Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 13:12

So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Feet;   Jesus, the Christ;   Scofield Reference Index - Law of Christ;   The Topic Concordance - Examples;   Jesus Christ;   Judas Iscariot;   Receiving;   Resurrection;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Feet, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eating, Mode of;   Humility;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Family;   Humility;   Servant;   Slave;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Faith;   Follow, Follower;   Humility;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Synagogue;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Foot;   Gestures;   John, the Gospel of;   Servant of the Lord, the;   Slave/servant;   The Last Supper;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Foot;   Humility;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Ambition;   Bason;   Brotherhood (2);   Death of Christ;   Discipleship;   Discourse;   Dress (2);   Example;   Feet (2);   Humility;   Ideas (Leading);   Imagination;   Lord's Supper. (I.);   Love (2);   Messiah;   Paradox;   Redemption (2);   Sacrifice (2);   Service;   Upper Room (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Laver;   Shoes;   Washing;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Judas;   Passover;   Washing;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Washing of the hands and feet;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Synagogue;   Washing the Hands and Feet;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Feet (wash);  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Foot;   Washing of Feet;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for November 17;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Know ye what I have done - Our Lord had told Peter, in the presence of the rest, John 13:7, that he should afterwards know what was the intent and meaning of this washing; and now he begins to fulfill his promise; therefore I think it more likely that he gives a command, here, than asks a question, as he knew himself that they did not comprehend his design. On this account γινωσκετε might be translated in the imperative mood, Consider what I have done.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 13:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Know ye what … - Do you know the meaning or design of what I have done unto you?

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

So when he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and sat down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done unto you?

In John 13:4, it was stated that Jesus laid aside his garments, and here that he took them again. This laying aside and taking again of his garments has been referred by some to the analogy of Jesus' laying aside his eternal glory in order to enter human life and perform the act of human redemption, after which he resumed his eternal glory, thus making the incident of the foot-washing a figure of the salvation accomplished. The reading of rather lengthy discussions of this has failed, however, to persuade this student that any such analogy was intended. What the episode really meant, Jesus explained. "Do you know ..." has the weight of "Do you really know the meaning of what I have done unto you?"

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

So after he had washed their feet,.... Not Peter's only, but the rest of the disciples also: some have thought, that he washed only the feet of some of them, and not all; but it seems, by this expression, that he performed this service to each of them: and when he had gone through it with everyone of them:

and had taken his garments, and put them on,

and was sat down again; at the table with his disciples, supper not being yet ended; when having done his work as a servant, he reassumes the air and authority of Lord and master, and begins to teach and instruct, into the design and use of what he had been doing, which he introduces by putting this question;

he said unto them, know ye what I have done to you? They knew the outward action he had done to them, that he had washed their feet; but, as yet, they did not know the mystery of it, Christ's design in it, and what he would have them learn from it.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 13:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-13.html. 1999.

People's New Testament

Know ye what I have done to you? They knew the act, but did they comprehend its meaning?

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 13:12". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-13.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

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.

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-13.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Was set down ( ἀναπεσὼν )

Literally, having reclined. The guests reclined on couches, lying on the left side and leaning on the left hand. The table was in the hollow square or oblong formed on three sides by the couches, the fourth side being open, and the table extending beyond the ends of the couches.

Know ye ( γινώσκετε )?

Perceive or understand ye?

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-13.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Know ye; understand ye.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-13.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Когда же умыл. Теперь Христос объясняет, с какой целью омыл ноги ученикам. То же, что Он ранее говорил о духовном омовении, было как бы отступлением от основной мысли. Если бы Петр не стал Ему перечить, Христос не начал бы говорить обо всем этом. Теперь же Он открывает истинную причину Своего поступка. А именно: Он, как Учитель и Господь всех, дает пример, которому должны следовать все благочестивые. Дабы никто не тяготился служить равным себе братьям в любом самом презренном служении. Ведь небрежение любовью происходит по причине того, что каждый, думая о себе сверх положенного, презирает остальных. И Христос не просто хотел научить людей скромности, одновременно Он предписывает правило любви, дабы все взаимно служили друг другу. Ибо нет никакой любви там, где нет добровольного служения в помощи ближнему.

Знаете ли, что Я сделал вам? Мы видим, как Христос до времени скрывает нечто от учеников, дабы, испытав их послушание, в должное время открыть то, чего прежде им не нужно было знать. Он уже не ждет, когда они спросят, но Сам предваряет их вопрос. То же самое произойдет и с нами, если мы позволим Его руке вести нас даже непонятным нам путем.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-13.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

Ver. 12. Know ye what I have done to you?] This was our Saviour’s usual order, to catechise his disciples after he had said or done anything for their instruction. So did the apostles, Galatians 6:6, 1 Corinthians 14:19, and the primitive pastors; they had their Credis? credo: Abrenuncias? abrenuncio, as it were by an echo, as the word importeth. ( κατηχεω, Sicut in echo una vex his audiri debet, tam ex catechumeno, quam ex ipso catechista, Pasor.)

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 13:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-13.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

In these words our Saviour declares to his disciples his intention and design in washing of their feet: namely, to teach them, by his example, the duty of humility: that as he had performed that act of abasement towards them, so should they be ready to perform all offices of love and humble condescension one towards another: Behold, I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.

Learn thence, That humility and mutual condescension amongst the members and ministers of Jesus Christ, is a most necessary grace and duty, which the Son of God not only taught by his doctrine, but recommended and enforced by his example.

Observe farther, The argument which Christ makes use of to press the imitation of his example upon them: and that is drawn from the titles given to him by his disciples: Ye call me Master, and Lord, and so I am. Now servants ought to imitate their masters, and subjects to obey their Lord and king. Christ is a Master to teach and direct; a Lord to govern and protect. As he is a Master, we are to learn in his school: as he is Lord, we are to serve in his house: he must be submitted to as a Prince, as well as relied upon as a Saviour. It is in vain to expect salvation from him, if we do not yield subjection to him. Another argument which our Lord makes use of to press his disciples to imitate his example, is drawn from his dignity and superiority over them: The servant is not greater than his Lord.

As if Christ had said, "Though you, my disciples, are to have a very high and honourable station in the gospel church, yet let not this swell you with pride, but be you mutually condescending to each other, remembering you are yet but servants to myself, and ought to be so to one another; and the servant is not greater than his Lord.

Learn hence, 1. That whatever dignity Christ confers upon his servants and officers, yet he is over them all, superior to them, and above them.

2. That the consideration of Christ's dignity, and his minsters meanness, ought to keep their minds humble and lowly, and far from affecting superiority over their brethren; The servant is not greater than his Lord; nor he that is sent, greater than he that sent me.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 13:12". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-13.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

12. γινώσκ. τί π. .] These words are uttered, not so much in expectation of an answer, as to direct their attention to the following.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 13:12". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-13.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 13:12. ὅτε, when) On this adverb the two verbs depend, as at ch. John 12:41, “These things spake Esaias, ὅτι, or ὅτε εἶδεν τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ( ὅτε) ἐλάλησεν περὶ αὐτοῦ.”— αὐτῶν, of them) of the disciples: fresh water having been taken to wash each of them.— ἀναπεσών, lying down at table [set down again]) as their Lord. Luke 22:27, “Whether is greater he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat?”— τί) what, and for what reason.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 13:12". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-13.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

After that our Saviour had finished this ceremony, and washed his disciples’ feet, (some question whether all or no, but I see no reason to doubt it), he returned again to the supper, which probably now was near finished, which certainly was the common supper which the Jews had besides the passover supper, and probably before it, though some think after it. He asketh them if they knew the meaning of this which he had done unto them; lest they should not fully understand it, he openeth it to them in the following discourse.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 13:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-13.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Know ye; do you understand the meaning?

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-13.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus now returned to His role as the disciples" teacher, which His change of clothing and physical position indicated. He began to explain the significance of what He had done, though full comprehension would come to the disciples later ( John 13:7). His question prepared them for the lesson that followed.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-13.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 13:12. When therefore he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and had sat down again, he said unto them, Perceive ye what I have done to you? Again three particulars introduce the words of Jesus: and the frequent recurrence of this structure throughout these verses harmonizes well with the touching solemnity of the whole scene. Having washed the feet of the disciples, resumed His garments, and again taken His place at the table, Jesus proceeds to enforce the lesson of what He had done. He first awakens their attention by His question, and then proceeds.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-13.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 13:12. : “when, then, He had washed their feet and taken His garments [cf. of John 13:4] and reclined again He said to them: Know ye what I have done to you?” Do you perceive the meaning of this action? By washing their feet He had washed their heart. By stooping to this menial service He had made them all ashamed of declining it. By this simple action He had turned a company of wrangling, angry, jealous men into a company of humbled and united disciples.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 13:12". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-13.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

So after = When therefore.

what = what [it is].

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 13:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? - that is, 'Know ye the intent of it?' The question, however, was not intended to draw forth an answer, but, like many other of our Lord's questions, to summon their attention to His own answer.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-13.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

12. Do you understand? Jesus had used an ordinary thing, a custom, to teach them. He asks this question to point out the fact that they must look for some unusual meaning in what he has just done.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 13:12". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-13.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) And was set down again.—This means in the reclining position customary at meals. Comp. Luke 11:37; Luke 22:14; and in this Gospel John 6:10; John 21:20. Here it implies that the washing the feet preceded the supper (John 13:1).

Know ye what I have done to you?—This question is asked, not to be answered, but to direct their attention to what He had done, and to the interpretation which follows—“Do ye perceive what I have done? This is the meaning of it.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
Know
7; Ezekiel 24:19,24; Matthew 13:51; Mark 4:13
Reciprocal: Matthew 20:25 - called;  John 13:5 - feet;  Acts 10:17 - while

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 13:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-13.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 12. "So, after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again. He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?"

This question demanded that they should reflect on the whole transaction; and in order to lead them to this after consideration, Jesus sets before them in full what the matter had to do with them, and what His design had been.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 13:12". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-13.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

12.When then he had washed their feet. Christ at length explains what was his intention in washing the feet of his disciples; for what he had said about the spiritual washing was a sort of digression from his main design. Had it not been for the opposition made by Peter, Christ would not have spoken on that subject. Now, therefore, he discloses the reason of what he had done; namely, that he who is the Master and Lord of all gave an example to be followed by all the godly, that none might grudge to descend to do a service to his brethren and equals, however mean and low that service might be. For the reason why the love of the brethren is despised is, that every man thinks more highly of himself than he ought, and despises almost every other person. Nor did he intend merely to inculcate modesty, but likewise to lay down this rule of brotherly love, that they should serve one another; for there is no brotherly love where there is not a voluntary subjection in assisting a neighbor.

Know you what I have done? We see that Christ, for a short time, concealed his intention from his disciples, but that, after having tried their obedience, he seasonably revealed to them that which it was not expedient for them previously to know. Nor does he now wait till they ask, but of his own accord anticipates them. The same thing will be experienced by us also, provided that we suffer ourselves to be guided by his hand, even through unknown ways.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 13:12". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-13.html. 1840-57.