John 13:11
For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
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(11) For he knew who should betray him.—Comp. John 18:2, and Note on Matthew 26:48. This is the first reference to the betrayal during the feast. The words are words of warning, spoken in the love which even then might have redeemed and cleansed the heart, if it had been open to receive it. The feet of Judas were washed by his Master. Had he learnt the lesson of humility and love, he might have conquered the foul spirit of ambition and covetousness which was carrying him to destruction.

13:1-17 Our Lord Jesus has a people in the world that are his own; he has purchased them, and paid dear for them, and he has set them apart for himself; they devote themselves to him as a peculiar people. Those whom Christ loves, he loves to the end. Nothing can separate a true believer from the love of Christ. We know not when our hour will come, therefore what we have to do in constant preparation for it, ought never to be undone. What way of access the devil has to men's hearts we cannot tell. But some sins are so exceedingly sinful, and there is so little temptation to them from the world and the flesh, that it is plain they are directly from Satan. Jesus washed his disciples' feet, that he might teach us to think nothing below us, wherein we may promote God's glory, and the good of our brethren. We must address ourselves to duty, and must lay aside every thing that would hinder us in what we have to do. Christ washed his disciples' feet, that he might signify to them the value of spiritual washing, and the cleansing of the soul from the pollutions of sin. Our Lord Jesus does many things of which even his own disciples do not for the present know the meaning, but they shall know afterward. We see in the end what was the kindness from events which seemed most cross. And it is not humility, but unbelief, to put away the offers of the gospel, as if too rich to be made to us, or too good news to be true. All those, and those only, who are spiritually washed by Christ, have a part in Christ. All whom Christ owns and saves, he justifies and sanctifies. Peter more than submits; he begs to be washed by Christ. How earnest he is for the purifying grace of the Lord Jesus, and the full effect of it, even upon his hands and head! Those who truly desire to be sanctified, desire to be sanctified throughout, to have the whole man, with all its parts and powers, made pure. The true believer is thus washed when he receives Christ for his salvation. See then what ought to be the daily care of those who through grace are in a justified state, and that is, to wash their feet; to cleanse themselves from daily guilt, and to watch against everything defiling. This should make us the more cautious. From yesterday's pardon, we should be strengthened against this day's temptation. And when hypocrites are discovered, it should be no surprise or cause of stumbling to us. Observe the lesson Christ here taught. Duties are mutual; we must both accept help from our brethren, and afford help to our brethren. When we see our Master serving, we cannot but see how ill it becomes us to domineer. And the same love which led Christ to ransom and reconcile his disciples when enemies, still influences him.Who should betray him - Greek: "He knew him who was about to betray him." 10. He that is washed—in this thorough sense, to express which the word is carefully changed to one meaning to wash as in a bath.

needeth not—to be so washed any more.

save to wash his feet—needeth to do no more than wash his feet (and here the former word is resumed, meaning to wash the hands or feet).

but is clean every whit—as a whole. This sentence is singularly instructive. Of the two cleansings, the one points to that which takes place at the commencement of the Christian life, embracing complete absolution from sin as a guilty state, and entire deliverance from it as a polluted life (Re 1:5; 1Co 6:11)—or, in the language of theology, Justification and Regeneration. This cleansing is effected once for all, and is never repeated. The other cleansing, described as that of "the feet," is such as one walking from a bath quite cleansed still needs, in consequence of his contact with the earth. (Compare Ex 30:18, 19). It is the daily cleansing which we are taught to seek, when in the spirit of adoption we say, "Our Father which art in heaven … forgive us our debts" (Mt 6:9, 12); and, when burdened with the sense of manifold shortcomings—as what tender spirit of a Christian is not?—is it not a relief to be permitted thus to wash our feet after a day's contact with the earth? This is not to call in question the completeness of our past justification. Our Lord, while graciously insisting on washing Peter's feet, refuses to extend the cleansing farther, that the symbolical instruction intended to be conveyed might not be marred.

and ye are clean—in the first and whole sense.

but not all—important, as showing that Judas, instead of being as true-hearted a disciple as the rest at first, and merely falling away afterwards—as many represent it—never experienced that cleansing at all which made the others what they were.

By these words the evangelist expounds only what our Saviour meant in the former verse, when he had told them they were not all clean; for though the disciples did not yet know that they had a traitor amongst them, Satan had before this put the design into the heart of Judas, John 13:2; and Christ, who knew all hearts, knew what was in the heart of Judas, and he soon after (as we shall hereafter in this chapter read) revealed it; yet at this time he had not revealed it to his disciples: now he begins to discover it, telling them, that though the most of them were clean, justified and sanctified, yet all of them were not so.

For he knew who should betray him,.... That is, Jesus, as Beza's ancient copy, and the Syriac and Persic versions read. This he knew from the beginning; not only from the beginning of his ministry, when he chose his twelve apostles, but from the beginning of time, yea, from everlasting; this being fixed by the determinate counsel of God, which he, as the omniscient God, was privy to: he knew what preparations were making, and how things were then working, in order to bring it about; he knew that Satan had already put it into Judas's heart, and that he had consented to it;

therefore, said he, ye are not all clean: he does not mention his name, though he could have done so, it not being as yet proper to make so full a discovery of him, before the matter was ripe for execution; and also to put all the disciples upon examination of themselves.

For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
John 13:11. That Judas was meant is at once said in John 13:11. Ἤιδειἐστε. Jesus thus shows that He distinguishes between the offence of the rest and the sin of Judas. All that they required was to have the soil of their present evil temper and jealousy removed: they were true in heart, they had been in the bath and had only contracted a slight stain. But Judas had not been in the bath: he had no genuine and habitual loyalty to Christ.

11. who should betray him] Or, him that was betraying Him. The Greek construction is exactly equivalent to that of ‘He that should come’ (Matthew 11:3; Luke 7:19); in both cases it is the present participle with the definite article—‘the betraying one,’ ‘the coming one.’

therefore] Or, for this cause: see on John 12:39.

John 13:11. Τὸν παραδίδοντα, who should betray Him) who, like the rest, had received the washing of his feet.

Verse 11. - For he knew who was betraying him; therefore he said, Ye are not all clean. That Christ should have been ignorant of the devices of Judas, or of his true character, is repeatedly denied by all the evangelists. John certainly calls attention to the Lord's knowledge of the secret of Judas, and justifies thus his Divine prerogative. That Strauss, Hilgenfeld, and others should see here an innuendo against Peter, and the charge against Peter of advocating a kind of Ebionitie daily ablution of the whole body, is willful and uncalled for. John 13:11Who should betray (τὸν παραδιδόντα)

Literally, him that is betraying. So in Matthew 26:2, the present tense is used, is being betrayed


See on Matthew 4:12, and compare προδότης, betrayer, Luke 6:16; Acts 7:52; 2 Timothy 3:4.

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