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Now before the feast of the passover (προ δε της εορτης του πασχα). Just before, John means, not twenty-four hours before, that is our Thursday evening (beginning of 15th of Nisan, sunset to sunset Jewish day), since Jesus was crucified on Friday 15th of Nisan. Hence Jesus ate the regular passover meal at the usual time. The whole feast, including the feast of unleavened bread, lasted eight days. For a discussion of the objections to this interpretation of John in connexion with the Synoptic Gospels one may consult my Harmony of the Gospels, pp. 279-84, and David Smith's In the Days of His Flesh, Appendix VIII. The passover feast began on the 15th Nisan at sunset, the passover lamb being slain the afternoon of 14th Nisan. There seems no real doubt that this meal in Joh 13:1-30 is the real passover meal described by the Synoptics also (Mr 14:18-21; Mt 26:21-25; Lu 22:21-23 ), followed by the institution of the Lord's Supper. Thus understood verse 1 here serves as an introduction to the great esoteric teaching of Christ to the apostles (Joh 13:2-17:26 ), called by Barnas Sears The Heart of Christ. This phrase goes with the principal verb ηγαπησεν (loved).
Knowing (ειδως). Second perfect active participle, emphasizing the full consciousness of Christ. He was not stumbling into the dark as he faced "his hour" (αυτου η ωρα). See 18:4; 19:28 for other examples of the insight and foresight (Bernard) of Jesus concerning his death. See on 12:23 for use before by Jesus.
That he should depart (ινα μεταβη). Sub-final use of ινα with second aorist active subjunctive of μεταβαινω, old word, to go from one place to another, here (5:24; 1Jo 3:14 ) to go from this world ( 8:23) back to the Father from whom he had come (14:12,28; 16:10,28; 17:5 ).
His own which were in the world (τους ιδιους τους εν τω κοσμω). His own disciples (17:6,9,11 ), those left in the world when he goes to the Father, not the Jews as in 1:11. See Ac 4:23; 1Ti 5:8 for the idiom. John pictures here the outgoing of Christ's very heart's love (chs. Joh 13-17 ) towards these men whom he had chosen and whom he loved "unto the end" (εις τελος) as in Mt 10:22; Lu 18:15 , but here as in 1Th 2:16 rather "to the uttermost." The culmination of the crisis ("his hour") naturally drew out the fulness of Christ's love for them as is shown in these great chapters (Joh 13-17 ).
During supper (δειπνου γινομενου). Correct text, present middle participle of γινομα (not γενομενου, second aorist middle participle, "being ended") genitive absolute. Verse 4 shows plainly that the meal was still going on.
The devil having already put (του διαβολου ηδη βεβληκοτος). Another genitive absolute without a connective (asyndeton), perfect active participle of βαλλω, to cast, to put. Luke (Lu 22:3 ) says that Satan entered Judas when he offered to betray Jesus. Hence John's "already" (ηδη) is pertinent. John repeats his statement in verse 27. In Joh 6:70 Jesus a year ago had seen that Judas was a devil.
To betray him (ινα παραδο αυτον). Cf. Ac 5:3 . Purpose clause with ινα and second aorist active subjunctive of παραδιδωμ (form in -ο as in Mr 14:10 rather than the usual -ω in Lu 22:4 ). Satan had an open door by now into the heart of Judas.
Knowing (ειδως). Repeated from verse 1, accenting the full consciousness of Jesus.
Had given (εδωκεν). So Aleph B L W, aorist active instead of δεδωκεν (perfect active) of διδωμ. Cf. 3:31 for a similar statement with εν instead of εις. See Mt 11:27 (Lu 10:22 ) and 28:18 for like claim by Jesus to complete power.
And that he came forth from God, and goeth unto God (κα οτ απο θεου εξηλθεν κα προς τον θεον υπαγε). See plain statement by Jesus on this point in 16:28. The use of προς τον θεον recalls the same words in 1:1. Jesus is fully conscious of his deity and Messianic dignity when he performs this humble act.
Riseth from supper (εγειρετα εκ του δειπνου). Vivid dramatic present middle indicative of εγειρω. From the couch on which he was reclining.
Layeth aside (τιθησιν). Same dramatic present active of τιθημ.
His garments (τα ιματια). The outer robe ταλλιθ (ιματιον) and with only the tunic (χιτων) on "as one that serveth" (Lu 22:27 ). Jesus had already rebuked the apostles for their strife for precedence at the beginning of the meal (Lu 22:24-30 ).
A towel (λεντιον). Latin word linteum, linen cloth, only in this passage in the N.T.
Girded himself (διεζωσεν εαυτον). First aorist active indicative of διαζωννυω (-υμ), old and rare compound (in Plutarch, LXX, inscriptions, and papyri), to gird all around. In N.T. only in John (13:4,5; 21:7 ). Did Peter not recall this incident when in 1Pe 5:5 he exhorts all to "gird yourselves with humility" (την ταπεινοφροσυνην εγκομβωσασθε)?
Poureth (βαλλε). Vivid present again. Literally, "putteth" (as in verse 2, βαλλω).
Into the basin (εις τον νιπτηρα). From verb νιπτω (later form of νιζω in this same verse and below) to wash, found only here and in quotations of this passage. Note the article, "the basin" in the room.
Began to wash (ηρξατο νιπτειν). Back to the aorist again as with διεζωσεν (verse 4). Νιπτω was common for washing parts of the body like the hands or the feet.
To wipe (εκμασσειν). "To wipe off" as in 12:3.
With the towel (τω λεντιω). Instrumental case and the article (pointing to λεντιον in verse 4).
Wherewith (ω). Instrumental case of the relative ο.
He was girded (ην διεζωσμενος). Periphrastic past perfect of διαζωννυω for which verb see verse 4.
So he cometh (ερχετα ουν). Transitional use of ουν and dramatic present again (ερχετα).
Lord, dost thou wash my feet? (Κυριε, συ μου νιπτεις τους ποδασ;). Emphatic contrast in position of συ μου (away from ποδας), "Dost thou my feet wash?" "Peter, we may suppose, drew his feet up, as he spoke, in his impulsive humility" (Bernard).
I ... thou (εγω ... συ). Jesus repeats the pronouns used by Peter in similar contrast.
But thou shalt understand hereafter (γνωση δε μετα ταυτα). Future middle of γινωσκω (instead of the verb οιδα) to know by experience. "Thou shalt learn after these things," even if slowly.
Thou shalt never wash my feet (ου μη νιψηις μου τους ποδας εις τον αιωνα). Strong double negative ου μη with first aorist active subjunctive of νιπτω with εις τον αιωνα (for ever) added and μου (my) made emphatic by position. Peter's sudden humility should settle the issue, he felt.
If I wash thee not (εαν μη νιψω σε). Third-class condition with εαν μη (negative). Jesus picks up the challenge of Peter whose act amounted to irreverence and want of confidence. "The first condition of discipleship is self-surrender" (Westcott). So "Jesus, waiting with the basin" (Dods), concludes.
Thou hast no part with me (ουκ εχεις μερος μετ' εμου). Not simply here at the supper with its fellowship, but in the deeper sense of mystic fellowship as Peter was quick to see. Jesus does not make foot-washing essential to spiritual fellowship, but simply tests Peter's real pride and mock-humility by this symbol of fellowship.
Not my feet only, but also my hands and my head (μη τους ποδας μου μονον αλλα κα τας χειρας κα την κεφαλην). Nouns in the accusative case object of νιψον understood. Peter's characteristic impulsiveness that does not really understand the Master's act. "A moment ago he told his Master He was doing too much: now he tells Him He is doing too little" (Dods).
He that is bathed (ο λελουμενος). Perfect passive articular participle of λουω, to bathe the whole body (Ac 9:37 ).
Save to wash his feet (ε μη τους ποδας νιψασθα). Aleph and some old Latin MSS. have only νιψασθα, but the other words are genuine and are really involved by the use of νιψασθα (first aorist middle infinitive of νιπτω, to wash parts of the body) instead of λουσασθα, to bathe the whole body (just used before). The guest was supposed to bathe (λουω) before coming to a feast and so only the feet had to be washed (νιπτω) on removing the sandals.
Every whit (ολος). All of the body because of the bath. For this same predicate use of ολος see 9:34.
But not all (αλλ' ουχ παντες). Strongly put exception (ουχ). Plain hint of the treachery of Judas who is reclining at the table after having made the bargain with the Sanhedrin (Mr 14:11 ). A year ago Jesus knew that Judas was a devil and said to the apostles: "One of you is a devil" (6:64,70 ). But it did not hurt them then nor did they suspect each other then or now. It is far-fetched to make Jesus here refer to the cleansing power of his blood or to baptism as some do.
For he knew him that should betray him (ηιδε γαρ τον παραδιδοντα αυτον). Past perfect ηιδε used as imperfect. Jesus had known for a year at least (6:64,70 ) and yet he treated Judas with his usual courtesy. The articular present participle of παραδιδωμ, "the betraying one," for Judas was already engaged in the process. Did Judas wince at this thrust from Jesus?
Sat down again (ανεπεσεν παλιν). Second aorist active indicative of αναπιπτω, old compound verb to fall back, to lie down, to recline. Παλιν (again) can be taken either with ανεπεσεν, as here, or with ειπεν (he said again).
Know ye what I have done to you? (γινωσκετε τ πεποιηκα υμιν;). "Do ye understand the meaning of my act?" Perfect active indicative of ποιεω with dative case (υμιν). It was a searching question, particularly to Simon Peter and Judas.
Ye (υμεις). Emphatic.
Call me (φωνειτε με). "Address me." Φωνεω regular for addressing one with his title ( 1:48).
Master (Hο διδασκαλος). Nominative form (not in apposition with με accusative after φωνειτε), but really vocative in address with the article (called titular nominative sometimes) like Hο Κυριος κα ο θεος μου in 20:28. "Teacher." See 11:28 for Martha's title for Jesus to Mary.
Lord (Hο Κυριος). Another and separate title. In 1:38 we have Διδασκαλε (vocative form) for the Jewish Ραββε and in 9:36,38 Κυριε for the Jewish Mari. It is significant that Jesus approves (καλως, well) the application of both titles to himself as he accepts from Thomas the terms κυριος and θεος.
For I am (ειμ γαρ). Jesus distinctly claims here to be both Teacher and Lord in the full sense, at the very moment when he has rendered this menial, but symbolic, service to them. Here is a hint for those who talk lightly about "the peril of worshipping Jesus!"
If I then (ε ουν εγω). Argumentative sense of ουν (therefore). Condition of first class, assumed to be true, with first aorist active indicative of νιπτω, "If I, being what I am, washed your feet" (as I did).
Ye also ought (κα υμεις οφειλετε). The obligation rests on you a fortiori. Present active indicative of the old verb οφειλω, to owe a debt (Mt 18:30 ). The mutual obligation is to do this or any other needed service. The widows who washed the saints' feet in 1Ti 5:10 did it "as an incident-of their hospitable ministrations" (Bernard). Up to 1731 the Lord High Almoner in England washed the feet of poor saints (pedilavium) on Thursday before Easter, a custom that arose in the fourth century, and one still practised by the Pope of Rome.
An example (υποδειγμα). For the old παραδειγμα (not in N.T.), from υποδεικνυμ, to show under the eyes as an illustration or warning (Mt 3:7 ), common in the papyri for illustration, example, warning, here only in John, but in Jas 5:10; 2 Peter 2:6; Heb 4:11; 8:5; 9:26 . Peter uses τυπο (1Pe 5:3 ) with this incident in mind. In Jude 1:7 δειγμα (without υπο) occurs in the sense of example.
That ye also should do (ινα κα υμεις ποιητε). Purpose clause with ινα and the present active subjunctive of ποιεω (keep on doing). Doing what? Does Jesus here institute a new church ordinance as some good people today hold? If so, it is curious that there is no record of it in the N.T. Jesus has given the disciples an object lesson in humility to rebuke their jealousy, pride, and strife exhibited at this very meal. The lesson of the "example" applies to all the relations of believers with each other. It is one that is continually needed.
Is not greater (ουκ εστιν μειζων). Comparative adjective of μεγας (greater) followed by the ablative case κυριου (contrast between slave, lord) and του πεμψαντος (articular participle of πεμπω, to send, with contrast with apostle, "one sent" (αποστολος) from αποστελλω). Jesus here enforces the dignity of service. In Lu 22:27 Jesus argues this point a bit. In Lu 6:40 the contrast is between the pupil and the teacher, though some pupils consider themselves superior to the teacher. In Mt 10:24 Jesus uses both forms of the saying (pupil and slave). He clearly repeated this λογιον often.
If ye know (ε οιδατε). Condition of first class assumed as true, ε and present (οιδατε used as present) active indicative.
If ye do (εαν ποιητε). Third-class condition, εαν and present active subjunctive, assumed as possible, "if ye keep on doing." Both conditions with the one conclusion coming in between, "happy are ye." Just knowing does not bring happiness nor just occasional doing.
Whom I have chosen (τινας εξελεξαμην). Indirect question, unless τινας is here used as a relative like ους. The first aorist middle indicative of εκλεγω is the same form used in 6:70. Jesus refers to the choice (Lu 6:13 εκλεξαμενος, this very word again) of the twelve from among the large group of disciples. Θατ θε σχριπτυρε μιγτ βε φυλφιλλεδ (αλλ' ινα η γραφη πληρωθη). See the same clause in 17:12. Purpose clause with ινα and first aorist passive subjunctive of πληροω. This treachery of Judas was according to the eternal counsels of God ( 12:4), but none the less Judas is responsible for his guilt. For a like elliptical clause see 9:3; 15:25 . The quotation is from the Hebrew of Ps 41:9 .
Lifted up his heel against me (επηρεν επ' εμε την πτερναν αυτου). First aorist active indicative of επαιρω. Πτερνα, old word for heel, only here in N.T. The metaphor is that of kicking with the heel or tripping with the heel like a wrestler. It was a gross breach of hospitality to eat bread with any one and then turn against him so. The Arabs hold to it yet.
Before it come to pass (προ του γενεσθα). Προ with ablative of the articular second aorist middle infinitive γινομα (before the coming to pass).
When it is come to pass (οταν γενητα). Indefinite relative clause with οταν and the second aorist middle subjunctive of γινομα, "whenever it does come to pass."
That ye may believe (ινα πιστευητε). Purpose clause with ινα and present active subjunctive of πιστευω, "that ye may keep on believing." Cf. Isa 48:5 .
Whomsoever I send (αν τινα πεμψω). More precisely, "If I send any one" (third-class condition, αν=εαν and τινα, indefinite pronoun accusative case, object of πεμψω, first aorist active subjunctive of πεμπω, to send). This use of ε τις or εαν τις (if any one) is very much like the indefinite relative οστις and ος αν (or εαν), but the idiom is different. In Mr 8:34f. we have both ε τις θελε and ος εαν while in Joh 14:13f. we find οτ αν and εαν τ (Robertson, Grammar, p. 956).
He was troubled in the spirit (εταραχθη το πνευματ). First aorist passive indicative of ταρασσω and the locative case of πνευμα. See already 11:33; 12:27 for this use of ταρασσω for the agitation of Christ's spirit. In 14:1,27 it is used of the disciples. Jesus was one with God ( 5:19) and yet he had our real humanity ( 1:14).
One of you shall betray me (εις εξ υμων παραδωσε με). Future active of παραδιδωμ, to betray, the word so often used of Judas. This very language occurs in Mr 14:18; Mt 26:21 and the idea in Lu 22:21 . Jesus had said a year ago that "one of you is a devil" (Joh 6:70 ), but it made no such stir then. Now it was a bolt from the blue sky as Jesus swept his eyes around and looked at the disciples.
Looked one on another (εβλεπον εις αλληλους). Inchoative imperfect of βλεπω, "began to glance at one another in bewilderment (doubting, απορουμενο, present passive participle of απορεω, to be at a loss, to lose one's way, α privative and πορος, way). They recalled their strife about precedence and Judas betrayed nothing.
Was at the table reclining in Jesus' bosom (ην ανακειμενος εν τω κολπω του Ιησου). No word for "table" in the text. Periphrastic imperfect of ανακειμα, to lie back, to recline. Κολπος usual word for bosom ( 1:18).
Whom Jesus loved (ον ηγαπα Ιησους). Imperfect active of αγαπαω, John's description of himself of which he was proud (19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20 ), identified in 21:24 as the author of the book and necessarily one of the twelve because of the "explicit" (Bernard) language of Mark (Mr 14:17; Lu 22:14 ). John son of Zebedee and brother of James. At the table John was on the right of Jesus lying obliquely so that his head lay on the bosom of Jesus. The centre, the place of honour, Jesus occupied. The next place in rank was to the left of Jesus, held by Peter (Westcott) or by Judas (Bernard) which one doubts.
Beckoneth (νευε). Old verb to nod, in N.T. only here and Ac 24:10 . They were all looking in surprise at each other.
Tell us who it is of whom he speaketh (ειπε τις εστιν περ ου λεγε). Second aorist active imperative with indirect question (τις) and relative clause (περ ου). Peter was cautious, but could not contain his curiosity. John in front of Jesus was in a favourable position to have a whispered word with him.
Breast (στηθος). As in 21:20; Lu 18:13 in place of κολπον (verse 23). This is the moment represented in Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper," only he shows the figures like the monks for whom he painted it.
He (εκεινος). "That one" (John).
Leaning back (αναπεσων). Second aorist active participle of αναπιπτω, to fall back.
As he was (ουτως). "Thus." It was easily done.
He (εκεινος). Emphatic pronoun again.
For whom I shall dip the sop (ω εγω βαψω το ψωμιον). Dative case of the relative (ω) and future active of βαπτω, to dip (Lu 16:24 ). Ψωμιον is a diminutive of ψωμος, a morsel, a common Koine word (in the papyri often), in N.T. only in this passage. It was and is in the orient a token of intimacy to allow a guest to dip his bread in the common dish (cf. Ru 2:14 ). So Mr 14:20 . Even Judas had asked: "Is it I?" (Mr 14:19; Mt 26:22 ).
Giveth it to Judas (διδωσιν Ιουδα). Unobserved by the others in spite of Christ's express language, because "it was so usual a courtesy" (Bernard), "the last appeal to Judas' better feeling" (Dods). Judas now knew that Jesus knew his plot.
Then entered Satan into him (τοτε εισηλθεν εις εκεινον ο Σατανας). The only time the word Satan occurs in the Gospel. As he had done before (13:2; Lu 22:3 ) until Christ considered him a devil ( 6:70). This is the natural outcome of one who plays with the devil.
That thou doest, do quickly (Hο ποιεις ποιησον ταχειον). Aorist active imperative of ποιεω. "Do more quickly what thou art doing." Ταχειον is comparative of ταχεως (Joh 11:31 ) and in N.T. only here, 20:4; Heb 13:19,23 . See the eagerness of Jesus for the passion in Lu 12:50 .
No one knew (ουδεις εγνω). Second aorist active indicative of γινωσκω. The disciples had not yet perceived the treacherous heart of Judas.
Some thought (τινες εδοκουν). Imperfect active of δοκεω. Mere inference in their ignorance.
The bag (το γλωσσοκομον). See on 12:6 for this word.
What things we have need of (ων χρειαν εχομεν). Antecedent (ταυτα) of the relative (ον) not expressed.
For the feast (εις την εορτην). The feast of unleavened bread beginning after the passover meal and lasting eight days. If this was twenty-four hours ahead of the passover meal, there was no hurry for next day would be in ample time.
Or that he should give something to the poor (η τοις πτωχοις ινα τ δω). Another alternative in their speculation on the point. Note prolepsis of τοις πτωχοις (dative case) before ινα δω (final clause with ινα and second aorist active subjunctive of διδωμ).
Having received the sop (λαβων το ψωμιον). Second aorist active participle of λαμβανω. Judas knew what Jesus meant, however ignorant the disciples. So he acted "straightway" (ευθυς).
And it was night (ην δε νυξ). Darkness falls suddenly in the orient. Out into the terror and the mystery of this dreadful night (symbol of his devilish work) Judas went.
Now (νυν). Now at last, the crisis has come with a sense of deliverance from the presence of Judas and of surrender to the Father's will (Westcott).
Is glorified (εδοξασθη). First aorist passive of δοξαζω, consummation of glory in death both for the Son and the Father. For this verb in this sense see already 7:39; 12:16 and later 17:3. Four times here in verses 31f .
In himself (εν αυτω). Reflexive pronoun. God is the source of the glory ( 17:5) and is the glory succeeding the Cross (the glory with the Father in heaven).
And straightway (κα ευθυς). No postponement now. First and quickly the Cross, then the Ascension.
Little children (τεκνια). Diminutive of τεκνα and affectionate address as Jesus turns to the effect of his going on these disciples. Only here in this Gospel, but common in I John (1Jo 2:1 , etc.), and nowhere else in N.T.
New (καινην). First, in contrast with the old (αρχαιος, παλαιος), the very adjective used in 1Jo 2:7 ) of the "commandment" (εντολην) at once called old (παλαια). They had had it a long time, but the practice of it was new. Jesus does not hesitate, like the Father, to give commandments (15:10,12 ).
That ye love one another (ινα αγαπατε αλληλους). Non-final use of ινα with present active subjunctive of αγαπαω, the object clause being in the accusative case in apposition with εντολην. Note the present tense (linear action), "keep on loving."
Even as (καθως). The measure of our love for another is set by Christ's love for us.
By this (εν τουτω). Locative case with εν, "In this way," viz., "if ye have love" (εαν αγαπην εχητε), condition of third class (in apposition with εν τουτω) with εαν and present active subjunctive of εχω ("keep on having love"). See 17:23 where Jesus prays for mutual love among the disciples "that the world may know" that the Father sent him. Jerome (ad Galat. vi. 10) says that in his extreme old age John repeated often this command of Jesus and justified it: "Because it is the Lord's commandment; and if it be fulfilled it is enough." See also 14:31. Tertullian (Apol. 39) urges it also as proof of being disciples. Hatred of one another per contra, is an argument that we are νοτ disciples (learners) of Jesus.
"Why can I not follow thee even now?" (δια τ ου δυναμα σο ακολουθειν αρτι;). The use of αρτ (right now, this minute) instead of νυν (at this time, verse 36) illustrates the impatience of Peter.
I will lay down my life for thee (τεν ψυχην μου υπερ σου θησω). Future active indicative of τιθημ. Peter, like the rest, had not yet grasped the idea of the death of Christ, but, like Thomas ( 11:16), he is not afraid of danger. He had heard Christ's words about the good shepherd ( 10:11) and knew that such loyalty was the mark of a good disciple.
Shall not crow (φωνηση). Aorist active subjunctive of φωνεω, to use the voice, used of animals and men. Note strong double negative ου μη. Mark adds δις (twice). John's report is almost identical with that in Lu 22:34 . The other disciples joined in Peter's boast (Mr 14:31; Mt 26:35 ).
Till thou hast denied (εως ου αρνηση). Future middle indicative or aorist middle subjunctive second person singular (form identical) with compound conjunction εως ου (until which time), "till thou deny or deniest" (futurum exactum needless). Peter is silenced for the present. They all "sat astounded and perplexed" (Dods).
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