(Study Outline sourced from “The System Bible Study” – “The Book of Life” [Zondervan])
(7). A Lesson On Service – Jesus Washes The Disciples’ Feet
Luke begins his account by recording our Lord’s comment to His disciples, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”, while John records that “The evening meal was being served….” . This might lead to some dispute to the point that it may be two separate events, but it should be interpreted as accounts of separate incidents occurring at the Passover meal.
First, in Luke’s account, our Lord is saying to His disciples that this will be the last Passover meal that He would celebrate on earth, because in a short while He Himself would become God’s Passover Lamb slain for the sins of the world .
Secondly, John’s record states, “the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God” . Jesus was still in control of all that was happening, and upon the dispute that arose among the disciples as to “which of them was considered to be greatest.” , our Lord demonstrates to them what is true greatness in His kingdom. To be considered great, one must be a servant by following Jesus’ example, “I am among you as one who serves.” “so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist….he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” . Our Lord Jesus took the place of a servant (effectively – a slave), for it was the slave’s responsibility to wash the feet of his master and the guests as they came into the house from their journey. Here at the Passover meal no one had taken that responsibility, so our Lord took the place of the servant, and as John records, “he now showed them the full extent of his love.”<Jn.13:1; c.f. Phil.2:5-11>.
John expands upon the discussion by including Peter’s objection to Jesus washing his feet – “you shall never wash my feet.” prompting the response from Jesus – “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” . He explains this by adding that a person that has bathed himself needs only to have his feet washed as he enters the house , teaching us that as believers we are constantly being contaminated by sin and its effects as we go about our daily lives and tasks, and we need the spiritual cleansing (washing) of the Word of God through the Holy Spirit . John then concludes his account by recording a question from our Lord to the disciples – “Do you understand what I have done for you?” , do you now understand what it means to be great? They considered Him to be great as their Lord and Teacher, yet in His greatness He stooped to wash their feet, He had set them an example of what it really meant to be great and He now exhorts them to “do as I have done for you.” , not that we should literally wash each others’ feet but that we should be willing to serve each other no matter how humbling the job might seem to us, for we must always remember that “no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” .
(8). Judas Identified As The Betrayer
As the hour of our Lord’s suffering approached it was evident that nothing, including the actions of Satan, could deter Him or cause the plan of God for our salvation to be thwarted. “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him.” the betrayer, however, will bear the consequences of his actions, “It would be better for him if he had not been born.” . Our Lord knew who would betray Him from the very outset of His earthly ministry, (and certainly even before that time) for John records, “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen.” . He had previously made mention of this to His disciples earlier on when He said to them “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)” . He continues to say to them that His betrayal is “..to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’”.
In the event that Judas himself was not aware of what he was about to do, our Lord Jesus identifies His betrayer as “ ‘the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.”. John then continues to write, “As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.” , at which point our Lord instructs him to quickly carry out his intentions, whereupon “As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out.” to do his deed in fulfillment of the Scriptures. It is also evident from the account that the other disciples were not fully aware of what Judas was about to do. .