John 13:6 MEANING

John 13:6
(6) Then cometh he to Simon Peter.--Men who have come to these words with minds full of opinions with regard to the position of St. Peter have, of course, understood them to express that he had precedence of the other Apostles; while others have formed the opinion that Judas Iscariot was first. It is a point of no importance, and cannot be determined. The natural impression from this verse, however, is that St. Peter's turn came after that of at least one other, and the impression from John 13:24-25 is that St. John himself, being nearest to his Master, was that other.

Lord, dost thou wash my feet?--For the title, comp. Matthew 16:22. The word "Thou" is to be strongly emphasised, but the common error of reading "my" as an emphatic word is to be avoided. The act is in itself natural; perhaps is even one that he had expected from some of the less prominent in the apostolic band. What he cannot understand is that his Master should do it. "Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?" Comp. with this feeling of the Apostle at the close of our Lord's life that of John the Baptist at its commencement (Matthew 3:14-15).

Verse 6. - It cannot be determined with whom our Lord commenced the feet-washing. Some of the older expositors have said it was with Judas. The οϋν might denote that several of the disciples, in awestruck wonder, had submitted without a word, and then (οϋν resumptive) he cometh to Simon Peter. But the great bulk of ancient and modern expositors suppose that Peter was the first to whom this great grace was offered. At all events, in his impulsive manner always rushing forwards, and ready to give his Master advice, and to be the mouthpiece of otherwise unuttered feelings, Peter was the first to exclaim, (and) he saith unto him, and with strong emphasis on the Σύ and the μου, Dost thou wash my feet? The protest was natural. It corresponds with many another scene in Peter's life; as when he said, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man," or cried, "That be far from thee," and later on in this chapter, "Why cannot I follow thee now?" or, "I have never eaten anything common or unclean." This trait in Peter's character is wonderfully accurate, and corresponds with the portraiture of the same man in the synoptic narrative (see Introduction, p. 115.). There is here an analogous blending of reverence and self-will, of outwardness and forwardness - a new illustration of one who would distinguish himself by the greatness of his humility.

13:1-17 Our Lord Jesus has a people in the world that are his own; he has purchased them, and paid dear for them, and he has set them apart for himself; they devote themselves to him as a peculiar people. Those whom Christ loves, he loves to the end. Nothing can separate a true believer from the love of Christ. We know not when our hour will come, therefore what we have to do in constant preparation for it, ought never to be undone. What way of access the devil has to men's hearts we cannot tell. But some sins are so exceedingly sinful, and there is so little temptation to them from the world and the flesh, that it is plain they are directly from Satan. Jesus washed his disciples' feet, that he might teach us to think nothing below us, wherein we may promote God's glory, and the good of our brethren. We must address ourselves to duty, and must lay aside every thing that would hinder us in what we have to do. Christ washed his disciples' feet, that he might signify to them the value of spiritual washing, and the cleansing of the soul from the pollutions of sin. Our Lord Jesus does many things of which even his own disciples do not for the present know the meaning, but they shall know afterward. We see in the end what was the kindness from events which seemed most cross. And it is not humility, but unbelief, to put away the offers of the gospel, as if too rich to be made to us, or too good news to be true. All those, and those only, who are spiritually washed by Christ, have a part in Christ. All whom Christ owns and saves, he justifies and sanctifies. Peter more than submits; he begs to be washed by Christ. How earnest he is for the purifying grace of the Lord Jesus, and the full effect of it, even upon his hands and head! Those who truly desire to be sanctified, desire to be sanctified throughout, to have the whole man, with all its parts and powers, made pure. The true believer is thus washed when he receives Christ for his salvation. See then what ought to be the daily care of those who through grace are in a justified state, and that is, to wash their feet; to cleanse themselves from daily guilt, and to watch against everything defiling. This should make us the more cautious. From yesterday's pardon, we should be strengthened against this day's temptation. And when hypocrites are discovered, it should be no surprise or cause of stumbling to us. Observe the lesson Christ here taught. Duties are mutual; we must both accept help from our brethren, and afford help to our brethren. When we see our Master serving, we cannot but see how ill it becomes us to domineer. And the same love which led Christ to ransom and reconcile his disciples when enemies, still influences him.Then cometh he to Simon Peter,.... After having washed the feet of some of the disciples, as is thought by some interpreters, and particularly the feet of Judas, without any repulse; though others are of opinion that he began with Peter, who modestly, and out of reverence to him, refuses to be washed by him:

and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet! he speaks as one surprised and astonished that Christ should offer to do any such thing to him; that he, who was the Son of the living God, should wash the feet of such a sinful man as he was; that those hands, with which he had wrought such miracles, as the opening the eyes of the blind, cleansing lepers, and raising the dead, should be employed in washing his defiled feet, the meaner and inferior parts of his body; this he thought was greatly below his dignity and character, and too much to be done by him to such a worthless creature as he was.

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