Gospel of John 2015 – 08 – lesson eight John ch. 13 to 14:14



Anderson, Paul. N.  The Riddles of the Fourth Gospel: An Introduction to John.  (Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2011).


Brown, Raymond E.   The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves, and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times.  (Paulist Press, New York, 1979).


________________.   The Gospel According to John I – XII.    Volume 29 of the Anchor Bible Series, Series edited by W.F. Allbright and David Noel Freedman.   (Doubleday, Garden City NY, 1966).


________________.   The Gospel According to John XIII – XXI.    Volume 29A of the Anchor Bible Series, Series edited by W.F. Allbright and David Noel Freedman.   (Doubleday, Garden City NY, 1970).


Elowsky, Joel C. editor.  John 1 – 10.  Volume IVa of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series edited by Thomas C. Oden.  (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove IL, 2006).


__________________.  John 11 – 21.  Volume IVb of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series edited by Thomas C. Oden.  (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove IL, 2007).


Keener, Craig S.   The Gospel of John: A Commentary  Volume One(Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody MA, 2003).


_______________  The Gospel of John: A Commentary  Volume Two(Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody MA, 2003).


Lewis, Scott M.  The Gospel According to John and the Johannine Letters. Part of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary series edited by Daniel Durkin O.S.B.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville MN, 2005).


Maloney S.D.B., Francis J.   The Gospel of John.   Volume 4 of the Sacra Pagina series edited by Daniel J. Harrington S.J.   (Liturgical Press, Collegeville MN, 1998).


Martyn, J. Louis.  History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel.  One of the Classics in the New Testament Library series whose editorial board is C. Clifton Black, John T. Carroll, and Beverly Roberts Gaventa.  Third Edition.  (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2003).


O’Day, Gail R.  The Gospel of John: Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections.  In Volume IX of the New Interpreter’s Bible whose editorial board is convened by Leander Kick.  (Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1995).


Sloyan, Gerard.   John.   Part of the Interpretation series edited by Mays, Miller, Achtemeier.

(John Knox Press, Atlanta GA, 1988).




John   Chapter 13


Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.


The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist.


Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,

“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus answered and said to him,

“What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.”


Peter said to him,

“You will never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered him,

“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”

Simon Peter said to him,

“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”


Jesus said to him,

“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,

for he is clean all over;

so you are clean,

but not all.”

For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said,

“Not all of you are clean.”


So when he had washed their feet (and) put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them,

“Do you realize what I have done for you?

You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.

If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,

you ought to wash one another’s feet.


I have given you a model to follow,

so that as I have done for you, you should also do.

Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master

nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.

If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.


I am not speaking of all of you.

I know those whom I have chosen.

But so that the scripture might be fulfilled,

‘The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.’


From now on I am telling you before it happens,

so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.


Amen, amen, I say to you,

whoever receives the one I send receives me,

and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

When he had said this,

Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,

“Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”


The disciples looked at one another,

at a loss as to whom he meant.

One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side.


So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.

He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him,

“Master, who is it?”

Jesus answered,

“It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.”

So he dipped the morsel and (took it and) handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot.


After he took the morsel,

Satan entered him.

So Jesus said to him,

“What you are going to do, do quickly.”

(Now) none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.


Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him,

“Buy what we need for the feast,”

or to give something to the poor.

So he took the morsel and left at once.

And it was night.


When he had left, Jesus said,

“Now is the Son of Man glorified,

and God is glorified in him.

(If God is glorified in him,)

God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once.




My children,

I will be with you only a little while longer.

You will look for me,

and as I told the Jews,

‘Where I go you cannot come,’

so now I say it to you.


I give you a new commandment:

love one another.

As I have loved you,

so you also should love one another.

This is how all will know that you are my disciples,

if you have love for one another.”


Simon Peter said to him,

“Master, where are you going?”

Jesus answered (him),

“Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,

though you will follow later.”

Peter said to him,

“Master, why can’t I follow you now?

I will lay down my life for you.”


Jesus answered,

“Will you lay down your life for me?

Amen, amen, I say to you,

the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”



John  Chapter 14


“Do not let your hearts be troubled.

You have faith in God;

have faith also in me.


In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.

If there were not,

would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come back again and take you to myself,

so that where I am you also may be.

Where (I) am going you know the way.”





Thomas said to him,

“Master, we do not know where you are going;

how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him,

“I am the way and the truth and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through me.


If you know me,

then you will also know my Father.

From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to him,

“Master, show us the Father,

and that will be enough for us.”


Jesus said to him,

“Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.

How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?


Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.

The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.


Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else,

believe because of the works themselves.

Amen, amen, I say to you,

whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,

and will do greater ones than these,

because I am going to the Father.


And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,

so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.




The Book of Glory begins with Jesus washing the feet of the disciples.


Peter over-confidently promises that he will go to the death with / for Jesus.  Jesus is almost mocking in response.


The disciples, following the example of Jesus, must be willing to suffer and die for the love of all, including Judas.



In chapter 13: the mystery unfolds not around who murders whom, but rather how to love, and how to serve, and how to lead others to redemption.


If we are embarrassed to have our feet washed (in a much egalitarian society, who wear socks and shoes and bathe fully every day) – how much more so for disciples by their master in a society extremely conscious of social roles and boundaries and honor, who walk about dirt roads in bare feet or open sandals?


Abraham (Mr. Hospitality) in Gen 18:4:  “Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet.”


Do you realize what I have done for you?  YES – reorganized all of my reality, shattered expectations, shaken everything up.


John 13:15  “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”


John 13:7:  “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will understand later.”  Jesus is teaching by analogy.


Were the disciples truly that obtuse?  Or were they simply overwhelmed by Jesus’ teachings and expectations?






John Chapter 13


The supper begins in chapter 13 and ends with the last line of chapter 14.


Lewis p. 67: “Scholars designate chapters 13:1 – 20:31 as “The Book of Glory” because they de3scribe the glorification of Jesus and his return to the Father.  The farewell discourse that follows the meal is in the ancient tradition of testaments of famous men (see Gen 49; Josh 22-24; Deut; Socrates in Plato’s Phaedo; Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs).  These testaments usually consisted of exhortations, prayers, consolation of followers, predictions of future events, and the appointment of a successor.”





Jesus has been in Judea since the beginning of chapter 7, Jerusalem and Bethany in particular.   Sloyan p. 165:

“Now the action is brought up to “before the feast of the Passover (v. 1), which turns out to be the night before the eve of the feast.  Since, as in the other Gospels, John has Jesus die on a Friday (19:31), the events of chapters 13-17 are required to occur on the previous night (18:1), unless there was an unspecified interval between 18:12 and 13.  The supper for which Jesus and the disciples are gathered cannot be a Passover meal in John because it precedes any such observance by twenty-four hours.  This feast is being kept throughoutJerusalem as Jesus lies in the tomb (19:38-42).


The key for John is the slaying of the Passover lambs – which takes place the day before the feast.


Sloyan p. 167: “Why, exactly, does he not tell the story of the institution of the Eucharist at this point where the others do?  And is there any reference to the rite of Baptism in Jesus’ discussion with Simon Peter of those who, being bathed, are washed clean?’


Lewis p. 70: “The insistence on being washed likely evokes the baptism that is the rite of passage into the community and a sharing in Jesus’ death.”


O’Day p. 727: “By washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus enters into an intimate relationship with the disciples that mirrors the intimacy of his relationship with God.  It is an intimacy that discomfits Peter, because it overturns all his conventional assumptions of roles and propriety.  Yet it is only by accepting Jesus in the surprising role of loving host and intimate servant that one has a “share” with him, that one receives the love of God incarnate.”


Moloney p. 384: “Just as baptism is a sub-theme to the foot-washing, Eucharist is a sub-theme to the meal and the gift of the morsel.  Within the context of a meal indicated as Eucharistic Jesus gives the morsel to the most despised character in the Johannine narrative: Judas.  Disciples always have and always will display ignorance, fail Jesus, and deny him.  Some may even betray him in an outrageous and public way.  But Jesus’ never-failing love for such disciples, a love that reached out even to the archetype of the evil disciple, reveals a unique God.  This is what it means to love to the end.”


Lewis p. 72: “Love in John is not emotion, sentiment, or personal attraction, bt very practical, dynamic, and demanding.  Jesus himself is the revelation of God’s love in his ministry and in his death.  Love will now be the distinguishing mark of disciples of Jesus rather than dress, diet, rituals, or observance of the law, as Christians are always in need of calling to mind.”


Judas departs – “it was night”.  Light / darkness theme of the whole gospel comes to a head.



John Chapter 14


Sloyan p. 177: “Consequently, while nothing in the church takes precedence over the agape of the supper discourse, in our sinful, fallen state love needs implementation.  There is room in the church for clearly defined ministries – even hierarchically ordered ones – along with the pure democracy of love.  There is a place in a community of charity for synods, open hearings, sanctions, committees, even budgets.  Love, in other words, has consequences.”


The “way” is Jesus, it leads to the Father.  Jesus comes from the Father and returns to the Father having done exactly what the Father wanted in complete obedience.  Jesus is one with the Father (this is not being said here in a metaphysical / ontological way, a oneness between the one sent and the sender is the sense of this) – and the disciples still haven’t gotten it.


Sloyan p. 182: “The community lives, not in virtue of an absent Lord and Teacher, but a present and abiding Spirit of truth.  Jesus is seen through this Spirit even when he, Jesus, is unseen.  There is continuing life in Jesus for those who know the Spirit (v. 17).”


Moloney p. 403: “The affirmation that Jesus is leaving his disciples must be taken seriously.  It reflects the experience of the original Johannine readers (and all subsequent readers), for whom the fleshly Jesus is no longer present.  But the experience of the living Jesus continues in and through the permanent presence of the Spirit-Paraclete.  In the worshipping community, and especially in baptism and Eucharist, those who believe, love, and keep the commandments of Jesus experience the presence of the absent one.  The “coming” of the exalted – and therefore absent – Jesus in the worship of the community is a proleptic experience of a final “coming,” made possible in the in-between-time by the presence of the Paraclete.”


The theme of misunderstanding disciples continues with the “Where are you going?”





  • Read and pray over John chapters 14:14 to end of 17.
  • Read the commentary pages 74-84.
  • Ponder and pray over the questions in the workbook for this unit.  Which questions are most important to you?


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