1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had 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 back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share 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, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, 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 also should do just as I have done to you.16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
- What did Jesus do with the knowledge that “his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father”? Why did Jesus choose this as his final lesson for his disciples?
“This was a world where roads were dusty and sandals were worn daily […] The task of foot-washing was so menial that according to some Jewish sources, Jewish slaves were exempt …”
- What may have been going on in Peter’s mind as he refused Jesus’ offer to wash his feet?
- What are some ways in which people respond to Jesus like Peter did?
- What can I learn from this passage about what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus?
- Reflect on the words: “I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you…blessed are you if you do them.” How seriously have I taken the example of Jesus’ concrete humility and loving service for his disciples? In what ways have I taken on tasks that others do not want to do in order to serve others in love?
- In what ways has following the example of Jesus become a blessing in my life?
 Gary M. Burge, The NIV Application Commentary: John (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000), 368-369.