his hands,
Jesus, because he also knew how much the Father had loved him by giving him so much authority
and that v he had come from God
( because he had been sent by the Father to this earth)
ground
and w was going back to God,
and that he would very soon complete this earthly mission,
progression
rose from supper.
rose from the table during dinner,
inference
He laid aside his outer garments,
and after that , after taking off one layer of clothing,
and taking a towel,
and then after taking a towel
x tied it around his waist.
which he tied around his waist,
actionmanner
Then he y poured water into a basin
he then poured water into a portable basin,
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and started to wash his disciples’ feet, which had been dirty,
and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
(and after then wiping their feet dry with the towel that he had wrapped around himself).
He came to Simon Peter,
After washing some of the disciples already, he then came to Peter,
who said to him,
who said to Jesus,
“Lord, do you wash my feet?”
“Lord, you, you who are our leader, should not wash my feet.”
situationresponse
z Jesus answered him,
Jesus on heading this replied to Peter,
“What I am doing a you do not understand now,
“Yes, I do wash your feet, though you don’t understand it.
but afterward you will understand.”
You will understand it later.”
concessive
questionanswer
b Peter said to him,
However , Peter could not accept this and said,
“You shall never wash my feet.”
“By no means, my master! You will never in my lifetime wash my feet!!”
Jesus answered him,
And yet , Jesus answered him calmly,
c “ If I do not wash you,
“Peter, oh Peter. If I do not wash you,
you have no share with me.”
“ then you cannot be a part of me. You will not have the inheritance(a heavenly inheritance which Jesus did not explain at this point, which would be beyond Peter’s understanding)
conditional
actionresult
Simon Peter said to him,
However , we must say that Peter did not understand truth yet, at this point. Peter said to Jesus,
“Lord, not my feet only
“Master, if that is so, then wash not only my feet,
but also my hands and my head!”
but instead wash more of me. I want much more of what this share is which you mention. I really want it!”
negativepositive
Jesus said to him,
So , Jesus lovingly explained to him a truth he could not yet grasp at this point:
“The one who has bathed does not need to wash,
“Look, Peter. If a man, any man that is, has washed himself completely in the bash, then he needs no additional washing at all.
d except for his feet, 1
The only thing he needs constant re-washing is the feet (especially in this world of ours where our sandals pick up so much dust.) I am giving a physical example, not a spiritual one here, Peter.
but is completely clean.
This man, in other words , having bathed, is totally clean.
And e you 2 are clean,
It is the same with you and the disciples, though I speak in spiritual terms.
f but not every one of you.”
I must however , acknowledge that not every one of the 12 is so.”
g For he knew who was to betray him;
(Jesus made this concession to them because he knew one was to betray him).
that was why he said,
In other words , this is why he said,
“Not all of you are clean.”
“Not all of you are clean (not all of you have had a full bathing).”
comparison
When he had washed their feet
So, after he had washed their feet,
and h put on his outer garments
and after having put on one more layer of clothing,
and resumed his place,
he went back to his seat at the table.
he said to them,
At this time , he said to them,
i “Do you understand what I have done to you?
“Do you all understand the real meaning behind what just happened, that is, the significance of what I did?
j You call me k Teacher and Lord,
Look, all of you say I am your Teacher and Lord,
and you are right,
and you are right in saying so,
for so I am.
because it is the truth.
If I then, your Lord and Teacher,
However, even though I am your Lord and Teacher,
have washed your feet,
I have washed all your feet. And, you need to know what this foot washing really means.
l you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
All of you, look: after I leave you all (I will explain this more later), I ask you to do the very same thing to each other, constantly. This continual act will confirm to your very hearts that the heavenly inheritance which I have talked of to you will absolutely be yours (your act itself is not what brings you this inheritance, however, but you will know of this more afterwards).
For I have given you an example,
Do it as I have to you. Do it as I have loved you all my time with you all, these 2 or so years.
m that you also should do
Yes , do it with the love I provide (more on this later, everyone).
just as I have done to you.
Yes, I say, with my love, not the love of the world, which is impossible.
Truly, truly, I say to you,
Why must it be like this?
n a servant 1 is not greater than his master,
It is because a servant cannot go beyond what his master has done already.
nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
Or, to give another example, the messenger cannot add his own ideas to a letter written by his employer. It is the same with you all.
If you know these things,
So , then, if you do as I have shown you,
o blessed are you if you do them.
the result will be incredible blessings, blessings not only obtained in this physical world. Blessings...that this world will never know about.
series
discourse
Phrase
John 13:1-17
na28
Jesus’ motive for the washing
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.
Πρὸ δὲ τῆς ἑορτῆς
Temporal
τοῦ πάσχα
Attributive
εἰδὼς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἦλθεν ... ἡ ὥρα
αὐτοῦ
Reference
ἵνα μεταβῇ
Content of 1c
ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου
Separation
πρὸς τὸν πατέρα,
Destination
ἀγαπήσας τοὺς ἰδίους τοὺς
Temporal (like progression)
ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ
Locative
εἰς τέλος ἠγάπησεν αὐτούς.
1h-j Ground of the washing
During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him,
καὶ δείπνου γινομένου,
Temporal of 4a
τοῦ διαβόλου ἤδη βεβληκότος εἰς τὴν καρδίαν
Expl of 2a
ἵνα παραδοῖ αὐτὸν Ἰούδας Σίμωνος Ἰσκαριώτου,
Content of 2b
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,
εἰδὼς ὅτι πάντα ἔδωκεν ... ὁ πατὴρ
Ground 2 of 4a
αὐτῷ
εἰς τὰς χεῖρας *
Locative or Expl of 3b
καὶ ὅτι ἀπὸ θεοῦ ἐξῆλθεν
Ground of 3a
καὶ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ὑπάγει,
Ground 3 of 4a
Washing in Christ
The washing itself
rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.
ἐγείρεται
ἐκ τοῦ δείπνου
καὶ τίθησιν τὰ ἱμάτια
καὶ λαβὼν λέντιον
Manner
διέζωσεν ἑαυτόν•
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.
εἶτα βάλλει ὕδωρ
εἰς τὸν νιπτῆρα
καὶ ἤρξατο νίπτειν τοὺς πόδας
τῶν μαθητῶν
Possessive
καὶ ἐκμάσσειν
τῷ λεντίῳ
Means
ᾧ ἦν διεζωσμένος.
The meaning of the washing in the spiritual world
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”
ἔρχεται οὖν πρὸς Σίμωνα Πέτρον•
λέγει
αὐτῷ•
κύριε, σύ ... νίπτεις τοὺς πόδας;
Content
μου
Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς
Result-Progression of 6b
καὶ εἶπεν
Explanation
αὐτῷ•
ὃ ἐγὼ ποιῶ
σὺ οὐκ οἶδας ἄρτι,
Negative
γνώσῃ δὲ μετὰ ταῦτα.
Content of 7a
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.”
λέγει ... Πέτρος•
Result-Progression of 8b
αὐτῷ
οὐ μὴ νίψῃς ... τοὺς πόδας
μου
εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.
ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς
Expl of 4-5g
αὐτῷ•
ἐὰν μὴ νίψω σε,
Condition
οὐκ ἔχεις μέρος
μετʼ ἐμοῦ.
Accompaniment
The basis for receiving the “foot” washing
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”
λέγει ... Σίμων Πέτρος•
αὐτῷ
κύριε, μὴ τοὺς πόδας ... μόνον
μου
ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰς χεῖρας
καὶ τὴν κεφαλήν.
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.”
λέγει ... ὁ Ἰησοῦς•
Further expl of 8f-j
αὐτῷ
ὁ λελουμένος
Comparison
οὐκ ἔχει χρείαν ... νίψασθαι,
εἰ μὴ τοὺς πόδας
Concessive
ἀλλʼ ἔστιν καθαρὸς ὅλος•
καὶ ὑμεῖς καθαροί ἐστε,
Content of 10a
ἀλλʼ οὐχὶ πάντες.
Concession
For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
ᾔδει γὰρ τὸν παραδιδόντα αὐτόν•
Ground
διὰ τοῦτο εἶπεν
ὅτι οὐχὶ πάντες καθαροί ἐστε.
The Great Command
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?
Ὅτε οὖν ἔνιψεν τοὺς πόδας
αὐτῶν
[καὶ] ἔλαβεν τὰ ἱμάτια
αὐτοῦ
καὶ ἀνέπεσεν πάλιν,
εἶπεν αὐτοῖς•
γινώσκετε τί πεποίηκα ὑμῖν;
Content of 12f
You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.
ὑμεῖς φωνεῖτέ με• ὁ διδάσκαλος,
All of 13-14c ground of 14d
καί• ὁ κύριος,
καὶ καλῶς λέγετε•
εἰμὶ γάρ.
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
εἰ οὖν ἐγὼ ἔνιψα ... τοὺς πόδας
True explanation of 13a-d
ὑμῶν
ὁ κύριος καὶ ὁ διδάσκαλος,
καὶ ὑμεῖς ὀφείλετε ἀλλήλων νίπτειν τοὺς πόδας•
Answer to 12g Question
For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
ὑπόδειγμα γὰρ ἔδωκα
Comparison-Standard for 14d
ὑμῖν
ἵνα καθὼς ἐγὼ ἐποίησα
Comparison or Standard
ὑμῖν
καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιῆτε.
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.
ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω
All of 16 Ground 2 of 14d
ὑμῖν,
οὐκ ἔστιν δοῦλος μείζων τοῦ κυρίου
αὐτοῦ
οὐδὲ ἀπόστολος μείζων τοῦ πέμψαντος αὐτόν.
εἰ ταῦτα οἴδατε,
If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
μακάριοί ἐστε
Result of 14d
ἐὰν ποιῆτε αὐτά.
Πρὸ δὲ τῆς ἑορτῆς τοῦ πάσχα εἰδὼς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἦλθεν αὐτοῦ ἡ ὥρα ἵνα μεταβῇ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, ἀγαπήσας τοὺς ἰδίους τοὺς ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ εἰς τέλος ἠγάπησεν αὐτούς.
καὶ δείπνου γινομένου, τοῦ διαβόλου ἤδη βεβληκότος εἰς τὴν καρδίαν ἵνα παραδοῖ αὐτὸν Ἰούδας Σίμωνος Ἰσκαριώτου,
εἰδὼς ὅτι πάντα ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ πατὴρ εἰς τὰς χεῖρας * καὶ ὅτι ἀπὸ θεοῦ ἐξῆλθεν καὶ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ὑπάγει,
ἐγείρεται ἐκ τοῦ δείπνου καὶ τίθησιν τὰ ἱμάτια καὶ λαβὼν λέντιον διέζωσεν ἑαυτόν•
εἶτα βάλλει ὕδωρ εἰς τὸν νιπτῆρα καὶ ἤρξατο νίπτειν τοὺς πόδας τῶν μαθητῶν καὶ ἐκμάσσειν τῷ λεντίῳ ᾧ ἦν διεζωσμένος.
ἔρχεται οὖν πρὸς Σίμωνα Πέτρον• λέγει αὐτῷ• κύριε, σύ μου νίπτεις τοὺς πόδας;
ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ• ὃ ἐγὼ ποιῶ σὺ οὐκ οἶδας ἄρτι, γνώσῃ δὲ μετὰ ταῦτα.
λέγει αὐτῷ Πέτρος• οὐ μὴ νίψῃς μου τοὺς πόδας εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς αὐτῷ• ἐὰν μὴ νίψω σε, οὐκ ἔχεις μέρος μετʼ ἐμοῦ.
λέγει αὐτῷ Σίμων Πέτρος• κύριε, μὴ τοὺς πόδας μου μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰς χεῖρας καὶ τὴν κεφαλήν.
λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς• ὁ λελουμένος οὐκ ἔχει χρείαν εἰ μὴ τοὺς πόδας νίψασθαι, ἀλλʼ ἔστιν καθαρὸς ὅλος• καὶ ὑμεῖς καθαροί ἐστε, ἀλλʼ οὐχὶ πάντες.
ᾔδει γὰρ τὸν παραδιδόντα αὐτόν• διὰ τοῦτο εἶπεν ὅτι οὐχὶ πάντες καθαροί ἐστε.
Ὅτε οὖν ἔνιψεν τοὺς πόδας αὐτῶν [καὶ] ἔλαβεν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνέπεσεν πάλιν, εἶπεν αὐτοῖς• γινώσκετε τί πεποίηκα ὑμῖν;
ὑμεῖς φωνεῖτέ με• ὁ διδάσκαλος, καί• ὁ κύριος, καὶ καλῶς λέγετε• εἰμὶ γάρ.
εἰ οὖν ἐγὼ ἔνιψα ὑμῶν τοὺς πόδας ὁ κύριος καὶ ὁ διδάσκαλος, καὶ ὑμεῖς ὀφείλετε ἀλλήλων νίπτειν τοὺς πόδας•
ὑπόδειγμα γὰρ ἔδωκα ὑμῖν ἵνα καθὼς ἐγὼ ἐποίησα ὑμῖν καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιῆτε.
ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐκ ἔστιν δοῦλος μείζων τοῦ κυρίου αὐτοῦ οὐδὲ ἀπόστολος μείζων τοῦ πέμψαντος αὐτόν.
εἰ ταῦτα οἴδατε, μακάριοί ἐστε ἐὰν ποιῆτε αὐτά.
phrasing
Notes
*The thrust of this passage is Jesus modelling a way of love to his disciples in verse 14. However, John being John knows that this is no mere ethical command, but something far greater. I think he gives hints in this passage on how this is possible (verse 8 and verse 10), but also does it quite obliquely and mysteriously. He doesn’t fully explain his terms, and will take Chapters 14-16 to further explain what he means here. .* About the “Result-Progression” Label in the Phrase: I noticed that we don’t usually label a Progression in a phrase, as with an arc. However, I feel that especially with the dialogue between Peter and Jesus, that there is some continual escalation in intensity, and I wanted to try out a new label to express that (each is responding to the other, and climaxes in verse 8).
Comments
Brent Karding
I didn't go through the entire bracket in detail, because it is so lengthy, but your work is quite solid.
Brent Karding
and that he had come from God
I really like almost everything in your bracket of verses 1-5. Your work is very careful, and your paraphrase explains your choices well.

3b-c, I'd say should be coordinate: they show where he had come from, and where he was going. You have 3a and 3c coordinate, with 3b supporting 3a. Also, you have Jesus knowing two things: 3a and 3c. The text shows three: 3a, 3b, and 3c.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.