Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

John 13:10


Jesus replied, 1  “The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, 2  but is completely 3  clean. 4  And you disciples 5  are clean, but not every one of you.”


Le 16:26,28; Le 17:15,16; Nu 19:7,8,12,13,19-21; Ec 7:20; So 4:7; Jer 50:20; Mt 6:12; Joh 15:3; Ro 7:20-23; 2Co 5:17,21; 2Co 7:1; Eph 4:22-24; Eph 5:26,27; 1Th 5:23; Heb 9:10; Jas 3:2; 1Jo 1:7-10

NET © Notes

tn Grk “Jesus said to him.”

tn Grk “has no need except to wash his feet.”

tn Or “entirely.”

sn The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet. A common understanding is that the “bath” Jesus referred to is the initial cleansing from sin, which necessitates only “lesser, partial” cleansings from sins after conversion. This makes a fine illustration from a homiletic standpoint, but is it the meaning of the passage? This seems highly doubtful. Jesus stated that the disciples were completely clean except for Judas (vv. 10b, 11). What they needed was to have their feet washed by Jesus. In the broader context of the Fourth Gospel, the significance of the foot-washing seems to point not just to an example of humble service (as most understand it), but something more – Jesus’ self-sacrificial death on the cross. If this is correct, then the foot-washing which they needed to undergo represented their acceptance of this act of self-sacrifice on the part of their master. This makes Peter’s initial abhorrence of the act of humiliation by his master all the more significant in context; it also explains Jesus’ seemingly harsh reply to Peter (above, v. 8; compare Matt 16:21-23 where Jesus says to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan”).

tn The word “disciples” is supplied in English to clarify the plural Greek pronoun and verb. Peter is not the only one Jesus is addressing here.

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