John 13
Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.


JOHN 13:1–30

(Comp. Matt. 26:17–35; Mark 14:12–31; Luke 22:7–38; John 13:1–15 Pericope for Maundy-Thursday)

1Now [but] before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew [Jesus knowing] that his hour was come [coming]1 that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were (who remained behind) in the world, he 2[omit he] loved them unto the end. And supper being ended [the meal being about to begin, or, having begun]2 the devil having now [already, ἤδη] put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him [put into the heart, i.e., suggested 3that Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, should betray him];3 Jesus [He]4 knowing that the Father had given [him, αὐτῷ] all things into his hands, and that he was come [came forth, ἐξῆλθεν] from God, and went [was going, ὑπάγει] to God; 4He riseth from supper [the meal],5 and laid [layeth] aside his garments [the outer 5or, upper garment];6 and took a towel and girded himself. After that [thereupon or, then] he poureth water into a [the] basin, and [and he] began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6Then cometh he [so he cometh] to Simon Peter: [,] and Peter [he] saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know [wilt learn, understand] hereafter. 8Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never [Never shalt thou] wash my feet. Jesus answered him, if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with [in] me. 9Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my [the] hands, and my [the] head. 10Jesus saith to him, He that is washed [hath been bathed] needeth not save to wash his [the] feet [needeth not to wash himself (save his feet)],7 but is clean every whit [wholly, entirely clean]: and ye are clean, but not all. 11For he knew who should [was about to] betray him; therefore [for this reason] said he, Ye are not all clean.

12So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments [upper garment] and was set [had sat]8 down again, he said unto them, Know[Un derstand] ye what I have done to you? 13Ye call me Master [the Teacher] and 14[the] Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your [the] Lord and Master [the Teacher], have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have given you an example, that ye [also] should do as I have done to you. 16Verily, verily, I say unto you, The [A] servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent [nor one sent] greater than he that sent [the one sending] him. 17If ye know these things, happy [blessed] are ye if ye do them [the same].

18I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen [I chose]: but (thus it is) that the Scripture may be fulfilled, “He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up9 19his heel against me.” (Ps. 41:9). Now [From henceforth] I tell you before it come [hath come to pass], that, when it is [hath] come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. [He, the Messiah indicated in Psalm 41:9]. 20Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and [but] he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

21When Jesus had thus said, he [Having said this, Jesus] was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall [will 22betray me. Then [omit then]10 the disciples looked one on another [at one another] 23doubting [being uncertain (ὰπορoύηενοι)] of whom he spake. Now11 there was leaning [reclining at the table] on [in] Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24Simon Peter therefore beckoned [beckoneth, maketh a sign, νεύει] to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake [and saith to him, say, who 25is it of whom he speaketh]?12 He then [But he]13 lying [leaning back (thus), ὰναπεσὼν (οὕτως) ] on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus [therefore] answered, He it is to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it [for whom I shall dip the sop (morsel) and give it to him].14 And when he had dipped the sop he gave it [Having therefore dipped the sop, he taketh and giveth it] to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon [to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot].15 27And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then [Therefore] said Jesus unto him, That [What] thou doest, do quickly.

28Now [But] no man [no one of those reclining] at the table knew [understood] for what intent he spake [said] this unto him. 29For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag [kept the purse] that Jesus had [omit had] said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against [Buy what we need for] the feast; or, 30that he should give something to the poor. He then, having received the sop, went immediately out; and [but] it was night.


[Here begins the third main part of the gospel of John setting forth the glorification of Christ as the suffering High Priest and the victorious King. It is subdivided into three sections. The first treats of His private glorification in the midst of His disciples; the foot-washing, the parting discourses and the sacerdotal prayer, chs. 13–17; the second His public glorification in His passion and death, chs. 18 and 19; the third His full glorification in His resurrection and reappearance among His disciples as the pledge of His abiding presence to the end of time, chs. 20 and 21. With John 13 we approach the Holy of holies in the earthly life of our Lord. Having completed His prophetic office and public ministry, He spent the evening before His crucifixion in the quiet circle of His disciples and friends, and poured out before them His heart, in full view of the sacrifice on the cross by which He was shortly to show in fact His boundless love to them and to the whole world. Such an evening occurred but once in the world’s history: the fullness of eternity itself was condensed into a few fleeting moments. The farewell words of our Lord, chs. 13:31–17:26, stand alone even in the Book of books. The nearest approach to them we may find in the parting song and blessing of Moses (Deut. 32 and 33), and the farewell address of Paul to the elders of Ephesus (Acts 20:17 ff.). A more remote parallel is the prophetic picture in the second part of Isaiah, the prince and evangelist among the prophets, especially John 53, where the Messiah is represented as a man of sorrows who bore our griefs and carried our sorrows, who was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. The last words of our Lord to His own combine the deepest emotion with serene repose; they are solemn, weighty and affecting beyond description; they seem to sound directly from heaven, and they lift the reader high above time and space. We have here more than words, we have things, verities, acts of infinite love going out from God and going into the hearts of men. The main idea is: I in the Father, the Father in Me; I in the believers, the believers in Me, sharing My glory; or, as Bengel puts it: I came from My Father in heaven, I fulfilled His will on earth, I now return to My Father. (“Veni a Patre, fui in mundo, vado ad Patrem”). No disciple was so well qualified to apprehend, preserve and record these farewell words, as the bosom friend of Jesus who, during their delivery, reclined on His breast and heard the beatings of His heart. He omits an account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, as being already sufficiently known from the other Gospels, but these discourses, as also those in chs. 4 and 6, are full of the ideas of vital union with Christ and the communion of saints, which the sacrament symbolizes. In the same way John omits the form of baptism, but unfolds the underlying idea of regeneration, (John 3). Comp on these wonderful chapters the introductory remarks off Dr. Lange below on John 13:31 and John 17.16—P. S.]

On the hypotheses of modern criticism (Bretschneider, Strauss, Baur, etc.), concerning the history of the foot-washing, see Meyer [p. 492]. On the relation of the Johannean account of the farewell-repast of Jesus to that found in the Synoptists, comp. Comm. on Matthew, chap. 26. [Am. ed. p. 454 ff., where the English literature on this difficult question of chronology with many additional remarks is supplied.—P. S.]. After that general examination it will here suffice for us to render prominent once more the agreement between John and the Synoptists in those particular passages in which it is disputed. Thus here John 13:1–4; John 13:27; John 18:28; John 19:31.

Bynäus, Wichelhaus (History of the Passion) and Röpe (1856) hold that the repast of the foot-washing was not identical with the feast of the Passover. This view, is, indeed, not tenable in its separation of the two repasts;—there is, however, some truth in it, inasmuch as two divisions in the Last Supper are to be definitely distinguished, of which divisions the Synoptists portray preëminently the second, i.e. the institution of the Lord’s Supper, while John brings into relief the first section, i.e. the Jewish paschal feast,—that which has been transformed into the typical Christian love-feasts. That the Christian Agape, in its distinction from the Lord’s Supper and yet in conjunction with the same, was already existent at the time when John wrote his Gospel, is evident from 1 Cor. 11:17 ff., etc.; Jude John 13:12; 2 Pet. 2:13; probably also, from Acts 2:42, 46; 6:2. That, moreover, the Agape preceded the celebration of the Supper in the Apostolic Church, is evidenced by 1 Cor. 11:20, 21 and by the fact that down to Augustine’s time the African Church retained the custom of holding a common feast in the Church on Maundy Thursday, previous to the reception of the Lord’s Supper; this was the case long after the ordinary Agapes had been separated from the Lord’s Supper. (There was doubtless, however, a more decided separation of the Love Feast and the Communion in the Western than in the Eastern Church).

Now if in John’s time the Agape already existed in the stead of the Paschal feast, we can readily comprehend that the term ἀγαπᾷν,—an expression which of itself signifies: to testify love,—might have a double meaning in the mouth of John, and thus imply: He showed them His love by the Agape. The mysterious expression of the Evangelist seems to contain still more of design when we consider that τὸ τέλος was likewise indicative of the religious ceremony, the celebration of initiation. The scarce translatable word: unto the end, unto the decision He loved them (or: His love to them brought on His end together with its [His love’s] completion; or, as Zinzendorf has it: He loved Himself to death, brought on death by loving), contains for Christian Greek readers the assonance of the thought: He gave them the Agape in anticipation of the Christian festival of initiation, of Christian initiation into the fellowship of His death by the Lord’s Supper.

Since Christ desired to dovelop the Passover into the New Testament form of the Supper, it was quite significant that He so ordered the feast that the Passover itself took place before the beginning of the 15th Nisan and only the Supper fell into the full feast. Therefore He came early with the disciples to Jerusalem and commenced the celebration before the turning-point of the two days, i.e. Before six o’clock on the evening of the 14th Nisan; so early was it that the conclusion of the Paschal feast or original Agape was reached before six o’clock, or, at all events, just about that hour. This simple supposition removes all difficulties, especially when it is observed that in those days the accuracy of our measurement of time had no existence.

John 13:1. But before the feast of the passover, etc. [ΙΙ ρὸ δὲ τῆς ἑορτῆς τοῦ πάσχα, εἰδὼς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὕτι η̇͂λθεν αὐτοῦ ἡ ὥρα ἵνα μεταβῇ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, ἀγαπήσας τοὺς ἰδίους τοὺς ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ, εἰς τέλος ἠγάπησεν αὐτούς.]17 Different constructions:

1. The first sentence continues to the close John 13:5 [or rather John 13:4—P. S.] and the apodosis begins with the words John 13:4: “He rose from supper” (Griesbach, Matthäi [Bleek, Ebrard, Westcott and Hort] and others). If we make it the evening before the festal eve, or the evening of the 13th Nisan and allow of no pause, the history is continued uninterruptedly through the night until the end of chap. 17, and the crucifixion follows the next day, on the 14th, still before the feast. This assumption is contradicted by a. the exceedingly difficult construction (comp. John 6:22); b. the different sense of εἰδώς, John 13:1 and 3; the distinction is entirely blotted out if we consider the second εἰδώς a repetition of the first, and the words: εἰς τέλος, etc. a parenthesis. (Bleek: Before the feast, when Jesus knew that His hour was come to depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own who were in the world—He did love them unto the end—, when a repast was spread, etc.). The Evangelist had in view a twofold great antithesis redounding to the glorification of the Lord. The first (John 13:1) glorifies especially His love, whereby in the love-feast itself He revealed His love to the disciples unto the consummation; the second (John 13:2–4) especially glorifies His humility, in which He washed the disciples’ feet, although He knew, of Himself, that the Father was already tendering omnipotence to Him and that the Satanic betrayer was amongst the disciples. These two specifically different considerations cannot be mingled without obliterating the sense of the entire passage c. The formal ending of the sentence John 13:1 is equally clear.

2. The first sentence comes to a conclusion with the first verse (Vulgate, Luther, Lücke, Lachmann, etc. [Ewald, Hengstenberg, Godet]). Still there are various conceptions:

a. Kling, Luthardt and others connect πρὸ τῆς ἑορτῆς, etc. with εἰδώς; when Jesus knew before the feast of the passover. But this would render the designation of the time unmeaning.

b. Application of the πρὸ τν͂ς, etc. to ἀγαπήσας (Wieseler, Tholuck) in this sense: having even before the feast, in His consciousness of His approaching departure (John 12:23), loved His own, He loved them more than ever at the end. In connection with this, Tholuck observes, that it is impossible to interpret ἠγάπησεν αὐτούς with Lücke: He gave them a proof of His love, and he maintains that it indicates merely a loving frame of mind. But certainly it may mean a loving mood manifesting itself by a sign. And this admitted, the loving mood relapses into the proof of love.

c. Application of πρὸ τῆς to (the entire history. Meyer thinks that if it had been the eve of the feast (the evening of the 14th Nisan) John must have written: τῇ πρώτῃ τῶν ἀζύμων. The chronological turning-point seems to be obscured in this place by the fear of “Harmonistics.” Τῇ πρώτῃ τῶν ἀζύμων and πρὸ τῆς ἑοπτῆς are the self-same thing. We make πρὸ τῆς, etc. relate to the mysterious and significant εἰς τέλος ἠγάπησεν αὐτούς. But before the feast He came forward again (contrast to what has gone before). Then He carried His love to the τέλος. The completed expression of His love brought along with it the completion of His life. In particular, namely, He manifested at the love-feast the humility of His love.

Jesus, knowing [εἰδὼς ὁ Ἰησ.].—The δέ [after πρό at the beginning of the verse] is of great moment here, serving also as an elucidation. Jesus had withdrawn Himself. But before the beginning of the feast He was again drawn forth by the consciousness that His hour was come, and by His love to His own, and now He loved them so that the end, or the crisis, was the result. The love-feast brought the crisis. And so, even though the primary reference of the words of the first verse is to the disciples, they also relate to the great mass of His own in the world. He came back and carried out His work of love to the end. He loved Himself to His end, to death, for the paschal feast brought on the decision of the betrayer and hence His death. ἸΙγάπησεν, therefore, has reference undoubtedly to the whole love-feast, and the like is true of πρὸ τῆς ἑορτῆς. Before the paschal evening had fully begun, Judas went out into the night; with his departure τὸ τέλος was decided; Jesus’ act of love had induced the decision. But the more definite date was the leaving of Bethany for Jerusalem: that was the expression of His love by which the end was occasioned. The reference of the words ἀγαπήσας τοὺς ἰδίους to the foregoing: to depart unto the Father, after He had loved (Meyer), is void of meaning; but the interpretation: “He rendered them the last testimony of His love,” likewise withholds from εἰς τέλος its rights.

John 13:2. And when the meal bad begun, or, supper being served [καὶ δείπνου γινομένου].—The introduction of δεῖπνον without an article is explained by the fact that John has already indicated the nature of the δεῖπνον by the ἠγάπησεν in the first verse. “It seems unfavorable to the idea that it was the paschal meal (Wichelhaus), but as ἀπὸ δεἰπνου, ἐπὶ δεῖπνον ἰένου mean: after the repast, to go to table, so δείπνου γινομένου does not mean: when a meal took place, but it signifies when the meal took place or was about to take place, to wit, the repast of this day, and that was the festive meal.” Tholuck. Should we even read γενομένου (see the TEXTUAL NOTES), it would not mean: after the repast was over (Luther, Hofmann [E. V.]), but after it had already begun. According to Meyer and many others this meal was not the supper; John, they say, assumes that to be already known to his readers (it having been celebrated on the same evening). Hence, according to Meyer the paschal meal is omitted. According to Baur it is omitted because the author of the Gospel chap. 6. connected it with the second paschal feast of Jesus; according to Strauss the Evangelist knew nothing of the Supper. [According to Schenkel John intended to guard against ascribing a magical effect to the Lord’s Supper, and to prevent sacramental controversies. But this could have been done more effectually by plain instruction.—P. S.]

The meal having begun, or, being served.—That is, they had already reclined, John 13:4, 12. [Not being ended, as in the E. V. See TEXTUAL NOTES.—P. S.]

The devil having already put it into the heart of Judas [τοὺ διαβόλου ῆδη βεβληκότος εἰς τὴν καρδὶαν]—The explanation of Meyer, when the devil had already made his plot [had put it into hisheart], is untenable (see TEXTUAL NOTES).18 Strange indeed it would be if the heart of the devil were the subject of this announcement, independently of the fact that after all there would be little sense in the statement: the devil had resolved within himself, etc. As if such a thing were dependent on the resolve of the devil. The condition of affairs is this: the devil had sown the thought, the ἐπιθυηία, of betrayal in Judas’ heart; the wicked counsel becomes a firm decree only in John 13:27. It is true that, according to Matthew, Judas had previously been to the high-priests and negotiated with them; this fact, however, does not preclude subsequent waverings and conflicts on the part of the unhappy man. Now while the first antithesis was general in its character and referred to the whole love-feast, this second antithesis is special and has reference to the humility of the love of Jesus which found expression in the washing of the disciples’ feet. Yet the words: the devil having, etc., are to be primarily referred as a supplement to the foregoing, in this sense: the brooding treason in the breast of Judas did not hinder the Lord from causing the repast to commence. Perhaps, however, it is likewise intended that the words should mark out Judas as the chief author of the dispute which arose among the disciples on this occasion as to their respective ranks,—a dispute chronicled by Luke. No doubt the unwillingness of each one of the disciples to take upon himself the office of the foot-washing was one of the modes in which their contentious spirit manifested itself (Luke 22:24, 27; ancient exegetes; Leben Jesu, ii. p. 1314). Euthymius Zigabenus sees in the mention of Judas a trait illustrative of the long-suffering of Jesus; the truth of this view Meyer groundlessly denies.

John 13:3. Jesus, knowing.—Albeit He had the presentiment of His glory; namely 1. the presentiment of His elevation to divine power; 2. of His perfected mission resting upon His descent from the Father; 3. of His imminent elevation to the throne of glory.

John 13:4. He riseth from supper.—The contrast of His service with the presentiment of His lofty dignity. He rises to perform the foot-washing. Since this was ordinarily done by slaves previous to the commencement of the meal, in the absence of a slave the duty naturally devolved upon the humblest of the circle. In this assumption lay the fuse that kindled the disciples’ last strife for preëminence. At all events the dispute recounted by Luke appears to have been in part the occasion of the foot-washing. According to Strauss, De Wette; Meyer and others this is not the place for that dispute. It was, however, natural for it to break out more than once, and we should be attributing too great a piece of inaccuracy to Luke, were we to imagine that his placing of it in the history of the Supper was altogether erroneous. According to Meyer and Tholuck no such cause was requisite to induce Jesus to wash the disciples’ feet; they maintain that the act was a purely symbolical one. But this is in opposition to the realism of the life of Jesus and commingles the Old and New Testaments. Symbolism set forth in ceremonies is of the Old Testament. Wichelhaus discovers in the foot-washing an indication that the entertainment was no paschal feast, since, if it had been, the host must have assumed the duty. As contradictory to this view we cannot, with Tholuck, cite Luke 7:44, affirming that the washing of the feet was not always practiced. The omission of it there is reprehended. Manifestly, the very absence of the host proves that it was the time of the celebration of the Passover. On the evening of the 13th Nisan the host might have charged himself with the foot-washing; on the evening of the 14th Nisan he was obliged to eat in company with his family-circle as the father of the house and was thus prevented from performing the rite in question. For he did not sup with the circle of disciples; here the position of father of the family belonged to Jesus.

Layeth aside His outer garment [τὰ ιμάτια. Bengel: eas vestes, quæ lotionem impedirent.—P. S.]—The prompt and joyous alacrity of the Lord is picturesquely delineated by the rapid succession of the several sentences in designation of the several acts. The fact of His girding Himself contrasts with the expectation that others should have done it for Him.

John 13:5. Into the wash-basin [τὸν νιπτῆρα].—Into the one appointed which stood there. [Grotius: Nihil ministerii omitlit.] From this trait as well as from the expression: He girded Himself, we perceive that the foot-washing was anticipated and had been left undone in default of a servant, or a disciple willing to discharge the office.

And He began [καὶ ἤρξατο].—It undoubtedly seems to follow from the relation of John 13:5 to John 13:6, that He had already washed the feet of other disciples when He came to Peter (Meyer), because the whole proceeding is already described John 13:5. But He seems too to have come soon to Peter, since the latter interrupted His work as He was beginning. It would also be contrary to the inversion of orders of rank in the foot-washing if Jesus had begun with a disciple who was in a certain respect the first. Augustine and many Catholic exegetes make Peter the first; Chrysostom and others, on the contrary, conceive Judas to have been the first.

John 13:6. Dost thou wash my feet?—According to Tholuck (with reference to Chrysost.), this is a refusal from reverence, only after the reproof of Jesus becoming a refusal from self-will. Yet the unmistakable reverence is lacking in a true sense of the extraordinariness and spiritual significance of the action,—is lacking in full submission; thus a germ of self-will lent its influence even here. At all events Peter applied to the action of Jesus the same rule of outward rank, which effectually hindered the introduction into his own mind of the idea that he should wash the feet of his fellow-disciples.

John 13:7. Thou knowest not now, but thou wilt know hereafter [σν̀ οὐκ οἱδας ἄρτι, γνώσῃ δὲ μετὰ ταῦτα].—The antithesis of σύ is sternly met by the antithesis of ἐγώ and σύ. According to Chrysostom and others, also Tholuck [Hengstenberg, Ewald], μετὰ ταῦτα is indicative of subsequent enlightenment [after the day of Pentecost]; according to Luthardt it means: in eternity; according to De Wette and Meyer, the explanation John 13:12 ff. That explanation is doubtless intended in the first instance, not, however, to the exclusion of a progressive experience or knowledge in Christian illumination. Calvin: Quavis scientia doctior hæc ignorantiæ species (est), cum Domino concedimus, ut supra nos sapiat.

John 13:8. Peter saith unto Him, Never shalt Thou wash my feet [οὐ μὴ…εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα].—Again the self-will of the apostle develops into open contradiction and disobedience,—as on the occasion when Jesus announced that He was about to tread the path of suffering, Matt. 16:22. The connection between the two passages is discoverable, on the one hand, in the great attachment and reverence which Peter entertained for the Lord; but, on the other hand, also, in his cleaving to the external glory and sovereignty of Christ and in coveting a share thereof for himself. Christ now began practically with His self-humiliation to turn Peter’s moral view of the world upside down; Peter, meanwhile, instead of divining the blessing of the cross enfolded in this act, struggled with anxious forebodings against its pricks. Christ’s washing of the disciples’ feet was an affair utterly repugnant to his soul. Never; properly—to eternity, into the æon; εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.

If I wash thee not.—In this case too Jesus must give utterance to a threat, as in Matt. 16:23, before Peter’s strong self-will is brought into subjection. This strong self-will is indicated in the further history of Peter and likewise by the words of Jesus John 21:18. Hence the saying of Jesus was true, primarily, in the literal sense; not, indeed, in the sense ascribed to it by Peter, viz., If I do not corporeally cleanse thy feet,—but: if thou accept not my service of love in this washing of thy feet. Peter, had he persistently refused, would have put an end to the relationship between disciple and Master. The entire relationship was made dependent on this single point. No fortuitous thought was thereby involved, but a symbolic-typical act. Insomuch as this is true, Peter’s resistance was, in the first place, a negation of the act of religion symbolized by Christ; in the second place, a refusal to have his life purified by the Lord; a fatal protestation,—this latter—against that spiritual foot-washing, for example, which was apportioned him chap. 21. and without which he could have had no part in Christ; his resistance was, finally, a revolt against that ordinance obtaining in the kingdom,—the law of ministering love and humility in the Church of Christ;—a revolt which would in no wise have fitted him for his place as the first pioneer of that kingdom.

Thou hast no part with Me [οὐκ ἔχεις μέρος μετʼ ἐμοῦ]19—Matt. 24:51, etc. (אֶת חֵלֶקּ עִם ,חֵלֶק) i.e. in the same kingdom and the same glory of the kingdom, they being founded on loving and serving. According to Maldonatus and others, the menace contains a renouncement of personal friendship; according to Grotius an announcement of the loss of eternal life; according to Bengel, Luthardt and others it signifies: no part in my cleansing. The latter explanation is, however, not demanded, as Tholuck thinks it is, by the ethical and symbolical sense of the washing (in so far as this sense is presupposed, which is certainly to be assumed). The outward washing is accompanied by that which is inward, i.e. moral purification; from this, however, the future blessing must be distinguished. Baptism is attended by the renunciation of sin, but the blessing of it is communion with Christ and Christians in this present world; the Lord’s Supper is attended by the sealing of reconciliation and the communication of the new life of Christ: but its future blessing is communion with Christ and with Christians in the resurrection. The view represented by Bengel, Luthardt and Tholuck might be designated as one-sided or ultra-Reformed.

John 13:9. But also my hands and my head.—An utterance prompted by the agitation and entire subjection of the disciple. Not for all the world would he lose the fellowship of Jesus. He would be washed by Him as a child; he offers to Him all the uncovered portions of his body: his hands, his feet, his head. A trace of dictatorialness is, however, still visible in this act of submission; a fact connected with his apprehension of the action of Christ; he still regards it in too great measure as an outward or legal thing and does not yet fully perceive the simple, Spiritual symbolicalness which appertains to it when viewed in accordance with the idea of Christ. Hence a third reprimand is necessary, albeit one of dispassionate mildness.

John 13:10. He that hath bathed, needeth not to wash himself.—Not a shade of doubt (as, for instance, by Tholuck) should be cast on the fact that Jesus primarily proclaims a law of the Jewish ordinances relative to purification (Michaelis, etc.). But this ordinance consisted not in the custom of bathing before each meal (Wetstein), and then again washing the feet, defiled by the going forth to the meal, or washing the feet again separately on account of their pollution by the bath-water itself (Beza). Rather, the bathing is indicative of the greater and rarer purification,—the foot-washing of the minor and daily one, such as was requisite each time that the traveller paused for rest or refreshment. Provided, therefore, that a man had seasonably bathed himself in conformity to the ordinance, he needed, on such an occasion as the present one, nought save to wash his feet. Jesus, then, declares in the first place, on Peter’s demanding a bath for his whole body, that he must content himself with the washing of his feet, in accordance with the law which regulated this custom. But at the same time He pronounces the spiritual law of life in conformity to which He would wash the feet of His people spiritually and symbolically. Ye are bathed in the spiritual sense and thus clean in general (although not all of you); hence ye need, in this sense, but the washing of your feet.

What is the meaning of this? A distinction must here be made between the signification of the saying as a rule of Christian ethics, and as the rule of an ecclesiastical ordinance. Relative to the former. Origen: they were clean in general through baptism;20 it was obligatory merely that the inferior parts, the affections, should be purified. Theod., Herak.: Clean by means of the doctrine; their feet must be consecrated to the apostleship. Chrysost.: Clean through the word (John 15:8); the washing of their feet signified that they had still to learn humility. The latter interpretation is doubtless the true one. As disciples, they had received, in the fellowship and the Word of Christ, the principle of their general purification or regeneration; but they must, by the shaming example of their Lord and Master, be cleansed from ambition and other sins which had clung to their feet, their endeavorings, in their pilgrimage as disciples.

The maxim generalized reads thus for Christians; Justification must be followed by sanctification or daily repentance (evangelical theologians). Connected with this is the symbolical interpretation with reference to the ecclesiastical ordinance in Cyprian, Aug. and others: “They were clean through baptism, and had need but of the Sacramentum pœnitentiæ.” Only not in a legal sense. The manner in which Christ made the love-feast with the foot-washing a purificative preparation for the Supper, is a vivid type for the evangelical, ecclesiastical ordinance, in accordance with which a purificative, disciplinary preparation or confession precedes the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. It is not altogether clear how Tholuck, after De Wette, Lücke (so too Meyer) can protest against the universal, symbolical significance, originally intended, of Christ’s words; for together with the primary signification of the act for the disciples, its second universal, Christian, moral signification is established; and the latter contains likewise the ecclesiastical ordinance in embryo. Be it observed, furthermore, that the declaration relative to the needs of the disciples must by no means be confounded with the enforcement of the example of Jesus upon the disciples (John 13:14, 15), although the second consideration corresponds with the first.

And ye are clean.—Application of His words to the disciples.—But not all.—A hint at the traitor. Since he does not stand in the communion of Jesus and His word, or, figuratively speaking, is not bathed, the foot-washing is vain in his case. “Such further comments on our passage as impute to it a polemical tendency against Peter, in spite of John 1:42; 6:68, etc. (Strauss, Schwegler, Baur, Hilgenf.), and even credit Peter with the demand for an Ebionite lavation of the whole body (Hilgenf.), are pure fabrications.” Meyer.

John 13:12. Know ye what I have done to you.—Namely, the meaning and significance of it. Herewith begins the introduction to the explanation.

John 13:13. The Teacher and the Lord [ὁδιδάσκαλος καὶ ὁ κύριος21]—מַר and רַבִּי were likewise the titles given by the Rabbins’ scholars to their masters (Lightfoot and others). With the relation of the Master, who was also the Lord (in a theoretico-practical school), corresponded the relation of the disciples, who were also servants.

John 13:14. If I then, etc.—If your Lord has performed for you this service of a slave, ye must do likewise to one another. One another. Much more should ye, in conformity to your natural coördination, discharge for one another this lowly office of self-denying love. But since the disciples were to be under a life-long obligation to self-abasement in humble love, this act of Christ must also suggest to their minds the spiritual fact of His having ever thus served them in a spiritual sense. The sign of His self-humiliation hitherto in slavery to legal ordinances should thus be to them a presage of His impending self-humiliation unto the death of the slave. And so neither had the Lord in mind the outward copying of His action, but rather the spiritual imitation of it. This imitation in the service of love and humility is to consist, however, specifically in a mutual foot-washing, i.e., in efforts for the purification and emancipation of our brother from the sin that cleaves to him. If we would show our brother the right way and lead him in it as we should, we must do it in the spirit of humility, of subordination in self-denying love; thus done, it is an act of the greatest self-denial. Reprehension or reproof administered from the high horse or throne is no foot-washing.

Hence it is remarkable that the literal foot-washing gradually gained ground as a ceremony in the church at a time when the spiritual foot-washing receded more and more before hierarchical pride, lust of power and austerity (See the Article Fusswaschung, by H. Merz in Herzog’s Real-Encyklopädie, with reference to Bingham, IV. 394). It follows from Augustine’s Epistol., 118 ad Januarium, that it was in use during his time, though without definite appointment of the day. Bernard of Clairvaux desired to convert the customary Catholic ceremony into a sacrament; without success. Catholic argumentation for the tradition of this rite does not sufficiently discriminate between the ancient custom of hospitality (1 Tim. 5:10), which of course extends forward into Christian times, and the rise of the Catholic ceremony. On Maundy-Thursday Catholic monarchs and the pope symbolically practise it upon twelve poor old men. Upon this Bengel sarcastically comments thus: “Magis admirandus foret pontifex, Unius regis, quam duodecim pauperum pedes, seria humilitate, lavans.” Luther counsels the substitution of a bath for the poor men when they really stand in need of one. Yet we cannot avoid recalling the beautiful saying of Claudius touching ceremonies that have become void: “they are little flags, floating above the surface of the waters and showing where a richly freighted ship hath sunk.” In the communion of the Moravians the governors of the choir decide as to the practice. The sacramental character of the foot-washing has found an advocate in Fr. Böhmer [Stud. u. Kritiken, fourth number, 1850). Tholuck.22

The frequent recurrence of evangelical theologians to this view overlooks these facts:

1. That the Lord desired a reciprocal foot-washing of all the faithful, not a one-sided one of inferiors by superiors.

2. That He elevated His foot-washing into a unique symbol, expressly substituting for His people the ethical explanation and application.

3. That the foot-washing as a sacrament would be a sacrament devoid of any definite word of promise; a circumstance which would, of course, alter the whole idea of a sacrament.

4. That the ecclesiastical consideration of the moral exaction of the Lord is fulfilled in the evangelical preparation or confession.

5. That the foot-washing as a sacrament would constitute a pendant to the Lord’s Supper, as the sacrament of sanctification, equally marring with the Catholic confession or absolution in its relation to the Lord’s Supper. Irrespective of the fact that the outward foot-washing is too climatic in its nature and too closely connected with the difference between sandals and shoes, to be adapted for a universal rite. In many places it is more necessary to shoe the feet; in the Polar regions to warm them.

The commandment of the Lord; ye shall wash each other’s feet, is indicative of the duty of humbly and lovingly helping our neighbor in his daily repentance; with equal distinctness does the necessity for washing the feet set forth the necessity for accepting the assistance of others in our daily repentance. “Humbly to labor for the purification of others” (Meyer, Luthardt).

John 13:15. For I have given you an example.—Now an example is intended not to be outwardly counterfeited, but to prompt to ethical imitation.

John 13:16. A servant is not greater, etc.—Comp. John 15:20; Matt. 10:24; Luke 6:40. With a “verily, verily” the humility and self-denial of ministering love here enforces the axiom according to which the servant should look upon himself as being at least as lowly as his master. Well did the Lord foresee the great temptations and errors connected with clerical self-upliftment in His church. See Matt. 20:25; 24:49.

John 13:17. Blessed are ye if ye do them.—“In conclusion yet another reference to the great gulf that is wont to lie between insight and practice with regard to this very commandment.” Tholuck. As with regard to all commandments; here, however, it is particularly damnable. This is a saying spoken by the Lord as if in anticipation of the ceremony of foot-washing. For the ceremony is at all events an expression of intelligence. Suggestive of the “servus servorum.” The non-performance of knowledge, then, is in like manner followed by unblessedness. A knowing without doing, i.e., without moral realization in spirit and life, is creative of a shadowy doing in abortive ceremony; in many respects the ceremony may be regarded as the visible type of knowledge that falls short of performance.

John 13:18. Not of you all.A second stronger allusion to Judas. See John 13:10. Tholuck: “According to general interpretation, John 13:18 is connected with John 13:17: a fulfilment of this ministering love is not to be expected from you all. Since this thought, however, does not fit into the connection of the subsequent remarks, we must assume that reference is had to John 13:10,—a looseness which fails to appear surprising in the Johannean style.” Yet even here John is sufficiently precise. Meyer, after ancient exegetes (Augustine: Esther inter vos, qui non erit beatus, neque faciet ea), more pertinently refers John 13:18 to the beatitude, John 13:17. The two verses are even implicative of a sharp antithesis: there is one who, instead of washing the feet of his fellow-disciples, ventures to trample his Master under foot. The contrast to faithful, humble, ministering love towards fellow-disciples is found in false, haughty, seditious treason to the Lord and Master.

I know whom I chose.—This sentence—ἐγὼ οῖ̓δα οὕς [Tischend., Alf.: τίνας] ἐξελεξάμην—is differently explained:

1. The emphasis is upon ἐκλέγεσθαι. Election ad salutem is meant, either in accordance with the Calvinistic doctrine of decree, or with reference to foreknowledge, agreeably to the teaching of the Lutheran communion. “Non omnes ad apostolatum electi ad beatitudinem electi sunt” (Gerhard). Tholuck gives a slightly different explanation: “I know whom I have really chosen; thus in 1 John 2:19 the signification is: ‘those who have fallen away from us were—not really of us.” Yet another interpretation has been attached to this: I know whom I have chosen, i.e. of My own accord, not at the instigation and intercession of the circle of disciples. But there is no second ἐγώ to support this. The passage John 6:70 is, however, contradictory of the method of explanation noted above. In this place, as in the former passage, a distinction must be made between the eternal election of God and the historical election of Christ. That Christ acknowledges having in the historical sense chosen Judas, is proved by the following: “he that eateth My bread.” Hence

2. Οἰ̈δα must be emphasized. I know them; I fathom them all and discriminate between them; thus I know even the wretch. The same idea is presented as in John 6:70; it is but developed. But then, according to Meyer, the idea proceeds thus: ἀλλ̓ with the supplement of ἐξελέξαμεν αὐτούς, etc.: but I have made the selection in the service of that divine destiny conformably to which the Scripture had to be fulfilled.23 An exceedingly hazardous and fatalistic supplement. Meyer here also fails to discriminate between the moment of the calling of Judas and that moment of his germinant apostasy, John 6:70. [Οὐκ ἐγὼ ὑμᾶς τοὺς δώδεκα ἐξελεξάμην; καὶ ἐξὑμῶν εἱς διάβολός ἐστιν].

But—that the Scripture may be fulfilled.—This but contrasts the allusion to the apostasy of Judas, prophesied by the Scripture, with the painful fact that Christ sees through His chosen ones and perceives a traitor among them. It is the ever-recurring antithesis of the human, moral grief of Jesus over unbelief, apostasy, and His religious elevation and pacification in view of that divine providence which directs all things; a mode of pacification in which He has been followed by the apostles and by all Christians of all ages (see John 12:38). Hence the connection of ἀλλ’ with τρώγων (whereby ἵνα ἡ γρ. would be resolved into a parenthetic proposition, Semler, Kuinoel) is contrary to analogy (comp. John 19:28, 36). To be supplied is “this happened” (see 1 Cor. 2:9).24

The Scripture: Ps. 41:9. A free citation [differing from the Hebrew and the Sept.] without any material alteration of the sense. The expression: My bread is changed into: bread with me.25 It was not Christ’s intention to represent Himself as the bread-provider of Judas in a literal sense; David, to whom the description is more applicable than to Jeremiah (Hitzig), might with truth thus speak of his betrayer. But in a higher sense Judas did indeed eat His bread, subsisting, as he did, upon the blessing of His society. But what Jesus desires to throw into relief is the contrast between the malicious plot of the traitor and the unbounded confidence that prevailed in his familiar association with Judas at the table. This prophecy manifestly belongs to the spiritual types [and was fulfilled in an analogous experience of a higher order]; even that experience of shameful treason allotted to David, the typical Mashiah, must finally, in accordance with divine judgment, be fulfilled in that highest imaginable treason of Judas to the real Messiah. The choice of the passage was likewise suggested by the meal.—He hath (already) lifted up his heel against me.26—The figure represents a fellow who, having turned his back, makes off with a sudden act of cunning and brutal malice; it cannot be expressive of the throwing of the foot under in wrestling [πτερνίζειν]. We need not enlarge upon the truth that the prophecy of the Scripture is in this instance as little proclamatory of a fatalistic destiny as in similar cases, since the prophecy should be regarded as the ideal consequence of the facts, although it does historically precede them.

John 13:19. From henceforth I tell you [ἀ π’ ἄρτι, now, from, this time], etc.—He intimates that He will tell them repeatedly, and gives His reason for so doing.—That I am he [ὅτιἐγώεἰμι] has here more of explicitness than chap 8:24, to which Tholuck refers. The very Person is meant to whom that passage in the Psalms typically points. When the treachery of Judas stalked forth in all its horridness, the disciples (whose faith might have been shaken by the success of that treachery, Meyer) stood in special need of comfort; this was afforded them when they contemplated the fulfilled word and sentence of God.27

John 13:20. He that receiveth whomsoever, etc.—Comp. Matt. 10:40. The original fitness of the saying in this place is confirmed by the preceding verily, verily (notwithstanding that Kuinoel and Lücke consider the words as a gloss derived from Matthew, and that Lampe [Hengstenberg] and others annex them to John 13:16). The connection is resident in the fact that Jesus intends to contrast the future glory of His faithful ones with the picture of the miserable traitor, for the consolation and comfort of those (Melanchthon and others), and for a mirror to the traitor; in connection with the antithesis between those whom He has historically chosen and those, from among these historically chosen ones, whom He will send in the might of the Spirit (between disciples and apostles). They shall be endued with such dignity, they shall communicate such blessing, as though He came Himself; nay, as though, mediately through Him, God Himself came. This dignity is still more powerfully represented in its spiritual exaltedness by being portrayed in the light of the receivers of apostles, i.e. of the faithful. By means of them Christ shall appear, God shall be made manifest, throughout the world. And thus the contrast between treason and apostolic worth is also expressed (Hilgenfeld, see Acts 2:17, 18). According to Calvin Christ means to say: the wickedness of some few who are guilty of unworthy conduct in the apostolic office does not impair the dignity of that office—a conclusion which results but indirectly from this passage and which is but conditionally correct; according to Zwingle, He designs to dissuade the others from imitating the apostasy of Judas;—but of their eventual fidelity He was assured (see John 13:10). [Alford: The saying sets forth the dignity of that office from which Judas was about to fall; and the consideration of this dignity, as contrasted with the sad announcement just to be made, leads on to the ἐταράχθη τῷ πν. of the next verse. Meyer connects John 13:20 with ἴνα πιστεύσητε, John 13:19, i.e. to confirm you in this faith, I say to you, etc.—P. S.]

John 13:21. One of you will betray me.—On the relation of John to the Synoptists comp. Comm. on Matthew [p. 469 Am. Ed.]; Tholuck, p. 347. In the 21st verse we find the first intimation of the Lord’s Supper, together with the beginning of the history relative to the disclosure of the betrayer. Comp. Matt. 26:21. That the conflict here undergone by Jesus [ἐταράχθη τῷ πνεύματι, comp. John 11:33; 12:27] extended far deeper than that recorded John 11:33, and that it was not merely “physical compassion,” results from the fact that He is here represented not as being stirred up in spirit so that He troubles Himself outwardly, but as being troubled in the spirit itself. The inmost life of His human spirit was invaded by horror at the unprecedented fact of His approaching and imminent betrayal; the sight of the crafty one and of his connection with the circle of disciples, most of whom were without suspicion of his guilt and had trusted implicitly to his fidelity, tempted Him to despise the whole race of mankind and tended to produce in Him an exasperation of spirit which He must summon all His energies to resist. His victory was comprised in the open proclamation, characterized by John both as a testimony and a declaration [ἐμα ρτ ύρησενκαὶεἰ̈πεν]: One of you will betray Me. Strong emphasis is placed, in the first instance, upon the “one of you.” The Lord must bring into view the entire accompliceship of the disciples simultaneously with the immeasurable iniquity of the disciple. Such is His object; the saying may not be regarded as barely expressive of “His grief-stirred soul.” The horror of spirit from which Christ here frees Himself can not be lightly compared with an emotion of grief having its seat in the soul.

John 13:22. Then the disciples looked one on another, etc.—See the Synoptists: they were troubled. They inquire of each other and of the Lord, saying: surely it is not I?

John 13:23. On Jesus’ bosom [ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ].—Κόλπος, the bellying of the garment over the girdle [Luke 6:38; Pliny, Ep. iv. 22], the bosom, the lap; ethically defined, the breast. They reclined [on divans or couches] in a half sitting posture, facing the low table, the left elbow resting upon the pillow, the feet outward [behind], and the right hand free. So that the person who sat to the right of another seemed to lean upon his breast. (Hardly, however, in accordance with Lightfoot [p. 1095 s. v.] and others, did “the back of his head come into contact with His breast,” because in that case the other would have been unable to reach the table with his right hand). The purposed omission of the name proves this person spoken of to have been John; comp. John 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20. The traditional name of John: ὁ ἐπιστήθιος. See the Introduction.—Whom Jesus loved. In a special sense; hence designative of friendship. Here for the first time do we meet with this [“nameless and yet so expressive”] self-designation, induced by “the hallowed moment, never to be forgotten by him.” [Words of Meyer in loc. Bengel: “’Optabilius est amari ab Jesu, quam nomine proprio celebrari. Est tamen hoc loco notatio ipsius nominis proprii (uti Luc. ii. 11; Apoc. i. 1).” Besides Bengel, Hengstenberg also and Godet discover in the designation ὅν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς a periphrase of the name of John=“Jehovah is merciful,” Gotthold. Godet adds (II. 446) that for this reason Jesus gave to John no new name, as He did to Peter, being content to sanction the significant name which involved as it were a prophecy of his relation to Jesus. Meyer objects on the ground that Ἰησοῦς is used, not κύριος. But see John 12:41.—P. S.]

John 13:24. Simon Peter, therefore, beckoneth to this man.—They were, then, not sitting by each other. The reading: “and saith unto Him: Say, who is it of whom He spedketh? (see the TEXTUAL NOTES) is to be preferred; insomuch the more since it is more vividly characteristic of Peter. Peter, with his usual impetuosity, presupposes that John already knows. And, without doubt, John had a distinct presentiment of the facts of the case, without, however, allowing himself prematurely to declare his suspicion. See John 6:70. The whole disturbance among the disciples is indicative of an anxious whispering, murmuring, or speaking in an under tone. In this and similar traits, Baur and others pretended to discover an indication of the intention of giving Peter an inferior position in comparison with John; whereupon, see Meyer [p. 493, foot-note]. It is the perverted fancy of a humanly cunning, egotistical pragmatism that seeks to foist the like base motives of its own invention upon every passage of the Holy Scriptures.

John 13:25. Leaning back on the bosom of Jesus.—Illustrative. Indicative of a low and familiar questioning. [John, who was before reclining on the bosom (ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ, John 13:23) of Jesus, now moved his head more closely to His breast (ἐπὶ τὸ στῆθος) and whispered the question into His ear; ἐπιπεσών, having fallen upon, thrown himself upon, is better supported than ἀναπεσών (although ἀναπίπτω is the usual verb for reclining at table, see notes in Tischend. ed. 8th), and indicates a lively movement corresponding to the excited state of feeling.—P. S.].

John 13:26. He it is to whom I shall give the sop.i.e. whose turn it is that I should give him the morsel. In the first place, we must remove the prejudice denying that the paschal meal is here spoken of; such, for instance, is Meyer’s view. Then the question arises as to what moment of the paschal meal is intended. As regards the order of the Passover (see Comm. on Matthew, p. 469, etc.), it is a question whether we are to understand by the morsel [τὸ ψωμίον] presented, a morsel of the bitter herbs which were partaken of after the first cup, or the morsel of blessed bread distributed by the householder subsequently to the second cup. According to Tholuck, a sop of the bitter herbs wrapped together might also be called ψωμίον. Contradictory to this, however, is the fact that the herbs were not handed round, but that several dipped in the dish at the same time. On account of this latter circumstance Tholuck opines that the ὁ ἐμβάψας in Matthew, spoken with reference to Judas, cannot be conceived to apply to anything but the herbs. But doubtless a weightier meaning attaches to the trait that Judas dipped his hand also into the dish. According to Matthew, Jesus says: he that dippeth his hand with Me in the dish; similarly Mark; according to Luke, to whom we owe the greatest number of psychological traits, He even exclaims: But lo! the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. Hence we persist in regarding this trait—viz., that Judas thrust his hand into the dish simultaneously with the Lord—as an arbitrary movement of his hand in violation of the rite, by which movement his evil conscience betrayed itself (see Comm. on Mark, p. 140, Am. Ed.) Hence, too, the token in the Synoptists coincides perfectly with the token in John. It was the presentation of the morsel of bread subsequently to the second cup.

Three things are now conceivable:

First supposition. That Judas received the consecrated bread and, shortly after, the consecrated cup likewise. This, however, is flatly contradicted by the account of John. After the sop Satan entered into him and he went out into the night. It is simply inconceivable that the presentation of the cup took place prior to this movement of Judas; irrespective of the consideration that John would have mentioned such au item. This statement is not invalidated by the different sequence which Luke, in conformity to his view of the facts, observes, if we only rightly understand the construction of Luke. It is doubtless to be apprehended thus. He designs, in the first place, Luke 22:15–20, to set before us a picture of the sacred transaction, inclusive of the celebration of the Passover as well as the Lord’s Supper. Then he reverts to the Lord’s dealings with individual disciples oh this occasion (John 13:21–38)—and, again, not chronologically, for he first disposes of the betrayer, then recounts the contention of the disciples relative to their respective ranks and, finally, relates the warning of Simon. The story proceeds in its order from the worst disciple to the one of most repute, him who after his conversion is to strengthen his brethren. The account of Matthew and Mark makes the institution of the Lord’s Supper succeed the putting aside of the traitor.

Second supposition. Judas did not receive the cup, but he did receive the consecrated bread. It is true that Luke is not here to be taken into consideration in respect of chronology; but John speaks of a sop dispensed by Christ. However, not only are Matthew and Mark against the view how under examination,—albeit simply by giving the precedence to the positive unmasking of the traitor,—but also John, inasmuch as it is not until after the purification of the circle of disciples by the withdrawal of Judas, that he pictures the Lord as yielding Himself up, in entire trustfulness, to communion with the disciples.

Third supposition. Judas did not participate at all in the Lord’s Supper. In favor of this: a. the destination of the love-feast, to purify the circle of disciples; b. the great contrast made by John between the celebration prior to the departure of Judas and after it; c. the account of Matthew and Mark. But hence it will result that, after the distribution of the paschal loaf, when Jesus handed Judas the bread with the words: this is the bread of affliction, etc., and after which Judas withdrew, Jesus paused in order then to begin the distribution of the bread for His Supper. It would even be conceivable that Judas was the first and last who received the morsel of the paschal loaf as such: the bread of affliction.

Give the sop when I have dipped it.—According to Meyer, this act was merely a sign for John, whose query was prompted not by curiosity but by affection. Taking this view of the matter, the act would certainly be a somewhat surprising one,—and thanks for an elucidation of the moment are due to the harmony of the Evangelists. Judas, in imitation of the other disciples, asked, at about this time: is it I? and Jesus answered him: thou sayest it. We are doubtless to conceive of the words: he it is, as spoken in a tone sufficiently loud for Judas to hear them;—the betrayer must have sat near Christ since his hand reached the dish. Then, upon his shameless question, followed the direct announcement of Jesus. (On Strauss’ preference of Luke, and Weisse’s of Mark, see Meyer [p. 494]. Weisse psychologically maltreats the entire narrative of John as a fiction growing out of John 13:18).

John 13:27. And after the sop.—That is, after the reception of the same, he took his resolve,—made up his mind—τότε. [Then, at that moment; marking with graphic power and pathos the horrible moment of Satan’s entering into the heart of the traitor and taking full possession of him. When Satan entered into Judas, εἰσῆλθεν, Judas went out, ἐξῆλθεν, from the company of Christ into the darkness of crime and despair.—P. S.] John specifies three periods in the development of the iniquity of Judas; these may be severally designated as the period of the treacherous bent or disposition of mind (John 6:70); as the period of the thought of betrayal (John 13:2; comp. John 12:1, etc.); and as the period of the resolve of betrayal (in this place). He now resigned his will entirely to the will of Satan, becoming the devil’s slavish tool. Meyer disputes the interpretation of Theodore of Mopsueste who holds that the consummate hardening of Judas is meant [τὴν κύρωσιν τῶν καταθυμίων τῷ διαβόλῳ λογισμῶν]. But what other designation could the ethical side of the present transaction possibly receive? The only thing is, that the expression is not sufficiently strong for the historical import of the moment; in respect of that, he became the complete tool of the enemy of Christ in the midst of a posture of affairs the like of which was never seen again. The confounding of the condition of Judas with the state of actual demoniacs (Meyer) must, however, not be ascribed to John. Neither should too great stress be laid upon the distinction of Bengel: post offulam, non cum offula; as if the matter of the greatest importance were to guard against the imputation of a magical effect to the sop. In this connection Tholuck remarks that he far rather became an organ of Satan “in consequence of perceiving that he was known and therewith (with the bestowal of the sop) branded.” Notwithstanding all this, his hardening did accompany his reception of Christ’s last token of love; it was of course no magical result, but an ethical one. Thus unworthy communicants eat and drink judgment—condemnation—to themselves, and perfect hardening can, as a general thing, take place only in connection with the full operation of the gospel. The unmasking of the traitor was so gentle, so gradual as to allow time enough for repentance; the branding was accomplished by Judas himself, when he arose after the sop and went out. Even at the words: What thou wilt do, do quickly, most of the disciples were ignorant as to how matters stood with him.

What thou doest (wouldest do, art about to do), do quickly [ὁ ποιεῖς, ποίησον τάχιον, lit., more quickly, right soon].—́Ποιεῖς, art on the point of doing. See John 13:6. The comparative [τάχιον] is not only augmentative in reference to the time, but also mitigative in reference to the command.28 Thou art already doing it, without any word of Mine; and so be quick about it, and not so lurkingly slow. In point of fact this saying is declaratory of the true expression for the divine judgment of obduracy, in the whole world and to all time. The command in all these judgments is never: do quickly what thou art not yet intending to do, but invariably: what thou wilt do, what thou hast already begun to do, do more speedily. Those who have really resolved upon evil are, by such circumstances as God has ordained, driven to their goal as in a storm;—and there is a holy reason for this: 1. It is the final attempt at deliverance; if a single spark of resisting power remain, it may be kindled under the pressure of outward decision, whilst it will assuredly expire if a more lingering course be pursued. 2. It is the vital law of what is holy to purify itself, by a crisis, from admixture with such elements of obduracy. 3. The later judgment is, the more fatal it is; although in this case it was fatal enough already. 4. The freedom of divine providence is therein manifested; it knows itself to be in no wise jeopardized by such acts of rebellion.

Therefore the imperative is undoubtedly not permissive in this passage (Grotius and others). And therefore, also, we must likewise take into consideration as a motive the desire of Jesus to be freed from the irksome proximity of the traitor (Ambrose, Lücke). We can not overlook the fact that Jesus invokes the decision for His own sake also (not simply, however, in order that He might accomplish His ὥρα).

But the main consideration for the Lord is the independent purpose which the departing of Judas is designed to accomplish, viz.: 1. His holy separation from the wicked one, in the form of a voluntary self-destination on the part of the latter; 2. the purification of the circle of disciples from the dangerous and infective member; 3. the restoration of a confidential circle in which He may open His whole heart. Tholuck: “Now such a reason for desiring his departure is contained in the necessity for expressing before the circle of disciples the feelings that have been awakened in Him by that decision. It is the wondrous prerogative of Supreme Causality to celebrate the loftiest triumphs over the very blackest of individual deeds, in that these, entering into that objective connection which worldly events sustain to each other, issue in something entirely at variance with the end that they were humanly designed to accomplish, Acts 4:27. But this triumph over evil that is to be converted into a means of good, cannot be expressed in presence of the evil-doer himself, previous to the performance of his deed, without, by such expression, assuming for the evil-doer the character of a solicitation to evil. Rom. 3:7.”

[I add the explanation of Alford on this difficult passage, who agrees substantially with Meyer: “These words are not to be evaded, as being permissive (Grotius), or dismissive (Chrysostom). They are alike the sayings of God to Balaam, Num. 22:20, and of our Lord to the Pharisees, Matt. 23:32. The course of sinful action is presupposed, and the command to go on is but the echo of that mysterious appointment by which the sinner in the exercise of his own corrupted will becomes the instrument of the purposes of God. Thus it is not, , or εἵ τι, ποιήσεις, but ὅ ποιεῖς—‘that which thou art doing, hast just now fully determined to put in present action, do more quickly than thou seemest willing,’—or perhaps better, ‘than thou wouldst otherwise have done.’ ”—Godet: “La parole de Jésus à Judas n’est point une simple permission; c’est un ordre. On a réproché à Jésus d’avoir poussé Judas dans l’ abîme, en lui parlant de la sorte. Mais Jésus ne le ménage plus, précisément parce qu’il n’y a plus de retour possible pour lui.”—P. S.]

John 13:28. Now no one of those reclining at the table understood, etc.—Preceding observations show that John tacitly excepts himself (Bengel and others). He also qualifies this verse by John 13:29. It was at least impossible for him to share the following conjectures. But his remark proves that even now the circle of disciples as a body did not definitely regard Judas as the traitor.

John 13:29. [Because Judas kept the purse. See note on John 12:6].29 What we have need of for the feast.—Judas was cashier. Meyer observes: “No necessaries for the feast, therefore, had as yet been purchased.” But it was hardly customary for people to buy necessaries for the eight days’ feast all at once. This trait, generally cited in favor of the view which defers the beginning of the paschal feast until the evening of the following day, is in reality most decidedly opposed to it (see Matthew). No one could pitch upon the idea that the command: Make haste, had reference to the making of purchases, if the whole of the next day might be thus employed. So also Tholuck, p. 351. But it is hardly to be supposed that the close of this feast was not until “the tenth hour of the evening.” The foot-washing had commenced before six o’clock and the distribution of bread after the second cup occurred about in the beginning of the feast. “And as regards the legal permission to make purchases after the beginning of a feast, we will confine ourselves to the mention of what follows: That the killing, baking and cooking of food for the feast was allowed on the 15th of Nisan is proved by Ex. 12:16,—to which passage no exceptions are made even by Rabbinical expounders (Jarchi, Aben Ezra, particularly R. Levi); moreover, according to Luke 23:56, purchases were also made; nay, even on the Sabbath, which was still more strictly observed than the feast days, not only almsgiving, but also the making of purchases, upon certain conditions (as for instance, buying on pledge), was permitted (tr. Schabbat).” Tholuck.—Or, that he should give something to the poor.—Special aid was afforded to the poor in the way of assisting them to procure necessities for the feast.

John 13:30. He, then, having received the sop, Went out immediately [ἐξῆλθεν, comp. the εἰσῆθεν, John 13:27].—The fact of Judas’ immediate departure is brought out by John, as though with the view of precluding any misunderstanding; hence it is impossible to suppose that the former participated further in the festive meal. The circumstance is likewise expressive of the full decision of the traitor.

But it was night [ἡ̈ν δὲ νύξ].—The but is indicative of an antithesis. It was, indeed, rather late to buy provisions for the feast or to give alms to the poor; night had stolen unobserved upon the deeply agitated circle; but still another truth is intimated; viz. that Judas went out into a spiritual night to accomplish the work of darkness. See John 12:35; Luke 22:53. [So also Origen, Olshausen, Stier, etc. There is certainly something awful in this termination, and its brevity makes it all the more impressive (Meyer). The event had so deeply engraven itself on the mind of John that he remembered the hour. Similar indications of his retentive memory see in chs. 1:40; 6:69; 8:20; 10:23. The “night” does not imply that Judas was present at the Lord’s Supper (Wordsworth); the contrary may be inferred from ἀγόρασον, John 13:29. The institution of the eucharist took place after John 13:30. See note on John 13:26, and Meyer, p. 500. This is now pretty generally admitted among the best commentators. The presence of the traitor would have most seriously disturbed that holy feast of love, and would cut off the right of discipline and excommunication so necessary for the purity and dignity of Christ’s church.—P. S.]


1. Love to His own was the motive for the adherence of Jesus to His nation until death, even after that nation had rejected Him. This fundamental motive is at the same time explained by the second and secondary one,—His faithfulness to the law, which made Him at the appointed time keep the paschal feast in Jerusalem. The great difficulties occasioned by the beginning of the 13th chapter are particularly induced by the insertion of the Evangelist’s closing reflections, contained in John 12:37–50, in the midst of the grand antithesis contemplated by him. Now this is the form of said antithesis: Jesus, after having spoken His last words of exhortation to the people, departed and hid Himself from them (John 12:37). But before the feast of the passover He issued forth again (albeit not amongst the people); warned by a consciousness that the great hour was come when He should go home to the Father, and impelled by His love to His own whom He left in the world, He gave these a sign of His love, namely His death; by this at once attaining to His own consummation in love and to His end by love. On the relation of the love-feast, which He celebrates with the disciples, to the passover of the Synoptists, see the introductory note.

2. From the demands of custom as well as from indications in Luke, it results that the FOOT-WASHING was no mere symbol, manufactured by the Lord, but a symbolical example shaped by the force of circumstances. See the closing note to John 13:5. As a symbolical example it can not be a sacrament; it may well be, however, the introduction to a sacrament, that is, to the Lord’s Supper. The fulfilment of the foot-washing appears again in a truly evangelic discipline, preparation, and confessional ordinance as a solemnity to be observed previous to the Lords Supper. This is demonstrated by the fact that Christ, by His foot-washing and love-feast, separated Judas from the communion of the disciples, without employment of legal compulsion, and also instructed the disciples themselves relative to their spiritual standing and reproved them, with a view to purifying, warning and arming them. See John 13:22. But the symbol of the ecclesiastical ordinance is at the same time expressive, as an ethical example, of the two fundamental requisites of Christian sanctification: 1. We should be ready to have our feet washed by the brethren in the name of the Lord,—to accept reproof, instruction, correction from them; 2. we should be ready, as circumstances may require, to perform this service of love in all humility for the brethren. To this must be added, however, the maxim that should be our guide: that the latter, rightly exercised and practised, is still more an act of self-denying love and humility than the former.

3. The washing of the feet, to be effectual, must have been preceded by a bathing of the entire body, i.e. baptismal grace and the substantiation and moral actualization of baptism, as the theocratico-social regeneration, in PERSONAL REGENERATION. The disciples in general were benefited by the foot-washing, while in the case of Judas it accelerated the judgment of obduracy.

4. Not only did Christ draw forth the New Testament Flower of the Lord’s Supper from the covering which enwrapped it, but He likewise metamorphosed the covering itself—the Passover—into something in keeping with the New Testament by transfiguring it to the CHRISTIAN AGAPE. The discontinuance of the Agape in the Church is productive of a heavy loss of blessing; a loss which, at the utmost need, does but begin to be supplied by Christian union festivals. Still less are our charitable institutions the full and lively expression of that brotherly fellowship in life which is shared by differing Christian ranks.

5. The two great antitheses: Christ, already parted from the world, is drawn back into the world by love to His own, in order that He may give them a last proof of His love, which proof grows into that exhibited in His death itself; Christ, entertaining the presentiment of His omnipotence and confronting disciples within whose circle there nestles, in the person of the betrayer, the canker-worm of Satanic treason, washes the disciples’ feet.—Jesus, girded for the foot-washing and washing those feet that have already hastened to the Pharisees to shed His blood, a living warning against those who fancy that they have established a Church, whether Novatian or Donatistic in its form, within whose pale none but saints are found.—The foot-washing the presage of His humiliation unto the death on the cross (Hilgenfeld).

6. Yet the washing of feet, conducted with the holy and startling earnestness employed by Him towards this circle, is, in an equal degree, the living archetype for the spirit in which the sanctuary should be cleansed, and the Christian communion protected by an evangelically severe and free discipline, dealing not in legal thunders, but endued with power to make men quake.

7. THE PORTRAIT OF JUDAS. The stages of his growing obduracy John delineates with a master-hand. See note to John 13:27.

8. THE PICTURE OF THE DISCIPLES. The fact of their not perceiving that Judas was the traitor, even when the end was near, is a proof of the strength of the prejudice entertained by them in favor of his talents and his promising deportment. (See the history of the anointing in the Synoptists; Com. on Matthew, p. 463, Am. Ed.)

9. THE PORTRAIT OF PETER. Before the Lord’s Supper. Piety, love to the Lord, heroic humor, are traits not to be mistaken, but self-will, dictatorialness, eccentricity are likewise unmistakable; self-exaltation, proud modesty that would fain pass for humility. After the Lord’s Supper. Over-estimation of his spiritual strength, of his joyfulness in confession and death. In both cases a stiff-necked inclination to refuse the full obedience of faith to Christ’s words “in order that he may have his say.” In this respect also Peter, before his conversion, was symbolical. He repeatedly needed the sternest threats of the Lord and yet he came to himself only when the cock (gallus) proclaimed most fearful judgment upon him. Three times did he deny before the cock crowed.

10. THE PORTRAIT OF JOHN, the friend of Jesus: 1. He reposed on His breast; 2. not a word, not a gesture, not a mood of the Heavenly Friend escaped him; 3. he shared with Him the deep emotions of His soul in grief and horror at evil, in the anticipation of glory; he saw in His light.

11. The position of the LORD’S SUPPER in our chapter. See note to John 13:26. On the different hypotheses see Meyer [p. 500 f.]; Paulus and others, after John 13:30; Lücke and others, between John 13:33, 34; Neander and others, after John 13:32; Olshausen, after John 13:38; Sieffert, before the foot-washing; Bengel, Kern, Wichelhaus, after John 14:31. (These assume Jesus to have at that time just set out for Jerusalem, in order to celebrate the paschal meal.) Meyer: At all events not until after the departure of Judas. See the next Section, John 13:34.

12. On the question as to whether Judas participated in the Lord’s Supper, see note to John 13:26; Comm. on Matthew, chap. 26;—Tholuck: “Unquestionably the ancient Church in general conceived of the ψωμίον (Vulg.: panis) as the sacramental bread; this view was likewise entertained by the Lutheran Church. The Form. Conc. Art. 7. alleges the example of Judas as a precedent for the partaking of the body and blood of Christ by unbelievers. That view is at present, however, generally abandoned;—even by Kahnis, Abendmahl, p. 10. Comp. the historical part in Bynäus, De morte Christi, I. p. 344 f.” Comp. Wichelhaus, Leidensgeschichte, p. 256 ff.

13. “What thou doest, do quickly.” The true formula of the judgment of impenitence. See note to conclusion of John 13:27.


How the love of Christ to His own in the world decided Him to issue forth from His concealment upon the path of suffering.—How He transformed the paschal feast into a love-feast.—The Passover, as a feast of triumph over the darkness of Egypt, changed into a feast of triumph over the Prince of darkness and his tool.—How, with the revelation of His love at His last love-feast, the Lord accomplished in spirit the journey of His life.—After the example of Christ to depart blessing others.—The beginning of a threefold celebration of love on Christ’s part: 1. The passover and love-feast as a feast of parting and death; 2. the Supper as a feast of reconciliation and life; 3. the farewell-discourses as a feast of spirit and knowledge.—The manifestation of Christ’s love to His own at the last repast: 1. The perfect faithfulness and devotion of His love: the return of the defunct Prophet to life, that He may suffer (the transition from the Prophetic to the High-priestly Work. “Until the end”). 2. The profound humility of His love (the Foot-washing). 3. The severity and divine decision of His love (towards Peter). 4. The masterhood and animating power of His love (an example for the disciples). 5. The fondness of His love (John, the confidential communication). 6. The holiness of His love (the grief and horror excited in Him by Judas; the separation of the latter through the power of the Spirit).—The Foot-washing: 1. as an instructive custom (hospitality); 2. as a beginning of the redemptive self-humiliation of Christ (the Father of the family discharges a slave’s office); 3. as an ecclesiastical symbol (preparation or confession); 4. as an example for tie Christian life (to suffer one’s own feet to be washed; so wash the feet of others).—The purification of the circle of disciples by the foot-washing: 1. The shaming of the whole body of disciples. 2. The correction of Peter. 3. The separation of Judas.—How confidently Christ knew His hour: 1. The hour of glorious home-going as the hour of painful departure. 2. The hour of His death-journey as the hour of His exode to the Father.—The picture of Jesus, girded in readiness to serve as a slave in the circle of disciples: 1. How gracious, free, brisk and serene: a picture of free love. 2. What a contrast to His heavenly glory: a picture of the humblest love. 3. How entirely expressive of His holy feeling: a picture of saving and awakening love.—Heaven and hell arrayed against each other for spiritual combat at the paschal meal: 1. The lineaments of hell in the conduct of Judas (reserve, subtleness, gloom, hate, rebellion, despair; which things are one with Satan, the murderer of mankind, the murderer of Christ). 2. The lineaments of heaven in the conduct of Jesus (openness, faithfulness, brightness, love, humility, peace; which things are one with God, the Saviour of mankind, filled with grief and horror at the traitor himself).—The wonderful self-denial in the foot-washing of the Lord: 1. the Master washes the disciples’ feet; 2. the Heir of omnipotence performs this service for a circle harboring the betrayer.—Peter’s self will: 1. In his refusal; 2. in his compliance.—Return of these characteristics of Peter’s in ecclesiastical time.—The stern word of the Lord to Peter (John 13:8): 1. In its literal sense, or the necessity of obedience; 2. in its figurative sense, or the necessity of sanctification.—How Christ in dealing with Peter, who in his self-will is desirous of laying down the law, gives a legal expression to His Gospel itself.—As the eye of Christ once pierced through His circle of disciples, so His penetrating glance scans His whole Church for evermore. (The Lord knoweth His own.)—The example of Jesus: 1. Wherein appearing; 2. how authoritative (as a law of life for the disciples); 3. of what exclusive (clerical pride, hierarchicalness, an undisciplined condition of His Church); 4. what it requires (humility to perform the heaviest services of love; alacrity in accepting them).

John 13:16, 17. See above.—It is easier to set forth Christianity symbolically and ecclesiastically, than to practise it morally and humanely.—True symbols should be changed into real life; not life itself into arbitrarily manufactured symbols.—The heavenly wisdom of Christ; how it unites the most careful forbearance with the holiest openness in the gradual unveiling of the traitor.—The word of Scripture concerning the traitor, the everlasting label, the brand of all traitorous ingratitude—especially in unbelief or apostasy from Christ, or from evangelic truth.—The startling contrast between the figure of Judas and the glorious destiny and dignity of the apostles (John 13:19, 20).—The lofty signification of the expression: “Jesus was troubled in spirit;” or how Jesus then, in the midst of the circle of disciples, victoriously fought out His spiritual combat with Satan: 1. The temptation of the evil spirit to scorn of mankind, hatred of mankind, doubt as to the healableness of the human heart, as to God’s ruling hand. 2. The victory: A victory of the God-filled Song of Solomon of Man over the Satan ruled hireling of the legal hierarchy: a victory of trust over despair, of humility over pride, of love over hate, of life over death. 3. The circumstances; this conflict not distinctly known to the disciples, yet felt by them with grisly discomfort.—So it is with the spiritual conflict that Christ carries on His church with Satanic spirits.—The fearful but deserved excitement of the circle of disciples at the awful disclosure of Christ.—At the revelation of the enemy of Jesus, it is the disciple’s duty and honor to call himself Jesus’ friend (John 13:23).—The sop, a type and expression of the opposite effects of the Gospel.—The presentation of the sop a final, unavailing warning to the conscience of Judas: 1. The final one: a. Had there been a spark of honesty in him, he would now have confessed, b. Had there been a spark of repentance in him, he would not have tasted the sop amidst these signs. 2. Unavailing: a. By the sign that it was he, he became thoroughly exasperated to hatred and turned the bit of blessing into a serpent’s bite. b. He still continued his falsehood and hypocrisy before the circle of disciples after being unmasked before the eyes of Jesus and the nearest witnesses.—“What thou doest,” etc. See above. The reserve of Judas a fundamental feature of his ruin. Reserve and pious reticence (see the conduct of John in antithesis to the conduct of Judas): 1. The former shuts his heart to heaven and opens it to hell. 2. The other shuts his heart to the world and hell, and keeps it open for the Lord and His people.—The decision of the wicked a laceration of the inmost life.—The going of Judas out into the night. 1. Into the beginning night. (His sun of peace has set upon him.) 2. Into the midnight. (The fellowship of the wicked awaits him for the work of darkness.) 3. Into eternal night. (Endless despair.)

STARKE: ZEISIUS: The death of the faithful is a going out of the world to the heavenly Father.—The spiritual birth of believers is of God, their life in accordance with God, their departure out of the world to God. Well is it for those who have an experimental knowledge of this and comfort themselves with the thought of it, 1 John 5:19.—A Christian shows politeness to friends and enemies, and renders loving services to both.—HEDINGER: Humility, precious possession.—See that thou come not with an unwashed, i.e., impenitent heart to the table of the Lord.—ZEISIUS: Untimely humility, uncourteous courtesy, unwise wisdom, that refuses obedience to Christ.—It befitteth us always to obey Jesus; but always to know why this or that is done is no part of ours: neither doth it behoove us to wish to know all.—Believers do not know, in time, all of God’s workings within them in the grace of sanctification, and how blessedly He is conducting them even when He seems to them to be leading them through misery,—but in a blissful eternity they shall fully know these things and gloriously praise Him.

John 13:8. It is an abuse of good breeding to set fine manners in opposition to the ways of the kingdom of God. Christ cannot endure that.—Untimely and excessive complimenting is inconsistent with Christianity.—We must tell even our good friends of their faults, Ps. 141:5.—Happy is he who here accepts reproof for his sins.

John 13:9. HEDINGER: Exercises in humility, originating in our own heads, are worthless, like all other self-chosen works.—We must not lay down rules to God in any particular.

John 13:10. We are, in truth, all washed, but not all clean. The visible Church is, and will continue to be, a mixed mass.—If Christ washed the feet of Judas, His betrayer, oughtest not thou likewise to love thine enemy and do him good? Matt. 5:44.—Many a man has an enemy in his household, and is ignorant of the same.—OSIANDER: Those who preserve the intention of sinning are not clean in the sight of God.

John 13:15. Pastors and preachers must be exemplars for their flocks.

John 13:16. Let our earthly rank be high or low, we are but servants of Jesus, and hence may not refrain from rendering every loving service that has need of us, 1 Pet. 2:16, 17.—QUESNEL: The bare knowledge of God’s commandments avails men nothing, but only causes them to be judged the more rigorously.

John 13:18. The making of bad distinctions is sinful, but the making of good distinctions is Christian.—CANSTEIN: The fulfilment of divine prophecies a grand corroboration of our faith.—OSIANDER: O shameful ingratitude!—That the good are often so shamefully rewarded for many benefits.

John 13:19. HEDINGER: Time opens many truths, as in temporal, so in divine mysteries.

John 13:20. Wherein the reception of a servant of God consists.—CANSTEIN: Righteous servants of the divine Word may derive strong consolation from a contemplation of the lofty dignity of their office, and may, by such contemplation, arouse their souls to action.—QUESNEL: The union of Christ with His members is so complete that He receives the good done to them.—Consolation for faithful servants of God,—that some do good to them, even permitting their ministry to be fruitful in them.—HEDINGER: The righteous are not at a loss for signs of the common destruction of a church as well as of the hastening of a soul to ruin.—ZEISIUS: If Christ was so bitterly distressed in spirit at the devilish wickedness of Judas, how is it possible that God should be the cause of the sin and damnation of a single man?—ZEISIUS: Christ did not make His betrayer known at once; He knocked at his soul ever and anon to incite him to repentance.—CRAMER: Christ washed the feet of His betrayer, suffered him at the feast of the paschal lamb, Himself gave him the sop, endured his kiss in the Garden. Learn by this great and unspeakable example of the love, meekness and patience of Jesus, to love thine enemies also, and to recompense evil with good.

John 13:27. HALL: The wicked spirit generally takes occasion to fall upon us with an access of zeal when we have been the recipients of some divine gift.—ZEISIUS: He who deserts God is deserted by Him in return, and he who will not be ruled by His Spirit is given over to the power of the Evil One.—No vice opens the door wider to the devil, who was the first hypocrite, than hypocrisy.

John 13:30. Satan grants his worshippers no rest; they dare not delay to do evil.—He who withdraws from Christ, the true Light, and loses the light of grace, will assuredly fall into the thickest darkness.—QUESNEL: When the wicked man does evil in the night, the night that he bears within his own heart, is far blacker than that which he chooses for his work of darkness.

HEUBNER: Jesus always knew His time, i.e., what was to be done. He even knew the time of His death.—It is a divinely illumined glance that teaches us rightly to know the time, i.e., God’s peculiar purpose with us at a certain time.—Jesus teaches us the duty of setting all our affairs in order before death, of bestowing every proof of love on our dear ones that it is possible for us to give.—At parting all love’s yearnings awake, even though they may have slumbered a little before.—This love, what hate, what falseness and ingratitude were opposed to it.—The nearer thou feelest thyself to God, the more humility have thou.—Spiritually He is ever thus descending and washing us clean.—Jesus’ humility is an enigma to the disciples. In like manner the lowly conduct of the righteous is ofttimes surprising to the unconverted.

John 13:8. He whom Jesus does not sanctify, has no fellowship with Him.

John 13:9. We must learn true moderation in our zeal and obedience.

John 13:10. They were clean in Christ; in faith in Him. Judas lacked this faith.

John 13:13. MASTER=Whose word we believe; LORD=Whose commands we should obey.—The foot-washing. It is a customary rite in a few cathedral cities only; in Vienna, for instance, where, on Maundy-Thursday, the emperor washes the feet of twelve aged men. Zinzendorf reckoned it among the sacramental acts, but not among the sacraments. We do not interpret it literally.—The imitation of the act of Christ in spirit.: to render services of love that are somewhat burdensome, such as nursing the sick, etc.—How glaringly it contrasts with Christ’s act when the so-called Holy Father (the pope) suffers his foot to be kissed.—Sad incongruity between knowing and doing.

John 13:18. Christ’s word holds good with regard to many of His servants who eat His bread.

John 13:21. None can inflict more sorrow upon the heart of Jesus than unfaithful, false disciples.

John 13:22. The disciples were dismayed: 1. It was a grief and a shame to have such an one in the midst of them; 2. each one was reminded of the danger to his own heart; 3. they must needs stand in dread of such a sad issue to the fate of Jesus.—The most anxious condition for a pious soul: When it becomes uncertain as to its perseverance and state of grace.—It is possible that Judas perceived himself to be discovered when he took the sop and was put into a certain rage by the fact. (Be it observed that it was only at the reception of the sop, or the manner of its reception, that his decision was formed and he was designated as the traitor.).

John 13:27. Quod dubitas, ne feceris. Timorous delay excites the suspicion of wrong.

GOSSNER: John 13:8. So politeness turns to incivility.—Peter’s fault consisted in his liking always to have his own way.

John 13:9. But Peter now errs on the other side and will not be satisfied with what Jesus here purposed.—Now we want to do (or suffer) too little,—now too much.—The feet that walk upon earth are continually gathering some particles of earth, and intercourse with the world imperceptibly contracts something from the world.—peter did not here recline next to Christ: John was nearer to the Lord. From this we see that love has the primacy in the Church of Christ. It may ask questions, and it receives answers, about things that Peter does not know of, and of which it must be the means of his hearing when he desires to know them.—What thou doest. Do but quickly accomplish the work of iniquity, that I also may be able perfectly to reveal the work of My grace, the wonders of My love.

GERLACH: How he (John) is always most anxious to exhibit the soul, the spiritual meaning, of things that were already sufficiently familiar to all his readers through the other Gospels and oral tradition. As he, therefore, makes no mention of the institution of holy baptism, but touches upon the internal process of regeneration whose sacrament it is (chap. 3), so, in like manner, he is silent about the institution of the Lords Supper, the sacrament of continual and intimate communion with the Saviour, dwelling, by preference, on a former occasion upon the partaking of His flesh and blood (chap. 6), and now upon the invisible yet genuine union of Jesus with His disciples, and of the disciples among each other in Him.—The world wills His death, and He and the Father will it also. But now that He is dead to the world and will no more manifest Himself to it (John 14:17, etc.)—i.e. before His death—He lives entirely in His own. (Conjecture) Jesus first washed the traitor and then came to Peter.—No part with Me. He who does not recognize true greatness and dignity in love that humbly serves, is no disciple of Christ’s. Coloss. 3:13.—(Augustine:) He lay on the breast (in the lap) of Jesus. For what is meant by the lap or breast save the part that is hidden?

LISCO: How close Judas was to Jesus; how far removed from Judas was Jesus soon after! He in glory and Judas in perdition.—Jesus the Revealer of hearts.—BRAUNE: John 13:6. Modesty is praiseworthy; but obedience is still more so. Peter was terrified at his unworthiness in the sight of the holy Saviour, as on that occasion in the ship when he said (Luke 5:8): Lord, depart, etc. His speech bears a resemblance to that of the Baptist, Matt. 3:13. But not all brave words are always seasonable. (We must not fail to observe, however, that in this case the turning-point with Peter was his unreadiness to be reconciled to the spiritual humiliation of Christ and to what of necessity followed—his own self-humiliation.)—The temperament (mental constitution) of Peter did not willingly listen to promises of future knowledge.—2 Pet. 1:5.

John 13:8. Recalls John 6:63. Applicable to Judas is the saying of Peter, 2 Pet. 2:20.

John 13:12. Jesus sought to strip them of pride by means of a child that He placed amidst them (Matt. 18), by the parable of the envious laborers, by the repulsion of the sons of Zebedee; He must now make another similar attempt (yet not simply as an attempt). (Herder:) Christianity gained rule only by ministering to all. The noblest bears sway only by understanding how to minister to many,—if it be possible, to all.—Christ walks majestical in lowliness. Follow Him. Trust Him in all dark matters, in air enigmas of Gospel history and of life.—STIER: When it is necessary, love lays its own shoulder to the wheel; it does not rest satisfied with contributing its two pence for the care of the sick and the poor. It willingly performs burdensome, unusual, despised, nay, loathsome services, to use Dräseke’s expression. But yet the real, spiritual work of foot-washing in the sense of Jesus’ words, John 13:10, is described Gal. 6:1 and 2.—Luther says justly: Now, therefore, this example of foot washing is particularly meant for those who are in ecclesiastical offices.

John 13:20. (Rieger.) He inspires them with courage again in view of their future ministry, for it would please the devil to divest all Christ’s servants of authority. When some Judas is set up by him, he would fain have men look upon the eleven others as in no whit better; he would be glad if they themselves thought: We are disgraced; no one will put any faith in us now; our whole order is made to stink. But no! the Lord’s: Verily, verily, etc., interposes; He can justify us by proving that we are sent from Him.—See GODET (the Foot-washing). In the “Stimmen der Kirche,” Langenberg, 1852 (p. 214).

[CRAVEN: From ORIGEN: John 13:3. The Father had given all things into His hands, i.e. into His power, for His hands hold all things; or, to Him, for His work.

John 13:5. Even they who sup with Jesus need a certain washing, not indeed of the top parts of the body, i.e. the soul, but its lower parts which cleave necessarily to earth.

John 13:6–9. Peter often appears in Scripture as hasty in putting forth his own ideas of what is right and expedient.—An instance that a man may say a thing with a good intention, and yet ignorantly to his hurt.—As Peter did not see his own good, our Lord did not suffer his wish to be fulfilled.

John 13:10. Christ washes their feet after they are clean, showing that grace goes beyond necessity.

John 13:14. It is not necessary for one who wishes to do all the commandments of Jesus, literally to perform the act of washing feet—this is merely an act of custom, and the custom is now nearly dropped.—This spiritual washing of the feet is done primarily by Jesus Himself, secondarily by His disciples.

John 13:23. Whom Jesus loved: this has a peculiar meaning, viz. that John was admitted to a knowledge of the more secret mysteries of the Word. (?)

John 13:27. At first Satan did not enter into Judas, but only put it into his heart to betray his Master; let us beware that Satan thrust not any of his darts into our heart, for if he do, he watches till he gets an entrance there himself.

[From AUGUSTINE: John 13:1. All was now to take place in reality of which the first passover was a type.—We perform a most wholesome journey or pass-over when we pass over from the devil to Christ, from this unstable world to. His sure kingdom.—Unto the end, i.e. that they themselves too might pass out of this world, by love, unto Him their head; for what is unto the end, but unto Christ?

John 13:4, 5. He laid aside His garments when, being in the form of God He emptied Himself; He girded Himself with a towel, when He took upon Him the form of a servant; He poured water into a basin, when He shed His blood on the earth with which He washed away the filth of their sins; He wiped them with the towel, when with the flesh wherewith He was clothed He established the steps of the Evangelists—the whole of His passion [humiliation] was our cleansing.

John 13:12. Let us confess our faults one to another, forgive one another’s faults, pray for one another’s faults—thus we shall wash one another’s feet.

John 13:29. Judas had the bag: the first institution of ecclesiastical property; our Lord shows that His commandment not to think of the morrow does not mean that the saints should never save money.

[From CHRYSOSTOM: John 13:1. By His departure He means His death—being so near leaving His disciples, He shows more love for them; He left undone nothing which one who greatly loved should do.

John 13:7. How useful a lesson of humility it teaches thee.

John 13:29. How was it that He who forbade scrip, and staff, and money carried bags for the relief of the poor? It was to show thee that even those who are crucified to the world ought to attend to this duty.

John 13:30. It was night showing the impetuosity of Judas.

[From BEDE: John 13:13, 14. Our Lord first did a thing, then taught it.

John 13:17. To know what is good and not to do it, tendeth not to happiness, but to condemnation.——From ALCUIN: John 13:12. When, at our redemption we were changed by the shedding of His blood, He took again His garments rising from the grave, and clothed in the same body ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of the Father.

[From BURKITT: John 13:1. Christ chose the time of the Passover to suffer in, that He might prove Himself to be the substance of that type.

John 13:2. Can we wonder to find friends unfaithful, when our Saviour had a traitor in His own house?—It is no uncommon thing for the vilest sins to be acted by the most eminent professors of religion.—The devil, being a spirit, has a quick access to our spirits and can instil his suggestions into them.

John 13:4, 5. The most amazing instance of self-denial, for our encouragement and example.—We ought to be ready to perform the lowest offices of love and service toward one another.

John 13:6–8. A sinful humility to refuse the offered favors of Christ because we are unworthy to receive them.—Though we are not worthy of Christ, and of His love; yet Christ is worthy of us, and of our faith.—The servants of God themselves often cannot understand, at present, the dealings of God with them, yet there will come a time for the clearing of them.—Christ washeth all that have an interest in Him both from guilt and pollution.

John 13:10. All justified persons are in God’s account clean.—The holiest saints, whilst in this world of sin and temptation, do need a daily washing by repentance.

John 13:17. The necessity of—1. knowledge in order to practice; 2. practice in order to happiness.

John 13:18. How many are there who by profession lift up their hand unto Christ, yet who by treason lift up their heel against Him.

John 13:20. Christ and the Father account the respect paid to faithful ministers as paid to themselves.

John 13:21. It is the duty of Christians not rashly to judge one another; but to hope the best of others, and to fear the worst of themselves.—It is possible for secret wickedness to lurk in the hearts of those in whose conduct nothing has appeared to give a just suspicion.

John 13:30. Judas went immediately out, and it was night: what a warmth and zeal in the devil’s cause.—Men given over by God and possessed of Satan are unwearied in sin.

[From M. HENRY: John 13:1–17. A wise man will not do a thing that looks odd and unusual but for very good reasons: Christ acted thus that He might—1. testify His love to His disciples (John 13:12); 2. give an instance of His voluntary humility (John 13:3–5); 3. signify to them spiritual washing (John 13:6–11); 4. set them an example (John 13:12–17).

John 13:1. Our Lord has a people in the world that are His own by,—1. gift from the Father; 2. costly purchase; 3. His setting them apart for Himself; 4. their own devotion to Him as a peculiar people.—His own, not things (τὰ ἴδια) as cattle which are transferable, but persons (τοὺς ἰδίους) as a man’s wife and children to whom he stands in a constant relation.—Having loved His own. He loved them unto the end: He did love them with a love of good-will [benevolence] when He gave Himself for their redemption; He does love them with a love of complacency when He admits them into communion with Himself.—Those whom He loves, He loves unto the end; i.e. 1. with an everlasting love; 2. unto perfection, He will perfect that which concerneth them.

John 13:4, 5. Christ’s love was condescending.—The disciples had just before shown the weakness of their love by grudging the ointment that was poured on His head, yet now He gives this proof of His love to them; our infirmities are foils to His kindnesses and set them off.

John 13:2. The treason of Judas traced to its original.—Those that would be conformable to Christ must keep their minds low in the midst of advancements.

John 13:4, 5. Nothing is below us which may be serviceable to God’s glory and the good of our brethren.—Many will do mean things to curry favor with superiors, they rise by stooping and climb by cringing; but for Christ to do this to His disciples, could be no act of policy or complaisance, but pure humility.—He riseth from supper; learn—1. Not to reckon it a disturbance to be called from our meal to do God or our brother a real service—Christ would not leave His preaching to oblige His nearest relations (Mark 3:33), but left His supper to show His love to His disciples; 2. Not to be over nice about our meat.—He laid aside His garments and took a towel; we must address ourselves to duty as those who are resolved not to take state, but to take pains.

John 13:7, 8. Subsequent providences explain preceding ones.—We must let Christ take His own way, both in ordinance and providences, and we shall find in the issue it was the best way.—In the refusal of Peter there was—1. A show of humility; 2. A real contradiction of the will of Jesus.—Christ’s answer—1. A severe caution against disobedience; or, 2. A declaration of the necessity of spiritual washing.

John 13:10. The evidence of a justified state may be clouded, but the charter of it is not taken away.—It should be the daily care of those who are in a justified state to cleanse themselves from daily defilement.—Ye are clean, but not all: many have the sign, but not the thing signified,

John 13:12. He adjourned the explication till He had finished the transaction—1. to try their submission; 2. to finish the riddle before He unriddled it.—It is the will of Christ that sacramental signs should be explained.

John 13:13. Master and Lord.—1. He is Master and Lord that He may be Redeemer and Saviour; 2. It becomes us thus to call Him; George Herbert when he mentioned the name of Christ used to add my Master, and thus wrote:

“How sweetly doth my Master sound, MY MASTER!

As ambergris leaves a rich scent unto the taster,

So do these words—a sweet content, an oriental fragrancy—MY MASTER.”

John 13:14, 15 with 4, 5. A parable to the eye, our Master thereby teaching us—1. An humble condescension; 2. A condescension to be serviceable; 3. A serviceableness to the sanctification one of another.—What a good teacher Christ was, teaching by example as well as doctrine.—When we see our Master serving we cannot but see how ill it becomes us to be domineering.

John 13:17. Most people think, Happy are they that rise and rule; Christ saith, Happy are they that stoop and obey.—Nothing is better known than that we should be humble, and yet how little is seen of true humility; most know for others, few do for themselves.

John 13:18. They that are chosen—1. Christ Himself chose; 2. Are known to Him.—All that eat bread with Christ are not His disciples indeed.—Judas lifted up his heel against Christ—1. forsook Him, turned his back upon Him; 2. despised Him, shook off the dust of his feet; 3. spurned at Him.

John 13:20. Judas had been sent—they that received him, and perhaps had been converted and edified by his preaching, were never the worse when he afterward proved a traitor.—Though some by entertaining strangers have entertained robbers yet we must still be hospitable; the abuses put upon our charity will neither justify uncharitableness nor lose us our reward.

John 13:21. Christ is not the author of sin, yet this sin of Judas He—1. foresaw; 2. foretold.—The sins of Christians are the grief of Christ.

John 13:22. Christ perplexed His disciples for a time that He might—1. humble them; 2. prove them; 3. excite in them a Jealousy of themselves; 4. excite indignation at the baseness of Judas.

John 13:23. There are some of His disciples, whom Christ lays in His bosom, who have more free and intimate communion with Him than others.

John 13:23, 24. It is good to engage for ourselves the prayers of those that lie in Christ’s bosom.—They who lie in Christ’s bosom may often be reminded of something that will be profitable by those who lie at His feet.

John 13:25. Though John whispered in Christ’s ear, yet he called Him Lord; familiarity did not lessen respect.

John 13:26. Our Lord indicated the traitor by a sop; we must not be outrageous against those whom we know to be malicious against us—if thine enemy hunger feed him.

John 13:27. After the sop Satan entered into him; many are made worse by Christ’s bounties.

John 13:28. The disciples did not suspect that Jesus spoke to Judas as the traitor; it is an excusable dulness in Christians not to be sharp-sighted in their censures.—Christ’s disciples were so well taught to love one another, that they could not readily learn to suspect.—Give something to the poor: Learn that 1. our Lord, though He lived on alms (Luke 8:3) yet gave alms; 2. the time of a religious feast is a proper time for charity.

John 13:30. Withdrawing from the communion of the faithful is commonly the first overt act of a backslider, the beginning of an apostasy.

[From SCOTT: John 13:1–11. Neither the deepest abasement, nor the highest exaltation, rendered our Redeemer for a moment inattentive to the concerns of His disciples.

John 13:18–30. If professed disciples and ministers be found unfaithful, let us not be discouraged; the Scripture hath foretold that thus it must be.—As some are more near to Him than others, we should not envy their privilege but use their friendship. From A. CLARK: John 13:1–17. It was the common custom of our Lord to pass from things sensible and temporal to those which were spiritual and eternal: He was a consummate philosopher, every subject appears grand and noble in His hands.

John 13:16. Christ has ennobled the acts of humility by practising them Himself.

John 13:17. “Sacred knowledge and devotedness to God are the means whereby a man can arrive at beatitude.” [Institutes of MENU].

[From STIER: John 13:1–30. If the history of the Passion is the Holy of Holies in the New Covenant, St. John opens to us the very Ark of the Covenant in the heart of the incarnate Saviour.

John 13:4, 5. For thy sake, O sinner, I have laid by the garment of My glory, have girded Myself with the napkin of the flesh, to pour out My blood as a cleansing bath for thee—as thy God and thy Servant.

John 13:13. The Master is believed, the Lord is obeyed.

John 13:14. The mutual feet-washing embraces the whole collective duties of Christian charity among Christ’s disciples.—Love is humility, it delights to serve the necessities as well of body as of soul.

John 13:30. It was night in the soul of Judas; night in a broad circle around Judas—in the hearts of many, condensed and mighty darkness; nevertheless [therefore?] Jesus goes on to speak the words of light and life which have approved their full meaning in the overcoming and extinction of all darkness.

[From A PLAIN COMMENTARY (Oxford): John 13:1. The disciples, on the eve of orphanhood, were objects of His compassion indeed!

John 13:17. The knowledge of religion is worthless, apart from the practice of it.

John 13:20. Our Lord spreads over the ministrations of His ministers the awful sanction of His own special presence.

John 13:26. Does it not follow from this portion of the narrative that while John was reclining on one side of our Lord, Judas must have been reclining on the other?

John 13:27. After the sop Satan entered into him:—The warning, evermore, of the unworthy communicant.

John 13:29. Judas, the Almoner of Christ.—The contrast between the traitor’s outer and inner life.

John 13:1–29. Ministers of Christ “following their Divine Master in their earnest search for souls, are to leave none, no, not even the most abandoned untried by their hand; even Judas was washed.” (Rev. T. T. CARTER).——From BARNES: John 13:2. Satan can tempt no one unless there is some inclination of the mind. [? See John 13:30, p. 458.]

John 13:23. “The highest honor that can be conferred on any man is to say that Jesus loved Him.” (ROBERT HALL.)

[From KRUMMACHER: John 13:4, 5. O great and significant symbol! O powerful exposition of the words, “I came not to be ministered unto but to minister.”

John 13:6–8. Even to this day we hear it said—“For the honor of Christ, I cannot believe that He receives sinners, as such, without any thing further.” If you wish to honor Jesus, do so by submitting to His word. John 13:9. Excellent, but not altogether correct; Simon now oversteps the line to the right, as he had before transgressed to the left.

John 13:10. when a Christian is overtaken by a fault, he has no need of an entirely new transformation, but only of a cleansing; he must let him feet be washed.

John 13:14, 15. Acts of love never degrade, however menial they may be.

John 13:8–14. Christ Himself must first wash us before we can wash the feet of any in the sense intended by Him.

John 13:18–30. The heathen world is ignorant of a Judas, such a monster matures only in the sphere of christianity.—The Lord appointed Judas the receiver and almoner in His circle, and assuredly for no other reason than that He perceived he was the fittest.

[From OWEN: John 13:1. The whole economy of redemption is made up of most signal developments of Christ’s love for His chosen.

John 13:4, 5. Our Lord in view of the foregoing strife of the disciplines for precedence (Luke 22:24) performed this ablution.(?)

John 13:14. “The Pope would do a more remarkable thing if, in unfeigned humility, he washed the feet of one king, than he does in washing the feet of twelve poor men.” (BENGEL.)

John 13:17. “The recognition of such a duty, is a much more easy matter than the putting it in practise.” (ALFORD.).—From WHEDON: John 13:8. Peter in his presumptuous humility is utterly disobedient.I know whom I have chosen: He knew, of the entire twelve, the fidelity of most and the treason of one.

John 13:30. The son of night goes through the darkness of night on his errand of treason (darkness).

[John 13:3–5. The act of Jesus one of self-humiliation, but no expressive of humility; humility is a readiness of mind to take a low place because of conscious weakness or unworthiness; self-humiliation is an act which may spring from humility, or it may be, as in the case of Jesus, conscious greatness stooping to beneficial service.—He washed the feet of all, Judas included, teaching us that we are not to look for certain evidence of piety before performing fraternal service.—A manifestation of what is involved in true Lordship—viz.: service.

John 13:9. The submitting to being washed often a greater test of humility than the washing of others.]


[1]John 13:1.—In accordance with Codd. A. B. K. Sin. and others, Lachmann, Tischendorf, we should road ἧλθεν, not ἐλήλυ θεν. “The Perfect resulted from the recollection of chap 12:25.” Meyer. [Alford, Tregelles and Westcott and Hort like wise read ἧλθεν, came, was coming.—P. S.]

[2]John 13:2.—B. L. X. Sin., etc.; γινομένου instead of γενομένου; a momentous difference [Lachmann and Alford read γενομένου (cum cœna facta sit), but Tregelles, Tischend. ed. 8th, Westcott and Hort give the preference to γινομένου (cum cœna fleretur), which is supported by א. B. Origen, Noyes and Conant translate: supper being served; Alford: when supper was begun. The E. V. (supper being ended) is inconsistent with John 13:12, where the Saviour placed Himself again at the table, and with John 13:26, where the meal is still going on. The aorist crept in as the more usual form in disregard of the chronology.—P. S.]

[3]John 13:2.—The reading ἵνα παραδοῖ αὐτὸν Ἰούδασ Σίμωνος Ἰσκαριώτης, in accordance with B. L. M. X. Sin., Copt., Arm., Vulgate, etc, received by Tischendorf, affirmed by Meyer to be the correct one, is not entitled to prevail against the reading given by A. D., etc., Lachmann [which is the text. rec. followed by the Ε. V.: είς τήν καρδίαν Ἰούδα Σίμωνος Ἰσκαριώτου ἵνα παραδῷ (Lachmπαραδοῖ) αὐτόν]. Meyer interprets the above reading: When the devil had already made his plot (taken it into his own heart) that Judas should betray Him, and remarks that this reading was early (so early as Origen) misunderstood to be an account of the seduction of Judas by the devil. Fear was, however, probably entertained that fatalism might find a support in the Recepta, and thus originated a conjecture which, however, without its being remarked, must necessarily have a far more fatalistic effect. [The preponderance of authority is in favor of the more difficult reading: εἰς τὴν καρδίαν ἵνα παραδοῖ αὐτὸν Ἰούδας Σ. Ἰσκ., which is dopted by Tregelles, Alford, Tischend., ed. 8th, Westcott and Hort. The text. rec. looks like a rearrangement to escape the difficulty of construction. The subjunctive form παραδοῖ is unusual in the New Testament, but sustained by אB. D.1 The text. rec. reads π̓αραδῷ.—P. S.]

[4]John 13:3.—The words Ἰησοῦς are wanting in B. D. L. X. Sin., etc. Cod. A. and others give them. They might easily have been omitted because they seemed unnecessary in the already involved sentence.

[5]John 13:4.—[Lange inserts the gloss after the meal: “which should now begin, and is hindered by the circumstance that no one performs the hospitable rite of foot-washing.” See EXEG.—P. S.]

[6]John 13:4.—[Lange: das Oberkleid. Τὰ ἱμάτια may moan the outer and inner garment, or, as here, and often simply the outer garment, mantle, pallium (different from the tunic or χιτών, and worn over it), which was wrapped around the body or fastened about the shoulders, and was often laid aside, comp. Matt. 21:7, 8; Acts 7:58; 22:20. There is no necessity to suppose that Jesus literally divested Himself as the basest of slaves.—P. S.]

[7]John 13:10.—[Tischendorf, ed. 8th, (1869), omits, in accordance with Orig. and Cod. Sin., ἢ τούς πόδας, which he gave in the ed. of 1859 in accordance with A. C.3 E.* G., etc.; Lachmann, Tregelles and Alford retain οἰ μὴ τοὺς πόδας, in accordance with B. C.* K. L., etc.; Westcott and Hort put it in brackets. Meyer explains the omission from the following καθ.ì ὅλος. If we read simply οὐκ ἔχει χρείαν νίψασθαι, we would have to translate: hath no need to wash himself.—P. S.]

[8]John 13:12.—Tischendorf: καὶ ἀνεπεσεν in accordance with Codd. [א.] B. C.,* etc. In favor of καί are also A. L. and others. [The text. rec. omits the second καί and reads ἀναπεσών.—P. S.]

[9]John 13:18.—[Instead of ἐπῆρεν (B. C. D. L. Lachm. Treg. Alt., Westcott and Hort), Tischendorf, ed. 8th, roads ἐπῆρκεν with א. A. U. H.—P. S.]

[10]John 13:22.—[Tischendorf, Alford, Westcott and Hort omit οῦ̓ν in accordance withא B. C.; Lachmann gives it according to א. A. D. L., etc.] Tregelles retains it, but in brackets. Its insertion is easier accounted for than its omission.—P. S.]

[11]John 13:23.—[Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alf., Westcott and Hort, omit δέ in accordance with B.C. * L.; Lachmann gives it according to א. A. C.2 D., etc.]

[12]John 13:24.—[Codd. [א.] B. C. [I.], L. X. Vulgate and Origen read καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ εἰπέ τίς ἐστιν, περὶ οῦ̓ λέγει. The reading πυθέσιθαί τίς ἄν εἴη [text. rec.] seems modeled after John 13:25.—[The latter rending has the authority of A. D. T Γ.Δ.Λ. ΙΙ; but the former is adopted by Treg., Alf., Tischend., Westcott and Hort.—P. S.]

[13]John 13:25.—The δέ, omitted by Tischendorf [Treg., Alf., Westcott and Hort] in accordance with [א.] B. C, retained by Lachmann, in accordance with A. E. F. G., manifestly places the conduct of John in a certain antithesis to the expression of Peter. The οῦ̓ν in Codd. D. L. M., seems to be exegetical, i. e., it explains how Peter intended his speech; Say, etc., i.e., ask the Master.

[14]John 13:26.—The reading in Tischendorf in accordance with B. C. L., etc.: βάψω τὸ ψωμίον καὶ δώσω αὐτῷ obliterates the more exact sense. The first ἐμβάψας [βάψας with א] in Lachmann, in accordance with A. D. K. seems to be conformed from βάψας in accordance with the second ἐμβάψας which is in its right place.βάψας οῦ̓ν in accordance with א. B. C. L.; καὶ ἐμβάψας with A. Γ. Δ. . A. X. ΙΙ.2 etc. Tregelles, Alford, Tischend., ed. 8, and Westcott and Hort agree in reading: ῷ ἐγὼ βάψω τὸ ψωμίον καὶ δώσω αὐτῷfor whom I shall dip the sop and give it to him. Lachnmann’s reading ῷ̓ ἐγὼ εμβάψας τὸ ψωμίον ἐπιδώσω, and the reading of the text. rec.: ῷ̓ ἐγὼ βάψας τὸ ψωμίον ἐπιδώσω, which is preferred by Lange, requires the translation to whom, having dipped the sop, I shall give it, or, for whom I shall dip the sop and to whom I shall give it,—P. S.]

[15]John 13:26.—[The correct reading is Ἰούδᾳ Σίμωνος Ἰσκαριώτου, according to א. B. C. L. M., etc., Tischend., Alf., Treg., Westcott and Hort., over against Ἰσκαριώ τ ῇ of the text rec., which is conformed to 6:70.—P. S.]

[16][The remarks of Ewald, Johann. Schriften, I. p. 344 ff., are also worth reading. “What Christ discussed,” he says, “with the Twelve in these hours, our Apostle describes here with a vivacity and quiet flow of composition which even surpasses all his former reports of the discourses of Christ, but which after all is doubtless only a weak attempt to fully reproduce the infinite glow of holy love and divine earnestness with which Christ addressed to them His earthly farewell.” This is rather a left-handed compliment to John, but it will do for Ewald, who, in his own way, is an enthusiastic admirer of the fourth Gospel and with the intuition of genius looks often deeper into its meaning than many an orthodox commentator. On p. 359 he characterizes these parting discourses as “the greatest and most wonderful” piece of composition.—P. S.]

[17][Lachmann, Tischendorf (ed. 8th), Tregelles and Alford agree in making a stop after αυτούς. But Westcott and Hort, with Griesbach, Matthæi, Scholz., put ἀγαπήσαςαὐτούς in parenthesis and close the sentence with John 13:4.—P. S.]

[18][Alford calls it “wholly unworthy of a scholar and simply absurd.” He explains βεβληκότος, etc. suggested, proposed, viz., to the mind of Judas.—P. S.]

[19][The corresponding classical phrase would be οὐκ ἔχεις or μετέχεις μέρος μον.—P. S.]

[20][The reference of ὁ λελουμένος to baptism as the “bath of regeneration (Tit. 3:5; Eph. 5:26),” is also defended by Theodor. Mopsv., Augustine, Erasmus, Olshausen, Ewald, Hengstenberg, Godet, Wordsworth, but wholly denied by Meyer, who, like Lange, sees the purifying element in the word, as in John 15:3.—P. S.]

[21][The nominative of the title, after verbs of designation; see Winer, p. 172, 7th ed., and Buttman, N. T. Gr., p. 132.—P. S.]

[22][The sect of the Tunkers in Pennsylvania are strenuous advocates of foot-washing.—P. S.]

[23][Meyer emphasizes ἔγώ I for my part, in distinction from the divine intention (ἀλλ ἵνα), which required that Judas should be included among the chosen. Similarly Alford, who thus states the connection: It might be supposed that this treachery has come upon Me unawares; but it is not so: I know whom I have selected (viz., the whole twelve, 6:70, not only eleven, as Stier, with reference to 15:16 assumes): but this has been done by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, declared in the Scriptures.—P. S.]

[24][Most commentators supply τοῦτο γέγονε after ἀλλά. Meyer, on the contrary, supplies ἐξελεξάμην αὐτούς: aber ich habe die Auswahl im Dieste des göttlichm Verhängnisses vollzοgen, nach welchem die Schrift erfüllt werden musste. This sounds rather fatalistic, as Lange charges.—P. S.]

[25][Cod. א. A. D. Vulg. read: ὁ τρώγων μετʼ ἐμοῦ τὸν ἅρτον B. C. L.: μου τὸν ἄρτον. The Hebrew: אוֹבֵל לַחְמִי, the Sept.: ἄρτους μου, the Vulg.: panes meos. Wordsworth falsely refers this to the eating of the sacramental bread. This would be incompatible with the reading μετʼ ἐμοῦ and besides Judas left before the institution of the Eucharist (see below). Augustine says: The eleven disciples ate the Lοrd who is the bread (panem Dominum), Judas the bread of the Lord (panem Domini).—P. S.]

[26][The præter. ἐπῇρεν (from ἐπαίρω, to lift up, the figure being taken from a vicious horse kicking from behind), represents the treason of Judas as an accomplished act. Instead of ἐπῇρεν ἐπʼ ἐμὲ τὴν πτέρναν αὐτοῦ, the Sept. reads less expressively: ἐμεγάλυνεν ἐπʼ ἐμὲ πτερνισμόν and the Vulg.: magnificavit super me supplantationem. Bengel remarks: Congruit hic sermo imprimis ad lotionem PEDUM, et ad morem veterum discumbentium ad PANEM edendum.—P. S.]

[27][As Meyer well expresses it: Durch die Vorhersagung wird, was ZWEIFELSgrund hätte werden können, GLAUBENS grund.—P. S.]

[28][Meyer: “The comparative expresses the idea: hasten your deed. So often θᾶσσον in Homer.”—P. S.]

[29][Wordsworth (after Augustine) makes here the practical remark: “Here is the primitive form of a church fund, and thence we learn that when Christ commanded us not to be careful about tomorrow, He did not forbid us to possess money, but He forbade us to serve God in the hope of gaining it, or to forsake righteousness for fear of losing it.”—P. S.]

Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

The Lord in the circle of His friends, the children of light; how He discloses and communicates to them the riches of His inner life, thereby consecrating them as bearers and ministers of His own life, with a view to the enlightenment and transfiguration of the world, and the union of the present and the hereafter.—Disclosure of Heaven (and explanations relative to the Heavenly life)

JOHN 13:31—17:26


The farewell discourses of Jesus, as recorded by John, contain the most mysterious and most holy of all the sayings through which He manifested Himself to His own. They form the spiritual ante-celebration of His own glorification and that of His people in the new celestial life opened up by His death and resurrection. Distinction must be made between historical periods and those embracing different divisions of the subject matter; there exists, however, an exact correspondence in the march of the two. The total is the walk to the Mount of Olives and the revelation of heaven or the new heavenly home, high above the old Sheol of the dead.

FIRST PERIOD. From the end of the paschal meal, or the departure of Judas, to the end of the Supper. Starting-point of the meditation: the Supper; how it reveals the gulf that intervenes between the heavenly home that Christ discloses and whither He is going; but also transfigures the same, supplying Christ’s presence to the disciples, who sojourn on this earthly shore, until the time when they shall be ripe for heaven until the time when they shall be ripe for heaven and at liberty to follow the Lord as martyrs (John 13:36). Martyrdom the fairest, ripest fruit of the Lord’s Supper. Therefore: the task and goal of personal life in that Kingdom of glory, to found which Christ leaves this world, John 13:31–38.

SECOND PERIOD. From the close of the Supper to the departure for the Mount of Olives. On stepping forth beneath the starry sky. Starting-point of the meditation: the going forth into the dark world, and the contemplation of the nocturnal heavens. Revelation of the heavens situate beyond the gulf. Exposition of heaven, or the Father’s House, as the goal of Christ and His people.

1. Christ as the Way to the goal; in the truth and life of His personal essence standing surety for the goal, in spite of the contradiction of out-ward agencies which reveal an apparently aim-less and pathless vista of misery and death (Thomas).

2.Christ as the Goal of the way, or the spiritual and heavenly theophany, in antithesis to the sensual and earthly theophany; or as the personal Christ, through whom the personal Father manifests Himself, and who, through the Holy Ghost, founds the fellowship of personal, heavenly life (John 13:20; Philip).

3. Christ, on His return, at once the Goal and the Way. How, in the communion of His people, He establishes the hidden heaven upon earth, as the Kingdom of the Spirit and of Love in antithesis to the ungodliness of the world (Judas Lebbæus).

4. The departure for the Passion as a departure for heaven, or the parting salutation as a pledge of greeting at a speedily ensuing meeting.

The one warranty for the heaven beyond this world—which warranty is given us through the heavenly Christ present in the world—branches out into various manifestations: (1) Of the heavenly Christ; (2) of the heavenly Father; (3) of the heavenly Spirit or other Paraclete; (4) of the heavenly and personal life and operation of Christians.

First promise of the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of Christ and the Church generally, John 13:16. Second promise of the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of evangelic knowledge and of enlightenment, John 13:26. Chap. 14.

THIRD PERIOD. The walk from the city to the brook Kedron. Vineyards and nocturnal garden-fires on either side (see below). Starting-point of the meditation: the sight of the vineyards, of the cleansed vines and the burning branches. Glorification of this earthly shore; or the heavenly life upon earth, in the history of the Kingdom of Love or the Vine of God; in the judgment executed upon dead branches, and in the fruit bearing—love’s blessing—of living ones.

1. Divine establishment and cultivation of the heavenly Vine upon earth, or the establishment of the heavenly Kingdom of Love—a kingdom rich in joy. The fiery judgment upon dead branches; the purification of living ones; or the destiny of the Vine (John 15:1–8).

2. The fruit-bearing of disciples in their life of lave (John 13:9–17).

3. Verification of love in opposition to the hatred of the world, or the defensive conduct of the disciples of Jesus (John 13:18 to John 16:6).

4. Consummation of love in the fellowship of the Holy Ghost who convinces and conquers the world by the judgment of the Spirit, or the offensive conduct of disciples, John 16:7–11. Revelation of the future, together with the development of Christianity, John 13:12–15.

Third promise of the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of martyr-faithfulness, John 15:26. Fourth promise of the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of victorious might that overcometh the world, John 16:8–11. Fifth promise of the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of apostolic development and apocalyptic revelation of the future, John 16:12–15.

FOURTH PERIOD. Towards the end of the way. Conclusion of communications, and promise of future disclosures through the Holy Ghost. Starting-point of the meditation: The approach to the goal. Transfiguration of the union betwixt this world and the world beyond, in the new, heavenly life.

1. Promise of the revelation of the new and second heavenly life in the resurrection of Christ, John 13:16–22.

2. Promise of a new meeting, when He of the further shore shall hold intercourse with them who are still remaining on this side of the gulf, John 13:23, 24.

3. Promise of life in the Spirit, John 13:25–27.

4. The flash of light from the Spirit, apportioned to the disciples even now in surveying the life of Jesus, John 13:28–31.

5. Christ’s consciousness of victory, His assurance of new life, as a legacy of consolation for His people, John 13:32, 33. John 16:12–33.

FIFTH PERIOD. Before the crossing of the brook Kedron, the black brook in the gloomy vale. Period of final decision.

Development of Christ’s consciousness of victory in His high-priestly prayer for the transfiguration of the personal Kingdom of Love, or House of the Father, in this world and the next, through the sanctification or sacrifice of Christ, the redemption of mankind:

1. For the glorification of the Son, John 13:1–8;

2. For the glorification of His people, John 13:9–19;

3. For the glorification of all future believers until the disappearance of the world before the glory of the Son and of His heaven, John 13:20–24;

4. The perfect glorification of the Father, in conformity to His righteousness; the foundation of said glorification having already been laid by the Son, John 13:25, 26. Or, the prayer for the perfection of the Kingdom of Love unto the absolute Epiphany, Rev. 21.; Tit. 2:13; 1 John 2:28; 3:2. Chap. 17.

SYNOPSIS. First Period: Antithesis between heaven and earth; Second Period: Heaven and its vouchers on earth; Third Period: Establishment and development of heaven on earth; Fourth Period: Internal union of heaven and earth; Fifth Period: The perfect appearing.

On the farewell discourses of Jesus see Luther’s Sermons of the year 1538, vol. 8. [ed. Walch]. Matthesius: Luther said this was the best book he had written. G. Lehr: De sublimitate sermonum Jesu Christi, John 13–16, Göttingen, 1774. Stark: Paraphr. et Comment, in Ev. Joh. 13–17, Jena, 1814. An extensive catalogue of separate treatises see in Lilienthal’s Bibl. Archivar, p. 321; Danz, Universalwörterbuch der theolog. Literatur, p. 466, etc. On the sacerdotal prayer see below chap. 17. [Comp. also our introductory remarks on John 13:1, p. 405.—P. S.]



JOHN 13:31–38

(Matt. 26:26–35; Mark 14:22–31; Luke 22:31–38.)

31Therefore,30 when he [Judas] was [had] gone out, Jesus said,

Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32If God be [is] glorified in him,31 God shall [will] also glorify him in himself, and shall [will] 33straightway [immediately] glorify him. Little children [τεχνία], yet a little while [only a little while longer] I am with you. Ye shall [will] seek me; and [,] as I 34 said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That [in order that, ἵνα] ye love one another; 35[even] as I have loved you, [in order] that ye also love one another. By this shall [will] all men know [perceive] that ye are my [ἐμοί disciples, if ye have love one to another.

36Simon Peter said [saith, λέγει] unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him [omit him],32 Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou 37shalt [wilt] follow me33 afterwards. Peter said [saith] unto him, Lord, why cannot 38I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake [for thee]. Jesus answered [answereth]34 him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake [for me]? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow [will not have crowed],35 till [before] thou hast denied36 me thrice.


John 13:31. Now when he had gone out.—Chrysostom and others connect this sentence with the foregoing: “but it was night when he went out.” Not only the οῦ̓ν, but also the emphatic pause introduced by the word νύξ, and the strong contrast between the preceding and the ensuing Sect, are declarative against this view.

Now is the Son of Man glorified [ἐδοξάσθη].—This is not merely a proleptical announcement on the part of Jesus of approaching triumph [Meyer, Alford, etc.]. It is the celebration of an actual triumph. In spirit He has already vanquished the kingdom of darkness. His victory succeeded to His perturbation of spirit at the sight of Judas, and was gained on this wise: By the operation of His Spirit in perfect consistency with His truth, love and patience as opposed to the utmost falseness, embitterment and irritation, He, as the Christ, sundered Antichrist from the communion of the faithful through the mere exercise of His personal might. The victory gained by Him in spirit over Judas, is a victory over Satan himself and over those worldly temptations whose nature partakes of the spirit of Iscariot (see Leben Jesu, II., p. 1327; iii., p. 675). This victory lays the foundation for the victory in His psychical life (Gethsemane) and for that in His physical life (Golgotha): in view of this fact He is already glorified in principle.

John 13:32. If God is glorified in Him.—Antithesis to the Son of Man. It was while conserving to the uttermost His purely human nature that He, as the Son of Man, overcame Judas; but, as this Son of Man, He was also the instrument of God, John 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:19. It is effectual to the glory of God Himself that evil,—the whole kingdom of Antichrist—is, in respect of its principle, overcome in so purely human a manner now, and that it shall henceforth be thus overcome throughout the world.

God will also glorify Him in Himself.—As God is glorified in the heart of Christ and in His victorious conduct, being therein set forth as the omnipotence of the Spirit, He shall also glorify Christ in Himself; i.e., He shall glorify the almighty spiritual power of the Son in His (the Father’s) divine providence, in His peculiar domain, the sphere, the revelation of the Father—and that especially in that world and from that world whither Christ is now returning. Ἐνἑαυτῷ has been interpreted by Chrysostom and Ammon as equivalent to διά. Such an interpretation does away with the antithesis. In like manner the antithesis is weakened by the explanation of Cocceius: Since God was glorified, the Son also was glorified. Augustine and many others interpret the passage as referring to the exaltation: “ita scilicet, ut natura humana, quæ a verbo æterno suscepta est, etiam immortali æternitate donetur.” Tholuck refers to Phil. 2:9: “The exaltation of the Son, which, in accordance with the representation of Paul, is the ηισθός for His humiliation.” Meyer: By the return to the fellowship of God, out of which He went forth. From this point of view ἐν ἑαυτῷ needs defining. The existence of Christ was an existence in God, not alone from the time of His ascension, but from the moment of His death, inasmuch as He was removed from this present world. For this world His personal life was now hidden in God’s providence, but His personal essence issued forth again, clear and distinct, from the providence of God, simultaneously with the resurrection and the sending of the Spirit; an essence now glorified in divine spiritual might, and destined to be ever more and more glorified until His appearing. See Col. 3:3. Hence the expression: in Him, has been in course of fulfilment ever since the death of Christ.

And shall immediately.—The second καί introduces the modifying word, εὐθύς, from which it follows that the glorification of Christ in God shall take place immediately.

John 13:33. Little children, but yet a little while (a little longer).—After the stern dismissal of the traitor He is at liberty to unbosom Himself to the disciples and to reveal to them the love and grief that stir His heart at parting from them. Here for the first time we find the tender “little children,” τεκνία. With them too, however, He has to deal earnestly (see Comm. on Luke). He designs teaching them not to set their hearts upon following Him to death now. [Alford: “τεκνίαhere only used by Christ (comp., however, παιδία, John 21:5)—affectingly expresses not only His brotherly, but fatherly love (Isa. 9:6) for His own, and at the same time their immature and weak state, now about to be left without Him.” The same term of endearment, τεκνία, little children, dear children, is used once by Paul, Gal. 4:19, and seven times by John, the disciple of love, in his Epistle. According to Jerome the last exhortation of the aged John to his congregation in Ephesus was simply this: “Little children, love one another,” because this comprehended the whole of practical Christianity.—P. S.]

Ye cannot come.—As I said unto the Jews, John 7:34; 8:21, 24. He now says the same thing to them; although in another sense [and without the threatening addition: “and ye will not find Me, and ye will die in your sins.” The ζητεῖν of the unbelieving Jews is the vain looking for a deliverer after rejecting the true Messiah, the ζητεῖν of the disciples. is the seeking of faith and love.—P. S.]. What He says to them now [ἂρτι, emphatically put last, as John 13:7, 37; 16:12.—P. S.] is binding only for the present. For the present they cannot follow Him to heaven. From the two propositions: ye will miss Me, and: ye cannot follow Me now, the following results.37

John 13:34. A new commandment I give unto you [ἐντολὴν καινὴν δίδωηι ὑμῖν].—Manifestly, the new commandment is to supply His [visible] presence to them for a time, until they come to Him again. Different interpretations, premising, in every ease, that the corollary: ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους, etc., contains the substance of the new commandment. The consideration that the commandment of neighborly love is not a new but an old one, (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:43 ff.; 19:19; 22:39), has led some to ascribe an intensive sense to the adjective new, and others to take it in an altered sense.

1. The INTENSIVE sense [new in degree.]

(a.) One is not to love his neighbor simply as himself [ὠς ἑαυτόν], but more than himself [υπὲρ ἑαυτόν] (Cyril, Theod. Mopsueste [Theophyl., Euthym. Zigab.; among modern commentators, especially Knapp, Scripta var. arg., p. 369 sqq.] etc.). Without regard to other objections to the view, the idea of it is not clear. [Christ, Matt. 22:39, 40, and Paul, Rom. 13:9, adopt the Old Testament commandment, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” without addition, as the second great commandment which is like unto the first, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God,” etc. The ὡς ἑαυτόν is the highest measure of love and does not exclude, but includes the self-denial even to the sacrifice of life for our neighbor. Finally καθώς does not indicate the degree, but the kind of love.—P. S.].

(b.) One should love his neighbor as Christ has loved His people. The following ἠγάπησα is modificative of καινή (Chrysostom, Tholuck).38 Against this view it has been objected (by De Wette) that the modifying clause does not apply to what precedes, but to that which follows it. A main consideration against the view just set forth is that it represents the most involved commandment as being given, without any instructions as to the manner of its fulfilment.

(c.) It is the new commandment of Christian brotherly love as distinguished from a general love to our neighbor. Grotius, Kölbing, Stud. u. Krit., 1845; and similarly Luthardt, [Ebrard, Brückner, Bäumlein, Hengstenberg, Godet]. Meyer: “The novelty lies in the impulsive power of love; the love of Christ, as experienced by us, should be this impellent. Thus the commandment, old in itself, is endowed with new explicitness, viz., the love ἐν Xριστῷ.” Here the fact is overlooked, that a commandment with which we are experimentally conversant and which is instinct with motive power, is no longer a mere commandment, but an inwardly impellent principle. Therefore,

(d.) The principle of the new life brought by Christ (De Wette). Meyer: That, indeed, is the new ἐντολή, but it is not so stated here. In that respect, then, Meyer’s own interpretation would be refuted.

(e.) The removal of the bounds which, in the Old Testament, inclosed neighborly love within national limits (Köstlin, Hilgenfeld). This has already been done, Matt. 5:44, inasmuch as Christ there finds in the Old Testament commandment itself the germ of His commandment of neighborly love, in antithesis to the ordinance of the scribes.

2. ALTERED sense:

(a.) Præceptum illustre (Hackspan, [Hammond], Wolf).

(b.) Mandatum ultimum (Heumann).

(c.) The most recent (Nonnus; ὁπλοτέρην).

(d.) One always new (Olshausen: never growing old, ever fresh [=ἀεὶ καινή].

(e.) A renewed one (Irenæus, Jansen) [Calvin, Maldonatus, Schöttgen].

(f.) A renewing [regenerating] one (Augustine), [Wordsworth].

(g.) An unexpected one (Semler: unexpected after the strife touching rank, Luke 22:24 ff.).

(h.) The καινότης of this commandment consists in its simplicity and unicity (?) Alford. Similarly Owen: “a love unique, simple, self-renewing and ever fresh.” The same applies to the old commandment.—P. S.]

3. We adhere to the view which we have previously set forth, viz., that the ἐντολὴ καινή, is indicative of the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Leben Jesu, ii., p. 1330; III.,681); and Meyer’s wondering note of exclamation we accept as a sign of affirmation.39 That Christ did not intend His precepts to be taken in the sense of outward laws, is a fact which the whole of the New Testament warrants us in assuming. But He did found institutions for His Church: the Lord’s Supper, Baptism, the ministry, etc., all centering in the Lord’s Supper. Of that Christ says: τὸ αἴμά μου τῆς καινῆς διαθήκς (Matt. 26:28; Mark 14:24), or, also, ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη (Luke 22:20). If διαθήκη and ἐντολή be thoroughly kindred ideas, the former is converted into the latter by the words: “Do this in remembrance of Me;” “Ye shall show forth,” etc.; if there be but one new διαθήκη, but one new ἐντολή, the one necessarily coincides with the other.

Moreover, it is just in this place that we should expect John to mention the Lord’s Supper. Tholuck: “The institution of the Lord’s Supper, omitted by John—on account of its being sufficiently well known by tradition—would here (John 13:34) find the place best befitting it. That Supper is not only a memorial feast of the Departing One (1 Cor. 11:25), but a feast of union with His disciples in love until He comes, Rev. 3:20; 1 Cor. 11:26. In like manner it is a feast wherein His cherished ones are mutually united, 1 Cor. 10:17.”—Attention should likewise be directed to the ἠγάπησα; on which word Meyer: “For Jesus perceives Himself to be at the end of His work of loving self-surrender.” This was undoubtedly the case at the institution of the Lord’s Supper, and it can be explained only by a reference to that institution.

In order that [ἵνα] ye may love one another, etc.—Agreeably to the foregoing explanation, these words do not constitute the substance of the new commandment, but the ethical purpose of it. The Lord’s Supper is to be the channel for the conveyance of light, impulse and strength for such a brotherly love. Two-fold construction:

1. The sentence: καθὼς ἠγάπησα, etc., is a parallel sentence to the preceding one (Beza, De Wette and others). Καθὼς, etc., is emphatically put first: “As I have loved you—that ye so love one another.” Meyer remarks with reason: This does not correspond with the simple Johannean style.

2. The sentence: καθὼς ἠψάπησα, etc., is the apodosis to the preceding clause, and contains that which shall ensure compliance with the admonition: ye shall love one another. Meyer: “In order that ye may love one another, in accordance with My having loved you, in order that ye, on your part, might love one another.” This would make the last clause either tautological or oblique. The love of Jesus would be modified solely in accordance with its purpose of exciting love, and it would be accordingly required that the disciples’ love should exhibit a similar mode.

We come back to No. 1, with a different apprehension of it, however: The new institution is founded in order that the disciples may love one another; [its foundation being] in conformity to the fact that Christ has loved His people in order that they may love one another. That is: The Lord’s Supper is the sacrament by whichthe καθὼς of His sacrificial death is brought home to the minds of His people; the ethical fruit that would spring from that death itself, viz., a company of believers living in the fellowship of brotherly love—shall now be realized by the Supper as the lively representation of His sacrificial death, and the substitute for His presence.

John 13:35. By this will all know (perceive).—Mutual brotherly love the distinctive mark of Christians, 1 John 3:10; Neander’s Denkwürdigkeiten, I. p. 97; G. Arnold, Abbildung der ersten Christen, Vol. III. Tholuck: “The heathen were wont to exclaim with astonishment: ‘Behold how these Christians love one another, and how they are ready to die for one another.’40 One Minucius Felix, the heathen, says of the Christians: ‘They love each other before knowing each other;’ and Lucian (in Peregrinus) sneeringly remarks: ‘Their law-giver has persuaded them that they are all brethren.’ ”

John 13:36. Lord, whither goest thou?—Peter finds a thorn in the saying of Jesus (John 13:33), of whose prick he cannot yet rid himself. Jesus, therefore, meets the true idea of his question with the answer: Thither thou canst not follow Me now. He thus makes an application of the general sentence (John 13:33) to him; comforting him, however, with the obscure intimation of his martyrdom, as He pacified the sons of Zebedee, Matt. 20:23 (comp. John 21:18). By δύνασαι Tholuck apprehends simply the subjective impossibility in Peter, whereas, on the other hand, he conceives δύνασθε to be declarative of an objective impossibility. In both cases, however, an objective and a subjective import correspond. The disciples were no more ordained to pass through death immediately with Christ than they were ripe for such a journey. [The words ἀκολουθήσεις (μοι is doubtful, see TEXTUAL NOTES) ὕστερον, are probably an allusion to the crucifixion of Peter, comp. John 21:18, 19.—P. S.]41

John 13:37. Why can I not follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thee.—It is clear to him that the going is to be through death. But not only does he undertake to die after the example of the Master; he even protests that he will lay down his life for Him.42

John 13:38. Jesus answers in view of these facts and puts Peter to the blush. He uses the asseveration: Verily, verily. Lay down thy life for Me! Thou wilt not so much as confess Me. On the contrary, thou wilt deny Me. And that three times. And this will come to pass directly, before the cock hath crowed, before the ensuing morning. Peter again stood in need of strong and emphatic words.

As regards the time of this conversation with Peter, Luke’s account agrees with that of our Evangelist, while it supplies additional items (John 22:31–34). Matthew and Mark are induced to record the conversation after the departure of Jesus from the place where He celebrated the Passover to the Mount of Olives, by their desire to superordinate the more general declaration made by Jesus to all His disciples, to the effect that they should all be offended that night because of Him. This declaration might also very readily occasion Peter once more to avouch his faithful devotion.


1. The exultant breathing again of Jesus after the departure of Judas: (a) A presage of the reviving and shining of the Church at the Last Day, Matt. 13:43; Luke 21:28; (b) a sign expressive of the great victory of His Spirit in the spiritual combat with treason in the circle of disciples,—with Judas as the representative of Satan; (c) a symbolical sign for His Church, teaching her how she shall conquer the anti-Christian Adversary and finally expel him by a dynamical censure; all this she shall do (after the example of the Son of Man) in simple humanity, a state which God, in the person of His Son, has hallowed, and with whose conditions Ha has complied. Similarly, an intimation that we should solemnly rejoice at the open desertion of false brethren and members rather than be vexed at the same.

2. The contrast of the pure Son of Man, the representative of God’s honor, and the false friend who, from an historical point of view, became the tool of a Hierarchy possessing hearts hardened against Christ, or, regarded from an ethical stand-point, delivered himself up to be the tool of Satan.

3. Glorification is the revelation of internal spiritual power in the untrammeled appearance and activity of its life;—hence, appearance in conformity to the idea,—the real and perfect beauty, a representation of spiritual sovereignty in the unobstructed glory of life. The Father glorified through Christ. The highest victory of love over hate, of faithfulness over falseness, of humility over pride, of a repose of soul over excitement and self-perturbation, of brightness over demoniacal gloom, is the highest verification of the glory of the personal Son of Man, the central Hypostasis Himself, and, at the same time, the perfect glorification of the personal God, the Father, who has given such power to His Son and, through Him, to His children. The glorifying of the Son of Man in God. In and from the other world God glorifies Christ’s personality as the absolutely dynamical principle which retains its grasp of itself even in death, which breaks through all the bonds of death, soars above the highest heavens, comprehends in its personality the depths of the Spirit and pours them out over all flesh; in order to draw all mankind up into the Kingdom of personal life and love and, in and along with mankind, to glorify the world into the Father’s House.

4. The tender saying of Christ at His departure, Little children, etc., echoing in the words of His disciple; 1 John 2:1; John 3:18. The chasm betwixt this world and the world to come disclosed, and closed, or glorified, by the Lord’s Supper.

5. Christ no new Law-giver, because He has comprehended all of His commandments: (a) In the institution of love which is His sacrament accompanied by His word, or (b) in the gift of His Spirit; two principal phases of the same blessing.

6. If the Lord’s Supper be intended to supply to us the presence of Christ, because He works and manifests Himself dynamically through it, how can the self-same thing be declared of the Comforter, John 14:16? For the reason that the office of the Comforter bears altogether upon the heritage left by Christ to His people, the institutions established by Him in word and sacrament; and only in the fellowship of the Holy Ghost has the proclamation of the death of Christ by word and sacrament its full truth.

7. The unsuspicious self-confidence of Peter a great warning to the Church and a foretoken of her history.

8. How Christ, by the celebration of the Love-feast and the Supper, has prepared His disciples for the new and great revelation of the heavenly Paradise, of heaven, and of the living connection between heaven and earth which He is to establish by means of them.

9. The divine assurance of Christ in view of the treason of Judas and the denial of Peter, an assurance of the absolute victory of Divine Providence over all the contradictions of evil; of the triumph of truth and righteousness over wickedness; of the triumph of love and grace over needy sinners.


Christ’s triumphant joy consequent upon the departure of the traitor.—The Lord’s subsequent aloneness with His disciples a type of the purified, heavenly Church: 1. in respect of the cordial intimacy; 2. the high festivity; 3. the rich revelation of love and life; 4. the glorious disclosures; 5. the presageful glimpse of eternity—in this communion.—What the Lord discourses of with His disciples after Judas has gone out: 1. Not another word does He say of Judas himself, let alone a harsh one; 2. but He talks of God’s triumphant over-ruling of his dark deeds.—Now is the Son of Man glorified. A blissful sense of victory is felt in the disburdened breast, after the weightiest of oppressions and the hottest of conflicts (John 13:21).—Judas goeth out to betray His Master, and Christ trembleth not—except for joy.—He looketh not upon that which is being done by men who have conspired together against Him, but upon what God doeth.—And therein also should the evangelical Church recognize and follow His example.—The mutual glorification of the Father and the Son. See John 17:1. How the Son of Man has glorified His God as the Friend of man in holy humanity. 2. How God glorifies the Son of Man as the Son of God in holy and divine sovereignty.—Dear little children. The sensations of the Lord in anticipation of His departure: 1. of grief; 2. of bliss; 3. of apprehension; 4. of good confidence.—Or: The horror and joy of Christ at the departure of Judas, in comparison with the mild grief with which He now departs from the disciples.—The intimation of Christ relative to His entrance into heaven: 1. He is now going thither; 2. the Jews, as Jews, can never come thither; 3. the disciples cannot now come thither.—A decided indication of our need to ripen for heaven by a Christian life.—Christ’s bequest to His people upon His departure, or the new commandment.—The Holy Supper the new life-law of Christ’s Church.—The Supper of the Church her fundamental law: 1. the sum of her institutions (Word, Baptism, Discipline, etc.); 2. the sum of her teaching; 3. the sum of her moral admonitions.—Love, the mark of Christians.—The interruption of Christ’s leave-taking with His disciples by the overweening protestations of Peter: 1. Once more a self-willed contradicting of Jesus’ words, and that after the foot-washing and the Supper; 2. the utterance of a stout vow of fidelity, a vow which the Lord foresaw would turn to denial.—Comparison of Judas and Peter at this moment: 1. Similar features: The former, out in the night, prostitutes himself to the enemy in determined apostasy; the latter, within the circle of disciples, lays claim to a fidelity for which he has not the strength. 2. The difference: In that case embitterment, in this love to the Lord; Yonder the utmost falseness, here sincerity and open outspokenness.—There is always a capability of redemption in the sincere man.—The sad certitude of Jesus touching the imminent denial of Peter, set in the calm assurance of the certain victory of grace.

STARKE, John 13:31: A wise teacher giveth not that which is holy unto the dogs, nor casteth the pearls of the divine word before swine, Matt. 7:6; 2 Tim. 2:15.—CANSTEIN: All the sufferings of true Christians end in their glorification; nay, they are themselves a glory to them.—ZEISIUS: In all tribulations the best course to be pursued is to fix the eye of faith immovably upon the promised, future glory.—Even in the midst of suffering, as in the deepest humiliation and in death itself, the most admirable beams of glory shine forth.—ZEISIUS: Christ’s glory is our glory also, for to this end (also) was He glorified, that He might bring us to everlasting radiance and glory.—A blissful death is the way to the eternal glory of God’s children in heaven.

John 13:34:—HEDINGER: Try thyself. Much love, much Christianity.—1 Pet. 1:22.—ZEISIUS: As the brethren of a fleshly order have their particular insignia, so love is the badge of spiritual brethren, or faithful Christians. He who has not this, has forfeited his order.

John 13:36.—QUESNEL: God has His hours. What we cannot do at one time, He causes us to perform at another.

John 13:37.—HEDINGER: Even in good hearts there is sometimes more presumption than strength, Phil. 2:13;—Christ must die for Peter before Peter can die for Christ.—Beware, therefore, of relying upon thyself. Everything must come of Christ’s Spirit and death.

John 13:38. We should not reject or disown our brethren on account of their many infirmities, but bear with them, in the confident hope of their renewal and purification, 1 Cor. 10:12.—God sometimes lets His saints stumble and fall, so that the ruin latent in them may become right patent to them.

HEUBNER: Now. With the treason of Judas, Jesus looked upon His death as determined (the proximate sense of the “now,” however, is, that His victory was already decided), as good as accomplished and, by consequence, His glorification was the same.

John 13:32. A man is deserving of glory in proportion to what he himself has done and sacrificed for the glory of God.—He who makes that glory his first aim, may confidently hope that God will glorify him. How were the apostles glorified!

John 13:36. An assurance that an honest man grows in strength for duty, in the strength of spiritual life.

GOSSNER: On John 13:30. The devil is a stormy master; he demands to be served with speed, and he leaves a man no time to bethink himself. Away with thee quickly! Be off! he cries.

John 13:33. The way I go is as yet too rough for you (and the goal is still too high for you).—Throughout the world Christians should be known by love. Each reverences that grace in another, which the other honors in him.—On John 13:37. Human nature is so arrogant. It thinks itself able to outrun grace, until, having started in the race and stumbling, as in Peter’s case, pride dies at last.——GERLACH: By the word glorify we are to understand the revelation of the divine power and glory. The divine glory is God’s manifest, almighty, holy love.—This one another (John 13:34) deserves our special consideration.—In these last parting discourses Jesus is no longer speaking of the world, (? See John 16:8, etc.), but of His people only; therefore not of the love that sacrifices itself for another without meeting with any return from that other; but of the love existing in the mutual relationship of true disciples. It is the duty of these to strive for a unity like that of the Father and Son (John 17:21), and to manifest this unity before the world, that the world may know that Jesus was sent from God. This brotherly love is, in its nature, one and the same with a universal love; it differs, however, in expression.

John 13:36. In this annexed allusion to the future martyr’s death which Peter should suffer, there is contained a word of comfort that afterwards had the power to raise him up, when bitter grief at his deep fall brought him nigh unto despair. Comp. Luke 22:32.——LISCO:I will lay down my life. Thus he spoke with a lively consciousness of his sincere love and hearty attachment to Jesus; but, blinded with regard to his weakness, he gave himself credit for more moral strength and firmness of faith than he possessed.——BRAUNE, John 13:31. An exultant cry of victory in the night in which He was betrayed.—God is glorified in Christ through suffering and death, and Christ is glorified in God through the (resurrection,) ascension into heaven and the exaltation to the right hand of the majesty of the Father.—Little children, 1 Pet. 1:23.—And as I said unto the Jews. But with what a difference here. Here the sharp words are wanting, that were aimed at the Jews; but the perverse rejoinders are missing likewise (John 7:34; 8:21).—A Christian destitute of this brotherly love, is like sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.—Peter proves that a man is always better than his bad, but worse than his good, moods.

RICHTER: John 13:37. That Peter did not, in the exercise of faith and obedience, keep silence, was the inward beginning of his fall.

STIER: John 13:34. If the καινὴ διαθήκη, spoken of in the institution of the Lord’s Supper, have reference to Ex. 24:8, comp. Jer. 31:31, then doubtless the ἐντολὴ καινή stands in closest connection with the διαθήκη. For the making of laws is the necessary accompaniment to a covenant.—As I have loved you. In Christ, a man, like us, the first perfect fulfilment of the law now stands before us as a living decalogue; but when faith petitions, strength to love in like manner issues forth from His perfectness and flows into us, Eph. 5:1, 2.—It has been falsely said Peter’s denial was thrice predicted; here, in accordance with Luke, in accordance with Matthew and Mark. Truer and more significant would be the statement that Peter thrice protested against such a catastrophe.—NITZSCH: It results of itself that those who love one another, are but practising and preparing themselves to extend their love outside of their own circle into the whole world.

[CRAVEN: From ORIGEN: John 13:31, 32. It is the glory of the Man which is here meant; Christ at His death glorified God, making peace by the blood of His cross—thus the Son of Man was glorified, and God glorified in Him.—The word glory is here used in a different sense from that which some pagans attach to it, who defined glory to be the collected praises of many; the mind when it ascends above material things and spiritually sees God, is deified, and of this spiritual glory the visible glory on the face of Moses is a figure.—The whole of the Father’s glory shines upon the Son; of this glory He hath made all who know Him partakers.

John 13:33. Little children He says, for their souls were yet in infancy.

John 13:33. To seek Jesus, is to seek the Word, wisdom, righteousness, truth, all which is Christ.—As if He said, I say it to you but with the addition of now (John 13:36); the Jews would never be able to follow Him, but the disciples were unable only for a little while.——From AUGUSTINE: John 13:31. The unclean went out, the clean remained with the cleanser; thus will it be when the tares are separated from the wheat.

John 13:34. He teaches them how to fit themselves to follow Him.

John 13:36. He checks the forwardness of Peter but does not destroy his hope; nay, He confirms it.—Be not lifted up with presumption, thou canst not now; be not cast down with despair, thou shalt follow me, afterwards.

John 13:37. Peter knew his great desire, his strength he knew not.——From CHRYSOSTOM: John 13:34. As I have loved you; My love has not been the payment of something owing to you, but had its beginning on My side.

John 13:38. Thou (Peter) shalt know by experience that thy love is nothing, unless thou be enabled from above.——From BEDE: John 13:36–38. Should any one fall, let the example of Peter save him from despair.

[From BURKITT: John 13:33. Little children; intimating the tender affection He bears His disciples.—Whither I go ye cannot come; till our work be done, whither Christ is gone we cannot come.

John 13:34. A new commandment because, urged from a new motive, and enforced by a new example.

John 13:35. Christ will have His disciples known by their profound affection to each other.—One of the best evidences we can have of our vital relation to Christ, is a hearty love toward fellow. Christians.

John 13:36. Though disciples shall certainly follow their Lord, they must patiently wait His time and finish His work.

John 13:37, 38. The holiest of men knows not his own strength till temptation brings him to the trial.—None are so near falling as those who are most confident of their own standing.——From M. HENRY: From John 13:31, to the end of chap. 14. Christ’s table-talk with His disciples; teaching us to make conversation at table serviceable to religion.

John 13:31. Christ did not begin this discourse till Judas had gone out; the presence of wicked people often a hindrance to good discourse.

John 13:31, 32. Christ gives three comforting assurances concerning His sufferings—1. That HE should be glorified in them, by (1) obtaining a glorious victory over Satan, (2) working out a glorious deliverance for His people, (3) giving a glorious example of self-denial and patience; 2. That GOD THE FATHER should be glorified in them—those sufferings were, (1) the satisfaction of the Father’s justice, (2) the manifestation of the Father’s holiness and mercy; 3. That HE HIMSELF should be greatly glorified after them, in consideration of the glorification of the Father by them (John 13:32).—In the exaltation of Christ there was a regard had to His (self) humiliation, and a reward given for it; those who mind the business of glorifying God shall have the happiness of being glorified with Him.

John 13:33. The words little children do not declare so much their weakness, as His tenderness and compassion.—The declaration Whither I go ye cannot come suggests—1. high thoughts of Him, 2. low thoughts of themselves.—They could not follow Him to His cross, for they had not (then) courage; they could not follow Him to His crown, for they had not a sufficiency of their own, nor was their work yet finished.

John 13:34, 35. He urges the great duty of mutual love by three arguments—1. The command of their Master; 2. The example of their Saviour; 3. The reputation of their profession.Brotherly love is the badge of Christ’s disciples, by this—1. He knows them, 2. others (the world) know them.—The true honor of Christ’s disciples to excel in brotherly love.

John 13:36. Peter’s curiosity and the check given to it.—Believers must not expect to be glorified as soon as they are effectually called—there is a wilderness between the Red Sea and Canaan.

John 13:37, 38. Peter’s (self-) confidence and the check given to that.—Peter was inconsiderate but not insincere; we are apt to think we can do anything, but without Christ we can do nothing.—It is good for us to shame ourselves out of our presumptuous confidence; shall a bruised reed set up for a pillar, or a sickly child undertake to be a champion?—Christ not only foresaw that Judas would betray Him, but that Peter would deny Him; He knows not only the wickedness of sinners, but the weakness of Saints.—The most secure are commonly the least safe.——From SCOTT: John 13:34. Alas! the commandment to love one another as Christ has loved us is still new and strange to most professed Christians.——From A. CLARK: John 13:31. Now it fully appears (is about to appear) that I am the Person appointed to redeem a lost world by My blood.

John 13:34. Christ more than fulfilled the Mosaic precept; He not only loved His neighbor asHimself, but He loved him more than Himself—His commandment was strictly knew.

John 13:36, 38. We should will, and then look to God for power to execute.——From STIER: John 13:31. A cry of exultation in the night in which He was betrayed.—The first glorification is the beginning and ground of that which follows as its consummation.—In His humiliation He is exalted, in this darkness of shame does His glory beam forth, from Golgotha go forth those attracting energies which are to wrest from Satan the world of mankind.—The glorification of God in the suffering and dying Son of man embraces—1. when we look into it, the self-offering of God in the person of this Son of man as a great and solitary fact; 2. when we look back, the shining forth of God in human nature generally, as the longed for goal of all aspiration and effort; 3. when we look forward, the representation and offering of God to humanity as the object of faith and love.—The purest honor of God shines forth in the deepest dishonor of this Song of Solomon of Man.—All is human and all is Divine; the Ecce Homo is changed to the eye of faith into—Behold thy God!

John 13:32. The Lord speaks of a twofold glorification—1. He is made perfect through suffering; 2. the glorification of the Son of Man in God.

John 13:34. A new commandment—1. in the simplicity and plainness of the expression; 2. in the perfection of the new, now first existing, type; 3. in the power of fulfilment which flows from this life-giving type; 4. and consequently, in the abiding, living newness of this commandment.

John 13:37. Peter (a little child, John 13:33) would be a man before the time!——From A PLAIN COMMENTARY (Oxford); John 13:34. The commandment called new because destined to become the gnat law of the new creation.—From BARNES: John 13:34, 35. This commandment to be a badge of discipleship; it was called new because—1. it had never before been made that by which any class of men, had been distinguished; 2. of the extent to which it was to be carried.——From OWEN: John 13:35. As a historical fact there has been no feature of Christianity exemplified in the life of believers, so potent in overcoming opposition as their mutual love.——From WHEDON: John 13:36–38. Enough there was of a downfall to neutralize the pride of Peter, but his subsequent recovery evinced the earnestness of his profession.]


[30]John 13:31.—[Tischendorf, Alf. and W. & H. give ὅτε οῦ̓ν, in accordance with א. B. C. D. L. X.; οῦ̓ν is omitted in A. E. H. K., etc., and those ed. who wrongly join ὅτε ἐξῆλθεν to John 13:30.—P. S.]

[31]John 13:32.—The words εἰ ὁ θεὸς ἐδοξάσθη ἐν αὐτῷ are wanting in [א. * B. C. D., etc. Probably the repetition was regarded as superfluous. [They occur in א.c A. C.2 T. Δ., etc., they are retained by Tischend., omitted by Westc. and H., bracketed by Alf. The omission may have been occasioned by the similar endings of this and preceding clauses.—P. S.]

[32]John 13:36.—[Tischendorf, Alford, Westcott and Hort omit αὐτῷ (text. rec.), in accordance with B. C.* L.; it occurs, however, in א. A. C.3 D., etc.—P. S.]

[33]John 13:36.—The μοι is wanting in [א.] B. C. * L. X., Vulgate, etc. [It occurs in A. C.3 D., etc., text. rec., but is omitted by Tischend., Alf., Westc. and Hort.—P.S.]

[34]John 13:38.—[Instead of ἀπεκρίθη the best authorities read ἀποκρίνεται, in accordance with א. B. C. L. X., etc.—P. S.]

[35]John 13:38.—Φωνήσῃ, against Φωνήσει, has very strong authority. [It is so given א. A. B. G., etc. and in the best crit. ed.—P. S.]

[36]John 13:38.—The reading ἀρνήσῃ decidedly preponderant over against the (synoptic) composite [ἀπαρνήσῃ]. A milder term. [The former occurs in B. D. L. X.; the latter in א. A. C. T. Δ., etc.—P. S.]

[37][Similarly Stier and Alford connect John 13:33 and 34: Ye will be left on earth, when I go to heaven; hut, unlike the Jews, ye will seek Me and find Me in the way of love to Me and to one another, forming a united body, the church, in which all will recognize My presence among you as My disciples.—P. S.]

[38][So also Wordsworth who, however, combines with this interpretation that of Augustine (renewing), see below, 2 f. Similarly Webster and Wilkinson: “This love was to resemble His love to them in manner and degree (καθώς, κ. τ. λ.), and therefore must be grounded on their spiritual relationship to each other in Him.”—V. S.]

[39][In his fifth edition, Meyer has no “wondering note of exclamation,” but objects to Dr. Lange’s reference of ἐςτολή to the institution of the Lord’s Supper, that it is not indicated in the connection, and is contrary to the parallel passage, 1 John 2:8. But it should be remembered that these words were spoken at the very time when the Lord’s Supper in connection with the Agape was instituted and commanded to be observed to the second advent as a perpetual commemoration of Christ’s dying love. Neander, Ammon and Ebrard put the institution after John 13:32; Tholuck at John 13:34. Lange makes the ἐντολὴ καινή itself the καινὴ διαθήκη, the love-feast of which Christ says: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” This view is certainly ingenious and plausible, and allows ἵνα its full force.—P.S.]

[40][From a well-known passage in Tertullian’s Apologeticus, c. 39. He adds: “Yea, verily this must strike them (the heathen); for they hate each other, and are rather ready to kill one another. And even that we call each other brethren, seems to them suspicions for no other reason than that among them all expressions of kindred are only feigned. We are even your brethren in virtue of the common nature, which is the mother of us all; though ye, as evil brethren, deny your human nature. But how much more justly are those called and considered brethren, who acknowledge the one God as their Father; who have received the one Spirit of holiness; who have awaked from the same darkness of uncertainty to the light of the same truth?” Comp. my Church History, Vol. I., p. 336 ff., N. Y. ed.—P. S.]

[41][The question of Peter κύριε, ποῦ ὑπάγεις; Domine, quo vadis? has furnished the name to a church outside the city of Rome, on the spot where, according to the legend, Peter having from love of life escaped from prison, was confronted by the appearance of Christ, and asked Him: “Lord, whither goest Thou?” The Lord replied: “I go to Rome, to be crucified again,” whereupon the disciple returned to his prison and cheerfully suffered martyrdom on the cross. Si non e vero, e ben trocato.—P. S.]

[42][Augustine: Peter imagined that he could precede his guide. Presumptuous supposition! It was necessary that Christ should first lay down His life for the salvation of Peter, before Peter could be able to lay down his life for the gospel of Christ. But when Christ had died for Peter and redeemed turn by His own blood, and had risen from the dead, then Peter was able to follow Christ, even to the cross,—P. S.]

Lange, John Peter - Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical

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