The Passion Translation
Jesus Washes Feet
13 Jesus knew that the night before Passover would be his last night on earth before leaving this world to return to the Father’s side. All throughout his time with his disciples, Jesus had demonstrated a deep and tender love for them. And now he longed to show them the full measure of his love.[a] 2 Before their evening meal had begun, the accuser[b] had already deeply embedded betrayal[c] into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
3 Now Jesus was fully aware that the Father had placed all things under his control, for he had come from God and was about to go back to be with him. 4 So he got up from the meal and took off his outer robe, and took a towel and wrapped it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ dirty feet and dry them with his towel.[d]
6 But when Jesus got to Simon Peter, he objected and said, “I can’t let you wash my dirty feet—you’re my Lord!”
7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand yet the meaning of what I’m doing, but soon it will be clear to you.”[e]
8 Peter looked at Jesus and said, “You’ll never wash my dirty feet—never!”
“But Peter, if you don’t allow me to wash your feet,” Jesus responded, “then you will not be able to share life with me.”
9 So Peter said, “Lord, in that case, don’t just wash my feet, wash my hands and my head too!”
10 Jesus said to him, “You are already clean. You’ve been washed completely and you just need your feet to be cleansed—but that can’t be said of all of you.” For Jesus knew which one was about to betray him, 11 and that’s why he told them that not all of them were clean.
12 After washing their feet, he put his robe on and returned to his place at the table.[f] “Do you understand what I just did?” Jesus said. 13 “You’ve called me your teacher and lord, and you’re right, for that’s who I am. 14–15 So if I’m your teacher and lord and have just washed your dirty feet, then you should follow the example that I’ve set for you and wash one another’s dirty feet. Now do for each other what I have just done for you. 16 I speak to you timeless truth: a servant is not superior to his master, and an apostle is never greater than the one who sent him. 17 So now put into practice what I have done for you, and you will experience a life of happiness enriched with untold blessings!”
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
18 “I don’t refer to all of you when I tell you these things, for I know the ones I’ve chosen—to fulfill the Scripture that says, ‘The one who shared supper with me treacherously betrays me.’[g] 19 I am telling you this now, before it happens, so that when the prophecy comes to pass you will be convinced that I AM.[h] 20 “Listen to this timeless truth: whoever receives the messenger I send receives me, and the one who receives me receives the Father[i] who sent me.”
21 Then Jesus was moved deeply in his spirit.[j] Looking at his disciples, he announced, “I tell you the truth—one of you is about to betray me.”
22 Eyeing each other, his disciples puzzled over which one of them could do such a thing. 23 The disciple that Jesus dearly loved[k] was at the right of him at the table[l] and was leaning his head on Jesus. 24 Peter gestured to this disciple to ask Jesus who it was he was referring to. 25 Then the dearly loved disciple leaned into Jesus’ chest and whispered, “Master, who is it?”
26 “The one I give this piece of bread to after I’ve dipped it in the bowl,” Jesus replied. Then he dipped the piece of bread into the bowl and handed it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.[m] 27 And when Judas ate the piece of bread, Satan[n] entered him. Then Jesus looked at Judas and said, “What you are planning to do, go do it now.” 28 None of those around the table realized what was happening. 29 Some thought that Judas, their trusted treasurer, was being told to go buy what was needed for the Passover celebration, or perhaps to go give something to the poor. 30 So Judas left quickly and went out into the dark night to betray Jesus.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 After Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the glory of God to surround the Son of Man, and God will be greatly glorified through what happens to me.[o] 32 And very soon God will unveil the glory of the Son of Man.[p]
33 “My dear friends,[q] I only have a brief time left to be with you. And then you will search and long for me. But I tell you what I told the Jewish leaders: you’ll not be able to come where I am.[r]
34 “So I give you now a new[s] commandment: Love each other just as much as I have loved you. 35 For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.”
36 Peter interjected, “But, Master, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going you won’t be able to follow, but one day you will follow me there.”
38 Jesus answered, “Would you really lay down your life for me, Peter? Here’s the absolute truth: Before the rooster crows in the morning, you will say three times that you don’t even know me!”[v]
- 13:1 Or “he loved them to the very end.”
- 13:2 Or “devil.”
- 13:2 Or “that he should betray Jesus.” The Aramaic is “Satan arose in the heart of Judas to betray Jesus.”
- 13:5 Jesus knew that betrayal was hiding in Judas’ heart, yet our Master still washed his feet.
- 13:7 By removing their sandals and washing their feet, Jesus was showing them that he was granting them a new inheritance—his own. The sandal is often used in covenants of inheritance in Hebrew culture. Every defilement would be removed so that they could “place the sole of their feet” upon the new covenant inheritance. See Josh. 1:3; Ruth 4:1–12. God likewise told Moses to remove his sandals (Ex. 3:5), for he was about to receive a new inheritance—the holiness of God and the authority that came with it.
- 13:12 There has never been a nobleman, a teacher, or a king that loves and serves his servants like Jesus.
- 13:18 Or “has lifted up his heel against me.” The Greek text preserves the idiom of Ps. 41:9, which speaks of a treacherous betrayal. In the Semitic culture it is the greatest breach of etiquette to sit and eat with a friend and then later betray them. This is why many would never eat with someone they were not on good terms with. See also footnotes on Ps. 41:9.
- 13:19 Or “I Am the One” or “I AM Who I AM.” Jesus once again equated himself with the I Am.
- 13:20 Or “the One.” By implication, this is the Father.
- 13:21 As translated from the Greek. The Aramaic describes Jesus’ emotion as “feeling a profound tenderness” or “his spirit felt a longing.” We can conclude that everything within our Lord Jesus was moved deeply by the thought of being betrayed by one of his beloved disciples.
- 13:23 The Aramaic is “the one Jesus showed mercy to.” This was obviously John, the one who wrote this Gospel. Remember, you too can say, “I am the disciple who Jesus dearly loves and shows mercy to.”
- 13:23 This could be a figure of speech for “the place of honor.”
- 13:26 This was culturally an act of cherished friendship and intimacy, to hand over choice bits of food to a friend. This is the love of Christ, to give food to his enemy. It is no wonder Satan entered his heart after Judas ate the bread handed to him by his friend. For how can one accept the gift of true friendship and still hold on to treachery and the spirit of betrayal?
- 13:27 This is an Aramaic word that means “adversary.”
- 13:31 Or “The Son of Man was glorified and the Father was glorified by him.”
- 13:32 Or “Since God is glorified in him (the Son of Man) God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him immediately.” The Greek text has the word doxazo (“glory” or “honor”) five times in vv. 31–32. This repetition would mean that it speaks of more than simply honor. It is the clear statement of the exchange of glory between God and his Son, Jesus Christ.
- 13:33 Or “children.”
- 13:33 See John 7:33–34.
- 13:34 Jesus set a new standard of love before his followers. Although the Old Testament does instruct us to love one another (Lev. 19:18, 34; Deut. 10:18), Jesus now gives the commandment to use his standard of love for us as the true measurement of love as we care for one another.
- 13:37 The Aramaic is translated “Simon the Rock.”
- 13:37 The Aramaic uses the word “consecrate,” which means to offer up a sacrifice. Peter implied that he would willingly offer himself in Jesus’ place.
- 13:38 Peter, like all of us, resisted the acknowledgment of his weakness and chose to cling to the illusion of strength. Peter was given the sign of a rooster crowing, for that is what he was. He was like a crowing rooster, strutting in pride. “Rocky” got cocky and forgot where true strength is found.