John 13:12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” ESV
What is the general theme of the passage?
“Do you understand what I have done to you?” “I have given you an example.” “Do just as I have done to you.” “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” “I know whom I have chosen…“the Scripture will be fulfilled” “I am telling you this now” that “you may believe that I am he.” “Whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
He washed their feet. He resumed His place. He said: I am. I have. You ought. I have given. You should. I say. If you know. I know whom I have chosen. I am telling you this now. Believe that I am He. Whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
What does it say about people?
All these chosen men, even the betrayer, must have had a reaction to seeing Jesus stoop to this subservient position and do this menial act. Peter spoke, but surely others were confused too. It was certainly more than Judas could accept. Everything in their relationship with Jesus has been building their confidence that His power declared Him to be the Messiah, come from God. This night Jesus must teach them humility and service are the other side of Sovereignty and power.
Is there truth here for me?
All these men, even Judas were chosen by the same process Luke 6 describes: 12 In these days he [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles…” Judas was chosen, and named an apostle, by Jesus Himself. He heard every word spoken that night as the Messiah washed the visible dirt off his “feet” but the serpent of the “heel” from Genesis 3:15 had found an ally in Judas, who’d decided just like those two original friends of God he too could make a better choice than serving his Creator.