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 John 13:1-12



This Text is filled with practical spiritual lessons for us to learn!




The Text we are about to study is often neglected.

Basically it describes our Lord's amazing action in washing the feet of His Disciples.

The verses we shall consider are located in the first half of John's thirteenth chapter.

The account begins with these words: "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His Own which were in the world, He loved them to the end." John 13:1

The noun "feast" is hard to trace. "Heorte" really means a "festival." It is translated two different ways in our King James Bibles, "feast" 26 times and "holyday" 1 time. It hints at the spirit of joy and victory that pervaded the Passover celebration.

"Passover" is "pascha" and implies a time of suffering. Jesus endured such pain and death on the Cross of Calvary. The Passover is a picture of that Death.

The verb "know," in Greek "oida," is derived from the word "to see." It's knowledge in the sense of perception, seeing intellectually! Jesus knows all, everything! He is omniscient!

Jesus' "hour," spelled "hora" in Greek, means an appointed time or season. No doubt Jesus has in mind the hour of His Death at Golgotha. Jesus had been talking about His "Hour" since John 2:4 where He announced, "Mine hour is not yet come." If interested, also see His use of this term in John 7:30, 8:20, 12:23, 12:27 and 17:1.

Our Lord's Death led to His burial, resurrection, and subsequent ascension! That's exactly when He "departed out of this world." The verb means "to travel or to walk across." Jesus stepped from earth to Heaven!

"Unto the Father," or "pros ton pater" in Greek. That strictly means "face to face with the Father!"

Jesus, the resurrected Lord, is about to go to Heaven!

But just before He does so, He ministers to His Disciple. John's words are: "Having loved His Own which were in the world." Here "agapao" is expressed as a participle. Jesus' love for these dear men is being used in an adjectival sense. He is indeed the Loving Saviour! This of course is God's deep abiding unselfish love!

Notice that these Believers in Jesus were not merely "Christians" or "Church members" or "congregants," but "His Own!" Belonging to Jesus! It's like the Bride said in Song of Solomon, referring to her Bridegroom lover, "My Beloved is mine and I am His!" Song of Solomon 2:16

Jesus, about to ascend to Heaven, is keenly aware that His Own children were still "in the world." As you know "kosmos" means that which is orderly and arranged, this wicked world being under the hand of the devil. That's according to Jesus Himself who three times called the devil "the prince of this world!"

But now watch the kind of love Jesus offers!

He "loved them unto the end!" Now "agapao" is an aorist indicative verb. It is making a making a statement of fact! Not a question, not a wish ... but a fact!

The "end" translates "telos" and means "the goal, the finish line, an honorable conclusion!" It is birthed from "tello," meaning "to set out for a definite point!" Here is Jesus not only preaching and praying His followers to maturity, but loving them there too!

Loving folks to the point of their arriving at God's perfect goal for their lives! Which is the equivalent of "Christ being formed in them" according to Galatians 4:19. Or being "conformed to the image of His Son" in Romans 8:29. Or reaching the status of "a perfect Man," living even to "the fulness of Christ," both goals according to Ephesians 4:13.

Loved to maturity!

No wonder so many songs have been written about it, the love of God!

He loved those first Disciples "to the end."

He will do the same for us!

"Everlasting love," Jeremiah called it! But then again the Prophet was just quoting the Lord!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Several months ago we studied a Text called "Supper with Jesus!" John 12:1-8 was exposited. What a thought it is, Jesus at the table! My Uncle, a Preacher, once used our Lord's "table sermons" as a series of helpful Bible studies!

Jesus, in John 13:1-12, is again enjoying food His Father has provided.

That's the import of John 13:2. "And supper being ended." But the really sad part is the rest of the verse: "the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him."

The noun "supper" is "deipnon" and actually is the main meal of the day. It is, just as the word implies, eaten in the evening too. In agricultural economies like Israel had many folks worked in the fields most of the day, only eating substantially around sundown.

"Being ended" is "ginomai" as a middle voice aorist participle. It actually suggests something "coming to pass." It can even mean "being born." But here, as an aorist, it pictures something now being "fulfilled" or being "done."

Too in the New Testament Jesus very often ate a meal in the presence of an adversary! The Scribes, Pharisees and Chief Priests no doubt watched Him at the table, hoping for a misstatement of some kind. They were always disappointed!

Even here at the supper we're studying ... there's Judas!

Yes, Judas, who now, at least by the "false" gospel bearing his name, has been transformed into a hero! The theological liberals of our day, enemies of the Cross of Christ, attack the word "betray" as used in the Bible in reference to their protagonist!

"Paradidomai" literally means "to give" and to do so "alongside" or perhaps into the hands of another. These men and women, none of whom have much loyalty for the Scriptures, attack the translation of "paradidomai" as "betrayed." Viciously so! This is one of their main tools in transforming Judas from a traitor into a model of faith! "Wresting" the Scriptures, once said Peter, "twisting and turning" them to fit one's personal needs, his little theories!

But 40 times the King James Bible renders "paradidomai" in all its forms as "betray!" True, 53 times it's translated "deliver" also, and 10 more times "deliver up." But over three dozen uses ought to make the case for it, "betrayed," being a viable definition!

Judas betrayed Jesus!

I'll take God's Word over man's word on this issue ... any day! Like Paul said in Romans 3:4, "Let God be true, but every man a liar."

But, with today's verse, regardless of how one defines "paradidomai" or "betray" or even "hand over" ... the rest of the verse tries and convicts and condemns Judas anyway!

The "devil" had full access to his wicked heart!

Again, here's John 13:2. "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him."

"Devil" is "diabolos" and is one who "throws," in Greek "ballo," accusations and insinuations and temptations "through," the prefix "dia," someone! He is the accuser of the Brethren according to Revelation 12: 10.

He, Satan, has thrown this deadly idea into Judas' head or "heart" as stated here, or so says John under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit. "Heart" is "kardia" in Greek, from which we get such words as "cardiologist!" It means that blood pumping organ God gave us all, but also to the ancient peoples it was the seat of one's emotions, and in Hebrew thought, the place of reasoning for a man or woman.

The verb "having put" is interesting! It literally is "ballo!" The devil "threw" this temptation into Judas' heart! This perfect participle pictures completed action, yet with on-going consequences! Judas apparently could not get this "selling Jesus" idea out of his mind! Satan was relentless!

So ... Judas is guilty, no matter what role "paradidomai" has in this verse! He has followed the devil's lead!

Judas longs to "hand over" Jesus ... to the enemy!

Now who would want to eat a meal in that company?

Yet Jesus did ... and the presence of an enemy did not deter Him from His goal, serving His Disciples in a special way! Thereby our Lord would be both glorifying God the Father and instructing future Believers as well ... at the supper table!

In fact, nothing or no one could prohibit our great Lord from fulfilling His Mission! "For the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." Mark 10: 45

Jesus is about to "minister" to His Own! This particular verb, "minister," translates "diakoneo," to serve as an attendant, a domestic slave, here specifically ... to wash dirty feet!

Then, shortly hereafter, Christ Jesus will go to the Cross and die that vile sinners might be born again!


                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Jesus washed the feet of His Disciples, literally!

The Master wearing a towel, humbling Himself before eleven dirty men!

Teaching all kinds of spiritual lessons, meeting practical needs, and expressing unconditional love, Jesus continued His godly ways, always pleasing His Father!

But how could He do this, this water and foot thing?

The third verse of John chapter thirteen tells us. "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God" ... washed soiled feet!

The reason Jesus could serve others so unselfishly has just been told us!

He KNEW some things!

Three things, to be exact.

The verbal adjective "knowing" translates a form of "oida," to know positively! To understand! To perceive!

Here precisely what one knows, verse 3, has a direct bearing on what one does, verses 4 and 5. This is amazing!

"Knowing" in this case is the first word in the Greek Text, yielding great emphasis to its message. Also it is a perfect participle, depicting action already completed ... but with on-going results! Jesus had not just learned these things!

"Given" is "didomai" and means "to grant or bestow" something. "All things" include the power to lay His Life down ... or not to lay it down! Jesus Himself said: "No man taketh my life from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." John 10:18

Our Lord's assurance of possessing such Power gave Him great peace and allowed Him to graciously serve His Disciples, even at such a high-pressure time!

Jesus also knew that "He was come from God." The verb "exerchomai" means "to come out" from a Place. If one knows his origin, no identity crisis can loom just ahead! That frees him to serve others!

Then Jesus was aware that He was going back to God! "He was come from God, and went to God."

This verb "went" is "hupago" and means "to lead under!" To withdraw oneself, to go away, to depart! Again, when one knows for sure where He is going, eternally, great peace floods his or her soul! He can wash dirty feet, doing so joyfully and victoriously!

What Jesus believed impacted how He behaved!

The same will be true in our lives also!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Several hours after posting this short Bible Study, the Lord has shown me something else! Of course the more one meditates on Scripture, the more he or she "sees" into its vast depths! All three things we are told Jesus knew; that the Father had given all things into the Son's Hands, that the Son was come from God, and that He was going to return to God, are focused on the Essence of God Himself! "Theocentric" the scholars would have called them. And once these three truths were established, Jesus readily condescended to the level of a slave, washing the dirty feet of the Disciples.

If a life is properly anchored to the Lord God Almighty ... its natural outflow will be to help and encourage its Brethren in the Lord!

And it's not just a matter of service: God first ... others next!

It's a consequential thing. Because God is in the Center, resultantly one's brothers or sisters in Christ will be served!

This is that old vertical/horizontal thing again.

The Ten Commandments do it. God first, then man!

So does the Lord's prayer!

Here's John again: "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself." Feet will be bathed!




Jesus was God. He still is!

But He is God come in human flesh!

That's the very idea behind the incarnation.

And as the sinless God, yet now man too, Jesus would have done some very ordinary things while on this earth.

For example Jesus, soon after being born of the virgin Mary, lay in a manger, just a makeshift cradle.

He later worked in a carpenter shop. Think hammers and saws and planes.

He thirsted and ate, as we humans do.

The list continues, everyday activities!

But now our Text verse, John 13:4, shows Jesus at other mundane tasks. "He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself."


Our Lord eats supper!

He uses towels!

He works, girded and ready!

Standing by the table that night, at the "Last Supper" some have called it, Jesus was preparing to wash the feet of the Disciples.

The noun "garments" obviously is plural. "Himation" means one's robe or vesture or cloke. Likely our Lord removed only enough clothing, the outer layers, to enable Him to kneel and bathe those men's feet.

The noun "towel" is spelled "lention" and means a linen cloth, hence a towel. This word is only used twice in Scripture, both times here in our Text.

The verb "girded" translates "diazonnumi." It means "to wrap around" or "to bind about." As a noun our word means belt.

I suspect Jesus washed feet like He built yokes or cooked fish, doing His very best!

Little things: eating a meal, rising from the table, taking off one's coat, wrapping a towel around your waste!

How can these events alone occupy a whole verse of Scripture?

For this reason. "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." Colossians 3:17

Yes Jesus, even when sleeping on a pillow, pleased His Father in Heaven! He said: "And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him." John 8:29

And that includes the little things we ourselves do today!

Shaving, driving, talking and so much more!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Bathing the feet of one's household guests was a common act in the early days of Christianity. Such deeds were indeed necessary due to the type shoes worn and the condition of the roads, not to mention the climate. 

But somehow one evening that duty had not been performed on some men present with Jesus, His last night before the Cross!

So our Lord, always loving to His own, undertood the task.

John, an eyewitness, records it this way: "After that He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded." John 13:

Think of Jesus pouring water!

Here the verb "poureth" is a bit unusual. Normally in the New Testament "cheo" is used, with some type of prefix. I have found "ekcheo and katacheo and epicheo," all of which mean "to shed forth, to bestow or to distribute largely," albeit with slightly different shades of emphasis. Here Jesus is said to "ballo" the water! Usually meaning "throw or thrust," here we have the idea of just quickly getting the water into the bowl, but not as the main focus of the day! The water is incidental to the big picture here! It probably is also peripheral in baptism as well! We must read through the water to get to the principle behind it! I do not believe in baptismal regeneration!

The noun "water" is "hudor" and gives us such English words as "hydra" like in "dehydrated" or fire "hydrant." It is found 79 times in the New Testament, always translated just as here, "water."

A "basin" is "nipter," akin to the verb "to wash." This is the only time in all God's Word this particular word is found! As a noun I mean.

The verb "began" is spelled "archomai" and means "to be the first to do a thing!" To be the "chief" or the "leader" or the "ruler" in an act! I would say this is true of Jesus in all He did! The middle voice used here indicates a life-changing event is about to occur!

The infinitive "to wash" is "nipto," and means "to cleanse." The "present" sense of timing here tells us Jesus took a while in the process of bathing these twenty-two feet! Using the "nipto" cognates, Jesus instructed folks to wash their faces, their hands, once a blind man's eyes at the Pool of Siloam, and as here in our Text, their feet.

But Jesus did not quit there! He next "wiped" the feet carefully! "Ekmasso" means "to squeeze," but here "to squeeze out" the water on those feet. Feet in hands, rather I should write it "feet in Hands!" Human feet, frail and mortal, in the Hands of Omnipotence, omnipotent Love!

Talk about doing a job well!

Going the second mile!

Those feet would have dried anyway, given time.

But Jesus, as always, was prodigal, even lavish, in His Love for His followers!

The "towel" merely indicates a linen cloth, present at the meal but here "drafted" into foot duty! "Lention" is only used twice in the New Testament, both times here in John 13.

Then, with great meaning too, appears this little verb "was." Jesus "was" girded. It is an indicative imperfect verb, a form of "eimi" in Greek. It means "to be." But here as an imperfect, it suggests Jesus once having wrapped this towel around His waist, kept it there for quite a while, achieving with it great results! Foot-washing is a Lifestyle to the soon to be Resurrected Lord! Caring for others, cleansing His Own daily!

And of course, "girded" is "diazonnumi," meaning "to bind around with a belt." It is from the root word for "yoke," in Greek "zugos."

As a carpenter Jesus is said to have especially excelled in making yokes! No wonder one day He proclaimed: "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:30. Here our Lord "yokes" Himself to a towel and unselfishly serves others!

As I write this particular Lesson it's early on a Sunday morning, well before sunrise. I would like to challenge us all today, as we go to Church or interact with our families or fellowship with our friends in Christ ... watch for opportunities to serve them! Help someone! Lift a load! Pull in the yoke by their side! Take a towel with you wherever you go!

Let's help keep each other clean ... to the Glory of God!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Peter said something!

While Jesus was washing the Disciples' feet, Simon had a question.

"Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?" John 13:6

Now it's not unusual for Peter to be talking. He's the most outspoken of all the Disciples. And he's taken a fair amount of criticism for that, much of it deserved!

But here ... his question will be used of the Lord to begin an enlightening conversation.

Immediately I began to think of some other questions Peter asked, and comments he made too.

Some of them were immediately and strongly refuted by our Lord. For example, the day Peter tried to dissuade the Lord from going to the Cross. Matthew 16:29 tells us: "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee." Jesus responded: "And said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." Jesus came to die on that Cross, to save sinners.

But other things Peter said, including some of the questions, were quite edifying. After the Lord dealt with them anyway!

Again an example: "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" Eventually: "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." To which Jesus replied: "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." That's good, Peter!

I am still learning about some things Peter said. An instance being on the Mount of Transfiguration: "Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." I now believe Matthew 17:4 is relating Peter's desire to treat that great Event as the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles, where all God's people built booths or "tabernacles" and worshipped and rejoiced in the Lord for days!

But, back to our Verse for today. "Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?" John 13:6

When Jesus, water basin in hand and towel around the waist, came "to" Peter, the preposition "pros" indicates proximity. Jesus was in front of Peter, face to face.

Then the Name Jesus used is important. An old Bible Teacher I heard, now long with the Lord, said that when Jesus called this Disciple "Peter," His God given name, things were well. But when he was "Simon," the flesh had come to the forefront! And when it's "Simon Peter," some of each ... the old man and the new man ... is present!

Here Peter is nearly out of line, questioning anything Jesus might be about to do!

But his question, I'm so glad he asked!

"Lord, does Thou wash my feet?"

He did call Jesus "Lord," by the way! And do remember what Paul said in 1st Corinthians 12:3. "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." That's good, Peter!

But it is so good that "Peter" asked about the "feet" being washed!"

That's the part of these men that had become soiled!

Apparently they had bathed earlier in the day, and simply were not dirty!

But their feet, wearing sandals as they did, would have been dusty, then sweaty and finally ... dirty!

It's a picture of Jesus as the One Who not only saves our souls, but also cleanses us from daily defilement.

Like the Tabernacle or Temple with which these Disciples would have been so familiar, Jesus actions here are orderly and meaningful!

He has just celebrated the "Lord's Supper" with His men. The unleavened Bread and the Fruit of the Vine! That pictures the Cross of Calvary where the Blood was shed for our salvation! In Tabernacle or Temple language that's the brazen altar! The first piece of furniture one sees as he nears the Jewish place of worship!

After this great picture of Salvation ... comes the foot washing! And the very next piece of holy furniture after the Brazen Altar is the brass Laver, where water was kept for the washing of the priests' dirty feet!

And just as Jesus is the fulfillment of the Brass Altar ... He too is the Answer tot he Laver! He cleanses us from the dirt and grime of our day by day activity in this old world!

Yes, Peter, your "feet" need to be washed!

And thank you for your question!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Our Lord Jesus Christ is wise!

All wise we say!

The theological word for that quality is omniscience. It's a Latin term, derived from "omni" meaning all and "scientia" meaning knowledge!

Perhaps the Gospel of John best reflects Jesus' immeasurable Knowledge. This it does again and again.

For example, one night after Supper as Jesus began to wash the Disciples' feet, "Then cometh He to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?"

Now listen to Jesus: "Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter." John 13:7

See His Wisdom, His Knowledge?

That verb "answered" translates "apokrino" in Greek and contains their major word for "judgment!" Or "discernment!" Yes, "krino" means "to decide or to determine, to consider" ... judging in that sense. Jesus' very answer here is a function of His Omniscience!

Next let's consider that little verb "do." Actually "poieo" is a beautiful little word. It just means "to make or produce or construct or fashion or form," in other words "doing," but particularly "doing" in an aesthetic sense, a lovely way! "Poieo" actually is the basis for our English words "poet" and "poem!"

What Jesus is about to do, wash some dirty feet, is beautiful to God! An act of Grace! Poetry in motion!

Jesus knows all!

Peter knows next to nothing here!

"Thou knowest not ... now!"

The verb for "know" here includes "perception." It is "eido" or "oida." Peter just does not understand what Jesus is doing. I mean with that towel and water.

Some day Peter will "see."

The adverb "now" is spelled "arti" and means "at the present." It literally comes from a string of words that carry this idea: "to join," or "to draw close together." As these particular consecutive minutes flow, Peter does not yet understand the deep abiding meaning of this cleansing ministry Jesus has begun! Again, washing feet!

But Jesus certainly implies that some day Peter will comprehend fully what's being done.

Back to the point with which this Lesson began. Jesus knows everything! He can, as the perfect Teacher, reveal information as His followers are able to handle it!

Too much at once stifles learning anyway.

A little later this same evening, after all the feet have dried no doubt, Jesus will say to His men: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." John 16:12.

Our Lord knows that we often learn slowly, too slowly perhaps.

He also understands that we can only handle so much ... in these frail bodies.

He realizes too that He can lay the foundation now for future information to be processed, as we are able to receive it! He is doing so with Peter this very second, in our Text I mean.

Look at these last three statements that have just been made!

"Our Lord knows ...."

Then, "He also understands ...."

Plus, "He realizes too ...!"

Just other ways of saying it, Jesus is Omniscient!

Here's one more good thing about our Lord's teaching too.

"If it were not so, I would have told you." John 14:2

He not only knows what to tell us, and when to tell it! He furthermore never speaks anything untrue!

Think about that today!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




How important is holy living?

Is being a "clean" Christian optional, or essential?

We're talking now about daily living for God ... after one has been born-again!

In our society it seems that many believe that a man or woman can be "saved," yet continue to live in the filthy ways of the world.

Not so, says Jesus!

But let's begin with today's verse, John 13:8.

Jesus is washing the feet of His Disciples. It appears that He is going down the line, and Simon is next. As usual, he speaks his mind, his whole mind!

"Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."

Probably Peter believes himself to be exercising modesty and humility. "No, Lord! You can't wash my feet! I should be washing Yours!" That kind of picture is developing in Peter's heart, I think.

But Peter here is unknowingly tampering with a mighty important spiritual principle! He is about to violate a "type" of Biblical truth. Washing feet here has a deeper meaning than soap and water and basin can ever convey!

"Said," in Greek "lego," is a present indicative active verb. It indicates forethought on Peter's part.

The adverb "never" here is one of the most unusual grammatical constructions I've ever seen! It's "ou me eis ton aiona" in Greek! It means "not (ou) no (me, pronounced may) into (eis) the (ton) ages (aiona)!" Thus, "never" is literally: "no, no, not for all of eternity!" Peter leaves no doubt about it! The first negative, "ou," is often used when a positive answer would have been expected. The second negative, "me," normally implies a negative answer! Peter has covered both possibilities! Again, "ou" is usually the absolute negation! While "me" is often qualified! Again, both are employed!

No washing of Peter's feet, not today! Not by the Lord!

He undoubtedly had bathed earlier that morning or late the night before ... and would not succumb to the Lord's cleansing program!

But the Lord responds rather abruptly!

Peter, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me." Peter, no daily cleansing ... no real salvation! A truly saved man or woman MUST submit to daily bathing in the water of the Word of God!

The verb "wash," used twice in our short verse, is both times in Greek "nipto." Also both times it is framed in the subjunctive mood. This speaks of the realm of the possible, the desirable. Neither verb is imperative.

But as soon as we come to the verb "hast" as in "thou hast no part with Me," the verb used in the indicative mood! This states a blunt fact! "Echo" means "to have or to hold" something!

Peter, if you are saved, really saved, you must keep your feet clean! And that is a fact!

Again, clean feet here, as we shall see in the next couple of verses, imply daily godly living.

The noun "part" is "meros" and means allotment or inheritance or share or portion or piece!"

"No part" in Jesus ... just another way of saying "lost!"

Once a person has been washed in the Blood, he or she needs no other full "bath," using Jesus' terminology here! But he does need a daily foot washing, to be cleansed where his body has touched this dirty old earth!

Here's an example of spiritual foot washing: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1st John 1:9

I shall say more about this tomorrow, Lord willing.

It surely must be important!

More important than we realize today!

"Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."

Let Jesus' Words cleanse you today! He did say: "Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you." John 15:3

Spend time in His Word regularly!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




He went from one extreme to the other!

At first Peter refused to let the Lord bathe his feet at all!

Then, after hearing the words Jesus spoke in response, Peter reversed himself and said: "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head."

Today let's study this verse.

Peter has missed the whole point!

Jesus is washing feet here for more than one reason.

There's a practical reason, dust and dirt.

There's a spiritual reason, serving one another in humility.

But, and perhaps most important of all, there's a theological reason! A Bible principle is being illustrated, a fundamental one!

That reason actually is best explained in the next verse, which we shall discuss tomorrow, Lord willing.

But today Peter's words must be analyzed.

"Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head." John 13:9

The "feet" were so important to Jesus because they, of all the body's "members," most often "touched" the world in which these Disciples lived. They wore shoes that were merely tied on their feet, open shoes. Something like sandals someone said. No socks either. These were very susceptible to the dust and dirt and whatever else the roads or streets might present!

The Greek word for one's feet, "pous," is really the basis for several English terms, podiatry being one of them. A podiatrist is a foot doctor!

One's feet needed daily cleansing! It was necessary! So much so that good etiquette of that day insisted upon that very custom, washing the feet of one's guests shortly after they arrived in your home!

This foot washing scene in John 13 pictures for us, among other things, the fact that we Believers in Christ must be cleansed from the defilements of the world, a world in the clutches of the devil! A world filled with lust and pride and godless ways!

One's hands ("cheir") or head ("kephale") are not so inclined to get "dirty" from a walk to the city! Plus, the whole body had apparently already been bathed earlier that day!

And, as we certainly know from Scripture, one can only be truly washed in the Blood of the Lamb one time! And that "washing" is a "total" thing! "Wholly" washed, Jesus will soon say!

However, those daily spiritual "foot washings" are analogous to our regularly confessing our sins ... and forsaking them ... as we spend time in the Word of God day by day!

Saved once and for all ... washed everywhere!

Yet still cleansed daily ... dealing with dirty feet!

This truth Peter had not yet grasped.

He wouldn't quit talking long enough to comprehend it!

Friend, today, are your feet clean?

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The verbs of Scripture are so important!

In fact, every word is!

We who believe in the word-for-word inspiration of the Bible, that God led His men in the choice of each noun and preposition and adjective, tend to place great importance on such minute things as tense and voice with verbs ... or case and number with nouns ... or degree with adjectives!

Our verse today illustrates this principle.

Jesus has been washing the feet of His Disciples, giving us all a lesson in the importance of daily cleansing in our lives! Holiness, separation from sin, sanctification and consecration!

Our Lord then speaks one of His many weighty statements, filled with wisdom and guidance.

"Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all." John 13:10

The first verb for "washed" is spelled "louo." It means to bathe completely. A. T. Robertson, a Greek scholar, says it means "to wash the whole body."

The second "wash" is "nipto," to cleanse a part of one's body, like the feet or hands!

Now I'm not saying that there will never be an exception to this rule. But these constrictions generally apply!

Jesus is saying this, at least in a spiritual sense, to Simon Peter specifically. The other Ten are listening though, the Disciples.

If a man or woman has ever been washed in the Blood of Jesus, washed all over, he will never need a second bath! The Blood covers it all! Once-for-all too! It would be an insult to Jesus and His shed Blood, His incorruptible Blood, His powerful  Blood, to claim it had to be applied over and over again.

One Blood bath ... and you're saved! By Grace through Faith!

However, just as a man who bathed in the morning might by nightfall need to wash his dirty feet, before supper or at bedtime, so does the saint need to confess his daily sins, ridding himself of the dirt and mud of this old world! That's where we've been walking you know. We are "in" the world ... but not "of" the world! Still, our feet get soiled!

Therefore we need to "nipto" them, wash them, but them alone!

If a man has been totally bathed he is "clean every whit" says Jesus! That's the Lord's description of a born-again man or woman! "Clean every whit!"

In Greek, "katharos holos."

"Katharos" gives us our English word "catharsis," a medical term for the purging of one's system, internally.

Clean all the way though, clean within, clinically clean!

And "holos," just like it looks, means completely, the entire thing!

"Clean every whit!"

That's "saved," all right!

Paul would have said "justified!"

Then Jesus assured the Men, the Disciples, that they were "clean," katharos," purged, forgiven! "Ye are clean," He plainly says! That's a present tense verb of course! You are clean now and will continue to be! Durative action! An on-going state!

Clean, saved Disciples!

"But not all," adds our Lord, unexpectedly too!

"Alla ouchi pas" ... but no indeed, not every one of you is clean, is saved!

Remember, Judas was present!

He was not saved!

He had not been "washed" as in "louo."

He was lost and on his way to Hell!

What a verse this is!


Jesus has just illustrated for us the best way to know if we're really saved!

Let HIM tell you!

"And ye are clean!"

By the way, "este" is the verb "are" here and is a second person plural indicative mood present tense form if "eimi," their main verb of being, "to be!"

You "are" clean ... now and with each second or minute or hour that arrives ... still clean! That's that present tense impact.

The plural number in the second person indicates our Lord's audience, his congregation are several in number, two or more, yet no longer a full dozen!

The indicative mood simply means that the Lord is stating a fact! He's not asking a question or expressing a mere desire or even giving a command! He is declaring truth! He's indicating a matter of absolute surety!

This verse is loaded with meaning and beautifully reveals several facets of the great Glory and Majesty of our Saviour!

May He be praised!


                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




There is a theological debate raging now in the halls of academia. Liberal academia that is!

We are being told that Judas, Judas Iscariot the Disciple of Jesus, was not really a bad man!

Certainly not a "traitor" they are saying!

Much of this new philosophy is coming from a now published document called "The Gospel of Judas!"

Let me immediately say this. My Bible already has four Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John! They are sufficient!

But, how can that crowd say that Judas is not a "traitor?"

After all, the Bible says he is!

Well, they base their findings on the little verb "paradidomai." Of it's 121 appearances in the New Testament, 40 of these times it is translated "betray" or "betrayed" or "betrayest" or "betrayeth."

But the "modern" theologians now tell us that the Bible is wrong! That such a translation is in error!

Let me announce this today!

The Bible IS NOT wrong!

Anyone who opposes the Bible is wrong!

Back to the argument.

The skeptics say that "paradidomai" is never to be taken as "betrayal!" Merely using its grammatical composition alone, they arrive at this meaning: "didomai," which is "to give" and "para," which is "alongside." Thus fusing the parts, "handing over" is a good definition. And that's as far as the apostates will go!

Judas did not really "betray" Jesus, they advance, trusting some Gospel of Judas more than the Gospel of John! He merely "handed over" Jesus to the Romans! Thus assisting the "Master" as Judas called Him ... aiding His great plan to go to Calvary!

In other words, they transform Judas from a villain into a hero!

But, wait just a minute!

Not yielding for a minute to the liberals ... not an inch to their argument ... we Bible believers still accept the traditional meaning of "paradidomai!" Forty Holy Spirit inspired Scriptural examples are enough for us! It can and does often mean "betray!" To sell out!

By the way, even when "paradidomai" is used as "handing over" or "delivering up" ... when that's done to a Friend, giving Him to His enemies who wish to kill Him ... still sounds like "betrayal" to me!

A rose by any other name is still a rose, they say!

So is a traitor!

But, just in case, let me show you today another way of proving Judas is a rebel. He was never saved! His faith was dead!

We shall use the very words of Jesus too, spoken while bathing the feet of His Disciples. "Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean." John 13:10-11

Jesus just told His men that they were "clean." They had been "washed." Being "every whit clean," they now merely needed their feet bathed, due to the dust and dirt and grime of their recent journey. They walked everywhere you remember.

"Every whit clean" suggests "wholly" purged! Having experienced "catharsis," completely so!

Twelve sets of ears were hearing our Lord's observations!

Then, suddenly, He added: "But not all."

Of the Twelve, "not all" had been washed!

Washed in the Blood!


Born again, to use Nicodemus language.

Someone among the Twelve was "lost" spiritually!

Then John adds, interpreting Jesus: "For He knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean." John 13:11

The words "ye are not all clean" clearly apply to Judas, the man who was about to betray our Lord!

He had never been cleansed head to toe, a picture of salvation!

For me, "paradidomai" is still going to mean "betray." That is, the forty times in my New Testament when it's used that way!

But, "paradidomai" aside for a minute, Judas is still a sinner, a lost man, an unwashed soul, who sold the Lord to the men who desired to slay Him!

When you have that kind of information, who needs another Gospel, a "new" one?

And who needs to debate a truth the Bible has been advancing for hundreds of years?

Judas was a traitor!

Because ... Judas was not clean!

Especially his head ... and heart!

Not even considering his feet!

And today, as far as we know Biblically, that "not clean" disciple is in Hell, still being tormented in those flames! By now no doubt begging for one drop of water to cool his scorching tongue!

Dear friend reading here today, are YOU saved?

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Jesus often asked questions.

When He finished washing the feet of His Disciples, he asked one.

"So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?" John 13:12

By "taking His garments" John is telling us that the Lord wrapped His outer coat around His body, probably then tying His Own belt in place.

The verb "set down" translates "anapipto," and initially means "to fall." But in this context, with Jesus returning to the table, "anapipto" tells us that the Lord reclined again around that table, still with the Disciples. Another meaning is "to lean back."

Once back in place, the our Saviour wants to know, "Know ye what I have done to you?"

The verb "know" is "ginosko" and has the idea of assured knowledge. To understand, perceive or discern.

The verb "done" is spelled "poieo" in Greek and is the action word that implies beauty in the doing of a thing!

I know Preachers' feet are beautiful according to Isaiah! "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" Isaiah 52:7 is quoted by Paul again in Romans 10:15.

But my point is that Jesus bathing those feet ... that deed alone ... was lovely to the Father also! Poetic!

But let's take a minute and ask Jesus' question again. Then let's try to answer it!

"Know ye what I have done to you?"

One thing Jesus did for them was show courtesy and good manners! Those feet should have been washed before that Meal began! But apparently no Disciple was willing to do so! Therefore, the Lord did! Deity condescending to slavery.

Think of the "gap" between verse 1 and verse 12 of this Text! First, Jesus' Hour had come, Calvary! And He knew it! He soon would ascend to His Father! Then ... doing the work of the lowliest slave in the household, washing dirty feet!

"Know ye what I have done to you?"

But not only good manners were displayed that day. Great doctrine was taught as well! When a man is saved, washed in the Blood of Christ we say, he is "clean" all over, "clean every whit!" But as he daily lives in this old sinful world, treading along the way, his feet get soiled! Dust and dirt and who knows what else!

Then, perhaps daily, he needs cleansing! Not all over. That was done earlier in the day! Just his feet! And that foot washing is analogous  to the Christian confessing his sins, whereupon he is forgiven of God! Or spending time in God's precious Word, being bathed in its great truths! Like Jesus said to these same Disciples: "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." John 15:3

"Know ye what I have done to you?"

Yes, Lord, You have taught us how to be "great" in Your Kingdom! Be a servant to all! Jesus used the word "example" here. "I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." John 13:15

"Example" is "hupodeigma" and means a "pattern." Fusing its two parts, to "display" something "under" one's very eyes!

Find someone today, one whom the Lord lays on your heart, and wash their feet! Not literally perhaps, but do something kind for them! Lower yourself in advancing their lives!

Hand me that towel, please!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell







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