The Lord knew His time was up (13:1), His “hour” was come. He called it “mine hour” (John 2:4), but He also told His enemies that it was “your hour” (Lu.22:53). Well, which was it? It was their hour, but it was His too, because He knew His Father would use it to glorify Himself. Are your enemies making this a miserable hour in your life? If you believe Romans 8:28 you can make their hour yours.
The Lord proved soul sleep isn’t true when He said that the hour had come for Him to depart out of the world to the Father (13:1 cf. Eccl.12:7; IICor.5:8; Phil.1:23). We know He loved “His own which were in the world” because He taught them (Mark 6:34). Don’t ever think churches that minister to people’s physical needs love people more us. Then Lord loved them “unto the end” of His life, even though He knew that Peter was about to deny Him (Mt.26:34) and the rest would scatter (Zech.13:7).
How did the devil put it in Judas’ heart to betray the Lord (John 13:2)? He didn’t overpower his will. Judas was already a thief (12:6), and so it was easy to tempt him to sell the Lord out for money (Mt.26:14-16). Satan can’t put anything in your heart that you’re not inclined to do.
The Lord knew from the beginning that Judas would betray Him (John 6:64). He knew it when He made him treasurer, He knew it when He sent him to preach the gospel. Don’t ever think your life is such a mess that God can’t use you!
The Father gave all things into the Lord’s hands (13:3), meaning He gave Him the power to give eternal life (3:35,36 cf. 17:1,2). When the Lord left, He put men in charge of this power (Mt.28:18,19). Use it!
The Lord knew He was going to God (John 13:4). So what was on His bucket list? At this last supper they were fighting over who’d be the greatest in the kingdom (Lu. 22:14-24), so He decided that they needed a lesson in humility. He knew He came from God, but He washed their feet (John 13:4,5). Proud men wouldn’t (Lu.7:40-44).
Peter objected (Jo.13:6), but the Lord assured him he’d un-derstand after He rose again, after the forty day seminar on the kingdom (Acts 1:3) when He’d explain that they would be a nation of priests (Isa.61:6). Priests had to have their feet washed (Ex.30;19-21). Not knowing this at that time, Peter objects again (Jo.13:8). He was always telling the Lord what He could and couldn’t do (Mt.16:22)—like us!
The Lord explained to Peter that he could have “no part” with Him if he didn’t get his feet washed (Jo.13:8). All saved Jews are said to rise in the first resurrection and are made priests (Rev.20:6). That’s why the Lord said if they didn’t get their feet washed, they could have no part with Him, for they were heading into that kingdom as priests.
When Peter then asked to be washed all over, the Lord explained that he was already washed (John 13:9,10) so only needed his feet washed. The initial washing of the priests came when they were initiated (Ex.29:1-4), then came the washing of their feet in Exodus 30:19-21. The apostles were washed when they were baptized with water when they were saved, but needed the washing of water of the Word (Eph.5:26) that would come at Pentecost when they’d be filled with the Spirit and controlled by Him (Ezek.36:25) by being filled with the Word (Jer. 31:33) that would cleanse their walk, and they wouldn’t be able to sin any more (IJohn 3:9; 5:18).
Most churches don’t see this passage dispensationally, and so try to apply the details to us. They know the overall washing (John 13:10) speaks of salvation, though they wouldn’t admit they had to be baptized to be saved (Mar. 16:16; Acts 2:38). They see the washing of feet as what is needed to cleanse the daily walk, which is done by the Word (Ps.119:9), but they don’t realize that if applied to us, we could lose our salvation and have “no part” with the Lord if we didn’t cleanse our daily walk. That’s a problem!
Finally, the Lord was trying to teach two things by washing their feet: humility, and that they would be priests in the kingdom. He was not trying to teach that we should have foot-washing services in the dispensation of grace!