Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 13:6

So He *came to Simon Peter. He *said to Him, "Lord, do You wash my feet?"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Apostles;   Feet;   Foot;   Jesus, the Christ;   Peter;   Thompson Chain Reference - Fall;   Peter;   Simon Peter;   The Topic Concordance - Disciples/apostles;   Knowledge;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Feet, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eating, Mode of;   Foot;   Humility;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Peter;   Slave;   Water;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Follow, Follower;   Humility;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel According to;   Laver;   Sandal;   Synagogue;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Foot;   Gestures;   Holy Week;   John, the Gospel of;   Servant of the Lord, the;   The Last Supper;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Foot;   Humility;   Peter;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Complacency;   Death of Christ;   Feet (2);   Humility;   Ideas (Leading);   Imagination;   Lord's Supper. (I.);   Love (2);   Paradox;   Peter;   Peter (2);   Purity (2);   Redemption (2);   Sacrifice (2);   Service;   Upper Room (2);   Water (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Laver;   Shoes;   Washing;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Feet;   Judas;   Passover;   Washing;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Washing of the hands and feet;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Sandal;   Synagogue;   Washing the Hands and Feet;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Feet (wash);  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Foot;   Lord's Supper (Eucharist);   Peter, Simon;   Washing of Feet;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for November 17;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Lord, dost Thou wash My feet? - Every word here is exceedingly emphatic. Peter had often seen the great humility of his Lord, but never saw his condescension so particularly marked as in this instance.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 13:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Dost thou wash my feet? - Every word here is emphatic. Dost thou - the Son of God, the Messiah - perform the humble office of a servant - toward me, a sinner? This was an expression of Peter‘s humility, of his reverence for Jesus, and also a refusal to allow him to do it. It is possible, though not certain from the text, that he came to Simon Peter first.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 13:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

So he cometh to Simon Peter. He saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

Peter was certainly among them who coveted the position of "head man" in the coming kingdom; and the paradox of Jesus the Lord of life stooping to wash his feet was such an incongruous thing that Peter protested it.

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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 13:6". "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

Then cometh he to Simon Peter,.... After having washed the feet of some of the disciples, as is thought by some interpreters, and particularly the feet of Judas, without any repulse; though others are of opinion that he began with Peter, who modestly, and out of reverence to him, refuses to be washed by him:

and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet! he speaks as one surprised and astonished that Christ should offer to do any such thing to him; that he, who was the Son of the living God, should wash the feet of such a sinful man as he was; that those hands, with which he had wrought such miracles, as the opening the eyes of the blind, cleansing lepers, and raising the dead, should be employed in washing his defiled feet, the meaner and inferior parts of his body; this he thought was greatly below his dignity and character, and too much to be done by him to such a worthless creature as he was.

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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 13:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-13.html. 1999.

People's New Testament

Lord, dost thou wash my feet? The language of Peter is that of confusion, of astonishment and of remonstrance. The emphasis is on the word {thou}.

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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 13:6". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-13.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

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).

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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 13:6". "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

Dost thou wash ( σύ μου νίπτεις )? The two pronouns Thou, my, stand together at the beginning of the sentence in emphatic contrast. Dost thou of me wash the feet?

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 13:6". "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.

The Fourfold Gospel

So he cometh to Simon Peter. He saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet1?

  1. So he cometh to Simon Peter. He saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? The others were awed into silence by the strange conduct of their Master; but it accorded with the bold impulsiveness of Peter to challenge the act.

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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. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 13:6". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-13.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Господи! Тебе ли умывать мои ноги? Это слова того, кто ужасается чего-то недостойного и абсурдного. Ведь, спрашивая, что такое делает Христос, Петр как бы пытается Его удержать. Похвальная скромность, если бы послушание Богу не было еще более почтенным и досточтимым. Более того, истинное и единственное правило смирения состоит в том, чтобы мы покорялись Богу и слушались Его, подчиняя весь наш разум Его суждению. Посему все, что Он провозглашает Себе угодным, мы так же должны без колебания одобрять. Итак, наипаче всего надобно придерживаться правила истинного богопочитания. Дабы быть готовым без промедления согласиться во всем, что заповедал Бог.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 13:6". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-13.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

Ver. 6. Then cometh he to Peter] He came first to him (for the former verse sets forth his intent rather than his act of washing). And yet St Chrysostom tells of some that would needs have it, that he began with Judas. Like as the Papists say that our Saviour appeared first, after his resurrection, to the Virgin Mary; though the text be plain that he first showed himself to Mary Magdalene. These are like him in Aristotle, that thought that everywhere he saw his own shape and picture going before him.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 13:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-13.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 13:6. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: The word rendered then, does not imply either that Jesus came first to Peter, or that he had washed any other person before him; but is used in the same sense as the English particle now, without any respect to time or order, and only to imply that a minute detail was going to follow. There is great emphasis in the word Thou in this verse. Lord, dost THOU wash My feet? "THOU, who art the Son of God, the Messiah, and consequently the King of the Jews, shalt thou wash my feet, who am but a poor fisherman, who am thy disciple, and, what is still more degrading, an unworthy sinner?"

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 13:6". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-13.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. How Simon Peter refuses to admit of such a condescending act from Christ his Lord and Master, as the washing of his feet. Lord! Thou shalt never wash my feet: it is a sinful humility to refuse the offered favours 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.

Observe, 2. Our Saviour's reply to Peter's refusal. 1. He tells him, That there was more in it than the bare act of washing did at first sight import, and that he should know hereafter what he did not understand now. What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.

Learn hence, 1. That the servants of God themselves are oft-times much to seek, and cannot apprehend and understand at present the actings and dealings of God with them; they understand not either the intent or the event of God's dispensations.

2. That although God's dealings with his children and people are for a while in the dark, and are not presently made known; yet there will come a time for the clearing and evidencing of them, when they shall understand that all his dispensations were in mercy to them.

The second part of our Saviour's reply to St. Peter follows, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me: as if Christ had said, "Peter, this external act of mine in washing thy feet, doth signify something farther, and imports my washing of thy soul from the guilt and defilement of sin, without which thou canst neither have interest in me, nor communion with me."

Learn hence, 1. That so universal is the pollution of sin, that every soul stands in need of washing.

2. That Christ washeth all that have a part and interest in him, both from the guilt and pollution of all their sins.

Observe, 3. That St. Peter now understanding better what was meant by this outward washing: namely, that it did signify and represent the cleansing of the soul from the defilement of sin, he is so far from refusing that Christ should wash his feet, that he offers hands and head, and all to be washed by him; Lord, not my feet only, &c.

Learn hence, That so thoroughly sensible are the saints of the filthiness and pollution of sin, that they desire nothing more than an inward, thorough, and prevailing purification of their whole man, by the blood and Spirit of the Lord Jesus.

Observe, 4. Our Saviour's reply to St. Peter's last request, He that is washed, needeth not, save to wash his feet; plainly alluding to the custom of those countries, where going abroad barefoot, or with thin sandals, covering only a small part of their feet, they had frequent occasion to wash their feet, but need not to wash their whole bodies?

In like manner, the saints and servants of God who are already washed and cleansed by the blood of Christ from the guilt of their sins, and have a real work of renovation and sanctifiation begun in them by the Spirit of Christ, they ought to be daily purging and purifying their affections and actions, and labouring daily after further measures and degrees of sanctification.

Learn hence, 1. That the holiest, the wisest, and the best of saints, whilst here in a world of sin and temptation, do stand in need of a daily washing by repentance, and according to their renewed and repeated acts of sin.

2. That all justified persons are in God's account clean persons; Ye are clean, but not all; that is, you are justified and pardoned, sanctified and cleansed, all of you, excepting Judas, whose heart was known to Christ, though his hypocrisy was hid from the disciples.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 13:6". 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

6.] And (the οὖν taking up the narrative again at the ἤρξατο, q. d., ‘in pursuance of this intention’) He comes to Simon Peter; not first, as some have maintained, both with and without reference to the primacy of Peter:—for that would be hardly consistent (see on the preceding verse) with the context, which seems to require that the washing should have begun and been going on, before He came to Peter.

νίπτεις] art Thou washing (intending to wash) my feet? He thinks the act unworthy of the Lord; even as many think that great act of Love to have been, which was typified by it.

Notice that μου is enclitic, not emphatic, in which case it would be ἐμοῦ. The having his feet washed is a matter of course: it is the Person who is about to do it that offends him.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 13:6". 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 13:6. ἔρχεται, He cometh) He seems to have come to Peter not absolutely before all the rest, but, however, among the first; and from his case the other disciples learned that they ought not to oppose the proceeding of the Saviour. A lovely grace is ἀπεριεργία [artlessness], the obedient simplicity of believers.— κύριε, Lord) Peter on this occasion speaks thrice: in the first and third instance he calls Him, Lord: the second address is as it were a continuance of the first.— σύ μου, thou my) He takes it indignantly, as though a thing unworthy of the Lord.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 13:6". 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

Christ in the performance of this ceremony cometh to Simon Peter; whether first, or last, it is not said; and therefore the papists argue ill from hence, to prove the primacy of Peter over the rest of the apostles. Peter looks upon it with a modest, but sinful and superstitions, indignation. Samuel of old determined, that obedience to God is better than sacrifice; it is then certainly better than a compliment. Peter in this case ought not to have contradicted his Master out of a compliment to him, but to have suffered him to go on in this act of ministration. There may be a voluntary humility, and pretended reverence to Christ, which is indeed but superstition, and can be no other, if contrary to any revelation of the Divine will.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 13:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-13.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

6.Cometh he to Simon Peter—The language implies that he had washed several without opposition until he comes to Peter. Peter, therefore, clearly, was not the first washed; but he is the first and only one whose impulsive nature prompts a refusal.

Dost thou wash my feet?—The emphatic words here are thou and my. Dost thou, my God incarnate, wash my feet, who am unholy? Peter, therefore, means to exhibit humility before his Lord. But it is a noisy, self-sufficient humility, inferior to and less than the silent submission of the other disciples to their Lord. But Peter must display his humility, and so deteriorates it.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 13:6". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-13.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 13:6. He cometh therefore to Simon Peter: he saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? If the narrative of the actual foot-washing begins here, and John 13:5 is to be regarded as a general description of what is now related in detail, we must infer from the words before us that our Lord began with Peter. If, on the other hand, the washing begins with John 13:5, we learn now that our Lord only came to Peter in due course, so that whatever place that apostle had it was not the first. The point is of little moment. It is more important to mark the strong emphasis belonging to ‘thou’ and ‘my:’ ‘Lord, dost thou wash my feet?’ There may be hastiness and self-will on Peter’s part, but surely there is also deep reverence for his Lord and a spirit of genuine humility. We must bear in mind that as yet he looks at the matter only with the outward eye, and that he can hardly be expected to think of the deeper spiritual significance which the act possesses.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 13:6". "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 13:6. , apparently in the order in which they happened to be sitting, and having first washed some of the other disciples, He comes to Simon Peter, who draws up his feet out of reach and exclaims, , ; The are brought together for the sake of the contrast.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 13:6". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-13.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Lord, dost thou wash my feet? My master, my Lord, the true Son of the living God, wilt thou wash the feet of me, thy servant, thy disciple, a poor vile sinner? this must not be. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 13:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Then. = Therefore.

Simon Peter. App-141. Peter. No word for Peter. Some substitute ekeinos (he, - emphatic), but L T Trm. A WI R reject it.

Lord. Greek. kurios. App-98.

thou . . . my. The pronouns are emphatic.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 13:6". "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

Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Our language cannot bring out the intensely vivid contrast between the "Thou" [ su (Greek #4771)] and the "my" [ mou (Greek #3450)], which by bringing them together the original expresses. But every word of this question is emphatic. Thus far, and in the question itself, there was nothing but the most profound and beautiful astonishment at a condescension to him quite incomprehensible. Accordingly, though there can be no doubt that already Peter's heart rebelled against it as a thing not to be borne, Jesus ministers no rebuke as yet, but only bids him wait a little, and he should understand it all.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 13:6". "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

6. Are you going to wash my feet, Lord? You??? The others sit in amazed silence!

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 13:6". "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

(6) Then cometh he to Simon Peter.—Men who have come to these words with minds full of opinions with regard to the position of St. Peter have, of course, understood them to express that he had precedence of the other Apostles; while others have formed the opinion that Judas Iscariot was first. It is a point of no importance, and cannot be determined. The natural impression from this verse, however, is that St. Peter’s turn came after that of at least one other, and the impression from John 13:24-25 is that St. John himself, being nearest to his Master, was that other.

Lord, dost thou wash my feet?—For the title, comp. Matthew 16:22. The word “Thou” is to be strongly emphasised, but the common error of reading “my” as an emphatic word is to be avoided. The act is in itself natural; perhaps is even one that he had expected from some of the less prominent in the apostolic band. What he cannot understand is that his Master should do it. “Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?” Comp. with this feeling of the Apostle at the close of our Lord’s life that of John the Baptist at its commencement (Matthew 3:14-15).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 13:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
Peter
Gr. he. Lord.
1:27; Matthew 3:11-14; Luke 5:8
Reciprocal: Genesis 19:18 - GeneralExodus 18:17 - not good;  2 Samuel 6:20 - glorious;  Jeremiah 13:2 - according;  Matthew 3:14 - John;  Matthew 8:8 - I am;  Matthew 16:22 - began;  Mark 8:32 - Peter;  John 13:8 - If

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 13:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-13.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

6.Lord, dost thou wash my feet? This speech expresses strong dislike of the action as foolish and unsuitable; for by asking what Christ is doing, he puts out his hand, as it were, to push him back. The modesty would be worthy of commendation, were it not that obedience is of greater value in the sight of God than any kind of honor or service, or rather, if this were not the true and only rule of humility, to yield ourselves in obedience to God, and to have all our senses regulated by his good pleasure, so that every thing which he declares to be agreeable to Him shall also be approved by us, without any scruple. We ought, therefore, above all, to observe this rule of serving God, that we shall be always ready to acquiesce, without delay, as soon as he issues any command.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 13:6". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-13.html. 1840-57.