For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
Jump to: Alford • Barnes • Bengel • Benson • BI • Calvin • Cambridge • Chrysostom • Clarke • Darby • Ellicott • Expositor's • Exp Dct • Exp Grk • Gaebelein • GSB • Gill • Gray • Haydock • Hastings • Homiletics • ICC • JFB • Kelly • KJT • Lange • MacLaren • MHC • MHCW • Meyer • Parker • PNT • Poole • Pulpit • Sermon • SCO • Teed • TTB • VWS • WES • TSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)That ye should do as I have done to you.—The example is in the principle, not in the specific act; it is not “that which I have done to you,” but “according as I have done to you.” The imitation is to be worked out in applying the same principle of love and self-sacrifice in all the varying circumstances of life in which we are placed.
1. There is no evidence that Jesus intended it as a religious observance, like the Lord's Supper or the ordinance of baptism.
2. It was not observed by the apostles or the primitive Christians as a religious rite.
3. It was a rite of hospitality among the Jews, a common, well-known thing, and performed by servants.
4. It is the manifest design of Jesus here to inculcate a lesson of humility; to teach them by his example that they ought to condescend to the most humble offices for the benefit of others. They ought not to be proud, and vain, and unwilling to occupy a low place, but to regard themselves as the servants of each other, and as willing to befriend each other in every way. And especially as they were to be founders of the church, and to be greatly honored, he took this occasion of warning them against the dangers of ambition, and of teaching them, by an example that they could not forget, the duty of humility.
have washed your feet—the servants'.
ye—but fellow servants.
ought to wash one another's feet—not in the narrow sense of a literal washing, profanely caricatured by popes and emperors, but by the very humblest real services one to another.Matthew 10:24 John 15:20; in both which places he maketh use of it to arm them against persecutions; here, to persuade them to humility, condescension, and brotherly love.
that ye should do as I have done to you; wash one another's feet, as he had washed theirs; which is not to be understood literally and singly of this action, as though this was an ordinance binding upon all persons, in all places, and to be attended to at certain stated times, as has been the practice of some: it was so understood by the church at Milain, and there practised; and this custom was continued and defended by St. Ambrose, even though not received by the church of Rome; in some places the bishop used to wash the feet of those that were baptized, which in process of time being thought sufficient, instead of baptism, was forbidden by the council at Eliberis. In imitation of this, the pope every year, on Thursday in the passion week, washes the feet of twelve men; and it is an anniversary ceremony performed by the kings of England and France, to wash the feet of twelve poor people, in commemoration of this action of Christ's: but our Lord is not to be understood literally, nor of anything that was to be done once a year, but of what was daily and constantly to be practised; and which was to be done not by one only, to all the rest, but what they were mutually to do; what they were to do to one another; for the thing signified, reaches to, and is obligatory upon all Christians. Our Lord's meaning is, that as he had, by this action, given them an example of humility, condescension, and love; so they should exercise these graces, and perform such kind offices to one another, and to all their fellow Christians.For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 13:15. ὑπόδειγμα … ποιῆτε. ὑπόδειγμα is condemned by Phrynichus, who recommends the Attic παράδειγμα. See Rutherford’s interesting note, New Phryn., p. 62. The purpose, ἵνα, of His action was that they might act in the same humble, loving spirit, in all their conduct to one another.15. as I have done to you] Not, ‘what I have done to you,’ but ‘even as I have done:’ this is the spirit in which to act—self-sacrificing humility—whether or no it be exhibited precisely in this way. Mutual service, and especially mutual cleansing, is the obligation of Christ’s disciples. Comp. James 5:16.
LinksJohn 13:15 Interlinear
John 13:15 Parallel Texts
John 13:15 NIV
John 13:15 NLT
John 13:15 ESV
John 13:15 NASB
John 13:15 KJV
John 13:15 Bible Apps
John 13:15 Parallel
John 13:15 Biblia Paralela
John 13:15 Chinese Bible
John 13:15 French Bible
John 13:15 German Bible