New American Bible (Revised Edition)
III. The Book of Glory[a]
The Washing of the Disciples’ Feet.[b] 1 Before the feast of Passover,[c] Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.(A) 2 The devil had already induced[d] Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper,(B) 3 fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God,(C) 4 he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. 5 [e]Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet(D) and dry them with the towel around his waist. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”(E) 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed[f] has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.”(F) 11 For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”(G)
12 So when he had washed their feet [and] put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? 13 You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.(H) 14 If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.(I) 16 Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger[g] greater than the one who sent him.(J) 17 If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.Read full chapter
- 13:1–19:42 The Book of Glory. There is a major break here; the word “sign” is used again only in Jn 20:30. In this phase of Jesus’ return to the Father, the discourses (Jn 13–17) precede the traditional narrative of the passion (Jn 18–20) to interpret them for the Christian reader. This is the only extended example of esoteric teaching of disciples in John.
- 13:1–20 Washing of the disciples’ feet. This episode occurs in John at the place of the narration of the institution of the Eucharist in the synoptics. It may be a dramatization of Lk 22:27—“I am your servant.” It is presented as a “model” (“pattern”) of the crucifixion. It symbolizes cleansing from sin by sacrificial death.
- 13:1 Before the feast of Passover: this would be Thursday evening, before the day of preparation; in the synoptics, the Last Supper is a Passover meal taking place, in John’s chronology, on Friday evening. To the end: or, “completely.”
- 13:2 Induced: literally, “The devil put into the heart that Judas should hand him over.”
- 13:5 The act of washing another’s feet was one that could not be required of the lowliest Jewish slave. It is an allusion to the humiliating death of the crucifixion.
- 13:10 Bathed: many have suggested that this passage is a symbolic reference to baptism. The Greek root involved is used in baptismal contexts in 1 Cor 6:11; Eph 5:26; Ti 3:5; Hb 10:22.
- 13:16 Messenger: the Greek has apostolos, the only occurrence of the term in John. It is not used in the technical sense here.