The Servant Defiled and His People Cleansed – John 13:1-38
13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that His hour had come that He would depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had handed all things over to Him, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, 4 *got up from supper and *laid His outer garments aside; and He took a towel and tied it around Himself.
5 Then He *poured water into the basin, and began washing the disciples’ feet and wiping them with the towel which He had tied around Himself. 6 So He *came to Simon Peter. He *said to Him, “Lord, You are washing my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not realize right now, but you will understand later.” 8 Peter *said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no place with Me.” 9 Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus *said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet; otherwise he is completely clean. And you are clean—but not all of you.” 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; it was for this reason that He said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 Then, 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 for you? 13 You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’; and you are correct, for so I am. 14 So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example, so that you also would do just as I did for you. 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. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 I am not speaking about all of you. I know the ones whom I have chosen; but this is happening so that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 19 From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may believe that I am He. 20 Truly, truly I say to you, the one who receives anyone I send, receives Me; and the one who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
21 When Jesus had said these things, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” 22 The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. 23 Lying back on Jesus’ chest was one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 So Simon Peter *nodded to this disciple and *said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.” 25 He then simply leaned back on Jesus’ chest and *said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus then *answered, “That man is the one for whom I shall dip the piece of bread and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the piece of bread, He *took and *gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After this, Satan then entered him. Therefore Jesus *said to him, “What you are doing, do it quickly.” 28 Now none of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him. 29 For some were assuming, since Judas kept the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we need for the feast”; or else, that he was to give something to the poor. 30 So after receiving the piece of bread, he left immediately; and it was night.
31 Therefore when he had left, Jesus *said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; 32 if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I am still with you a little longer. You will look for Me; and just as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you: ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another.”
36 Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.” 37 Peter *said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” 38 Jesus *replied, “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.
Jesus takes on a job most Jews felt bad leaving for servants. He dirties and defiles Himself to clean their feet. But of course, there’s a richer point. He acts out a parable. I will secure your freedom from sin. To do it, I’ll take on the form of servant. I’ll suffer as a servant. I’ll be defiled by your sin. So you’re cleansed. The lamb dies. The first-born lives. The servant is defiled. The people are cleansed. And as they stare in wonder at the humbled Messiah, Jesus calls the disciples to follow Him.