John 13:1-17 (Washing Feet) 


Ch.13 Brings us to the final days in the life of Jesus. He has gathered with the 12 in an upper room in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.

A)An evening of sharing his heart /This passage takes us into the intimate thoughts of Jesus just before the crucifixion.


B)Some have called this the holy of holies of Scripture.

1)  if you think of Scripture as a temple, then this is the sanctuary, in which you come into the very presence of God himself.


C) This passage allows us to enter into the thinking and emotions of Jesus just before his own crucifixion.-

1) His Last Words / Last prayers / His final deeds


Divide it this way: Look first at What He Knew /

2nd at What He did / 3rd at  What He taught.


V.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,

Notice The Key word is the word Know or Knew. Note 4 things Jesus Knew!

A) #1 Jesus Knew that his hour had come!


B) More than any of the Gospel writers, John emphasized the fact that Jesus lived on a "heavenly timetable" as He did the Father's will.


C)Note the development of this theme:


2:4 - "Mine hour is not yet come."

7:30 - "His hour was not yet come."

8:20 - "His hour was not yet come."

12:23 - "The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified."

13:1 - "Jesus knew that His hour was come."

17:1 - "Father the hour is come."


D) The Hour being spoken of was the cross……

 – He knew His hour had come


#2 Jesus also knew that the time had come when Judas would betray Him.

A)Judas is mentioned eight times in John's Gospel, more than in any of the other Gospels.


B)V.2 tells us that the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas to betray him.

1) Later in the Ch. It will tell us that the Devil actually possessed Judas

C) But at this moment Satan has only put it into his heart

1)Judas has a chance to recoil to resist the devil and he would flee –


D) So Jesus knew that his hour had come – He knew that Judas was going to betray him


#3 Jesus knew that the Father had given Him all things.

A)A number of years ago a Jewish writer wrote a book entitled The Passover Plot,


B) In this book he suggested that Jesus was the helpless victim of scheming among Jewish leaders and Roman authorities to put him to death.


C)But these words make very clear that such was not the case..." Our Lord knew he was the director, the one in charge of events.

1)He knew what he had to do, and he himself would see that it was carried out.


 #4 Jesus knew who He was, where He came from, and where He was going.   Jesus, knowing……. that He had come from God and was going to God,

A)Jesus knew exactly who he was. He knew his origin:

He had come from God.


B)He had a deep sense of his own identity. He knew Who He was – He knew where He was going.

C)Those who know who they are, are "secure."

1)They cannot be derailed, or turned aside from what they are determined to do.


D)Knowing who they are, they have a deep sense of security.


Throughout this account Jesus never panics.

A)He is always in control, moving with a quiet majesty through the events of his arrest and his appearance before Herod, Pilate, and the chief priests.


B)He is in full control because he knows who He is.

Where He came from / where He is going

1) Cross / the Grave / then Glory!


How important for Christians to understand this.

A)Know Who we are in Christ !


B) Those are  truths which the New Testament constantly thrusts upon us!

1)When you are facing pressure at home, in your job, or wherever, pressure to give in to something you know you should resist, the Scripture urges you,


C)"Remember who you are. Whole point of the armor of God – putting on who you are in Christ

1)You need no longer be the victim of the wiles of the enemy;


D)Belt of truth / Helmet of Salvation / Breast plate of righteousness – all connected to this reality

1)You belong to God. You are part of His

2)You are loved and cherished by your Father.

3) Your sins are forgiven."


E) In Christ you are righteous – In Christ you are Victorious


So important – Know where we came from

A)Sinners – saved by grace


B) Who we are Saints – In Christ – now

1) Where we are going – Heaven


C)Suggest to you only the person who truly knows where he has come from and who he is now in Christ and where he is going – heaven – can do what we see Jesus doing in this Chapter –


D) But before we look at that notice what this also tells us about the Lord’s heart for his disciples.


V.2 having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

A)He calls them his own –  He owned them at a time when it might have been easier to not do so!


B) Not only did he own them but he also LOVED them 1) He loved them to the end, or, literally ‘unto the uttermost’.  Lit - He loved them with no limits

This is amazing: Even though He was aware of their past faltering . . . 

A)The many times they lacked faith / the men times they were disobedient / lacked sensitivity


B)He was also aware of their future failings . . .  All forsake / Peter Deny


C)He was also aware of their present flaws . . .

1) As they sat together in that Upper Room, Luke tells us these very disciples were once again engaged in their favorite argument –


B)they were arguing among themselves about who was the greatest in the Kingdom.  (Luke 22:24).


C)Past faltering, present failure, future flaws, Jesus saw His disciples not only in their present vulnerabilities,

1)but also in their eventual victories— and He loved them to the uttermost.  Without any limits !


D) What do we see in each other – only past failings

Only Present vulnerabilities.

1) How do we love – What kind of limits or no limits


Watch what happens next: Consider What Jesus Did V.4-5   “He 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.

Been said that a Picture is worth a 1,000 words – Jesus is giving them a picture here

A)Here in John 13 Jesus gives us a picture of what real love is supposed to look like


B)This is the style of Jesus – Before he TEACHES / He touches


C) So what does Jesus do – He takes the place of the lowest servant – lowest servants Job

1) And He begins to wash their feet.


As a special mark of affection, a host or hostess might wash a guest's feet, but it was not standard operating procedure in most homes.

A)Never forget what Kelly West did – when he married Sarah – after vows – before communion – surprised Sarah and everyone else – Washing her feet.


B) Great display of affection for his bride -  but Kelly didn’t wash everyone’s feet that day – he was at the door when all the guest arrived –

1) He didn’t even offer to wash my feet -  Sarah’s feet were not dirty or smelly


C) Whole different ball game here for Jesus – dirty smelly -  Dust roads


Q: What did the angels around the Throne in heaven think now? “Ok, that’s’ too far Lord!”

A)If angels could blow fuses, surely now their halo’s were shorted out on this one…“What’s He doing now?”


B)We have the King of Kings; Lord of Lords; the one exalted above all else; given a name above all names; equal w/God;… making sure feet are clean?


C) Why did Jesus do this?


2 reasons: [1] To prick their Proud hearts: While they were arguing about who was the greatest Jesus gave them an unforgettable lesson in humility, and by His actions rebuked their selfishness and pride.


The more you think about this scene, the more profound it becomes.

A)Jesus was the Sovereign, yet He took the place of a servant.


B)He had all things in His hands, yet He picked up a towel.

1)He was Lord and Master, yet He served His followers.


It has well been said that humility is not thinking lowly of yourself, it is simply not thinking of yourself at all.

A)We today, just like the disciples we desperately need this lesson on humility.

B)The church is filled with a worldly spirit of competition and criticism as believers vie with one another to see who is the greatest.


C) We are growing in knowledge, but not in grace Andrew Murray wrote "Humility is the only soil in which  grace takes root.”


 [2] To Teach them a great truth – watch what happens next.   What Jesus taught! { Unfolds


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

A)Jesus comes to Peter and Peter Protest – You are not washing my feet –


B)No doubt this whole time – Peter is probably thinking – what a bunch of idiots.

1) I can’t believe they are letting Jesus do this –


C)When Peter protest I am sure that he is thinking – Jesus is going to commend him –

1) Say something like well it is about time – One of you spoke up – Good Job Peter –


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

A)Jesus is like Peter just let me do this you will understand later –


B)And He did: Peter must have recalled the event when he wrote his first epistle and urged his readers to "be clothed with humility" (1 Peter 5:5).


C)This was a Picture etched in his mind of Jesus


But At the moment Peter is not understanding at all! 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.  For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean." 


Important spiritual principle: The word translated "wash" in vs 5-6,8,12, and 14 is nipto and means "to wash a part of the body."


A)But the word translated "washed" in John 13:10 is louo and means "to bathe all over."


B)The distinction is important: See if they had bathed in the morning they were clean


C) but there was a part of them that was in constant contact with the world – Feet –

1)Their feet were always getting dirty!  Wasn’t a whole bath they needed just a foot washing.

The Spiritual picture here is significant

A)See When the sinner trusts the Christ as Savior, he gets a spiritual bath – He is "bathed all over" and his sins are washed away and forgiven


 "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more" (Hebrews 10:17).


B)However, as the believer walks in this world, it is easy to become defiled.  Hour of TV – game

1) Going to work – Work chatter – conduct –


C) Ever feel dirty at the end of the day? – When that happens – you don’t need to get saved again

1) Don’t need to get baptized all over again.

2) But you do need your feet washed.


D) You need that part of you that has been defiled – that has sinned – cleansed.  How ?

1 John 1:9.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”


E)He simply needs to have that defilement cleansed away.

1) So God promises to cleanse us when we confess our sins to Him


D)What happens if we allow unconfessed sin to linger in our lives?

1) It affects our communion with the Lord

V.8  "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." 

A)The word translated "part" is meros, and it carries the meaning here of "participation, having a share in someone or something."


B) Our participation with Christ – communion sharing in blessing is hindered by sin

1) God says – Confess it – Forgive – foot washing


C)This basic truth of Christian living is beautifully illustrated in the Old Testament priesthood.

1) When the priest was consecrated, he was bathed all over (Ex 29:4), and that experience was never repeated.


D) However, during his daily ministry, he became defiled; so it was necessary that he wash his hands and feet at the brass laver in the courtyard (Ex 30:18-21).


E) Only then could he enter the holy place and trim the lamps, eat the holy bread, or bum the incense.


So the whole scene is a picture of forgiveness and cleansing that we can experience daily as we come to Jesus to confess our sin.

A)Receive new mercies each day!


B) We come to the Lord and confess our sin He forgives us – cleanses us.


C)The word translated ‘confess’ in Scripture means to‘ ‘speak the same’.

1)Confession is not promising never to sin again, but rather saying, ‘Father, Your Word is right. That’s sin, and I confess it as such.


D) Have mercy upon me. Lord, deal with me.’


Two things happen to those who readily confess their sin.   1) Appreciation of the Cross

A)When I confess my sin 10, 15, 20, 30 times a day, you know what happens?


B)I appreciate what Jesus did for me all the more. I look at myself as the chiefest of sinners and say, ‘Wow, Lord. I’ve had to confess a lot of  things today


C) How I appreciate Your love. How I appreciate the work You did for me in paying the price for each of my sins.’


D) True confession is amazing - because when we really see our sin, we can’t help but marvel at the immensity of God’s love. 

1) He keeps on forgiving


Realization of Grace

A)If you’re not a confessor, you can start to think, ‘I can see why I’m being blessed.


B) I am a pretty good guy/gal –{ It is grace

B) But when you’re in a mode of continual confession, those kinds of thoughts never enter your mind. Instead, you say, ‘Wow, Lord, it’s only because of your mercies that I am not consumed,’ (Lamentations 3:22).


C) So the first lesson – What Jesus did is a picture of confession cleansing


Now what Jesus says next is absolutely mind blowing – What He taught John 13:12-17

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. 


Now I don’t know if you have every considered the full ramifications of what is being said here.

A)I think at first glance – we look at this purely on the surface and say – we to humble ourselves and to serve one another –


B) That surely is part of the message that is being communicated here.

1)But it is only a part – it goes much deeper than that – when you consider this in context –

C)When you consider the teaching – Jesus has just explained why we need to have our feet washed – we still get dirty –

1) so we need to confess our sin – allow the Lord to cleanse us


D) But then He says – You need to do to each other what I have done to you  -

1) you need to wash one another’s feet - - this is the example I give to you. – do to each other.


What is He saying: You need to cleanse each other when you get dirty – when you get defiled.

A)Wait it is only God who can cleanse – it is only God who can forgive – that is true – but we have a part to play in the restoration of the believer who has sinned.


B) It is God – who forgives sin – But the Lord tells us – forgive one another as I have forgiven you.

1) So we wash feet by forgiving those who have sinned against us –


C) We wash feet – by forgiving when we hear that someone has blown it!

1) Too often we are quick to pick up our arrows and shoot the sinner – Only army that shoots it’s wounded


D) We are most like Christ when we forgive! -  When we restore.


Remember what Paul wrote in Galatians 6:1-2

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.


A)When we restore the brother or sister overtaken in a sin – we are washing feet.


B)Too often here is what happens – a brother or sister is overtaken in some sin and we  turn our backs on them- we talk about them behind their back.


C) That is not Jesus:  Peter sinned – Denied Christ – Jesus sought after him – go tell disciples and Peter


D)We wash feet when we forgive - 


Lets take this one step further: If Jesus is giving an illustration about confession – cleansing that comes from it

A)It is interesting to me in light of this that James tells us - James 5:16  NIV


 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” 


B)I venture to say to you that most of us never do that – We don’t confess our sins to one another –

1) here is the reason why- we don’t trust each other. –

We don’t know how to wash feet - - We do it with boiling hot water and we dry them with stand paper A)We scold each other – Most of us – have tried to do this from time to time only to have it back fire on us –


B)Someone – rebuked us after our confession

1) Someone took our confession and blabbed it all over town –


C) You can tell if you are a foot washer – if you are one who people feel SAFE to confess their sin

1) Feel safe to share their struggles with.


D) Not that we tolerate sin or make light of it – but we are ready to wash that person – cleanse them

1) Restore them – help them in that


Lets take this one step further -  What do you use to wash feet – Water –

A)Water is symbolic of the word – see how this works


B) Person comes and confesses – you see a person overtaken in a sin – You go to them with the word

1) You pour it on them – rub the dirt off with the word


C) Hey I know this is what your head is saying – I know this is what the devil is whispering in your ear this but this is what the word says –


D)Wash them – rub the water over their sin and their shame over and over again – until it is gone

This is the kind of thing that the blows the mind of the world about the Church.

A)See the world doesn’t do that – at best they forgive and make excuses for the sin


B) But they don’t know the power of the word that transforms a life –


C) We take the love of Jesus and the Word of the Lord apply it to dirty feet  - Miraculous


Who do we do this too?

Notice the end of v.7 again - you are clean, but not all of you."  11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean." 


Guys do you catch this – who is still at this gathering – who is getting his feet washed – it is Judas


What did Jesus feel as He was washing Judas’ feet?

Did He Pinch him? Or do a ½ a job? - No probably He felt sorrow that his feet would never ever come clean!


Q: What did Judas feel? Here it is just moments before Satan would possess Him & the last thing for Judas to remember is the one he was about to betray washed his feet???


 How can you model Humility to those around you? What’s the one job no one likes to do in your office? Or job site? Or in your home?-

Be one who restores others -

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