Studies In The Book Of John


John 13:12-17


John 13:12-13 – “(12) 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?  (13) Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.”


A. Jesus finished washing the feet of His disciples and wants to press them to understand what He had done (cf. Proverbs 4:7, Proverbs 23:23, Matthew 13:51, Luke 9:44, Ephesians 5:17, and Hebrews 2:1).

1. Having an understanding of what we’re taught is significant for our salvation (Psalms 107:43, Psalms 119:34, Proverbs 16:22, Proverbs 28:5, and I John 5:20).

a. If we hear and fail to understand, we’re lost (Matthew 13:19).

b. The same is true if we hear and refuse to understand (John 8:43).

c. The truth is, some have hardened hearts so that they cannot hear and understand (Acts 28:26-28).

2. Once one gains an understanding, he or she stays hungry to learn more (Proverbs 1:5 and Proverbs 2:2-3).

3. The Lord is going to expect the Apostles to be wise (Matthew 10:16).  Wisdom comes from having an understanding (Proverbs 10:23 and Proverbs 14:33).

B. Jesus reminds the disciples that they call Him Lord (Matthew 8:25, Luke 5:8, Luke 11:1, and John 20:2) and Master (Mark 13:1, Luke 5:5, Luke 7:40, and John 11:8).

1. Jesus is the Lord (Acts 9:17, Acts 10:36, Acts 15:11, Philippians 2:11, and          I Timothy 6:14).

2. Jesus is the Master (Matthew 23:8-10 and John 20:16-18).


John 13:14-15  – “(14) If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.  (15) For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”


A. Since Jesus served them; they should serve one another (Mark 10:43-45).

1. Christians are supposed to be servants (Acts 20:35, Romans 15:1-2, and           II Corinthians 4:5).

2. The example of service was a NEEDED lesson for the disciples (Luke 9:46-48 and Luke 22:24-27).

B. We’re to follow examples given to us in the Scriptures (I Corinthians 11:1, Philippians 3:17, James 5:10, and I Peter 2:21).

1. The example Jesus was setting forth was not “Foot Washing”.   We do not have the “when”, the “where”, the “what”, or the “how” in the instruction (same as the “holy kiss” – Romans 16:16, I Corinthians 16:20, II Corinthians 13:12, and I Thessalonians 5:26).  The following illustration will prove this point out…

a. If all we had concerning the Lord’s Supper were Acts 20:7, we could not partake for we’d not know enough.

b. Since the Lord’s Supper is for us to practice, we have all the information we need to carry out the example (Matthew 26:17, Matthew 26:26-29, I Corinthians 11:23-33, etc.).

2. When the example itself is to be duplicated, God provides us with all the information needed to carry it out (II Timothy 3:16-17).

a. Likely, foot washing was a custom performed as a work of hospitality (Luke 7:36-47 and I Timothy 5:10).

b. Traveling often ended with a need for feet to be cleaned (Genesis 18:1-5 and Genesis 19:1-2).

c. If a brother or sister enters into our home needing their feet washed, we’d better do it (Galatians 5:13)!

d. There is NO EVIDENCE that foot washing is a “religious service”, thus we cannot teach or practice it since we cannot KNOW how to properly do so (Romans 14:23 and Ephesians 5:10).

C. Since Jesus was teaching the point of being a servant, rather than the specific example of “foot washing”, we learn humility from His example (Philippians 2:3-8).

1. We are expected to have a mindset of humility (Colossians 3:12).

2. Jesus used a child to teach the mindset of humility (Matthew 18:1-4).

3. We cannot be saved if we are not humble (James 4:6-10 and I Peter 5:5-6).


John 13:16-17 – “(16) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.  (17) If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”


A. The servant is not greater than his or her Lord (Matthew 10:24, Luke 6:40, and John 15:20).

1. Jesus is the “He that is sent” (John 8:16, John 8:29, John 12:49, and John 20:21).

2. Jesus clearly establishes that He is not greater than His Father (Matthew 28:18, John 14:28, I Corinthians 3:23, and I Corinthians 11:3).

B. The Lord expects us to know these things (Proverbs 10:14 and John 8:32).

1. Knowledge is not enough though; we also have to do these things (Psalms 119:1-2, Matthew 7:21-29, John 15:14, Romans 2:13, James 1:21-27, James 4:17, I John 2:3-4, and Revelation 22:14).

2. We should be happy to obey God’s will (Psalms 40:8, Psalms 119:47, and Proverbs 29:18).



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