John 13:1-17, 31b-35

John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Maundy Thursday ABC


1 Now before the festivalI of the Passover,II JesusIII knewIV

Notes on verse 1a

I “festival” = heorte. This is a holiday or feast.
II “Passover” = Pascha. From Aramaic corresponding to Hebrew pesach (Passover or the offering for Passover); from pasach (to stop, pass over, skit over, to spare). This is Passover – used for the feast, the lamb of sacrifice, the day, and the festival itself. This is where the term “paschal” comes from as in the “paschal lamb.”
III “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
IV “knew” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.

that his hourV had comeVI to departVII from this worldVIII and go to the Father.IX

Notes on verse 1b

V “hour” = hora. This is a set time or period, an hour, instant, or season. This is where the word “hour” comes from.
VI “come” = erchomai. This is to come or go.
VII “depart” = metabaino. 12x in NT. From meta (with, among, behind, beyond) + baino (to walk, to go). This is to pass over, leave, remove, change place.
VIII “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
IX “Father” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.

Having lovedX his ownXI who were in the world, he loved them to the end.XII 

Notes on verse 1c

X “loved” = agapao. Perhaps from agan (much). This is love, longing for, taking pleasure in. It is divine love or human love that echoes divine love.
XI “own” = idios. This is something that belongs to you or that is personal, private, apart. It indicates a stronger sense of possession than a simple possessive pronoun. This is where “idiot” comes from (denoting someone who hasn’t had formal training or education and so they rely on their own understanding).
XII “end” = telos. From tel– (to reach a goal or aim); This is an end, aim, purpose, completion, goal, consummation, or tax. It is completing a stage of something and everything that results from that completion. It can be literal or figurative.

The devilXIII had already decidedXIV that JudasXV

Notes on verse 2a

XIII “devil” = diabolos. From diaballo (laying a charge against someone, generally with hostility; literally, to thrust through or cast back and forth– used for slandering, accusing, or gossiping; whether or not the sentiment is true, it is spread with negative intention); {from dia (through, across, because of, thoroughly) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop)}. This is a properly a slanderer or someone who accuses falsely – criticizing unfairly with the intent to cause harm or damage character. This can also mean backbiter or malicious gossip. Also, the Slanderer, the Devil.
XIV “decided” = ballo + eis + ho + kardia. Literally, “put it into his heart.” Ballo is related to “devil” in v2. See note XIII above. Kardia is literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.
XV “Judas” = Ioudas. From Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah or Judas, meaning praised.

son of SimonXVI IscariotXVII would betrayXVIII Jesus.

Notes on verse 2b

XVI “Simon” = Simon. From Hebrew Shimon (Simon – Jacob’s son and his tribe); from shama (to hear, often implying attention and obedience). This is Simon, meaning “he who hears.”
XVII “Iscariot” = Iskariotes. 11x in NT. From Hebrew probably ish (man, husband); {perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be frail, feeble)} + qirya (city); {Aramaic corresponding to qiryah (city, building); from qarah (to happen, meet, bring about)}. Iscariot means person from Kerioth.
XVIII “betray” = paradidomi. From para (from beside, by) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is literally to hand over – hence to deliver, abandon, or betray. It implies a personal involvement.

And duringXIX supperXX Jesus, knowing that the Father had givenXXI all thingsXXII into his handsXXIII

Notes on verses 2b-3a

XIX “during” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
XX “supper” = deipnon. 16x in NT. From the same as dapane (cost or expense); from dapto (to devour). This is a dinner or a feast – a meal in the afternoon or, more commonly, the evening.
XXI “given” = didomi. Related to “betray” in v2. See note XVIII above.
XXII “all things” = pas. This is all or every.
XXIII “hands” = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.

and that he had comeXXIV from GodXXV and was goingXXVI to God, got upXXVII from supper, took offXXVIII his outer robe,XXIX

Notes on verses 3b-4a

XXIV “come” = exerchomai. Related to “come” in v1. From ek (from, from out of) + erchomai (see note VI above). This is to go out, depart, escape, proceed from, spread news abroad.
XXV “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
XXVI “going” = hupago. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (lead, bring, guide, spend, drive, carry). This is to lead under so to depart, go away, or die. It is to lead away under the command of someone else, being given a mission or objective to carry out.
XXVII “got up” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.
XXVIII “took off” = tithemi. This is to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense. Properly, it is placing something in a passive or horizontal position.
XXIX “outer robe” = himation. From heima (garment) OR from ennumi (to put on). This is the outer garment, cloak, robe, or mantle. It is worn loosely over a tunic.

andXXX tied a towelXXXI aroundXXXII himself. 

Notes on verse 4b

XXX {untranslated} = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
XXXI “towel” = lention. 2x in NT– both in this story. From Latin linteum (linen cloth; can also be a sail or awning); from linteus (linen). This is a linen cloth broadly, but can also be a towel or apron.
XXXII “tied…around” = diazonnumi. 3x in NT. From dia (through, for the sake of, across, thoroughly) + zonnumi (to gird, prepare for an active task; to gird up your loins so that you are able to move fast); {perhaps from zone (belt, waistband, purse); probably related to zugos (yoke, set of scales; what unites people in shared work; servitude or obligation); from zeugnumi (to yoke)}. This is to tie or gird around.

Then he pouredXXXIII waterXXXIV into a basinXXXV

Notes on verse 5a

XXXIII “poured” = ballo. Same as “decided” in v2. See note XIV above.
XXXIV “water” = hudor. Perhaps from huetos (rain); from huo (to rain). This is water literal or figurative. It is one of the roots that “hydrogen” and “hydroelectric” come from.
XXXV “basin” = nipter. 1x in NT. From nipto (to wash, particularly hands, feet, or face; can also mean ritual cleansing, ablution); from nizo (to cleanse). This is a basin to assist with washing hands or feet.

and beganXXXVI to washXXXVII the disciples’XXXVIII feetXXXIX and to wipeXL them with the towel that was tied around him. 

Notes on verse 5b

XXXVI “began” = archomai. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is to begin or rule.
XXXVII “wash” = nipto. Related to “basin” in v5. 17x in NT. See note XXXV above.
XXXVIII “disciples’” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
XXXIX “feet” = pous. This is foot in a literal or figurative sense.
XL “wipe” = ekmasso. 5x in NT– 4x related to Jesus being anointed by the woman & 1x of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. From ek (from, from out of) + massaomai (to chew, gnaw); {from masso (to knead, squeeze)}. This is to knead something out, which figuratively indicates wiping something off or wiping it dry.

He came to Simon Peter,XLI who saidXLII to him, “Lord,XLIII are you going to wash my feet?” 

Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing,XLIV but later you will understand.”XLV 

Notes on verses 6-7

XLI “Peter” = Petros. Related to petra (large rock that is connected and or projecting like a rock, ledge, or cliff; can also be cave or stony ground). This is Peter, a stone, pebble, or boulder.
XLII “said” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.
XLIII “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
XLIV “doing” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
XLV “understand” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience.

Peter said to him, “You will neverXLVI wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you haveXLVII no shareXLVIII with me.” 

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet onlyXLIX but also my hands and my head!”L 

Notes on verses 8-9

XLVI {untranslated} = eis + ho aion. Literally, “to the age.” Aion is from the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.
XLVII “have” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
XLVIII “share” = meros. From meiromai (to get your allotment or portion). This is a part, a share, or a portion.
XLIX “only” = monon. From monos (alone, single, remaining, mere, desolate); from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is merely, only, simply, sole. It can also imply alone.
L “head” = kephale. This is head or chief. It can be a literal head or, figuratively, a ruler or lord. It can also refer to a corner stone. This is where the word “cephalic” comes from.

10 Jesus said to him, “One who has bathedLI does not needLII to wash, except for the feet, but is entirelyLIII clean.LIV And you are clean, though not all of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

Notes on verses 10-11

LI “bathed” = louo. 5x in NT. This is bathing and washing. It can be literal or ritual cleansing, but refers particularly to the whole body.
LII “need” = echo + chreia. Echo is the same as “have” in v8. See note XLVII above. Chreia is from chraomai (to use, make use of, give what is needed, act in a specific way, request); related to chre (what is proper, fitting, or necessary). This is the is task, business, or affair. It can also be need, want, or destitution.
LIII “entirely” = holos. This is whole, complete, or entire. It is a state where every member is present and functioning in concert. This is the root of the word “whole.”
LIV “clean” = katharos. This is clean, clear, pure, unstained; clean in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense; so, also guiltless, innocent or upright; something that is pure because it has been separated from the negative substance or aspect; spiritually clean because of God’s act of purifying.

12 After he had washed their feet, had put onLV his robe, and had reclinedLVI again, he said to them, “Do you knowLVII what I have done to you? 

Notes on verse 12

LV “put on” = lambano. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note XXX above.
LVI “reclined” = anapipto. 12x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, among, anew) + pipto (to fall literally or figuratively). This is to fall back, recline, lie down. One reclined at the dinner table.
LVII “know” = ginosko. Same as “understand” in v7. See note XLV above.

13 You callLVIII me TeacherLIX and Lord, and you are right,LX for that is what I am. 

Notes on verse 13

LVIII “call” = phoneo. From phone (voice, sound, tone or noise; also a language or dialect); probably from phemi to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is to call out, summon, shout, address. It is making a sound whether of an animal, a person, or an instrument.
LIX “Teacher” = didaskalos. From didasko (to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge; in the New Testament, almost always used for teaching scripture); from dao (to learn). This is teacher or master.
LX “right” = kalos. From kalos (good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy; external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues; a different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good). This is nobly, rightly, well-perceived, seen as appealing, morally pleasing, honorably.

14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also oughtLXI to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have setLXII you an example,LXIII that you also should do as I have done to you. 

Notes on verses 14-15

LXI “ought” = opheilo. Perhaps from the base of ophelos (advantage, gain, profit); from ophello (heaped together, accumulate, increase). This is to be indebted morally or legally – having an obligation one must meet. This term came from the legal world, but was then adopted in reference to morality. In the New Testament it is used for humanity’s ethical responsibility.
LXII “set” = didomi. Same as “given” in v3. See note XXI above.
LXIII “example” = hupodeigma. 6x in NT. From hupodeiknumi (to teach, indicate, suggest, prove, exhibit, to show secretly, admonish); {from hupo (by, under, about, under someone’s authority) + deiknumi (to show, demonstrate, teach, make known)}. This is a copy or example, either to imitate or as a cautionary tale. It can be used of a specimen or sketch.

16 Very truly,LXIV I tellLXV you, slavesLXVI

Notes on verse 16a

LXIV “very truly” = amen + amen. From Hebrew amen (verily, truly, amen, truth, so be it, faithfulness); from aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. Properly, it is to be sure, certain, or firm. This is a word of emphasis indicating that something crucial follows.
LXV “tell” = lego. Same as “said” in v6. See note XLII above.
LXVI “slaves” = doulos. Perhaps from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is used for a servant or for a slave, enslaved. It refers to someone who belongs to someone else. But, it could be voluntary (choosing to be enslaved to pay off debt) or involuntary (captured in war and enslaved). It is used as a metaphor for serving Christ. Slavery was not inherited (i.e. the children of slaves were not assumed to be slaves) and slaves could buy their way to freedom. Slavery was generally on a contractual basis (that is for the duration of how long it took you to pay your debt and/or save up enough money to buy your freedom).

are not greaterLXVII than their master,LXVIII nor are messengersLXIX greater than the one who sentLXX them. 17 If you knowLXXI these things, you are blessedLXXII if you do them.

Notes on verses 16b-17

LXVII “greater” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
LXVIII “master” = kurios. Same as “Lord” in v6. See note XLIII above.
LXIX “messengers” = apostolos. From apostello (to send, send away, send forth as a messenger, to commission); {from apo (from, away from) + stello (to set, arrange, prepare, provide for); {probably from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand firm)}}. This is a messenger – someone sent out on a mission as an envoy or delegate. It can also refer to someone set at liberty. Generally, this is a messenger who is meant to be a representative of the one who sent them. They are thus, set apart on a mission literally or figuratively.
LXX “sent” = pempo. This is to send, put forth, or dispatch. This often refers to a temporary errand. It is sending someone with a focus on the place they departed from. By contrast, another Greek word, hiemi, emphasizes the destination and yet another word, stello, focuses on the motion that goes with the sending.
LXXI “know” = eido. Same as “knew” in v1. See note IV above.
LXXII “blessed” = makarios. From makar (happy); from mak– (to become long or large). This is blessed, happy, fortunate. It is when God’s grace/abundance is extended.

31 When he had gone out,LXXIII Jesus said, “Now the SonLXXIV of ManLXXV has been glorified,LXXVI and God has been glorified in him. 

Notes on verse 31

LXXIII “gone out” = exerchomai. Same as “come” in v3. See note XXIV above.
LXXIV “son” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
LXXV “man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
LXXVI “glorified” = doxazo. From doxa (glory, opinion, praise, honor, renown; particularly used as a quality of God or manifestation of God – splendor); from dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is to render or hold something as glorious, to glorify, honor, magnify, or celebrate. This is ascribing weight to something by recognizing its true value or essence.

32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.LXXVII 33 Little children,LXXVIII I am with you only a little longer.LXXIX

Notes on verses 32-33a

LXXVII “at once” = eutheos. Related to “took off” in v4. From euthus (immediately, upright, straight and not crooked); {perhaps from eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + tithemi (see note XXVIII above)}. This is directly, soon, at once.
LXXVIII “little children” = teknion. 8x in NT– 1x in John and 7x in 1 John. From teknon (child, descendant, or inhabitant); from tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is the diminutive of teknon, so little child. Figuratively, it refers to someone who is loved, endeared, a darling. It is also used for Christian converts.
LXXIX “little longer” = mikros. This is small in reference to a size or the number of something, least or less. Figuratively, it can refer to little dignity.

You will look forLXXX me, and as I said to the JewsLXXXI so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannotLXXXII come.’LXXXIII 

Notes on verse 33b

LXXX “look for” = zeteo. This is to seek, search for, desire. It is searching for something by inquiring or investigation. It can be seek in a literal or figurative sense. There is a Hebrew figure of speech “to seek God’s face” so it can also mean to worship God. Alternately, you could seek someone’s life i.e. plot to kill them.
LXXXI “Jews” = Ioudaios. Related to “Judas” in v2. From Ioudas (see note XV above). This is Jewish, a Jew, or Judea.
LXXXII “cannot” = ou + dunamai. Dunamai is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
LXXXIII “come” = erchomai. Same as “come” in v1. See note VI above.

34 I give you a newLXXXIV commandment,LXXXV that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyoneLXXXVI will knowLXXXVII that you are my disciples, if you have loveLXXXVIII for one another.”

Notes on verses 34-35

LXXXIV “new” = kainos. This is not new as in new versus old. This is new in the sense of novel, innovative, or fresh.
LXXXV “commandment” = entole. Related to “end” in v1. From entellomai (to charge, command, give orders or instructions) {from en (in, on, at, by, with) + tellomai (to accomplish); {from telos (see note XII above)}. This is an order, command, ordinance, or law. It focuses on the purpose of the command and its end result.
LXXXVI “everyone” = pas. Same as “all things” in v3. See note XXII above.
LXXXVII “know” = ginosko. Same as “understand” in v7. See note XLV above.
LXXXVIII “love” = agape. Related to “loved” in v1. From agapao (see note X above). This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.

Image credit: “Bose Monastery.” Photo by Jim Forest, 2017.

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