Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet
13:1Now before the feast of the passover,1 Jesus knowing that his hour was come2 that he should depart out of this world unto his Father, having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 13:2And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,3 13:3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all the things into his hands,4 and that he came forth from God, and goeth unto God, 13:4riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments; and he took a towel, and girded himself. 13:5Then he poureth water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet,5 and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 13:6So he cometh to Simon Peter. He saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 13:7Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt understand hereafter. 13:8Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.6 13:9Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 13:10Jesus saith to him, He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 13:11For he knew him that should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.7
13:12So when he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and sat down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13:13Ye call me, Teacher, and, Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 13:14If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet.8 13:15For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you. 13:16Verily, verily, I say unto you, a servant is not greater than his lord;9 neither one that is sent greater than he that sent him. 13:17If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them. 13:18I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled: He that eateth my bread lifted up his heel against me. 13:19From henceforth I tell you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. 13:20Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
- Now before the feast of the passover. In spiritual evolution the Passover represents the passing of the soul consciousness from one plane to another without death of the body. The Passover is typified as a feast, because Spirit uplifts and transmutes both soul and body to spiritual essence.
- knowing that his hour was come. Jesus had overcome materiality, and was about to be translated into completely spiritual consciousness.
- the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot ... to betray him. Judas represents the life consciousness in the soul. The devil is the personal mind, which believes that it is sustained by material food. The belief that the body lives upon the food that it eats is responsible for material or sense consciousness, Satan.
- Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all the things into his hands. The overcomer, represented by Jesus, must know that the Father has given all things into his hands; that he is Spirit; that he came forth from God, and now identifies himself with God. The overcomer then proceeds to wash his disciples’ feet, which means that metaphysically he denies all sense of materiality in understanding.
- Then he ... began to wash the disciples' feet. Jesus is the I Am, and the feet represent spiritual understanding, especially that phase of spiritual understanding which connects with the manifest world, and which reveals the right relationship towards worldly conditions in general. The “washing,” therefore, typifies a cleansing process, or a denial of personality and materiality.
- If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Peter, representing faith, like all the other faculties of the mind, must be freed from identification with material things. The faith of the unregenerate man functions in sense consciousness, and before such faith can attain spiritual ideas, the hold of matter and of material sensation must be dissolved.
- Ye are not all clean. Because Judas (Life) was not established in the purity and the freedom of Spirit, the whole man was not yet redeemed.
- ye also ought to wash one another's feet. When we have purified our own souls and lifted them to spiritual consciousness, we should then extend the same purifying service to others, that they too may be lifted up.
- a servant is not greater than his lord. There had been contention among the disciples as to who would sit at the Master's right, and who at his left, in the kingdom. Jesus was wiping out this strife, thus bringing home to his followers that truth that he, who willingly performs lowly, humble service for others with no thought for personal distinction, the same is greatest in God's kingdom.
Jesus Foretells His Betrayal
13:21When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in the spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 13:22The disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. 13:23There was at the table reclining in Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 13:24Simon Peter therefore beckoneth to him, and saith unto him, Tell us who it is of whom he speaketh.13:25He leaning back, as he was, on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? 13:26Jesus therefore answereth, He it is, for whom I shall dip the sop, and give it him. So when he had dipped the sop, he taketh and giveth it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 13:27And after the sop, then entered Satan into him. Jesus therefore saith unto him, What thou doest, do quickly. 13:28Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 13:29For some thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus said unto him, Buy what things we have need of for the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 13:30He then having received the sop went out straightway: and it was night.
The New Commandment
13:31When therefore he was gone out, Jesus saith, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him; 13:32and God shall glorify him in himself, and straightway shall he glorify him. 13:33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say unto you.13:34A new commandment I give unto you,1 that ye love one another; even as I have loved you,2 that ye also love one another. 13:35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,3 if ye have love one to another.4
- A new commandment I give unto you. The new commandment of Jesus Christ is based on the impersonal principle of love for love's sake, regardless of the attitude of those who are loved.
- even as I have loved you. Jesus loved His disciples by seeing them as spiritually perfect. The I AM sees man's faculties as perfect also. Faith is unfailing, love divine, strength inexhaustible, judgment flawless, understanding perfect, will good, imagination true, power always sufficient, appropriation selfless, zeal always in order, wisdom unceasing, order divine.
- By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples. Although love is invisible, its effects are plainly manifest. The love of the Christ, when fully exerted, has power to protect its object, and it stirs those who receive it to express the ideals that are held of them. Those who express the love of the Christ and those who receive it are alike outstanding.
- if ye have love one to another. With reference to the faculties, the spiritual nature and relationship of the faculties is made manifest when they are developed harmoniously and expressed in unity.
Jesus Foretells Peter's Denial
13:36Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered, Whither I go, thou canst not follow now; but thou shalt follow afterwards.1 13:37Peter saith unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee even now? I will lay down my life for thee.2 13:38Jesus answereth, Wilt thou lay down thy life for me? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
- Whither I go ... thou shalt follow afterwards. Jesus (the I Am), though sure of spiritual guidance, was carefully making preparations to travel over new, untried ground, the object of which was to open the way into the kingdom, that realm of Divine Ideas, which would make the path easier, not only for his disciples, but for all humanity. He knew that his disciples (faculties of mind) had a work to do before they were strong enough to follow and to enter therein.
- Peter saith ... I will lay down my life for thee. The leading characteristic of Peter (Faith) before he is firmly established in spiritual consciousness is changeableness. He typifies that state of unsteadiness which fluctuates from the high spiritual to the material, yet with an ever recurring desire for Spirit and for the things of Spirit, which is bound to always lead into the light.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks
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