New Defender's Study Bible Notes
13:2 heart of Judas. Judas’ heart was already full of greed and deception, and so was easily available for Satan to possess henceforth (see John 13:27). He had never been a true disciple, for Jesus recognized him as “the son of perdition” (John 17:12), but had included him in their company “that the scripture may be fulfilled” (John 13:18).
13:4 laid aside his garments. On an earthly scale, this was analogous to when He emptied Himself of His heavenly vestures to come to earth, where He “took upon Him the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). When He again took up His garments (John 13:12), it would be analogous to Philippians 2:9-10, when He returned to heaven.
13:5 wash the disciples’ feet. Instead of serving each other, the disciples shortly before had been arguing who would be the greatest among them (Luke 22:24-27). This action of their Master convicted them, and they never argued this point again.
13:10 washed. Two different Greek words are used for “wash” in this verse, indicating a typological, as well as practical, teaching. The first “washed” means “bathed all over,” as in the “washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5) or the “washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26). The second “wash” refers to a partial “cleansing” of only that part which needs it (i.e., the face, hands, feet, etc.). Thus, regeneration occurs once only, but is followed by daily confession and cleansing (I John 1:7,9). In addition to the feet, walking daily in a sinful world, the head and hands also may need daily cleansing; the head (or mind) needs to be “renewed” (Romans 12:2), and the hands prepared for service.
13:13 Master and Lord. It is interesting and significant that the disciples, in speaking to Christ, never addressed Him simply as Jesus or even as Christ. They almost always addressed Him as “Lord,” and occasionally as “Master.” In writing their narratives about His acts and words, however, they did frequently say what “Jesus” did, or said. That was His human name, and a very fitting name, but their relation to Him was not that of man-to-man, but that of servant to Lord, or disciple to Master. When we address Him in prayer, we do well to honor Him by following their example. When we do this, He would say, as He did to His first disciples: “Ye say well.” Note also I Corinthians 12:3; Philippians 2:9-10; Romans 10:9-10.
13:15 an example. Here The Lord has given us an example (note I Peter 2:21), not a specific commandment. He did not say: “Do what I have done to you,” but rather: “Do as I have done to you.” The example is that of willingness to do menial service as needed to help others. In that day, walking on dusty roads in open sandals, one’s feet became dirty and very tired by supper time, and it was customary for a host to have servants wash the feet of any guests he might invite to sup with him as an act of courtesy and kindness. The exact situation would rarely be duplicated in our culture today, so the exact courtesy would hardly be appropriate. The principle of service—even menial service when needed—is still very important, however, and should be characteristic of all His disciples.
13:18 scripture may be fulfilled. The prophecy of which this is a fulfillment is found in Psalm 41:9.
13:23 one of his disciples. The Apostle John never identified himself by name in his gospel (though he did in the first verse of his book of Revelation,), but occasionally called himself the disciple whom Jesus loved (see also John 19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20).
13:26 sop. A piece of bread dipped in a bowl of gravy or soup. It was considered an act of friendship to offer such a morsel to a dinner guest.
13:30 it was night. The time was appropriate, for Judas was now fully controlled by “the power of darkness” (Luke 22:53).
13:34 love one another. Christ’s “new commandment” of agape love would be rather ambiguous if He had not defined it, since “love” itself is relative. Its measure, however, is “as I have loved you.” His love was altogether altruistic and unselfish, even unto death. Note John 13:1; 15:12,13; Romans 5:8; II Corinthians 5:14; I John 3:16; 4:9-11, etc.
13:36 shalt follow me. Jesus had also said this to His Jewish opponents. “Ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come” (John 8:21; see also John 13:33). To Peter, however, He promised that He would follow Him later! Peter (and all believers) will eventually follow Him to heaven, but His enemies will see Him again only as condemning Judge.