6 Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, "Lord, do you
wash my feet?"
7 Jesus answered him,
"You donít know what I am doing now, but you will understand later."
8 Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet!"
Jesus answered him, "If I donít wash you, you have no part with me."
9 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"
10 Jesus said to him, "Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed,
but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you."
11 For he knew him who would betray him, therefore he said, "You are not all clean."
12 So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back
and sat down again, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?
13 You call me, ĎTeacherí and ĎLord.í You say so correctly, for so I am.
14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet,
you also ought to wash one anotherís feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.
16 Most assuredly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord,
neither one who is sent greater than he who sent him.
17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
18 I donít speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen.
But that the Scripture may be fulfilled,
ĎHe who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.í
19 From now on, I tell you before it happens,
that when it happens, you may believe that I AM.
20 Most assuredly I tell you, he who receives whomever I send,
receives me; and he who receives me, receives him who sent me."
vs 2 Judas came to the feast as a hypocrite with every intent to betray the Lord while feigning belief in him. 2Peter 2 gives an extensive description of the licentious partly of which he describes as "reveling in their deceit while they feast with you".
vs 3-5 Here we see a great contrast in the fact that it speaks of Jesus about to enter his glory returning to the Father yet in humility he condescends to the menial and earthy task of washing his disciple's feet, indicating that much as it's the parent's job to change their baby's diapers, so the dirty job is often the task of those in charge. Feet washing was a common practice at the time as people wore sandals and the roads were dusty and full of animal dung. Therefore just as it is common today in some households to remove one's shoes upon entering a house, so it was common then to wash feet. This was carried out either by a servant or by the person himself. When Jesus entered the house of Simon the Pharisee he later criticized him saying, "I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet." Luke 7:44 For Simon was not being particularly hospitable.
But it is interesting at the Passover feast that it was after supper the he washed their feet! Why after supper and not before? You will notice later that Judas also doesn't leave until after supper, indeed it wasn't until after Judas had eaten and drank of the communion bread and wine that he left. These events are correlated. For while Judas was present among them partaking of the feast of communion, their feet were dirty.
vs 6-11 If we don't allow the Lord to serve us, then we can have no part of him. For if we do not allow the Lord to go through the pain and humiliation of suffering and dying for us, he will have nothing to do with us. There are two allegories here with the feet washing. One is that while we are in the world, the assembly though washed and sanctified in God's sight nonetheless will have some dirty members, like Judas which need to be washed away. This seems to be his main point as we notice a number of references to Judas. But secondarily we might also infer another analogy being on an individual basis, we are washed clean of our sins, but there are also sins incurred as we walk on the earth from which we need periodically to be washed (1John 1:9) Analogous to this also is the temple ceremonies established under the Law of Moses in which prior to entry into the Holy Place one would wash in the Bronze laver. "Make a bronze basin, with its bronze stand, for washing. Place it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and put water in it. Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet with water from it. Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die." Ex 30:18-20
vs 12-17 Many today emphasize Jesus being Savior, and somewhat overlook what else he is. Jesus is Lord and accepting him as Lord obligates us to obey him. But another aspect we should realize is that Jesus is a teacher. And that is clearly evident not simply because he says so, but from his ministry in the gospels. He's always teaching something, even when he serves. Following Jesus means that we also need to be teachers, though maybe not in an official capacity. And as most teachers know, teaching is not simply telling, nor is learning simply a matter of listening. As for washing one another's feet, I don't think this is to be taken literally as some groups do. More importantly is the allegorical applications I mentioned above.
vs 18 And once again his reference to Judas in the context of this foot washing affirms the idea of cleansing the leaven from the group. (Notice also the correlation between "heel" and "feet")
vs 20 Previously Jesus spoke of the correlation between people accepting the Father and people accepting him. Now there is a further correlation. Those who receive the believers also receive Christ and therefore also receive the Father. John later writes, "We are of God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not of God doesnít listen to us." 1John 4:6 And we will hear Jesus speak more of the disciple's mission in the chapters following.