The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron
John Chapter 13
(Words in red
in the Scriptures are the words of Jesus)
before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He
would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in
the world, He loved them to the end.”
Jesus and His disciples (students) were about to eat the Passover meal together
(it was called a “Seder”), and He KNEW that He was to die during this Passover
Festival. He would go back to the Father. He loved His disciples so much (and
loves you, too) that He was about to die for them (and for you).
“During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot,
the son of Simon, to betray Him,”
We already saw that Judas had
been stealing from Jesus and the other disciples (John 12:6) and now we see
more. His attitudes had opened him to the enemy, the devil, who had been
listening to the devil (the enemy) who told him to betray (inform on) the Lord.
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He
had come forth from God and was going back to God,”
Jesus KNEW that EVERYTHING
was given to Him (including you and me) by God the Father. He also knew that He
was the Son of God, who had come from God the Father and was now going back to
Verse 4. “got
up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded
Jesus and His disciples
(students) had just eaten a large Passover Seder (meal). He stood up, took off
his outer robe, picked up a towel and wrapped it around Himself.
Verse 5. “Then
He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet and
to wipe them with the
towel with which He was girded.”
Jesus poured water into a
container. In those days, tables were very low and people at meals laid on
pillows while they were eating. One at a time, He reached for the feet of His
disciples (students) and began to wash them.
Verse 6. “So He
came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, ‘Lord, do You wash my feet?’"
Jesus had washed the feet of
two or three of His disciples (students) and then He came to Simon Peter, who
drew back his feet and asked, "Lord, what are You doing?" Many are like Peter,
who have a hard time RECEIVING from others.
Verse 7. “Jesus
answered and said to him, ‘What
I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.’”
Jesus was telling Peter, "I
know you don't understand what I am doing right now, but you will understand
Verse 8. “Peter
said to Him, ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If
I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’"
Peter was shocked by what the
Lord was doing and shouted, "You will NEVER wash my feet!" Jesus' answer is
important for us. If we are going to love God, we must learn to RECEIVE from
Verse 9. “Simon
Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my
Peter did love the Lord very
much, and answered, "Yes, I love You, Lord, and if You want, You can wash me in
other places, too!" Peter did not understand, but he did not want to be left
out, even though he did not agree with Jesus washing his feet.
“Jesus said to him, ‘He who has
bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean,
but not all of you.’"
If you love Jesus and trust
in Him, then you are clean inside, in your heart. We still make mistakes, but
when that happens, we only need to come to Jesus and we are forgiven. But one
of them at the table had not trusted in Jesus.
Verse 11. “For
He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, ‘Not
all of you are clean.’”
Jesus Christ knows our
hearts. We should not try to fool people about who we are, but if we do, we
don't fool God. He knows everything about you and me. He KNEW that Judas
Iscariot was the one who would betray Him.
Verse 12. “So
when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table
again, He said to them, ‘Do you
know what I have done to you?’”
Jesus had washed their feet
and now put His outer robe back on, and laid back down at the head of the
table. He asked them, "Do you know what I have done for you?" He would die on
the cross for them and for you, and the question is, do YOU know what He has
done for you?
Verse 13. “You
call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for
so I am.”
The disciples (students) had
called him "Teacher" ("Rabbi" in Hebrew) and "Lord" (like the English "Sir")
many times. And yes, He is your teacher and mine, and He is the Lord of all.
Verse 14. “If
I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one
Jesus is the Lord and He is
our God. He has "washed” us in many ways, but especially He died for our sins
that we might LIVE in Him. He’s done so much that we should we be willing to
give up everything for God and for each other.
Verse 15. “For
I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
So much in the Bible is an
EXAMPLE, that we might understand what God wants from us. By washing the
disciples feet, He taught us that we are to follow the Holy Spirit in what we
do, and LOVE one another.
Verse 16. “Truly,
truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is
sent greater than the one who sent him.”
From God's perspective, you
and I are like slaves who deserve nothing. And yet, He who is Great has given
us EVERYTHING! We are not greater than Jesus - we are far less than He is and
yet He GAVE to us. So should we GIVE to each other.
Verse 17. “If
you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
It's time for us to
understand what Jesus wants from us. He wants us to LOVE, both in our hearts,
and by doing things for others. You will be blessed (made happy) if you do what
Verse 18. “I
do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the
Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against
A long time before, King
David, who was a prophet (someone who tells God's Word to us), said the Messiah
(Jesus Christ) would have a false friend who would betray Him ("Lift up his
heel" - Psalm 41:9). Jesus knew His disciples (students) and understood that
Judas Iscariot would betray Him.
Verse 19. “From
now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you
may believe that I am He.”
Jesus was telling his
disciples (students) things before they happened. They would not understand,
but when things happened just as He said, they would remember what He had said
and believe in Him, that He is the Christ, the Son of God.
Verse 20. “Truly,
truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who
receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
If you believe in Jesus, you
will love (do good things) for those Jesus has called and sent to help others.
If you help them, Jesus sees it as though you personally helped Him.
Verse 21. “When
Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said,
‘Truly, truly, I say to you,
that one of you will betray Me.’”
Jesus was upset. The Holy Spirit had shown Him that one of his special
disciples (students) would betray him (turn Him in) to the authorities, and now
he told all of them what was going to happen.
Verse 22. “The
disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was
Jesus' disciples (students)
were shocked. Jesus had just said that one of them was an enemy of God, a
traitor, and they began looking at each other - they did not know who it was!
“There was reclining on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.”
Jesus loves the whole world
and died for us all. But He was a man during His time on earth and needed
friends, just like we do. John the Apostle was one Jesus had a special love
for, and the young man was leaning against Jesus at that moment.
Verse 24. “So
Simon Peter gestured to him, and said to him, ‘Tell us who it is of whom He is
Peter whispered to John
(Jesus' special friend - verse 23) and told him to ask Jesus the name of the
traitor (betrayer - verse 18).
Verse 25. “He,
leaning back thus on Jesus' bosom, said to Him, ‘Lord, who is it?’”
Peter had whispered to John
and asked him to find out which one would be the betrayer of Jesus. John
listened to Peter and then leaned back toward Jesus. John softly asked Jesus,
"Who IS the betrayer?"
“Jesus then answered, ‘That is
the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.’ So when He had
dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.”
By giving Judas Iscariot a
piece of food at that moment, Jesus was showing His disciples (students) that it
was Judas who would betray Him (and them).
“After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, ‘What
you do, do quickly.’”
Much later, John, who was
next to Jesus and would be the writer of the Gospel of John, was shown that
Satan entered Judas Iscariot at that moment. Judas was tired of waiting for
Jesus to become king and had decided to be His enemy.
Verse 28. “Now
no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to
Nobody at that table
(including John who would later write the Gospel of John), understood what was
happening at that time.
Verse 29. “For
some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to
him, ‘Buy the things we have need of for the feast’; or else, that he should
something to the poor.”
Judas had been the keeper of
the disciples' money for the past three years. They did not yet know that Judas
was a thief who had been stealing from them (John 12:6), and they did not
understand he would betray Jesus. They thought Jesus was telling Judas to go
buy something for their meal, or perhaps give money to poor people.
Verse 30. “So
after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night.”
When he took the bit of food
from Jesus (verses 26-27), Satan (the enemy) entered Judas. Jesus told him to
go and he left immediately. When they had entered the Upper Room earlier, it
was daylight. Now, John noticed that it was night.
“Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now
is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him;’”
When we think of doing
something "glorious", it's more like conquering the world, but for Jesus it was
to become your servant. He was about to die for your sins and mine, and what He
did was full of GLORY in the sight of God.
Verse 32. “if
God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify
God the Father would receive
glory for Jesus' death on the cross, but Jesus was doing something wonderful for
the world, and we should glory in what He has done. His disciples would glorify
Him, in just a few days, when He rose from the dead.
Verse 33. “Little
children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said
to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’”
To the Lord, we are all like
little children. He is the loving parent who loves us so much that He even died
in our place. He was now going to leave them because He would die. This was
not their time to die, so they could not go with Him.
Verse 34. “A
new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved
you, that you also love one another.”
What does God want from you?
Why, he wants you to LOVE others and to do it in a special way. He wants to
love like Jesus did, when He was here on earth. He followed God's Holy Spirit
in what He did and He was willing to give up everything for others.
Verse 35. “By
this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one
What should the church really
be like? How do we know the way Christians are supposed to be? The answer is
right here: The church and its people are supposed to be full of love for one
another. Love in our hearts and love in action - we are to be a people that
really cares for others.
“Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, where are You going?’ Jesus answered, ‘Where
I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.’”
Peter remembered that Jesus
said He would be going away (verse 33), and asked, "Where are you going, Lord?"
Peter wanted to be WITH the Lord and Jesus knew that; so He answered, "You can't
come with Me right now, Peter."
“Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down
my life for You.’”
Peter WANTED to go with Jesus
RIGHT NOW! And he said he would die for Jesus, he loved Him so much. Peter
really believed that, too, but Jesus knew him better than he knew himself (see
“Jesus answered, ‘Will you lay
down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow
until you deny Me three times.’”
Peter had just said he would
die for the Lord, but Jesus knew his heart and told him that before the night
was over (before dawn when the roosters would begin to crow), Peter would deny
(betray) Him "three times". Peter was shocked.
open our eyes to the
needs of others. Let
us love sufficiently
so we will actually
feet” by meeting
those needs. We
notice, Lord, that
Judas’ feet were
among those You
washed. Help us to
love even those who
would betray us. We
pray that our trust
in God will grow and
be discernible to
others, so they will
want you, too.
Enable us to really
care; to love one
another, even as You
have loved us. As to
the times we have
denied You, please
forgive us and heal
us. Thank You. In
Jesus Name. Amen.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries