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John 13Living Bible (TLB)

13 1-3 Jesus knew on the evening of Passover Day that it would be his last night on earth before returning to his Father. During supper the devil had already suggested to Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that this was the night to carry out his plan to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. And how he loved his disciples! So he got up from the supper table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his loins,[a] poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him.

When he came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Master, you shouldn’t be washing our feet like this!”

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now why I am doing it; some day you will.”

“No,” Peter protested, “you shall never wash my feet!”

“But if I don’t, you can’t be my partner,” Jesus replied.

Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well—not just my feet!”

10 Jesus replied, “One who has bathed all over needs only to have his feet washed to be entirely clean. Now you are clean—but that isn’t true of everyone here.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 After washing their feet he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Master’ and ‘Lord,’ and you do well to say it, for it is true. 14 And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow: do as I have done to you. 16 How true it is that a servant is not greater than his master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends him. 17 You know these things—now do them! That is the path of blessing.

18 “I am not saying these things to all of you; I know so well each one of you I chose. The Scripture declares, ‘One who eats supper with me will betray me,’ and this will soon come true. 19 I tell you this now so that when it happens, you will believe on me.

20 “Truly, anyone welcoming my messenger is welcoming me. And to welcome me is to welcome the Father who sent me.”

21 Now Jesus was in great anguish of spirit and exclaimed, “Yes, it is true—one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. 23 Since I[b] was sitting next to Jesus* at the table, being his closest friend, 24 Simon Peter motioned to me to ask him who it was who would do this terrible deed.

25 So I turned and[c] asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

26 He told me, “It is the one I honor by giving the bread dipped in the sauce.”[d]

And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot.

27 As soon as Judas had eaten it, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry—do it now.”

28 None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. 29 Some thought that since Judas was their treasurer, Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. 30 Judas left at once, going out into the night.

31 As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “My time has come; the glory of God will soon surround me—and God shall receive great praise because of all that happens to me. 32 And God shall give me his own glory, and this so very soon. 33 Dear, dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you! Then, though you search for me, you cannot come to me—just as I told the Jewish leaders.

34 “And so I am giving a new commandment to you now—love each other just as much as I love you. 35 Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

36 Simon Peter said, “Master, where are you going?”

And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now; but you will follow me later.”

37 “But why can’t I come now?” he asked, “for I am ready to die for you.”

38 Jesus answered, “Die for me? No—three times before the cock crows tomorrow morning, you will deny that you even know me!


  1. John 13:4 wrapped a towel around his loins, as the lowliest slave would dress.
  2. John 13:23 Since I, literally, “There was one at the table.” All commentators believe him to be John, the writer of this book. was sitting next to Jesus, literally, “was reclining on Jesus’ bosom.” The custom of the period was to recline around the table, leaning on the left elbow. John, next to Jesus, was at his side.
  3. John 13:25 So I turned and, literally, “He, leaning back against Jesus’ chest,” to whisper his inquiry.
  4. John 13:26 the bread dipped in the sauce, literally, “dip the sop.” The honored guest was thus singled out in the custom of that time.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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