Bible study on John 13-17.

Much has been written on the books of John 13-17, and with good reason, for the words contained in these chapters are words of life, spoken by the Word of life Himself. So much meaning is contained in these chapters that one study cannot begin to encompass its fullness. So why do I desire to add more words of commentary? Only to better understand for myself, and perhaps aid others in this endeavor also.

One must first understand the setting for the study.


Chapters 13-17 follow what is commonly referred to as the last supper, the supper itself is described in detail in previous gospels, but additional facts are revealed in John. In fact little is mentioned of the "bread" and "cup" that are so familiar with the last supper. John, the penman of this book, found much more value in the words spoken by Yeshua (Jesus) after the "supper", which we are so familiar with.

It is important to note here that the words spoken by Yeshua are sincere and heartfelt. John 13:1 understates the emotion that Yeshua must have been feeling. Yeshua knew He only had a few hours before His separation from the disciples, and only a few more hours before His death. Imagine the urgency to His words, yet the disciples somehow did not "get it". Read the scripture carefully and prayerfully to gain the most from these important words.

(The Bible text is in blue print and is taken from the New King James version; commentary is in black text).

13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him,

3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,

4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.

5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

Imagine the humility required by Yeshua to bow Himself to wash the feet of His creation. The act of washing another’s feet was not uncommon at that time, however the Master, taking the role of a servant, washing their feet was quite unusual indeed.

6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?"

7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."

8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me."

9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"

10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."

11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean."

12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?

13 "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.

14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

15 "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

16 "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.

17 "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."

This entire discourse is important for one reason (V. 14); this example was for the purpose of showing what Yeshua expected from His disciples. Yeshua was proving that a teacher should have humility, and even He was not greater than the One who sent Him. What a lesson for us today, we, being lowly servants, still battle with pride, a lack of humility. Read again verse 17, if you know this, then do it.

18 "I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’

19 "Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.

20 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."

21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me."

22 Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.

23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.

24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.

25 Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, "Lord, who is it?"

26 Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."

28 But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him.

29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, "Buy those things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor.

30 Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night."

Yeshua was troubled that Judas would betray Him; He knew that Judas did not understand who Yeshua was. Yeshua was troubled in Spirit, verse 21, and notice what He said in verse 20. He knew that if He was rejected, then the Father also was being rejected.

31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him.

32 "If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.

33 "Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you.

34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

This commandment to love one another (v. 34) is said by Yeshua, to be a new commandment. The new part being "as I have loved you", since the command to love one another was from the beginning. [Lev 19:18] Yeshua’s example to us is how we are to love one another. This love is the identification card held by true disciples of Yeshua. All will know who you are by this love (v.35).

36 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward."

37 Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake."

38 Jesus answered him, "Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times."

Yeshua is prophesying to peter about what his future holds. Even though Peter talks a big talk (v.37) He was not yet willing to walk the walk. In the comfort of numbers and safety we are proud to proclaim Yeshua. But how brave are we when we are alone, surrounded by unbelievers? Peter could only stand to such a crowed after God’s spirit filled him.

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