John 13:12
So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said to them, Know you what I have done to you?
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(12) And was set down again.—This means in the reclining position customary at meals. Comp. Luke 11:37; Luke 22:14; and in this Gospel John 6:10; John 21:20. Here it implies that the washing the feet preceded the supper (John 13:1).

Know ye what I have done to you?—This question is asked, not to be answered, but to direct their attention to what He had done, and to the interpretation which follows—“Do ye perceive what I have done? This is the meaning of it.”

John 13:12-15. So after he had washed their feet, &c. — After he had given them such a striking proof of his humility, condescension, and love, by performing to them the office of the meanest slave; he said, Know ye what I have done to you? — Know ye the meaning of what I have done? for the action was emblematical. Ye call me Master, and Lord — Ο διδασκαλος και ο κυριος, the master, or teacher, and the Lord. “The article prefixed to each appellation, and the nominative case employed, where in common language it would have been the accusative, give great energy to the expression, and show that the words are applied to Jesus in a sense entirely peculiar.” — Campbell. And ye say well — I am really what you call me, being the Son of God, and Saviour of the world, If I, then, your Lord, &c., have washed your feet — Have condescended to so mean an office, and in all other instances have shown my readiness in love to serve you; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet — And why did they not? Why do we not read of any one apostle ever washing the feet of any other? Because they understood their Lord better. They knew he never designed that this should be literally taken. He designed to teach them the great lesson of humble love, as well as to confer inward purity upon them. And hereby he teaches us, 1st, In every possible way to assist each other in attaining that purity. 2d, To wash each other’s feet, by performing all sorts of good offices to each other, even those of the lowest kind, when opportunity serves, and the necessity of any calls for them. For I have given you an example that ye should do — On all proper occasions to one another; as I have done to you — As if he had said, I have set you a pattern of humility, to recommend it to you: and it must be acknowledged that nothing shows us more effectually the necessity of this grace, than its being recommended to us by so high an example; a recommendation which, in the present circumstances, was peculiarly seasonable, for the disciples having heard Jesus say that the kingdom of God was at hand, (Luke 22:18,) their minds were so fired with ambitious passions, that, before they arose from supper, they fell into a hot contention about sharing the principal posts in the kingdom.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.Know ye what ... - Do you know the meaning or design of what I have done unto you? 12-15. Know ye what I have done?—that is, its intent. The question, however, was put merely to summon their attention to His own answer. After that our Saviour had finished this ceremony, and washed his disciples’ feet, (some question whether all or no, but I see no reason to doubt it), he returned again to the supper, which probably now was near finished, which certainly was the common supper which the Jews had besides the passover supper, and probably before it, though some think after it. He asketh them if they knew the meaning of this which he had done unto them; lest they should not fully understand it, he openeth it to them in the following discourse. So after he had washed their feet,.... Not Peter's only, but the rest of the disciples also: some have thought, that he washed only the feet of some of them, and not all; but it seems, by this expression, that he performed this service to each of them: and when he had gone through it with everyone of them:

and had taken his garments, and put them on,

and was sat down again; at the table with his disciples, supper not being yet ended; when having done his work as a servant, he reassumes the air and authority of Lord and master, and begins to teach and instruct, into the design and use of what he had been doing, which he introduces by putting this question;

he said unto them, know ye what I have done to you? They knew the outward action he had done to them, that he had washed their feet; but, as yet, they did not know the mystery of it, Christ's design in it, and what he would have them learn from it.

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
John 13:12-13. Γινώσκετε, κ.τ.λ.] know ye, etc.; ἐρωτᾷ ἀγνοοῦντας, ἵνα διεγείρῃ εἰς προσοχήν, Euth. Zigabenus. Comp. Dissen, ad Dem. de Cor. p. 186.

τί] namely, according to the spiritual contents whose symbolical representation was the act that was presented to the senses.

John 13:13. Ye call me Teacher and Lord. It was in this way that the pupils of the Rabbins addressed their teachers, רבי and מר; and so also did the disciples address Jesus as the Messiah, whose pupils (Matthew 23:8) and δοῦλοι (John 13:16) they were. Comp. on ὁ διδάσκ., John 11:28. On the nominativus tituli, see Buttmann, N. T. Gramm. p. 132 [E. T. p. 151]. φωνεῖν does not signify to name; but in the article lies the σύ present to the mind in the act of calling upon (Krüger, § 45. 2. 6).John 13:12. Ὅτεὑμῖν: “when, then, He had washed their feet and taken His garments [cf. τίθησι τὰ ἱμάτια of John 13:4] and reclined again He said to them: Know ye what I have done to you?” Do you perceive the meaning of this action? By washing their feet He had washed their heart. By stooping to this menial service He had made them all ashamed of declining it. By this simple action He had turned a company of wrangling, angry, jealous men into a company of humbled and united disciples.12. was set down] The Greek verb occurs frequently in the Gospels (and nowhere else in N.T.) of reclining at meals. It always implies a change of position (see on John 13:25, and comp. John 6:10, John 21:20; Matthew 15:35; Mark 6:40 : Luke 11:37).

Know ye] ‘Do ye recognise the meaning of it?’ (see on John 13:7). The question directs their attention to the explanation to be given.John 13:12. Ὅτε, when) On this adverb the two verbs depend, as at ch. John 12:41, “These things spake Esaias, ὅτι, or ὅτε εἶδεν τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, καὶ (ὅτε) ἐλάλησεν περὶ αὐτοῦ.”—αὐτῶν, of them) of the disciples: fresh water having been taken to wash each of them.—ἀναπεσών, lying down at table [set down again]) as their Lord. Luke 22:27, “Whether is greater he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat?”—τί) what, and for what reason.Verses 12-17. - The Lord gives other practical instructions based on his own humble self-obliterating discharge of a duty which it was obvious that, in their desire to be great, they had one and all abstained from doing even for their Lord. Out of it he draws the great lesson of mutual love and brotherly regard. Verse 12. - So when he had washed their feet - the interruption of Peter had brought forth the wonderful and weighty replies, and then, in awfulness and great amazement, the process went on. John and Judas as well as Peter submitted. Matthew and Thomas, Philip and Nathanael, and the rest yielded and received the deep, ineffaceable impression - and taken his garments he was no longer in the form of a slave, but of their Teacher and Lord - and again reclined at their head, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done unto you? They must consider the meaning of it all. There was no affectation of humility about it. The purpose of the Lord was distinctly practical and ethical. So when he ceased his manifestation in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was set down on the right hand of God, he sent his Spirit to teach them all things. Moulton calls attention to the trial arrangement. Three particulars precede the great utterance that follows (cf. vers. 1-3; cf. also John 16:6; John 16:8, etc.; John 17:22, 23), as well as the three topics of the intercessory prayer; also the three words from the cross (John 19:27-30) and three appearances to the disciples (John 21:14). This may be compared with the use of three throughout the Apocalypse. Was set down (ἀναπεσὼν)

Literally, having reclined. The guests reclined on couches, lying on the left side and leaning on the left hand. The table was in the hollow square or oblong formed on three sides by the couches, the fourth side being open, and the table extending beyond the ends of the couches.

Know ye (γινώσκετε)?

Perceive or understand ye?

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