John  ◦   Chapter 13

1It was Thursday, the day before the Passover Feast was to begin. Jesus knew that the time for the culmination and completion of his mission had come, and he would soon be leaving this world and returning to his Father. He loved his children who were living in the world and would now show them that his love has no limits.

2Supper was being served, and Simon Iscariot's son, Judas, had already decided to follow the devil's suggestion and betray Jesus.3Jesus knew that his Father had placed all things–whether in heaven or on earth–in his hands, and that he had come from God to reveal him and was returning to God when his mission was complete.4So in order to give his disciples a further revelation of God, he got up from his meal, took off his outer garment, wrapped a towel around his waist,5then poured water in a bowl and began to wash the dirty feet of his disciples, drying them with the towel that was tied around him.

6When he came to Simon Peter, Peter objected, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"

7Jesus replied, "You don't realize the significance of what I am doing, but later you will understand the importance of all that I have done."

8Peter resisted, saying, "No! You are my Lord; I will never let you wash my feet." Jesus answered gently, "Unless I cleanse you, you will be unable to be unified in partnership with me."

9"Then, Lord," Simon Peter exclaimed, "wash not only my feet but my head and hands as well!"

10Jesus smiled and said, "A person who has already bathed needs only the dirt remaining on their feet washed away; the rest is already clean. A person who has had the rebellion of selfishness washed from their heart needs only the residual habits of selfishness and lingering misconceptions about God and his methods removed; the rest is already clean. You are already clean, though not every one of you."11He said "not everyone was clean" because he knew that Judas' heart remained in rebellion, and that Judas was going to betray him.

12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his outer garment and returned to his place at the table. "Do you understand the significance of what I have done for you?" he asked them.13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and you are right in doing so, because that is what I am.14Now that I — your Lord and Teacher — have humbled myself and washed your feet, demonstrating selfless love in action, you also should wash each other's feet.15I have set an example of loving service — putting the needs of others ahead of my own — that you should lovingly serve others as I have served you.16I tell you truly, no servant is greater than their master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent them. 17Now that you know the selfless principles of love — upon which life and health are based — you will be happy and healthy if you practice them.

18"But my comments about knowing God's principles of selfless love do not refer to all of you; I know those of you who love God's methods and principles. But the Scripture foretold the choices of the one 'who shares my bread and lifts up his heel against me.

19"I am telling you now — before it happens — so that when it does happen, you will be convinced that I am the I AM.20I tell you truly, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me, accepts my Father who sent me."

21After Jesus said this, his heart ached over the one disciple who refused his methods of love and truth, and he said, "I tell you the truth: One of you is going to betray me."

22His disciples were disturbed by Jesus' statement and looked closely at each other, trying to figure out who he could be talking about.23One of them, the disciple who had grown closest to Jesus, was reclining next to him.24Simon Peter prodded this disciple, saying, "Ask him which of us he means."

25Leaning his head against Jesus' shoulder, he asked, "Lord, who is it?"

26Jesus answered sadly, "It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread after I have dipped it in the bowl." Then he dipped the bread and gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.27Instantly Judas was angered and surrendered his mind completely to the influence of Satan, preferring his methods of selfishness and greed. Jesus said to him, "Complete your business quickly."28But even though Jesus had just indicated who would betray him, none of the remaining disciples understood why Jesus had said this to Judas.29They thought that because Judas controlled the purse, Jesus was instructing him to buy what they needed for the feast, or to give something to the poor.30As soon as Judas took the bread, he left. And it was nighttime.

31Once Judas had gone, Jesus said, "Now is the time for the Son of Man to fully reveal the glory of his gracious, unselfish and loving character, methods and principles, and thus make known the truth of God's glorious character.32If God's glorious character of selfless love is revealed through him, then God will honor the Son by revealing the same glorious and selfless character of the Son in himself, and this mutual self-sacrifice will happen without delay.33My dear children, I am here with you for only a little while longer. After I am gone, you will look for me, and just as I told the Jews so I am telling you: Where I am going, you cannot now come.

34"A new understanding of Moses' command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you–freely, not from a sense of obligation, but from a renewed heart of true regard and concern for one another, genuinely loving others more than yourself.35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, because you will practice my methods and principles of selfless love for one another."

36Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going? Jesus answered, "Where I am going, you cannot now follow, but you will follow me later."37Peter then asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? Don't you trust me? Don't you know I would die for you?38Jesus gently answered, "Would you, Peter? Would you really die for me? I tell you truthfully, before the rooster crows in the morning, you will deny three times that you know me.