John, Chapter 13 Part 3

The Gospel of John

Chapter 13

Part III


6) Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

7) Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

NOTE: Peter didn’t understand this whole issue. He was too proud to be served by someone of his status, or better. He probably had no problem allowing household servants to serve him, but not those who were above servitude. Do we treat employees at WalMart like servants, expecting them to clean up after us? Do we treat waitresses like servants, thinking it proper to vent on them when things aren’t exactly the way we wanted them? “Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather [suffer yourselves to] be defrauded?” (1 Corinthians 6:7)

These are the lessons that Peter would catch on to at a later time. These are the lessons you and I need to learn.

ANOTHER NOTE: I’m not suggesting that we should allow charlatans to steal our money. I’m talking about attitude. If a restaurant gets your order wrong, you have a right to have it corrected; but you should do that in a friendly, non-offensive, Christian manner. Treating someone with disrespect because your patience has been tried isn’t the Christian way. Always give others the respect you want them to give you.


8) Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

In regards to “Thou shalt never wash my feet,”

“A very strong expression. Literally, thou shalt by no means wash my feet as long as the world stands[Vincent].

“What Peter could not submit to was, that the Master should serve His servant. But the whole saving work of Christ was one continued series of such services, ending with and consummated by the most self-sacrificing and transcendent of all services: THE SON OF MAN CAME not to be ministered unto, but TO MINISTER, AND TO GIVE HIS LIFE A RANSOM FOR MANY” [JFB].

QUESTION: What did Jesus tell His disciples in Luke’s account of this event?

Luke 22:27) For whether [is] greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? [is] not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

NOTE: Jesus told His followers that He was among them as a servant, though in reality He was their Master. Now, in John’s account, He demonstrates it. “Amen”ing it is one thing; practicing it is another.

Concerning “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me,

“Washing, with the Jews, was a symbolical act, signifying purification from uncleanliness. That Christ referred to more than a washing with water was understood by Peter as is evident from his reply” [PNT].

NOTE: Jesus was demonstrating to them all that He must serve them because they had no power to do what needed to be done in order for them to be saved. The Savior of our souls is the only One who can perform this act of Spiritual cleansing. We must submit to His willingness to serve us in this way.


9) Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also [my] hands and [my] head.

Concerning this verse,

“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)” [Robertson].

“that is, ‘To be severed from Thee, Lord, is death to me: If that be the meaning of my speech, I tread upon it; and if to be washed of Thee have such significance, then not my feet only, but hands, head, and all, be washed!’ This artless expression of clinging, life-and-death attachment to Jesus, and felt dependence upon Him for his whole spiritual well-being, compared with the similar saying in John_6:68-69 (see on John_6:68-69), furnishes such evidence of historic verity such as no thoroughly honest mind can resist’” [JFB].

John 6:66) From that [time] many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

67) Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

68) Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

69) And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Concerning Peter’s answer,

“that is, ‘We cannot deny that we have been staggered as well as they, and seeing so many go away who, as we thought, might have been retained by teaching a little less hard to take in, our own endurance has been severely tried, nor have we been able to stop short of the question, Shall we follow the rest, and give it up? But when it came to this, our light returned, and our hearts were reassured. For as soon as we thought of going away, there arose upon us that awful question, ‘TO WHOM shall we go?’” [JFB].

NOTE: Some suppose this is another faithless statement from the impulsive Peter. I agree more with JFB. I agree with the words of this great songwriter:

“Even when our faith is low we’ll never leave Him,

Cause even when we doubt God, we still believe Him.” [Hannah].

Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church