1/ Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet – Jn 13:1-17
2/ Jesus Identifies His Betrayer – Jn 13:18-30
3/ The New Commandment – Jn 13:31-35
4/ Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial – Jn 13:36-38
Jesus Identifies His Betrayer – Jn 13:18-30
Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him, also knew that Judas had not “bathed.” Judas had not been saved. That’s why he said not everyone in that group was clean, Jn.13:11.
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.
According to the customs of that time, the host at a banquet, took a piece of bread, dipped it in the sauce, and then offered it to the guest of honor. Through this gesture, the Lord made Judas His guest of honor. He extended a sign of friendship to him. Judas was at a crossroads, but Christ kept the door open for Judas. After the supper in the garden, Matthew 26:50 says, when Judas appeared at the head of an armed group, Jesus would say to him: “Friend, what are you coming to?” So even on that occasion, Jesus kept the door open for the traitor. Someone once said: “Knowing about something beforehand is not the same as causing it.” That is, the Lord knew what Judas was going to do, but the Lord did not force him to do it. The fact is that He offered His friendship to Judas to the end.
The New Commandment – Jn 13:31-35
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 (G25=Agapeo=to love in a social or moral sense) 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.”
If Jesus commanded us to love one another means this agape love is not just a feeling o preference, but is a decision we make on how we behave or treat others, is a commitment. This new commandment to love is referring to a restricted, exclusive love towards those who are fellow-believers in Christ (brothers for whom Christ died). Jesus love was sacrificial, unconditional, a love that looks for the best interest of the loved person, a humble, serving love.
Is worth noticing that the most important commandment for a Christian is not to witness or to serve (even those are important), but to love one’s brethren, one’s fellow believers. The Church needs to practice this pure & true love. (1 Peter 1:22-23a). Jesus said that His disciples should be known by this love, it will serve as a witness to the world.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial – Jn 13:36-38
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.
Peter’s response testifies to his love for Jesus as well as his determination to remain faithful. He was sincere, but also self-confidence. From this incident we must learn that we must not trust our own human nature. Our own nature is weak, but God will supply the strength for our specific need. We must trust in Christ and rely upon Him if we are to successfully combat trials & temptations.