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John 13Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Jesus Washes His Followers’ Feet

13 It was almost time for the Jewish Passover festival. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go back to the Father. Jesus had always loved the people in the world who were his. Now was the time he showed them his love the most.

Jesus and his followers were at the evening meal. The devil had already persuaded Judas Iscariot to hand Jesus over to his enemies. (Judas was the son of Simon.) The Father had given Jesus power over everything. Jesus knew this. He also knew that he had come from God. And he knew that he was going back to God. So while they were eating, Jesus stood up and took off his robe. He got a towel and wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet.[a] He dried their feet with the towel that was wrapped around his waist.

He came to Simon Peter. But Peter said to him, “Lord, you should not wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “You don’t know what I am doing now. But later you will understand.”

Peter said, “No! You will never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “If I don’t wash your feet, you are not one of my people.”

Simon Peter said, “Lord, after you wash my feet, wash my hands and my head too!”

10 Jesus said, “After a person has a bath, his whole body is clean. He needs only to wash his feet. And you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 Jesus knew who would hand him over to his enemies. That is why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When Jesus finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and went back to the table. He asked, “Do you understand what I did for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher.’ And you call me ‘Lord.’ And this is right, because that is what I am. 14 I am your Lord and Teacher. But I washed your feet. So you also should wash each other’s feet. 15 I did this as an example for you. So you should serve each other just as I served you. 16 Believe me, servants are not greater than their master. Those who are sent to do something are not greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, great blessings will be yours if you do them.

18 “I am not talking about all of you. I know the people I have chosen. But what the Scriptures say must happen: ‘The man who shared my food has turned against me.’[b] 19 I am telling you this now before it happens. Then when it happens, you will believe that I Am.[c] 20 I assure you, whoever accepts the person I send also accepts me. And whoever accepts me also accepts the one who sent me.”

Jesus Tells Who Will Turn Against Him

21 After Jesus said these things, he felt very troubled. He said openly, “Believe me when I say that one of you will hand me over to my enemies.”

22 His followers all looked at each other. They did not understand who Jesus was talking about. 23 One of the followers was next to Jesus and was leaning close to him. This was the one Jesus loved very much. 24 Simon Peter made signs to this follower to ask Jesus who he was talking about.

25 That follower leaned closer to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?”

26 Jesus answered him, “I will dip this bread into the dish. The man I give it to is the one.” So Jesus took a piece of bread, dipped it, and gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 When Judas took the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus said to Judas, “What you will do—do it quickly!” 28 No one at the table understood why Jesus said this to Judas. 29 Since Judas was the one in charge of the money, some of them thought that Jesus meant for him to go and buy some things they needed for the feast. Or they thought that Jesus wanted him to go give something to the poor.

30 Judas ate the bread Jesus gave him. Then he immediately went out. It was night.

Jesus Talks About His Death

31 When Judas was gone, Jesus said, “Now is the time for the Son of Man to receive his glory. And God will receive glory through him. 32 If God receives glory through him, he will give glory to the Son through himself. And that will happen very soon.”

33 Jesus said, “My children, I will be with you only a short time more. You will look for me, but I tell you now what I told the Jewish leaders: Where I am going you cannot come.

34 “I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other just as I loved you. 35 All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”

Jesus Says Peter Will Deny Him

36 Simon Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, where are you going?”

Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow now. But you will follow later.”

37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I am ready to die for you!”

38 Jesus answered, “Will you really give your life for me? The truth is, before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t know me.”

Footnotes:

  1. John 13:5 wash … feet A social custom of the first century, because people wore open sandals on very dusty roads. It was a humble duty, usually done by a servant. Also in verses 6-14.
  2. John 13:18 has turned against me Literally, “has lifted up his heel against me.” Quote from Ps. 41:9.
  3. John 13:19 I Am This is like the name of God used in the Old Testament. See Isa. 41:4; 43:10; Ex. 3:14. However, it can also mean “I am he,” meaning “I am the Messiah.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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