John Chapter 13:1-29 …. washing up

The Israelites, like all other Middle Eastern tribes, wore open sandals instead a of closed shoe, and as they usually went barefoot in the house, frequent washing of the feet was a necessity. Hence among the Israelites it was the first duty of the host to give his guest water for the washing of his or his guests feet ; to omit this was a sign of marked unfriendliness. It was also customary to wash the feet before meals and before going to bed ; to abstain for a long time from washing them was a sign of deep mourning.Though there are no extant laws for laymen in regard to washing the feet, such laws for priests are given in Ex. 30:19-21.

13 Now before the feast of the passover*, when Jesus knew that his hour (short season) was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own (his acquaintances) which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

  • *G3957 πάσχα pascha (pas’-cha) aram. the Passover (the meal, the day, the festival or the special sacrifices connected with it). This most certainly has NOTHING to do with Easter. I find it interesting that the translators took the liberty to remove the capital letters that would have denoted the Feast of Passover as a title of a God-given and God-ordained remembrance.

Deuteronomy 16:1-6 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the Lord thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the Lord thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the Lord shall choose to place his name there. Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life. And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning. Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee: But at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.

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

  • {Judas was not demon possessed as many may speculate, Judas was heavily influenced towards a decision that was rooted in an unchecked sinful behavior. Judas at the heart was greedy and focused on money. Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.}

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

  • [(especially by Hebraism) a means or instrument of power or authority]

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

  • [These were the outer garments. In similar behavior, men today will remove a tie or jacket at dinner, to preserve the clothing from getting stained. in this way, Jesus would have kept the outer garments clean for the remainder of the evening. Since foot-washing was a daily cleansing ritual, every family owned storage tanks of water for this purpose.  Most families used wooden or clay water tanks, but wealthier families owned gold or silver vessels. When guests paid a visit, it was customary to wash their feet as an expression of hospitality and welcome.
  • Cleansing was the primary ritual conducted before taking part in religious sacraments (ref. Leviticus). The hands and feet were the parts of the body most easily soiled.  Washing the hands and feet was not only a daily ritual, but later became accepted as a religious activity (Matt 15:20).  In the Old Testament, the function of the bronze laver in front of the tabernacle was for the cleansing of the hands and feet of the priests before they made burnt offerings (Exo. 30:17-21). ]

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. [* ew·er /ˈyo͞oər/ a large jug with a wide mouth, formerly used for carrying water for someone to wash in.]

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. (‘at the moment Peter you dont get it, but you will’)

Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. (The action of Jesus was symbolic of the hospitality expected by a guest, but adverse to the thought that THE King of Kings was the one performing the action. Royalty would never have done this.)

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

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.

  • [This is the preparation needed for the priest to perform his function among the people – to act as an agent in the service of YHVH. This is what Jesus has done for us, cleanses us from sin and teaches us Torah. 
  • Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
  • Hebrews 9:28 “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” ]

11 For he knew* who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean**.

  • [G1492 εἴδω eido (ei’-d̮ō) v. 1. (properly) to see (but not limited to the eye). This word has a deeper meaning in this instance… (by implication, in the perfect tense only) to personally know (i.e. to have seen or have experienced something by firsthand observation). Jesus could witness the emotions and behavior of Judas. Ever hear your parents say “I can see it in your face that you did it!” ? Same thing here.
  • **G2513 καθαρός katharos (ka-tha-ros’) adj.(figuratively) trimmed and pure.]

12 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?

13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

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

  • {This is a command to go and prepare others for priestly service not a call to inspect feet. Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”}

15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

  • Foot-washing Conducted on the Rabbi By Their Pupils: The relationship of students to a Jewish rabbi was similar to that of a slave and his master.  Hence whatever the slaves would do for their master, the pupils would have to the same for their teachers; foot-washing was one of these tasks.  However, the washing of the rabbi’s feet by the pupils was different from that performed by slaves.  The pupils washed the feet of the rabbi out of complete respect and honour.  However, those pupils who came from foreign lands did not have to perform foot-washing, lest they be mistaken as slaves.  They had to wear a “Tephillim” to prove they were students of the rabbi and not slaves.

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.

  • (Jesus is referring to the transition of responsibility from himself to the disciples for the training and teaching, as well as, the propagation of the Word of YHVH.)

17 If ye know these things, happy* are ye if ye do them.

[G3107 μακάριος makarios (ma-ka’-riy-os) adj. supremely blessed / the word happy really doesnt do the sentence justice. This too should raise a question among the “works” crowd. yet James says in James 2:14 “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” and again in 2:17 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”]

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.

  • {for some reason I feel like this is a direct reference to the fall. Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Psalm 41:9 “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”}

19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

20 Verily, verily*, I say unto you, He that receiveth** whomsoever I send (apostles) receiveth me ; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

  • [G281 ἀμήν amen (a-meen’) heb. (properly) firm. When a Hebrew uses a word twice in a row it is expanding the definition. Basically you can reiterate this as “this is a sure thing” or “you can bet your life” that the next thing said is pure fact.
  • **G2983 λαμβάνω lambano (lam-ɓa’-nō) v. accept, + be amazed, + to take for oneself, i.e. to prefer. This speaks loudly to the mission of Jesus…. he was here to teach that which YHVH wants his people to be akin. This is the teaching of Torah.]

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.

22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

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

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

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

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.

  • [*G5596 ψωμίον psomion (psō-miy’-on) n. a crumb or morsel]

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

  • {The heart had already considered the betrayal. The decision to carry it out had lingered. The confirmation that this was his task? When Jesus openly declared that He knew the plan and who was carrying it out. Judas then succumb to the temptation of Satan and became the human agent for the demonic deed. Jesus did not put the demon in Judas, Judas accepted it.}

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

29 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.

  • [Jesus would not have sent anyone to buy anything the next day as it would have violated the instructions of the feast, they were supposed to be fully prepared for the feasts prior to. The next day would have began the week long Feast of Unleavened Bread]



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