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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
John 13



Other Authors
Verse 1

Now before the feast of the passover (προ δε της εορτης του πασχαpro de tēs heortēs tou pascha). Just before, John means, not twenty-four hours before, that is our Thursday evening (beginning of 15th of Nisan, sunset to sunset Jewish day), since Jesus was crucified on Friday 15th of Nisan. Hence Jesus ate the regular passover meal at the usual time. The whole feast, including the feast of unleavened bread, lasted eight days. For a discussion of the objections to this interpretation of John in connexion with the Synoptic Gospels one may consult my Harmony of the Gospels, pp. 279-84, and David Smith‘s In the Days of His Flesh, Appendix VIII. The passover feast began on the 15th Nisan at sunset, the passover lamb being slain the afternoon of 14th Nisan. There seems no real doubt that this meal in John 13:1-30 is the real passover meal described by the Synoptics also (Mark 14:18-21; Matthew 26:21-25; Luke 22:21-23), followed by the institution of the Lord‘s Supper. Thus understood John 13:1 here serves as an introduction to the great esoteric teaching of Christ to the apostles (John 13:2-17:26), called by Barnas Sears The Heart of Christ. This phrase goes with the principal verb ηγαπησενēgapēsen (loved).

Knowing (ειδωςeidōs). Second perfect active participle, emphasizing the full consciousness of Christ. He was not stumbling into the dark as he faced “his hour” (αυτου η ωραautou hē hōra). See John 18:4; John 19:28 for other examples of the insight and foresight (Bernard) of Jesus concerning his death. See on John 12:23 for use before by Jesus.

That he should depart
(ινα μεταβηιhina metabēi). Sub-final use of ιναhina with second aorist active subjunctive of μεταβαινωmetabainō old word, to go from one place to another, here (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14) to go from this world (John 8:23) back to the Father from whom he had come (John 14:12, John 14:28; John 16:10, John 16:28; John 17:5).

His own which were in the world
(τους ιδιους τους εν τωι κοσμωιtous idious tous en tōi kosmōi). His own disciples (John 17:6, John 17:9, John 17:11), those left in the world when he goes to the Father, not the Jews as in John 1:11. See Acts 4:23; 1 Timothy 5:8 for the idiom. John pictures here the outgoing of Christ‘s very heart‘s love (chs. John 13-17) towards these men whom he had chosen and whom he loved “unto the end” (εις τελοςeis telos) as in Matthew 10:22; Luke 18:15, but here as in 1 Thessalonians 2:16 rather “to the uttermost.” The culmination of the crisis (“his hour”) naturally drew out the fulness of Christ‘s love for them as is shown in these great chapters (John 13-17).

Verse 2

During supper (δειπνου γινομενουdeipnou ginomenou). Correct text, present middle participle of γινομαιginomai (not γενομενουgenomenou second aorist middle participle, “being ended”) genitive absolute. John 13:4 shows plainly that the meal was still going on.

The devil having already put (του διαβολου ηδη βεβληκοτοςtou diabolou ēdē beblēkotos). Another genitive absolute without a connective (asyndeton), perfect active participle of βαλλωballō to cast, to put. Luke (Luke 22:3) says that Satan entered Judas when he offered to betray Jesus. Hence John‘s “already” (ηδηēdē) is pertinent. John repeats his statement in John 13:27. In John 6:70 Jesus a year ago had seen that Judas was a devil.

To betray him
(ινα παραδοι αυτονhina paradoi auton). Cf. Acts 5:3. Purpose clause with ιναhina and second aorist active subjunctive of παραδιδωμιparadidōmi (form in -οιoi as in Mark 14:10 rather than the usual -ωιōi in Luke 22:4). Satan had an open door by now into the heart of Judas.

Verse 3

Knowing (ειδωςeidōs). Repeated from John 13:1, accenting the full consciousness of Jesus.

Had given (εδωκενedōken). So Aleph B L W, aorist active instead of δεδωκενdedōken (perfect active) of διδωμιdidōmi Cf. John 3:31 for a similar statement with ενen instead of ειςeis See Matthew 11:27 (Luke 10:22) and Matthew 28:18 for like claim by Jesus to complete power.

And that he came forth from God, and goeth unto God
(και οτι απο τεου εχηλτεν και προς τον τεον υπαγειkai hoti apo theou exēlthen kai pros ton theon hupagei). See plain statement by Jesus on this point in John 16:28. The use of προς τον τεονpros ton theon recalls the same words in John 1:1. Jesus is fully conscious of his deity and Messianic dignity when he performs this humble act.

Verse 4

Riseth from supper (εγειρεται εκ του δειπνουegeiretai ek tou deipnou). Vivid dramatic present middle indicative of εγειρωegeirō From the couch on which he was reclining.

Layeth aside (τιτησινtithēsin). Same dramatic present active of τιτημιtithēmi

His garments
(τα ιματιαta himatia). The outer robe ταλλιτtallith (ιματιονhimation) and with only the tunic (χιτωνchitōn) on “as one that serveth” (Luke 22:27). Jesus had already rebuked the apostles for their strife for precedence at the beginning of the meal (Luke 22:24-30).

A towel
(λεντιονlention). Latin word linteum, linen cloth, only in this passage in the N.T.

Girded himself
(διεζωσεν εαυτονdiezōsen heauton). First aorist active indicative of διαζωννυωdiazōnnuō (-υμιumi), old and rare compound (in Plutarch, lxx, inscriptions, and papyri), to gird all around. In N.T. only in John (John 13:4, John 13:5; John 21:7). Did Peter not recall this incident when in 1 Peter 5:5 he exhorts all to “gird yourselves with humility” (την ταπεινοπροσυνην εγκομβωσαστεtēn tapeinophrosunēn egkombōsasthe)?

Verse 5

Poureth (βαλλειballei). Vivid present again. Literally, “putteth” (as in John 13:2, βαλλωballō).

Into the basin (εις τον νιπτηραeis ton niptēra). From verb νιπτωniptō (later form of νιζωnizō in this same verse and below) to wash, found only here and in quotations of this passage. Note the article, “the basin” in the room.

Began to wash
(ηρχατο νιπτεινērxato niptein). Back to the aorist again as with διεζωσενdiezōsen (John 13:4). ΝιπτωNiptō was common for washing parts of the body like the hands or the feet.

To wipe
(εκμασσεινekmassein). “To wipe off” as in John 12:3.

With the towel
(τωι λεντιωιtōi lentiōi). Instrumental case and the article (pointing to λεντιονlention in John 13:4).

(ωιhōi). Instrumental case of the relative οho

He was girded
(ην διεζωσμενοςēn diezōsmenos). Periphrastic past perfect of διαζωννυωdiazōnnuō for which verb see John 13:4.

Verse 6

So he cometh (ερχεται ουνerchetai oun). Transitional use of ουνoun and dramatic present again (ερχεταιerchetai).

Lord, dost thou wash my feet? (Κυριε συ μου νιπτεις τους ποδασKurie class="normal greek">συ μου — su mou nipteis tous podas). Emphatic contrast in position of ποδαςsu mou (away from podas), “Dost thou my feet wash?” “Peter, we may suppose, drew his feet up, as he spoke, in his impulsive humility” (Bernard).

Verse 7

I … thou (εγω συegōουκ αρτι su). Jesus repeats the pronouns used by Peter in similar contrast.

Not now (αρτιouk arti). Just now γνωσηι δε μετα ταυταarti means (John 9:19, John 9:25). Used again by Jesus (John 13:33) and Peter (John 13:37).

But thou shalt understand hereafter
(γινωσκωgnōsēi de meta tauta). Future middle of οιδαginōskō (instead of the verb oida) to know by experience. “Thou shalt learn after these things,” even if slowly.

Verse 8

Thou shalt never wash my feet (ου μη νιπσηις μου τους ποδας εις τον αιωναou mē nipsēis mou tous podas eis ton aiōna). Strong double negative ου μηou mē with first aorist active subjunctive of νιπτωniptō with εις τον αιωναeis ton aiōna (for ever) added and μουmou (my) made emphatic by position. Peter‘s sudden humility should settle the issue, he felt.

If I wash thee not (εαν μη νιπσω σεean mē nipsō se). Third-class condition with εαν μηean mē (negative). Jesus picks up the challenge of Peter whose act amounted to irreverence and want of confidence. “The first condition of discipleship is self-surrender” (Westcott). So “Jesus, waiting with the basin” (Dods), concludes.

Thou hast no part with me
(ουκ εχεις μερος μετ εμουouk echeis meros met' emou). Not simply here at the supper with its fellowship, but in the deeper sense of mystic fellowship as Peter was quick to see. Jesus does not make foot-washing essential to spiritual fellowship, but simply tests Peter‘s real pride and mock-humility by this symbol of fellowship.

Verse 9

Not my feet only, but also my hands and my head (μη τους ποδας μου μονον αλλα και τας χειρας και την κεπαληνmē tous podas mou monon alla kai tas cheiras kai tēn kephalēn). Nouns in the accusative case object of νιπσονnipson understood. Peter‘s characteristic impulsiveness that does not really understand the Master‘s act. “A moment ago he told his Master He was doing too much: now he tells Him He is doing too little” (Dods).

Verse 10

He that is bathed (ο λελουμενοςho leloumenos). Perfect passive articular participle of λουωlouō to bathe the whole body (Acts 9:37).

Save to wash his feet (ει μη τους ποδας νιπσασταιei mē tous podas nipsasthai). Aleph and some old Latin MSS. have only νιπσασταιnipsasthai but the other words are genuine and are really involved by the use of νιπσασταιnipsasthai (first aorist middle infinitive of νιπτωniptō to wash parts of the body) instead of λουσασταιlousasthai to bathe the whole body (just used before). The guest was supposed to bathe (λουωlouō) before coming to a feast and so only the feet had to be washed (νιπτωniptō) on removing the sandals.

(καταροςkatharos). Because of the bath. For καταροςkatharos meaning external cleanliness see Matthew 23:26; Matthew 27:59; but in John 15:3 it is used for spiritual purity as here in “ye are clean” (καταροιkatharoi).

Every whit
(ολοςholos). All of the body because of the bath. For this same predicate use of ολοςholos see John 9:34.

But not all
(αλλ ουχι παντεςall' ouchi pantes). Strongly put exception (ουχιouchi). Plain hint of the treachery of Judas who is reclining at the table after having made the bargain with the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:11). A year ago Jesus knew that Judas was a devil and said to the apostles: “One of you is a devil” (John 6:64, John 6:70). But it did not hurt them then nor did they suspect each other then or now. It is far-fetched to make Jesus here refer to the cleansing power of his blood or to baptism as some do.

Verse 11

For he knew him that should betray him (ηιδει γαρ τον παραδιδοντα αυτονēidei gar ton paradidonta auton). Past perfect ηιδειēidei used as imperfect. Jesus had known for a year at least (John 6:64, John 6:70) and yet he treated Judas with his usual courtesy. The articular present participle of παραδιδωμιparadidōmi “the betraying one,” for Judas was already engaged in the process. Did Judas wince at this thrust from Jesus?

Verse 12

Sat down again (ανεπεσεν παλινanepesen palin). Second aorist active indicative of αναπιπτωanapiptō old compound verb to fall back, to lie down, to recline. ΠαλινPalin (again) can be taken either with ανεπεσενanepesen as here, or with ειπενeipen (he said again).

Know ye what I have done to you? (γινωσκετε τι πεποιηκα υμινginōskete ti pepoiēka humin). “Do ye understand the meaning of my act?” Perfect active indicative of ποιεωpoieō with dative case (υμινhumin). It was a searching question, particularly to Simon Peter and Judas.

Verse 13

Ye (υμειςhumeis). Emphatic.

Call me (πωνειτε μεphōneite me). “Address me.” ΠωνεωPhōneō regular for addressing one with his title (John 1:48).

(ο διδασκαλοςHo didaskalos). Nominative form (not in apposition with μεme accusative after πωνειτεphōneite), but really vocative in address with the article (called titular nominative sometimes) like ο Κυριος και ο τεος μουHo Kurios kai ho theos mou in John 20:28. “Teacher.” See John 11:28 for Martha‘s title for Jesus to Mary.

(ο ΚυριοςHo Kurios). Another and separate title. In John 1:38 we have ΔιδασκαλεDidaskale (vocative form) for the Jewish αββειRabbei and in John 9:36, John 9:38 ΚυριεKurie for the Jewish καλωςMari It is significant that Jesus approves (κυριοςkalōs well) the application of both titles to himself as he accepts from Thomas the terms τεοςkurios and ειμι γαρtheos

For I am
(eimi gar). Jesus distinctly claims here to be both Teacher and Lord in the full sense, at the very moment when he has rendered this menial, but symbolic, service to them. Here is a hint for those who talk lightly about “the peril of worshipping Jesus!”

Verse 14

If I then (ει ουν εγωei oun egō). Argumentative sense of ουνoun (therefore). Condition of first class, assumed to be true, with first aorist active indicative of νιπτωniptō “If I, being what I am, washed your feet” (as I did).

Ye also ought (και υμεις οπειλετεkai humeis opheilete). The obligation rests on you a fortiori. Present active indicative of the old verb οπειλωopheilō to owe a debt (Matthew 18:30). The mutual obligation is to do this or any other needed service. The widows who washed the saints‘ feet in 1 Timothy 5:10 did it “as an incident of their hospitable ministrations” (Bernard). Up to 1731 the Lord High Almoner in England washed the feet of poor saints (pedilavium) on Thursday before Easter, a custom that arose in the fourth century, and one still practised by the Pope of Rome.

Verse 15

An example (υποδειγμαhupodeigma). For the old παραδειγμαparadeigma (not in N.T.), from υποδεικνυμιhupodeiknumi to show under the eyes as an illustration or warning (Matthew 3:7), common in the papyri for illustration, example, warning, here only in John, but in James 5:10; 2 Peter 2:6; Hebrews 4:11; Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 9:26. Peter uses τυποιtupoi (1 Peter 5:3) with this incident in mind. In Judges 1:7 δειγμαdeigma (without υποhupo) occurs in the sense of example.

That ye also should do (ινα και υμεις ποιητεhina kai humeis poiēte). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the present active subjunctive of ποιεωpoieō (keep on doing). Doing what? Does Jesus here institute a new church ordinance as some good people today hold? If so, it is curious that there is no record of it in the N.T. Jesus has given the disciples an object lesson in humility to rebuke their jealousy, pride, and strife exhibited at this very meal. The lesson of the “example” applies to all the relations of believers with each other. It is one that is continually needed.

Verse 16

Is not greater (ουκ εστιν μειζωνouk estin meizōn). Comparative adjective of μεγαςmegas (greater) followed by the ablative case κυριουkuriou (contrast between slave, lord) and του πεμπσαντοςtou pempsantos [articular participle of πεμπωpempō to send, with contrast with apostle, “one sent” (αποστολοςapostolos) from αποστελλωapostellō ]. Jesus here enforces the dignity of service. In Luke 22:27 Jesus argues this point a bit. In Luke 6:40 the contrast is between the pupil and the teacher, though some pupils consider themselves superior to the teacher. In Matthew 10:24 Jesus uses both forms of the saying (pupil and slave). He clearly repeated this λογιονlogion often.

Verse 17

If ye know (ει οιδατεei oidate). Condition of first class assumed as true, ειei and present (οιδατεoidate used as present) active indicative.

If ye do (εαν ποιητεean poiēte). Third-class condition, εανean and present active subjunctive, assumed as possible, “if ye keep on doing.” Both conditions with the one conclusion coming in between, “happy are ye.” Just knowing does not bring happiness nor just occasional doing.

Verse 18

Not of you all (ου περι παντωνou peri pantōn). As in John 13:11, he here refers to Judas whose treachery is no surprise to Jesus (John 6:64, John 6:70).

Whom I have chosen (τινας εχελεχαμηνtinas exelexamēn). Indirect question, unless τιναςtinas is here used as a relative like ουςhous The first aorist middle indicative of εκλεγωeklegō is the same form used in John 6:70. Jesus refers to the choice (Luke 6:13 εκλεχαμενοςeklexamenos this very word again) of the twelve from among the large group of disciples.

That the scripture might be fulfilled (Τατ τε σχριπτυρε μιγτ βε φυλφιλλεδall' hina hē graphē plērōthēi). See the same clause in John 17:12. Purpose clause with αλλ ινα η γραπη πληρωτηιhina and first aorist passive subjunctive of ιναplēroō This treachery of Judas was according to the eternal counsels of God (John 12:4), but none the less Judas is responsible for his guilt. For a like elliptical clause see John 9:3; John 15:25. The quotation is from the Hebrew of Psalm 41:9.

He that eateth
(πληροωho trōgōn). Present active participle of old verb to gnaw, to chew, to eat, in N.T. only in John (John 6:54, John 6:56, John 6:57, John 6:58; John 13:18) and Matthew 26:38. lxx has here ο τρωγωνho esthiōn

Lifted up his heel against me
(ο εστιωνepēren ep' eme tēn pternan autou). First aorist active indicative of επηρεν επ εμε την πτερναν αυτουepairō επαιρωPterna old word for heel, only here in N.T. The metaphor is that of kicking with the heel or tripping with the heel like a wrestler. It was a gross breach of hospitality to eat bread with any one and then turn against him so. The Arabs hold to it yet.

Verse 19

From henceforth (απ αρτιap' arti). “From now on,” as in John 14:7; Matthew 23:39; Revelation 14:13.

Before it come to pass (προ του γενεσταιpro tou genesthai). ΠροPro with ablative of the articular second aorist middle infinitive γινομαιginomai (before the coming to pass).

When it is come to pass
(οταν γενηταιhotan genētai). Indefinite relative clause with οτανhotan and the second aorist middle subjunctive of γινομαιginomai “whenever it does come to pass.”

That ye may believe
(ινα πιστευητεhina pisteuēte). Purpose clause with ιναhina and present active subjunctive of πιστευωpisteuō “that ye may keep on believing.” Cf. Isaiah 48:5.

That I am he
(οτι εγω ειμιhoti egō eimi). As Jesus has repeatedly claimed to be the Messiah (John 8:24, John 8:58, etc.). Cf. also John 14:29 (πιστευσητεpisteusēte here); John 16:4.

Verse 20

Whomsoever I send (αν τινα πεμπσωan tina pempsō). More precisely, “If I send any one” (third-class condition, ανεανan = τιναean and πεμπσωtina indefinite pronoun accusative case, object of πεμπωpempsō first aorist active subjunctive of ει τιςpempō to send). This use of εαν τιςei tis or οστιςean tis (if any one) is very much like the indefinite relative ος ανhostis and εανhos an (or ει τις τελειean), but the idiom is different. In Mark 8:34. we have both ος εανei tis thelei and οτι ανhos ean while in John 14:13. we find εαν τιhoti an and ean ti (Robertson, Grammar, p. 956).

Verse 21

He was troubled in the spirit (εταραχτη τοι πνευματιetarachthē toi pneumati). First aorist passive indicative of ταρασσωtarassō and the locative case of πνευμαpneuma See note on John 11:33 and note on John 12:27 for this use of ταρασσωtarassō for the agitation of Christ‘s spirit. In John 14:1, John 14:27 it is used of the disciples. Jesus was one with God (John 5:19) and yet he had our real humanity (John 1:14).

Testified (εμαρτυρησενemarturēsen). First aorist active indicative of μαρτυρεωmartureō definite witness as in John 4:44; John 18:37.

One of you shall betray me
(εις εχ υμων παραδωσει μεheis ex humōn paradōsei me). Future active of παραδιδωμιparadidōmi to betray, the word so often used of Judas. This very language occurs in Mark 14:18; Matthew 26:21 and the idea in Luke 22:21. Jesus had said a year ago that “one of you is a devil” (John 6:70), but it made no such stir then. Now it was a bolt from the blue sky as Jesus swept his eyes around and looked at the disciples.

Verse 22

Looked one on another (εβλεπον εις αλληλουςeblepon eis allēlous). Inchoative imperfect of βλεπωblepō “began to glance at one another in bewilderment” (doubting, απορουμενοιaporoumenoi present passive participle of απορεωaporeō to be at a loss, to lose one‘s way, αa privative and ποροςporos way). They recalled their strife about precedence and Judas betrayed nothing.

Concerning whom he spake (περι τινος λεγειperi tinos legei). Indirect question retaining present active indicative λεγειlegei See same on Mark 14:19; note on Matthew 26:22; and note on Luke 22:23.

Verse 23

Was at the table reclining in Jesus‘ bosom (ην ανακειμενος εν τωι κολπωι του Ιησουēn anakeimenos en tōi kolpōi tou Iēsou). No word for “table” in the text. Periphrastic imperfect of ανακειμαιanakeimai to lie back, to recline. ΚολποςKolpos usual word for bosom (John 1:18).

Whom Jesus loved (ον ηγαπα Ιησουςhon ēgapa Iēsous). Imperfect active of αγαπαωagapaō John‘s description of himself of which he was proud (John 19:26; John 20:2; John 21:7, John 21:20), identified in John 21:24 as the author of the book and necessarily one of the twelve because of the “explicit” (Bernard) language of Mark (Mark 14:17; Luke 22:14). John son of Zebedee and brother of James. At the table John was on the right of Jesus lying obliquely so that his head lay on the bosom of Jesus. The centre, the place of honour, Jesus occupied. The next place in rank was to the left of Jesus, held by Peter (Westcott) or by Judas (Bernard) which one doubts.

Verse 24

Beckoneth (νευειneuei). Old verb to nod, in N.T. only here and Acts 24:10. They were all looking in surprise at each other.

Tell us who it is of whom he speaketh (ειπε τις εστιν περι ου λεγειeipe tis estin peri hou legei). Second aorist active imperative with indirect question (τιςtis) and relative clause (περι ουperi hou). Peter was cautious, but could not contain his curiosity. John in front of Jesus was in a favourable position to have a whispered word with him.

(στητοςstēthos). As in John 21:20; Luke 18:13 in place of κολπονkolpon (John 13:23). This is the moment represented in Leonardo da Vinci‘s “Last Supper,” only he shows the figures like the monks for whom he painted it.

Verse 25

He (εκεινοςekeinos). “That one” (John).

Leaning back (αναπεσωνanapesōn). Second aorist active participle of αναπιπτωanapiptō to fall back.

As he was
(ουτωςhoutōs). “Thus.” It was easily done.

Verse 26

He (εκεινοςekeinos). Emphatic pronoun again.

For whom I shall dip the sop (ωι εγω βαπσω το πσωμιονhōi egō bapsō to psōmion). Dative case of the relative (ωιhōi) and future active of βαπτωbaptō to dip (Luke 16:24). ΠσωμιονPsōmion is a diminutive of πσωμοςpsōmos a morsel, a common Koiné word (in the papyri often), in N.T. only in this passage. It was and is in the orient a token of intimacy to allow a guest to dip his bread in the common dish (cf. Rth 2:14). So Mark 14:20. Even Judas had asked: “Is it I?” (Mark 14:19; Matthew 26:22).

Giveth it to Judas
(διδωσιν Ιουδαιdidōsin Ioudāi). Unobserved by the others in spite of Christ‘s express language, because “it was so usual a courtesy” (Bernard), “the last appeal to Judas‘ better feeling” (Dods). Judas now knew that Jesus knew his plot.

Verse 27

Then entered Satan into him (τοτε εισηλτεν εις εκεινον ο Σαταναςtote eisēlthen eis ekeinon ho Satanas). The only time the word Satan occurs in the Gospel. As he had done before (John 13:2; Luke 22:3) until Christ considered him a devil (John 6:70). This is the natural outcome of one who plays with the devil.

That thou doest, do quickly (ο ποιεις ποιησον ταχειονHo poieis poiēson tacheion). Aorist active imperative of ποιεωpoieō “Do more quickly what thou art doing.” ΤαχειονTacheion is comparative of ταχεωςtacheōs (John 11:31) and in N.T. only here, John 20:4; Hebrews 13:19, Hebrews 13:23. See the eagerness of Jesus for the passion in Luke 12:50.

Verse 28

No one knew (ουδεις εγνωoudeis egnō). Second aorist active indicative of γινωσκωginōskō The disciples had not yet perceived the treacherous heart of Judas.

Verse 29

Some thought (τινες εδοκουνtines edokoun). Imperfect active of δοκεωdokeō Mere inference in their ignorance.

The bag (το γλωσσοκομονto glōssokomon). See note on John 12:6 for this word.

What things we have need of
(ων χρειαν εχομενhōn chreian echomen). Antecedent (ταυταtauta) of the relative (ονhon) not expressed.

For the feast
(εις την εορτηνeis tēn heortēn). The feast of unleavened bread beginning after the passover meal and lasting eight days. If this was twenty-four hours ahead of the passover meal, there was no hurry for next day would be in ample time.

Or that he should give something to the poor
(η τοις πτωχοις ινα τι δωιē tois ptōchois hina ti dōi). Another alternative in their speculation on the point. Note prolepsis of τοις πτωχοιςtois ptōchois (dative case) before ινα δωιhina dōi (final clause with ιναhina and second aorist active subjunctive of διδωμιdidōmi).

Verse 30

Having received the sop (λαβων το πσωμιονlabōn to psōmion). Second aorist active participle of λαμβανωlambanō Judas knew what Jesus meant, however ignorant the disciples. So he acted “straightway” (ευτυςeuthus).

And it was night (ην δε νυχēn de nux). Darkness falls suddenly in the orient. Out into the terror and the mystery of this dreadful night (symbol of his devilish work) Judas went.

Verse 31

Now (νυνnun). Now at last, the crisis has come with a sense of deliverance from the presence of Judas and of surrender to the Father‘s will (Westcott).

Is glorified (εδοχαστηedoxasthē). First aorist passive of δοχαζωdoxazō consummation of glory in death both for the Son and the Father. For this verb in this sense see note on John 7:39; note on John 12:16 and note later on John 17:4. Four times here in John 13:31.

Verse 32

In himself (εν αυτωιen hautōi). Reflexive pronoun. God is the source of the glory (John 17:5) and is the glory succeeding the Cross (the glory with the Father in heaven).

And straightway (και ευτυςkai euthus). No postponement now. First and quickly the Cross, then the Ascension.

Verse 33

Little children (τεκνιαteknia). Diminutive of τεκναtekna and affectionate address as Jesus turns to the effect of his going on these disciples. Only here in this Gospel, but common in 1John (1 John 2:1, etc.), and nowhere else in N.T.

Yet a little while (ετι μικρονeti mikron). Accusative of extent of time. See also John 7:33; John 8:21 (to which Jesus here refers); John 16:16-19.

So now I say unto you
(και υμιν λεγω αρτιkai humin legō arti). This juncture point (αρτιarti) of time relatively to the past and the future (John 9:25; John 16:12, John 16:31).

Verse 34

New (καινηνkainēn). First, in contrast with the old (αρχαιοςarchaios παλαιοςpalaios), the very adjective used in 1 John 2:7) of the “commandment” (εντοληνentolēn) at once called old (παλαιαpalaia). They had had it a long time, but the practice of it was new. Jesus does not hesitate, like the Father, to give commandments (John 15:10, John 15:12).

That ye love one another (ινα αγαπατε αλληλουςhina agapāte allēlous). Non-final use of ιναhina with present active subjunctive of αγαπαωagapaō the object clause being in the accusative case in apposition with εντοληνentolēn Note the present tense (linear action), “keep on loving.”

Even as
(κατωςkathōs). The measure of our love for another is set by Christ‘s love for us.

Verse 35

By this (εν τουτωιen toutōi). Locative case with ενen “In this way,” viz., “if ye have love” (εαν αγαπην εχητεean agapēn echēte), condition of third class (in apposition with εν τουτωιen toutōi) with εανean and present active subjunctive of εχωechō (“keep on having love”). See John 17:23 where Jesus prays for mutual love among the disciples “that the world may know” that the Father sent him. Jerome (ad Galat. vi. 10) says that in his extreme old age John repeated often this command of Jesus and justified it: “Because it is the Lord‘s commandment; and if it be fulfilled it is enough.” See also John 14:31. Tertullian (Apol. 39) urges it also as proof of being disciples. Hatred of one another per contra, is an argument that we are not disciples (learners) of Jesus.

Verse 36

Whither goest thou? (που υπαγεισpou hupageis). Peter is puzzled just as the Pharisees were twice (John 7:35; John 8:21.).

Verse 37

“Why can I not follow thee even now?” (δια τι ου δυναμαι σοι ακολουτειν αρτιdia ti ou dunamai soi akolouthein arti). The use of αρτιarti (right now, this minute) instead of νυνnun (at this time, John 13:36) illustrates the impatience of Peter.

I will lay down my life for thee (τεν πσυχην μου υπερ σου τησωten psuchēn mou huper sou thēsō). Future active indicative of τιτημιtithēmi Peter, like the rest, had not yet grasped the idea of the death of Christ, but, like Thomas (John 11:16), he is not afraid of danger. He had heard Christ‘s words about the good shepherd (John 10:11) and knew that such loyalty was the mark of a good disciple.

Verse 38

Wilt thou lay down? (τησεισthēseis). Jesus picks up Peter‘s very words and challenges his boasted loyalty. See such repetition in John 16:16, John 16:31; John 21:17.

Shall not crow (πωνησηιphōnēsēi). Aorist active subjunctive of πωνεωphōneō to use the voice, used of animals and men. Note strong double negative ου μηou mē Mark adds διςdis (twice). John‘s report is almost identical with that in Luke 22:34. The other disciples joined in Peter‘s boast (Mark 14:31; Matthew 26:35).

Till thou hast denied
(εως ου αρνησηιheōs hou arnēsēi). Future middle indicative or aorist middle subjunctive second person singular (form identical) with compound conjunction εως ουheōs hou (until which time), “till thou deny or deniest” (futurum exactum needless). Peter is silenced for the present. They all “sat astounded and perplexed” (Dods).


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 13:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 31st, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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