John 13:1-17, 31b-35

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


1 Now before the festival of the Passover,A JesusB knewC that his hour had come to depart from this worldD and go to the Father. Having lovedE his ownF who were in the world, he loved them to the end.G 

Notes on verse 1

A “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.”
B “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.
C “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.
D “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.
E “loved” = agapao. This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.
F “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).
G “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 devilH had already putI it into the heartJ of JudasK son of SimonL IscariotM to betrayN him.

Notes on verse 2a

H “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.
I “put” = ballo. Related to “devil” in v2. See note H above.
J “heart” = kardia. 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.
K “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.
L “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.”
M “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.
N “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 during supper 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had givenO all things into his hands,P and that he had come from GodQ and was goingR to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe,S and tied a towelT aroundU himself. 

Notes on verses 2b-4

O “given” = didomi. Related to “betray” in v2. See note N above.
P “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.
Q “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
R “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.
S “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.
T “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.
U “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.

5 Then he poured water into a basinV and began to washW the disciples’X feet and to wipeY them with the towel that was tied around him. 

He came to Simon Peter,Z who said to him, “Lord,AA are you going to wash my feet?” 

Notes on verses 5-6

V “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.
W “wash” = nipto. Related to “basin” in v5. 17x in NT. See note V above.
X “disciples’” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from mathnao (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.
Y “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 kneed, squeeze)}. This is to knead something out, which figuratively indicates wiping something off or wiping it dry.
Z “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.
AA “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.

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

Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”CC

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no shareDD with me.” 

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

Notes on verses 7-9

BB “understand” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience
CC {untranslated} = eis + ho + aion. Literally “into the age” or “forever.” 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.
DD share” = meros. This is a part, a share, or a portion.

10 Jesus said to him, “One who has bathedEE does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirelyFF clean.GG 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

EE “bathed” = louo. 5x in NT. This is bathing and washing. It can be literal or ritual cleansing, but refers particularly to the whole body.
FF “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.”
GG “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 on his robe, and had returned to the table,HH he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me TeacherII and Lord—and you are right,JJ for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also oughtKK to wash one another’s feet. 

Notes on verses 12-14

HH “returned to the table” = 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.
II “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.
JJ “you are right” = kalos + lego. Literally “rightly you say.” Kalos is good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy. This is external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues. A different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good.
KK “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.

15 For I have set you an example,LL that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly,MM I tell you, servantsNN are not greater than their master,OO nor are messengersPP greater than the one who sentQQ them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessedRR if you do them. 

Notes on verses 15-17

LL “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.
MM “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.
NN “servants” = 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).
OO “master” = kurios. Same as “Lord” in v6.
PP “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)}. 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.
QQ “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.
RR “blessed” = makarios. From makar (happy). This is blessed, happy, or fortunate. It is when God’s grace/abundance is extended.

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of ManSS has been glorified,TT and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 

33 Little children,UU I am with you only a little longer.

Notes on verses 31-33a

SS “Man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
TT “glorified” = doxazo. Related to “thought” in v29. From doxa (glory, opinion, praise, honor, renown; particularly used as a quality of God or manifestation of God – splendor); from dokeo (see note BB above). 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.
UU “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.

You will look forVV me; and as I said to the JewsWW so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going,XX you cannot come.’ 34 I give you a newYY commandment,ZZ that you loveAAA one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have loveBBB for one another.”

Notes on verses 33b-35

VV “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.
WW “Jews” = ioudaios. Related to “Judas” in v2. From Ioudas (See note K above). This is Jewish, a Jew, or Judea.
XX “going” = hupago. Same as “going” in v3.
YY “new” = kainos. This is not new as in new versus old. This is new in the sense of novel, innovative, or fresh.
ZZ “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 G above)]}. This is an order, command, ordinance, or law. It focuses on the purpose of the command and its end result.
AAA “love” = agapao. Same as “loved” in v1.
BBB “love” = agape. Related to “loved” in v1. From agapao (see note E above).This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.

Image Credit: “Christ Washing the Feet of his Disciples” at Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, circa 1210.

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