John 13 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)

John 13
Pulpit Commentary
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 unto the end.
Verses 1-17. -

1. Love in humiliation. Verse 1. - Now before the Feast of the Passover; a phrase far more applicable to the 13-14th of Nisan than to the 14-15th, even though the Lord was desiring then to eat the Passover with a great desire before he suffered; therefore "before" the Passion, which would coincide with it. This supplies a chronological note, which is not exhausted by the mysterious and pathetic act which is described, but embraces the entire communion of soul with his disciples, and with the Father in their presence, detailed in John 13-17. Commentators have differed greatly as to the reference of this phrase - whether to the εἰδώς, as Kling and Luthardt, or to the ἀγαπήσας, as Wieseler and Tholuck; both these interpretations limit the meaning of the passage. Christ's knowledge that his hour was come was not kept from him till that moment, nor was his love to his own disciples limited or qualified by the advent of the Passover. It is far better, with Westcott, Coder, Meyer, and Lange, to take the phrase, πρὸ δὲ τῆς ἐορτῆς, with the principal verb, ἠγάπησεν. This becomes mere obvious if εἰς τέλος be taken, as it generally is taken, in Greek, to mean "unto the uttermost," "absolutely" "perfectly." Godet and Lucke add to the idea of ἀγαπάω here the manifestation, or proof, of the intensity and tenderness of the Divine love. Meyer doubts this signification of ἀγαπάω. The whole of the intervening sentence is in apposition with the subject of the sentence. The evangelist was eye-withes of the manner and look of his Lord, and ventured to say what was passing in his mind. He was justified by what followed, and threw back into the spirit of this strange and solemn action the account which the Lord afterwards gave of himself. Throughout the whole passage we detect; the extraordinary blending of Divine and human of which John was the witness. Jesus knowing (as he did know) that the hour was come - an hour for which he had been long waiting, and to which frequent reference has been made. The crisis has arrived, the breach with the authorities was final, the disciples themselves were trembling in doubt, the great law had been uttered, the glorification of the Son of man must now be accomplished by departure rather than by longer ministry, by death rather than by universal acclaim - that - ἵνα here notes the Divine purpose, or what is not infrequently introduced by ἵνα, "the contemplated result" (see Canon Evans on "the use of ἵνα in the New Testament," Expositor, vol. 3, 2nd series) - he, Jesus, the Son of man, should depart out of this world (this is one theme of the following discourse, one of its key-notes, John 14:12; John 16:28; John 17:11, and many other passages) unto the Father. If so, death was not an ending of life, but a departure to the Father - a coming into closer and more intimate relations and communion with the Father than was possible, even for him, in this sinful and evil world. Frequently the demonstrative pronoun is used to designate this transitory, perilous, sad state of being. Further, Jesus having loved his own, his very own, whom the Father had given him, who were and would continue in the world, and have tribulation there (see John 15:18-20; John 16:1-4, 33; John 17:11, 14, 18), and all the more so because of his departure and the cessation of his earthly manifestation and ministry. Here the sentence ends with the climacteric expression, He loved them utterly; i.e. he manifested, and that before the Paschal Lamb should be slain for them, his absolute, extreme, unutterable love. Archdeacon Watkins has made an interesting suggestion, that εἰς τέλος represents, in Greek, the Hebrew idiom of the repetition of the action of the verb; whereas the LXX. often presents this Hebraism in literal Greek, as Genesis 20:17, yet in Amos 9:8 a similar reduplication is Grecized by the phrase εἰς τέλος; and that what St. John, a Hebrew writing in Greek, meant by the use of it was simply," He loved them with a fullness of love." This usage is confirmed by 1 Thessalonians 2:16, by later Greek and by classical usage. It probably means in Luke 18:5 "at last," but not necessarily so even there. Margin of Revised Version gives "to the uttermost."
And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
Verse 2. - A supper having commenced; or, being then in progress - without doubt the meal in which our Lord terminated the Old Testament dispensation and introduced the New, and which John discriminates, therefore, from the Passover proper referred to in ver. 1. The evangelist now reverts to the diabolic design which had been injected into the heart of Judas. The devil having already cast into the heart (of Judas) that he - Meyer's suggestion that the devil put this design into his own heart, does not lighten the construction, and encumbers the passage with ideas which are foreign to the Bible - (even) Judas, (the son) of Simon, the Iscariot, should betray him. The idea came from the devil, but the purpose of the devil was not irrevocable. The evangelist looked through his tears of love to the traitor's face as he sat at meat, and felt how the very excess and uttermost and hyperbole of love was reached and scaled by the contact between the treachery of the one and the Divine humiliation of the other. The contrast between these two mental states is one of the most striking antitheses in the Gospel. But how should John know that Judas had already plotted the betrayal of his Master? Hengstenberg makes the wise suggestion that the fourth evangelist was acquainted with the synoptic tradition of the priority of Judas's bargain with the chief priests (Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10, 11; Luke 22:3-6).
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
Verse 3. - Knowing - a significant hint of the complex wonder of the Lord's Person. John felt at this moment that the consciousness of Jesus was receding into the eternal self-consciousness of the Logos when he thus ventures to speak - that the Father - in the great act of his generation - gave all things into his hands, and that he came forth (ἀπὸ) from God, and was going back (or, away) to God, in the glory of his incarnation and the mystery of his death and resurrection. The whole of the incarnate ministry of Jesus was a separation, to some extent, from God, just as the close of it, in the death and resurrection, was a return to the glory which he had with the Father before all worlds. We must admit the extraordinary quality of the evangelist's assertion. He here throws back into the majestic manner of the Christ the hints which the subsequent discourse of our Lord must have given him of the Divine greatness which flashed at times from his sacred Person, and conferred a boundless significance on the subsequent act of humiliation. Christ gave the highest proof of his Divine self-consciousness in this display of his condescending love, this voluntary abasement to the lowest place in the household of faith. The use of εἰδὼς twice ever (vers. 1 and 3) is contrasted with the γνώσῃ of ver. 7. The vast confessions here made are declared to be matters of absolute intuitive knowledge, not the results of long experience. Christ did not "come to know;" he "knew" all these facts about himself. It must not be supposed that this was a theological idea which came into the writer's mind afterwards. St. Paul, in the Epistle to the Philippians (Philippians 2:6-8), had adequately grasped the same thought long before St. John penned this Gospel (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9).
He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
Verses 4, 5 - Commentators differ as to the motive which induced our Lord to perform this menial act, to adopt the gesture, girding, and duties of the δοῦλος, to divest himself of his ἱμάτια or upper garments, and to appear and veritably to act as a slave. Strauss regards it as a mythical representation of one of our Lord's discourses on humility. Lange, with much pertinence, believes it to correspond to the pain, which he manifested, at the very last Supper, with the unseemly contest for pre-eminence among the apostles (cf. Luke 22:27, "Whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? I am among you as he that serveth"). Others, like Meyer, see no such reference, and require the presence of no such motive. It is remarkable that at such a season this dispute could have arisen at all. I-laving undoubtedly broken out on more than one occasion, our Lord chose the midst of this feast, when we learn from other sources there was such an outbreak, for this emphatic revelation of the royalty of service. Wunsche ('Erl.,' p. 550) says that both "before" and "alter" the Passover festival it was customary, in order to demonstrate the equality and liberty of the guests, to practice mutual interchanges of the ordinary menial service of hand-washing ('Pesachin,' fol. 108). In this verse every sentence is a distinct picture. He riseth from the supper, and layeth down his upper garments, and when he had taken a towel, he girded himself (Edersheim and Wunsche both give proof that the Talmud repeatedly Grecizes the word here rendered "towel," λέντιον, "linen cloth," by the word lentith or alen-tith) after the fashion of the humblest slave; then he poureth water into the washing-basin (νιπτῆρα), the article of furniture in the room ("Nihil ministerii omittit," says Grotius. Thus he discharges every part of the duty, while the disciples wonder at the new revelation). And he began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Westcott refers to the rabbinic commentators on Ezekiel 16:9, "Among men, the slave washes his master, but with God it is not so." So then the inversion of all human social relations forced on John's mind the deep truth that we are here face to face with the Divine - with the Divine-human. John here strains his words to give some conception of what passed in his own mind when he saw our Lord's face, and witnessed this great revelation of his character. Though this evangelist did not record the "Transfiguration," there were moments in Christ's history which produced a still pro-founder impression upon him, and in which he veritably saw the glory of the Only Begotten of God in his Master's form. On this occasion the highest conception of his Divine Personality, origin, and destiny, was blended with the deepest descent of the Lord's entire humanity to the level of weakness, pollution, and sin. The greatest manifestation of God was in the revelation of the exceeding limits, the infinite depth, which love could compass. We may see a little farther on what were the special steps our Lord took to give this sense of love "to the uttermost" on the part of him to whom all the universe had been entrusted, who had come from, and was going back to, the Father.
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.
Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
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.
Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
Verses 7, 8. - Jesus answered and said to him, That which I am doing thou knowest not now - thou hast not absolute knowledge of, thou hast not seen through as yet; but after these things, afterwards when I shall have completed my present undertaking, thou (γνώσῃ) shalt come by clear proof and full discovery and intimate acquaintance to understand. This is sometimes referred to the subsequent illumination of the Holy Spirit, or even to the higher life of the future world (Luthardt), but the above interpretation is more consonant with the context. The μετὰ ταῦτα may (as Westcott suggests) point to the whole manifestation of love as it should complete itself on the cross, and become illumined by the Resurrection and by the gift of the Spirit, when the same mind should be put into Peter that was in Christ Jesus; consequently we may reasonably apply this great word to many of our earthly experiences. God's ways, Christ's government of his Church, and the mystery of our lot, are often so puzzling that we cannot be said to know them objectively or absolutely. We know (γινώσκομεν) but in part, and see (βλέπομεν) by means of a mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12); but eventually in the fulness of the Divine manifestation we shall know (ἐπιγνωσόμεθα) completely, subjectively, in the depths of our personal consciousness. Peter saith to him, with mere emphasis than before, with an intensity of double negative and εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, Thou shalt not ever wash my feet - "not while eternity lasts." "A praiseworthy modesty," says Calvin, "were it not that with God obedience is better than worship." This vehement, Peter-like burst showed that even yet he had not learned his profound dependence upon his Lord. Exuberant utterance of a love which in its superlative enthusiasm was in danger of severing the relation between his Lord and himself, elicited from Christ a reply which went far Beneath this purely symbolic washing, and gave even to it a moral significance which it had not possessed before. Jesus answered, If I wash thee (not thy feet) not, thou hast no part with me - no μέρος, no portion, no share, no communion, no common inheritance with me in the honors and blessings of the kingdom. This may be understood in two ways: either, "If I do not by my grace cleanse you from your defilement, wash you in a deeper sense, in a more abundant and effectual manner than by giving you this practical lesson, there is utter misunderstanding of my relation to you - you have no part nor share with me." And this ver. 11 seems to favor. Hengstenberg strongly defends this view as a reference by Christ to his power on earth to forgive sins, and confer the pure and new nature (cf. Psalm 51:4, 9-11); and this doubtless lies in the solemn tone of the Lord. A refusal to accept the Divine cleansing is the only ground of exclusion from the benefits of the bloodshedding. Still another more obvious meaning arises, "If you refuse this manifestation of humble love from me, if you put your own pride between yourself and me, if you disdain this act of self-surrender, claiming to understand me and our mutual relations better than I, you have no part with me. This is a symbol of my love to you, and of what is to be your love to one another (ver. 15); if you refuse to accept it from me, you will then have no part with me in the manifestation of the spirit of self-sacrificing love which I have come to inaugurate." Peter must learn the beauty and glory of service for the sake of others; and if he were unable to understand and accept this act of love, he must separate himself from all share in the Master's work. This truth dawned upon him, but only in part, and it led to the extraordinary revulsion of feeling which followed.
Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
Verse 9. - Simon Peter makes another impetuous and characteristic outburst, and another of his almost glorious mistakes. Once more he will go before and give advice to his Master. The very same Peter who drew the sword in Gethsemane and then fled, who went to the high priest's palace and then denied his Lord; the very same Peter who rushed into the water anal then cried, "Lord, save me, I perish," who cried, even on the Mount of Transfiguration, "Let us build three tabernacles;" and when our Lord spoke of his cross said, "This shall not be done unto thee;" - the same Simon Peter now said to him, "If it comes to the primal experience of being washed by thee in thine unutterable love, if there be any question of part and share with thee in thy work, I will (cf. ver. 37) go with thee to prison and to death, then, blessed Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head; i.e. all my uncovered body; seeing that my power of thinking and all my capacity for service alike need cleansing." Peter not unreasonably felt the weakness and corruption of his nature, and cried out, as we all are often disposed to do, for renewal and sanctification of every faculty and energy of his being. In this he showed a lack of realization of the new world into which grace had brought him, and once more needed correction. Chrysostom says, "In his deprecation be was vehement, in his yielding more vehement, but both came from his love." But even here we see the same eagerness to go beyond the Lord, and dictate the course to be pursued.
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.
Verse 10. - Jesus saith to him. Christ's answer here undoubtedly shows that he is speaking of something far more important than the foot-washing. He goes back to the spiritual meaning which Peter attributed to his words. He that has been bathed (λελουμένος) is indeed washed from head to foot, hath no further need than to wash his feet, but is altogether clean. By personal communion with the Lord and belief in him, by the word which he had spoken to his disciples, they were (καθαροί) clean (John 15:3). They had been washed from the defilement of their old nature, they had undergone a thorough moral and spiritual change, by moral union with Christ. They were reconciled and cleansed; they therefore did not need a fundamental change to be wrought daily in head, hands, and life. Just as a man who had thoroughly bathed only requires the removal of the soil contracted in the daily walk; so a regenerated and forgiven man is clean, and, like Peter, should not need, being καθαρός, more than the foot-cleansing which Christ in Divine condescension had then granted. It was inevitable that some of the Fathers (Augustine, Theodore) and many modern expositors (Hengstenberg, Godet, and Wordsworth) should see here a reference to baptism, and speak of Peter's having overlooked the grace of his baptism. When it is remembered, however, that nothing but John's "baptism unto repentance" had been administered to the disciples, and that this cleansing is, in John 15:3, distinctly referred to the word of Christ, it is a very unnecessary trifling with the text to find in this λελουμένος baptism or any sacramental or symbolic act. Lampe and Cocceius, in rendering λελουμένος, substitute for baptism, the regeneration of the Spirit, and treat the washing of the feet as equivalent to the daily forgiveness of sins of infirmity. Archdeacon Farrar, 'Early Days of Christianity,' vol. 1. p. 126, suggests that this intensely interesting scene may account for Simon Peter's picturesque expression (1 Peter 5:5, ἐκομβώσασθε), wherein he enjoins on Christians to "tie on humility like a dress fastened with knots;" and also for the apostle's "insight into the true meaning of baptism, as being, not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God." And ye are clean; and therefore these words and this principle apply to you. Dr. Westcott finds in this phrase a reference to the purity of the visible Church, notwithstanding, i.e., the presence of Judas in the group; but the exception itself which follows shows that the Lord did not regard Judas as λελουμένος or καθαρός. The suggestion of the passage is precisely contrary to that so often drawn. But not all. This reference to Judas may have been one more warning to the man who was plotting against his Master's life.
For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
Verse 11. - For he knew who was betraying him; therefore he said, Ye are not all clean. That Christ should have been ignorant of the devices of Judas, or of his true character, is repeatedly denied by all the evangelists. John certainly calls attention to the Lord's knowledge of the secret of Judas, and justifies thus his Divine prerogative. That Strauss, Hilgenfeld, and others should see here an innuendo against Peter, and the charge against Peter of advocating a kind of Ebionitie daily ablution of the whole body, is willful and uncalled for.
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?
Verses 12-17. - The Lord gives other practical instructions based on his own humble self-obliterating discharge of a duty which it was obvious that, in their desire to be great, they had one and all abstained from doing even for their Lord. Out of it he draws the great lesson of mutual love and brotherly regard. Verse 12. - So when he had washed their feet - the interruption of Peter had brought forth the wonderful and weighty replies, and then, in awfulness and great amazement, the process went on. John and Judas as well as Peter submitted. Matthew and Thomas, Philip and Nathanael, and the rest yielded and received the deep, ineffaceable impression - and taken his garments he was no longer in the form of a slave, but of their Teacher and Lord - and again reclined at their head, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done unto you? They must consider the meaning of it all. There was no affectation of humility about it. The purpose of the Lord was distinctly practical and ethical. So when he ceased his manifestation in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was set down on the right hand of God, he sent his Spirit to teach them all things. Moulton calls attention to the trial arrangement. Three particulars precede the great utterance that follows (cf. vers. 1-3; cf. also John 16:6; John 16:8, etc.; John 17:22, 23), as well as the three topics of the intercessory prayer; also the three words from the cross (John 19:27-30) and three appearances to the disciples (John 21:14). This may be compared with the use of three throughout the Apocalypse.
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
Verse 13. - Ye name me the Teacher and the Lord. "Rabbi and Mara," the names of reverence which disciples of the Hebrew teachers were accustomed to offer to their masters. Φωνεῖν means to name, and the two nominatives are used appellatively, not as vocatives. Tholuck regards them as vocatives. Scholars dared not address their teachers without some marks of respect. Διδάσκαλος is John's equivalent for רבי, my Master (see John 1:29; John 20:16). And ye say well; for so I am. At this supreme moment he does not repudiate this high function, nor abate any of his lofty claims. He was most obviously the highest in his condescending love. He had given no more amazing proof of the originality and supremacy of his nature than this inversion of all ordinary relations. So I AM - more, indeed, than "the Teacher," "the Savior," more than "the Master," as Peter said on a memorable occasion, "God was with him," and he was Immanuel - "God with us," and "Lord of all" (Acts 10:37, 38).
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
Verses 14, 15. - If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet; ye ought also to wash one another's feet: for I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Καθώς, "as," "like as," was used by our Lord rather than , "that which." The ὑπόδειγμα shows that he had set before his disciples a parallel, an example, a symbolic type of the service they were to render to one another, and was not establishing a custom or exact ordinance. The washing of the feet was an Oriental custom of great antiquity as a mark of hospitality (Genesis 18:4; Genesis 19:2; Abigail, 1 Samuel 25:41; see also Luke 7:38, 44). In 1 Timothy 5:10 there is trace of such a custom of Christian hospitality. Considering the ease with which the Church has established a ceremonial from an isolated text, it is remarkable that no more literal use has been made of this injunction. However, Maundy Thursday, a name derived from Dies mandati, was celebrated as the day on which this great command, or that contained in ver. 34, was given - Mandatum novum do vobis - and the feet of the newly baptized were washed. The endeavor to make Augustine the authority for this religious practice is doubtful; but the Council of Toledo (A.D. 694) mentions this particular day as that on which it was appropriate. In the early Gallican Church there was such a ritual, and the forms of pedilavium observed are to be read in early Gothic and Galliean missals. Bernard of Clairvaux tried to convert the ceremony into a sacrament, but without success. And it would seem that some effort was made to introduce it into Spain. "In 1530, Wolsey washed, wiped, and kissed the feet of fifty-nine poor men at Peterborough. The practice was continued by English sovereigns till the reign of James II." (Westcott). No traces of it are to be found in the Ambrosian ritual, but the preservation of the custom is found now in the Russian imperial palace, in the ceremonies of the holy week at Rome, and in the palaces of Vienna, Madrid,Munich. The practice was for a time retained by the United Brethren and Mennonites, and the Tunkers of Philadelphia (see 'Dictionary of Christian Antiquities,' vol. 1. arts. "Baptism," §§ 34, 67, and "Maundy Thursday;" Herzog., 'Encyc.,' art. "Fusswaschung," by H. Merz; and Schaff's 'Herzog.,' art. "Tunkers"). The Church has for the most part looked below the mere form to the real substance of the Lord's teaching, and only thus can we appreciate it adequately. The very injunction would be an inadequate, burdensome one where the feet are covered, and would become impossible and valueless in the Northern and Western world. The service demanded is the self-forgetting ministry of love, which places the interests of self behind and below those of others. Nothing is more theoretically easy and acceptable than this principle, but nothing more difficult of accomplishment. This sentence of our Lord is a noble illustration of the method in which a great principle is made by him the basis of a small duly (cf. Paul's vindication of his own truthfulness and freedom from ἐλάφρια, 2 Corinthians 1:17-20; he based it on God's own faithfulness to promise).
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
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.
Verse 16. - The Verily, verily reveals the solemnity with which our Lord touched the frequently quoted aphorism (Matthew 10:24; Luke 6:40; and again John 15:20). The servant - the slave - is not greater than his lord; you have already called me Lord, and so I am; neither is (one that is sent) an apostle greater than he that sent him on his great mission. Therefore if I, your Lord and Teacher, have set forth this principle of self-abnegating service, a fortiori should ye in love serve one another, the greatest should render even menial service to the humblest; he that would be first to him that is the last, and each to all. This is one of the essential marks, and ever will be, of the mind that was in Christ Jesus (comp. Matthew 10:23, 24, where an analogous phrase justifies the disciples in expecting and fleeing from persecution - a step in which they would simply be following their Lord's example; cf. a very different use of the proverb in Luke 6:40, where it is used to warn a blind man from assuming the office of a guide, and the resemblance of the character, etc., between the Teacher and disciple).
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Verse 17. - If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them. Knowing and doing are often perilously divorced (cf. Matthew 7:21, etc.; Luke 6:46; Luke 12:47; and James 1:25). The sublime principle by itself may be something, but if it be never put into practice, the last great beatitude is forfeited. Mere admiration of an ethical or a Christian principle degenerating into a heartless and fruitless ceremony is hardening to the heart and deadening to the conscience. The same truths had been taught independently of parable and symbol, in Matthew 23:8-12; Matthew 20:28.
I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
Verses 18-30. - 2. The exclusion of the faithless disciple. This paragraph draws the circle of his cleansed ones, of those who accept him as Master and Lord in the fullest sense, more closely (at) out him. But the proceeding is tragic in the extreme; one of the twelve chosen as apostles is a traitor in disguise. The foot-washing has been an awful insufficiency in his case. He must depart before the greatest depth of the Master's love and truth can be revealed. Verse 18. - I speak net concerning you all. There is one who, though he knows these things, will not do them, is now indisposed to see any Divineness in the act and spirit of love which I am laying down as a fundamental law of my kingdom. I know whom (or, the individuals whom) I chose for apostles - (in John 6. the same statement is made with less definiteness, "Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you," etc.?) Judas among them - but. It is difficult to follow this construction, and to decide on the antithesis to this disjunctive.

(1) We may add, this has happened (τοῦτο γέγονεν) - i.e. this choice has been overruled, and so in its issues corresponded with the Divine purpose (ἵνα) - so that the Scripture might be fulfilled, He that eateth my bread or, bread with me, hath lifted his heel against me;

(2) we may take the ἵνα πληρωθῇ as a parenthesis, and link the ἀλλ with the quotation, "He that eateth," etc.; or

(3) we may, with Meyer, suppose that ἐξελεξάμην αὐτοῦς, "I chose them," is mentally involved here: "I chose them, and Judas among them (ἵνα), in order that the Scripture," etc. This connection would suggest a destiny and purpose which Christ knowingly corresponded with, harmonizing his plan with the Divine and prophetic program. Emphasis must be laid upon the ἐκλέγεσθαι. It refers to Christ's choice of apostles, not to the eternal election to salvation. This interpretation corresponds more closely with the text, though it savors of a fatalism foreign to the Scripture. There is, however, a true sense in which the evil-disposed man is so placed that, if he will sin, he must sin along certain well-defined lines. The forty-first psalm, from which the quotation is made, is not strictly Messianic; it is descriptive of the ideal Sufferer, the holy but outraged man, whose melancholy condition is sure to be characterized by treachery among his familiar friends. Christ implies that, if he were to fulfill this portraiture, then this bitter dreg would be put into his cup; and so he humanly made this choice, i.e. he took steps which in their tenderness of love might have saved Judas from the worst, but which were really part of a Divine plan which would vindicate his own foresight and the method of Divine government. A full understanding of the formula in Matthew and John, ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθ῀ι, will save us from putting into these words a hopeless fatalism. Notice that the LXX. reads this passage differently, and is not so closely allied to the Hebrew: "He that eateth my leaves hath magnified against me his surreptitious despite, his tricky antagonism." Great beauty is given to the passage by the R.T. you instead of μετ ἐμοῦ, for it suggests the idea that Christ was the real Host of the twelve, the Father and Provider of his family. Christ must be regarded as the Father and Host of the entire group of guests, and the treacherous treatment of a host throughout the East is regarded as a sign of peculiar obduracy.
Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
Verse 19. - I tell you from henceforth - ἀπ' ἄρτι of Matthew 26:64 corresponds with Luke 22:69, ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν; the word also implies that our Lord would again recur to the subject. This is the true meaning of ἀπάρτι in the New Testament (John 1:52; 14:7; Matthew 23:39 - before it come to pass, that ye may believe when it is come to pass, that I am; i.e. I am what I have said, none the less, but all the more, the Son of God (cf. Isaiah 43:11-13; John 8:24, 28, 58). It is more than the words will bear to make the ἐγώ εϊμι, the equivalent of a Divine claim to equality with Jehovah; but "all that I have said of myself, and all you have admitted to be true." It is not a promise of continual prevision of events, but a startling proof that in this case our Lord had completely fathomed the mind of Judas, and was communicative of what he saw there to the rest of the disciples, so that when the tragedy should be consummated, this peculiarity, instead of shaking their faith in him, will prove that he was taken by no surprise, and throughout his great career was what he said he was.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
Verse 20. - The connection of the solemn utterance that follows is not easy to seize. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He who receiveth whomsoever I shall send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. In the earlier utterance of an analogous saying (Matthew 10:40), δεχέσθαι is used instead of λαμβάνειν. The ἐάν τίνα πέμψω suggests that those who may receive his commission need not, and will not, be confined to the twelve apostles, although including them. The words reveal a claim to issue such commissions, and to confer upon his apostolic and other representatives something of his own dignity and glory, viz. the glory of sacrifice far others, the dignity of service. He may have intended:

(1) To comfort those who are bewildered by the thought of the treachery within their enclosure, and to assure them that such conduct on the part of an apostle must not be allowed to lower their estimate of apostolic duty. Certain ecclesiastical interpreters find here that the unworthiness even of Judas did not destroy the Divine character of his testimony, and that the immoral character of the minister now does not annul the commission he has received. This dogma is essentially hostile to the teaching of the New Testament (Matthew 7:17-21).

(2) The royal power of the dying Christ; and

(3) the bold identification of his own claims with those of his Father. Few more wonderful sayings were uttered by Jesus, if we ponder the connection in which they stand; but let it be observed that we do not owe to the Fourth Gospel the matter of this saying. It must have been familiar to the readers of John from the solemn records of the Gospel of Matthew.
When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
Verses 21-30 correspond with the scene which Matthew describes (Matthew 26:21, etc.) as occurring during the Paschal meal, and preceding the departure of Judas before the Supper was instituted - "as they did eat." The ὁ ἐσθίων μετ ἐμοῦ in Mark 14:18 corresponds and finds its explanation in the scene described by John, as also his quotation from Psalm 41. It does not follow, because the synoptics omit the "feet-washing," that they were ignorant of it; John's purpose was to record that which they had omitted. On the other hand, John does give some very significant indications of the same general current of inner life in the mind of Jesus and of the twelve. Matthew (Matthew 26:14-16) shows that at this very moment Judas had so far given way to his avarice, impatience, disappointment, and innate pride and selfishness, as to be simply seeking his opportunity to betray his Master in the absence of the multitude. He had his price; he was meditating treachery. Granting the mixture of motive which may have agitated him, we condemn the pleading of numerous modern writers, who almost extenuate his malice and represent him as victim of the violent vulgar passion of the multitude for a triumphant secular Messiah. Every touch or stroke in the evangelic narrative shows how utterly Impervious to goodness the traitor really was; and John gives us a further hint, in addition to that supplied by the synoptists, as to the very commencement of the agony, the details of which they prolong into the night. Jesus was troubled in the spirit (cf. notes on John 11:33). This is one of the strongest expressions used of the sorrows of Christ; the ταράχη even was deeper down in his nature than what is expressed by ἀδημονεῖν, λυπεῖσθαι, of Matthew. The distress penetrated from "body" to "soul," and then to inmost "spirit." The Lord was terribly perturbed, not merely with approaching agony aggravated by treachery and desertion, but by the contrast between his love and the issue, between an apostle and his doom. And he testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you. A close specification of coming events takes the place of the more vague utterances of vers. 17-19. One of you shall betray me. The synoptic account introduces the vivid scene of humble and heart-.rending inquiry, "Lord, is it I?" to which the reply was made, "The one that dippeth his hand in the dish with me shall betray me," followed by a still more awful warning, and imprecation calling the self-consciously guilty man to hesitate, to pause for his own sake (Matthew 26:24). And, further, we learn that Judas received the answer, unheard by his fellow-disciples that it was he who was in this imminent danger. This scene, however, was so impressive to the majority that the synoptic tradition failed to record a briefer side-scene, of which John was the principal witness, and which he here describes. The disciples (therefore) were gazing on one another, being in perplexity concerning whom he spake. They were looking on in mute or whispering amazement and tribulation upon one another, being in sore bewilderment (ἀπορούμενοι), but as yet they did not suspect Judas. There was lying, says our text, reclining at the table, in the bosom (ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ) - ἐπὶ το στῆθος, "against the breast" - one of his disciples whom Jesus loved. Observe, this sacred designation occurs in John 19:26; John 20:2; John 21:7, 20. In John 20:2 it is "the other disciple whom Jesus ἐφίλει, amabat, implying that the love of Jesus was not confined to John, but embraced Peter also; whereas here we have ο{ν ἠγάπα, the higher love of respect and affection, diligebat. We can have no doubt, from the enumeration of the group in John 21:2, etc., that it is one of Zebedee's sons. Now one of these, James, as we learn from the narrative of Acts 12, soon passed away. The author of the Fourth Gospel does undoubtedly mean to refer to John, and to represent the disciple ἵν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς as no other than himself. The attitude so carefully described had been adopted by the Jews at table. It shows that John was seated, or was reclining, next to Jesus on his right, and therefore could, more easily than his next companion on the left, have sought and received an answer from the Lord. Whether this was Peter or Judas does not appear certain. Edersheim has represented Peter's place as on the opposite side of the horseshoe table. Words from that distance could have been overheard by all. At the celebration of the Passover, the guests were accustomed originally to stand; but after the Captivity the custom fell into desuetude.
Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.
Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
Verse 24. - Simon Peter therefore beckoned to this (disciple), and saith to him. Wherefore he must have been far enough off to beckon, and near enough to speak. Westcott imagines that Peter was on the left side, in the place of real honor (?), though not in such proximity as, unobserved, to ask the question. Edersheim also speaks of the left side as the place of honor, but assigns no adequate reason for such a violation of universal usage and metaphor. The natural impetuosity of Peter would have induced him, if he had been so near, to have asked the question himself. It is more probable that Judas himself was there, judging from the language of Matthew 26:23, and from the act which follows. Either with T.R., He spake to him, to ask who it might be; or, saith, Tell (us) who it is concerning whom he speaks; as though Peter had rushed to the conclusion that John knew. This is singularly like Peter, and John may tacitly have been supposed to be better acquainted than the rest with the mind of Jesus.
He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?
Verse 25. - He, leaning back as he was against the breast of Jesus, saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Meyer explains, "He, raising himself from the κόλπος of Jesus to his breast, nearer to his ear, draws close to him, and asks in a whisper." This turns on the special rendering given by Meyer and others to κόλπος, as meaning the fold of the garment above the girdle, as in Luke 6:38; but the fundamental meaning of κόλπος is bosom, womb, embrace, and this secondary meaning need not be pressed (cf. John 1:18; Luke 16:22, 23).
Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
Verse 26. - Jesus (then) answered - "then," οϋν, is introduced by the modern editors, as well as βάψω for βάψας - He it is for whom I shall dip the sop (or, morsel), and give it him; so (καὶ ἐμβάψας is exchanged, on very strong authority, into βάψας οϋν, and ἐπιδώσω into δώσω) when he had dipped the sop, he taketh and giveth it to Judas the son of Simon, the Iscariot. The ψωμίον was the morsel of meat or bread dipped into the charoseth, a mead of wine and fruit used at the Paschal meal. The usage is illustrated by the LXX. version of Ruth 2:14 and Job 31:17. In the New Testament ψωμίζω is used for distribution of food, Romans 12:20; 1 Corinthians 13:3. The act of Jesus was almost contemporaneous with the "Thou sayest it" of the synoptists It was twofold in meaning, explaining to John what he wished to know fur Peter's sake, and giving Judas one more gracious chance to repent and believe in the Divinity of love rather than that of display, power, and pomp. Judas had been dipping his hand into the same dish with his Master, eating his bread. Instead of resenting such effrontery the blessed Lord gave him in pity the last opportunity to escape, he puts the morsel sopped in the acid wine, the bread of fellowship, into his very lips, and the miscreant received it. The name of Judas, and of his father, and of the place cursed by being his birthplace, are once more introduced at length (cf. John 6:71).
And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
Verse 27. - And after the sop; not with it. By no magical or demoniacal rite was the man rendered the slave of Satan; post hoc is not propter hoc. After the sop, after this last final proof of the unutterable friendship and love of the Divine Lord - τὸτε, then, "at that moment," as though goodness was turned into wrath, and the conflict with evil closed, the incarnated fiend resolved that he would wait no longer. Then Satan (the only place in the Fourth Gospel where Satan is mentioned) entered into him. How could this be known? The evangelist clearly saw what he thus described - he saw the malign and unrelenting expression on Judas's face; he suspected that some devilish plot was hatched, some hideous purpose finally formed. It is the evangelist's way of saying what he personally saw and afterwards concluded. Up to that moment of supreme forbearance, the character was not irretrievably damned, but now he had sinned against knowledge and love, and even Jesus gives him up. "It were better for him that he had never been born." There is no more awful or tragic touch in the whole narrative, nor any more symbolic of the curse which the corrupt heart can make and bring down upon itself out of the greatest blessing. There is no advantage in trying to determine the amount of figurative sense conveyed by the expression, "Satan entered." The ethical state consequent either upon the sop or the devil is clear enough. The moment when it was induced is signalized in this tragedy. The vehement effort which the traitor must have made to resist all gracious influences opened the way for the powers of hell and darkness to take possession of him. He strengthened himself to do evil. Jesus therefore said to him, That thou doest, do quickly. Questions have been raised as to the sentence - whether it was a solemn command or a permission at once to carry out the purpose that was in his heart (as Grotius, Kuinoel, and others suppose); but Meyer here is more penetrative (so Moulton): "Jesus (as a man) actually wishes to surmount as soon as possible the last crisis of his fate now determined for him." Jameson ('Profound Problems in Theology and Philosophy') urges that it was the prolongation of the struggle which was the bitterest element in Christ's sufferings. The decision at which he had arrived brooked no longer delay. As if he had said, "If you have any manhood in you, and you are not altogether incarnate daemon, make haste, let me remain no longer in suspense; carry out the purpose now and at once." Ambrose, Lucke, Tholuck, suggest that he meant to separate Judas from the eleven, and be rid of his presence. His removal from the group is undoubtedly the condition of our Lord's highest revelations of himself.
Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
Verses 28, 29. - Now not one (οὐδείς, not even John) of those reclining at table knew with reference to what matter or behoof he said this to him. The τοῦτο is very emphatic, and, on the supposition of the authenticity of the narrative, John expressly disclaims the knowledge. It is arbitrary for Keim to say that John must have known. The whole of this "aside" was the work of a moment. For certain of them were supposing, because Judas held the purse - or, box (see note, John 12:6) - Jesus said to him; Buy the things we have need of for the feast; or, (he spake) in order that he should give something to the poor. (See Introduction, p. 92, for an explanation of this passage, and the use that has been made of it to settle the question of the day of our Lord's death.) If the great feast of the Jews was to be held on the following day, and this was the 13-14th of Nisan, this advice would be perfectly comprehensible, whereas, if it was the 14-15th when Jesus and also all the Jews were celebrating the Passover, the purchase of any articles would have been contrary to law; and on both grounds the conclusion is drawn that this was the evening of the 13-14tb, and that the Paschal meal had certainly been anticipated by Jesus; but this is not absolutely conclusive, because, even though this were the Passover meal, it is certain that further sacrifices, called "Passovers," were consumed on the great day of unleavened bread that followed the Paschal meal, and it is not perfectly certain what was the custom of the Jews with reference to purchase. Talmudic authorities may be quoted both ways; and a large number of distinguished commentators ( Hengstenberg, Tholuck, Lange, M'Clellan) take the latter view, harmonizing John with the synoptists; but considering all the other difficulties that arise, Meyer, Godet, and Westcott take the former view. The supposition of a gift to the poor from the little stock is very suggestive of the almsgiving spirit that had pervaded all the habits of disciples taught by Christ (cf. John 12:5; Galatians 2:10). Hengstenberg urges that the night of the Passover was that above all others on which the poor needed help to rejoice before the Lord.
For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
Verse 30. - He then having received the sop went out straightway: and it was night. There is no advantage to be secured by omitting the οϋν, and connecting the η΅ν δὲ νύξ with the ὅτε (συν) ἐξῆλθε, nor is it preferred by the later editors. The immediate departure of Judas when he had taken the sop is compatible with all the context - a horror of the shadow of death falls on the tragic scene. He at least passes out into the outer darkness, apt symbol of his soul and of his deed. Hengstenberg imagines the Lord's Supper to have followed the previous words, and that the εὐθύς must be interpreted with some laxity, leaving time for the sacred meal to have been instituted and the solemn song to have been sung. It is difficult to say where the Eucharistic service is to be introduced, and every possible suggestion has been made. The statement of Luke 22:21, 22 makes it probable that the traitor was present at it. And all the synoptists make the indication of the traitor follow the institution of the Eucharist, and two of them place it on the very way to the garden of Gethsemane. Bengel, in harmony with his chronological scheme, supposes that the traitor went out and returned. According to Keim, the Eucharistic meal may be supposed to be introduced at the close of John 14. and before the discourse on the vine; but that discourse follows a summons of Jesus to his disciples to leave the upper chamber. And every attempt to find a place for it in the midst of the valedictory discourse is unsatisfactory (see these amply discussed in Godet, Lucke, Meyer). Thus Paulus, etc., place it after ver. 30. Lucke and Meyer, between vers. 33 and 34; but Peter's question looks back to ver. 33, allowing no such break. Neander and Ebrard place after ver. 32. Tholuck, after ver. 34, Lange identifies it with the new commandment; and Bengel makes the discourse down to John 14:31 precede Christ's journey to Jerusalem to keep the Passover, so that no clashing takes place. I think that the simplest solution of the difficulty is to put it at the commencement of the feast, and in the folds as it were of the sentence in John 13:2, which tells us that Jesus loved his disciples to the uttermost (εἰς τὸ τέλος). The endeavor made by Strauss, to argue from the silence of the fourth evangelist that he knew nothing of the institution of the Eucharist, is a great exaggeration. The synoptic tradition must, ex hypothesi of the late authorship of the Gospel, be well known to the author, and 1 Corinthians 11:33, etc., was ample proof of its historic basis. There was, in the entire representation of this Gospel, an intense perception of the inner meaning of the Eucharist, and of the new covenant and commandment based on the assumption of the Passion and death of the incarnate God; so that instead of describing the ceremonial, he expounds its ideas (see Introduction, pp. 105, 106.). Ver, 31 - John 16:33. - 3. THE VALEDICTORY DISCOURSES OF THE LORD.
Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
Verses 31-33. -

(1) The glorification of the Son of man, and of the Father in the Son. With ver. 31 the solemn valedictory discourse of our Lord commences - a veritable evangelium in evangelio, and by the aid of which we come more closely to the heart of Jesus. "Here," as Olshausen says, "we are entering the holy of holies in the Passion-history." We have, indeed, come through the courts of the temple, we have left the courts of the Gentiles, of the women, of the priests behind us, and have been waiting in the holy place of sacrifice and incense and ablution; now we follow our great High Priest to the veil over the holiest of all, and he prepares us to listen to the intercession that he makes before the unveiled majesty of the Father's love. The first section, extending from John 13:31-14:31, reports a series of questions by Peter, Thomas, Philip, Jude, which all turn more or less on the anticipated separation which he teaches them to regard as a veritable glorification of the Son of man, and also as a higher revelation to them of the nature of his own Person and of those relations between "the Son" and "the Father" which are imaged and shadowed forth in those between" the Son of man" and "God," which they could more readily understand. This prepares the way for the discourse and prayer which followed, in which the future spiritual union between the victorious Lord and his own disciples, between a sanctified humanity and the eternal Godhead, is exhibited, distinguished by wonderful blending of intuitive insight and supernatural revelation. The discourse is consistent with the stupendous conception which the evangelist had formed of the Person of Christ. Hilgenfeld and ethers regard this address as utterly incompatible with the valedictory discourses of Matthew 24, 25, and Mark 13. We have already seen that they are but different aspects of the same mysterious and wonderful Personage; that the synoptists are not silent concerning the spiritual presence of Christ in and with his disciples till the end of the world; and, on the other hand, that the fourth evangelist is perfectly alive to the reality of his kingdom in the world and to the true nature of his second coming. (On the historical character of this discourse, see Introduction, pp. 126, 127.) Verses 31, 32. - (The οϋν is not omitted by T.R. or Westcott and Holt. It stands on great authority. The different punctuation of Stephens, νὺξ ὅτε ἐξήλθε, dispensed with the οϋν; but this arrangement is not followed by modern editors.) When therefore he (Judas) was gone out, and the Lord was left with his trembling but faithful eleven, his heart yearned over them without reserve or exception, and he speaks as though his Passion had begun, and even ended too. Jesus saith, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. The aorist ἐδοξάσθη suggests more than "is glorified." Bengel says, "Jesus passionem ut breve iter spectatet metam potius prospicit." As Son of man, he has secured the highest glory of the most tender, humiliating self sacrifice, has cast out of the covenanted fellowship the hateful, baneful virus of a carnal triumph. To his eye as Son of man the end is secured, just as in John 17:10 he says, "I have been glorified in them." The thought is certainly complete without the clause appended in T.R., which simply reiterates the last clause, in order to make it the basis of a further thought: God will glorify him in (himself), if his suffering and sacrificed humanity has been the scene and material of a glory given to God, because a new manifestation of the Divine fullness in humanity; that is the reason why his very humanity will be lifted up into the Divine glory, itself becoming one with it, exalted far above these heavens, that he might fill all things. Elsewhere we read that "Christ is hidden in God" (Colossians 3:3; Acts 3:21). All his earthly sufferings will now be seen to be a forth-streaming of Divine love, the fullest revelation of the innermost essence of God (cf. Isaiah 42:1). Godet says, "When God has been glorified by a being, he draws him to his bosom and envelops him in his glory." This expression scarcely sustains the sublime uniqueness of the glory of God in the Son of man, and the glory of the Son of man in God. The words, and will straightway glorify him show how imminent was the glorification which is consummated by the new meaning put into death, and into all that leads to it and into the sacrifice involved in it. That "straightway glorify him" is a note of triumph, and this while Judas is completing his bargain (cf. the παρὰ σοί with ἐν ἑαυτῷ of this verse; cf. John 17:5).
If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.
Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
Verse 33. - This is the first and only time, in the Gospels that the tender word, little children, is used by the Lord (but compare παιδία of John 21:5, and the repeated adoption by John himself in 1 John 2:1, 12, 28; 1 John 3:7, 18; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:21; and τέκνα in Mark 10:24). The adoption of the gentle love-word is appropriate as a link to the new commandment, and reveals the love of departure, the tender love that wells up in his heart, as he contemplates the orphan-like and bereft condition of his disciples. A little while am I still with you. Ye shall seek me in the way of sympathetic love and vivid realization of my spiritual and real presence; and as I said ante the Jews (a term that Christ used in this place only when speaking to his disciples, though he had made use of it to the Samaritans, and would use it to Caiaphas and Pilate), in John 7:33, 34, and John 8:21; but there and then he added, "Ye will not find me," because they would only seek him in carnal ideas and angry disappointment. Observe, he does not here repeat this consequence of the search, because ultimately these disciples would not only seek, but follow and find; nevertheless, he adds: As I said to the Jews, Whither I go, you are not able to come; so at this time I say to you. There are two words used for "now" - νῦν denotes absolutely the present moment; ἄρτι (John 9:19, 25, etc.) denotes here and there, a period distinct from past and future, and yet related to both. The time is not yet come for you to enter into my glory; you cannot yet come, you have to continue my earthly ministry, to prolong the testimony which I have given concerning God, and which God has given concerning me. The time will come when "I will receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also;" but now he prays, "though I am no more in this world, these are in the world holy Father, keep them" (John 17:11).
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Verses 34, 35. -

(2) The demand which this glorification would make on the mutual fidelity and affection of the disciples. Verse 34. - A new commandment I give unto you (with the purpose and scope) that ye love one another; even as (or, seeing that) I loved you, that ye (also) love one another. The interpretation of this verse largely depends on the meaning given to the καθὼς, if, as many translate it, "even as I loved you;" or, "after the manner and type of my love to you;" then an amply sufficient explanation arises of the novelty of the ἐντολή. So new a type of love is given that, as the Greek expositors generally have urged, there is a deeper intensity in the love than can be found in the Mosaic principle, Love thy neighbor as thyself." In this commandment, which embraces the whole law, self-love is assumed, and is made the standard for the love of neighbor. This ἐντολή, on the other hand, would be based on a new principle, and measured by a higher standard, and even mean more than love of self altogether. Christ's love to his disciples was self-abandoning, self-sacrificing love. This view of the passage is urged by Lucke, and really removes all necessity for the varied translations of the καινή, such as "illustrious" (Hammond); "last" (Heumann); "one that is always new" (Olshausen); "renewed commandment," a "renewing commandment" (Augustine and Maldonatus); "the institution of the Eucharist" (Lange). But it is doubtful whether the ideal image of a perfect love constitutes the novelty, and whether the double ἵνα and the transposition of the second ἵνα be found in the simple style of John. If, however, καθώς ἠγάπησα be taken as "seeing that," or "since I loved you" (see John 17:2), Christ's love becomes not so much the manner or type, as the motive, ground, and principle of love to one another. As if he had said, "I have loved each of you unto death; in loving one another you are loving me, you are loving an object of my tender love. The desire of mere imitation, however strong, is not equal to the demand I make, while the bestowment of the 'new' principle of life arising from a response to my love is." For the first interpretation speaks John's own use of the idea (1 John 3:16). There is a third interpretation, which makes καθὼς ἠγάπησα ὑμᾶς a sentence parallel with the δίδωμι. "Even as up to this moment, and up to my death, and to the uttermost, I have loved you, I give," etc., "in order that ye may love one another, and, inspired by me, may imitate my love one towards another" (Westcott). This is an endeavor to combine both interpretations. Alford suggests that the "newness" of the commandment consists in its "unicity," its being the prime injunction of the new covenant, and the first-fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 13.). Tholuck sees the expression of self-renouncing love - the love of the highest to the sinful, the love which is more blessed to give than to receive, the all-embracing love.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Verse 35. - By (or, in) this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one toward another. Not by works of majesty and power, but by love to one another. All commentators refer to the well-known saying of St. John at Ephesus, as recorded by Jerome, "This is the Lord's commandment. If ye love one another it is enough" (Tholuck refers to Tertullian's 'Apol.,' 39; Minucius Felix, "They love before they know each other ;" and Lucian, "Their Master makes them believe they are brothers," 'De Mort. Pereg.'). Analogies to the great law of Christ may be found in the Law of Moses, in Talmudical writings, in the Confucian 'Analcets,' and in Stoical maxims; but this ἐντολή in its fullness, and as sustained by this motive, or inspired by this pattern, and lifted to this standard, is new to the human race: and it is the power which has revolutionized thought, society, and life. So long as this great power prevailed, the Church made astounding progress; when the so-called disciples of Christ began to hale and kill one another the progress was arrested. But, thank God, the "new commandment" has always had marvelous power over the Church of Christ.
Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
Verse 36-John 14:4. -

(3) The question of Simon Peter, with the terrible response and bitter grief of the entire group, followed by the consoling promise.
Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
Verse 37. - Peter saith unto him, Why cannot I follow thee even now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Compare the language of Thomas (John 11:16), "Let us go, that we may die with him." Peter thought himself ready to die for his Lord, before his Lord had died for him. He who had seen; the glory of the Transfiguration, and the majesty of Christ's power, and the depth of an uttermost love, was ready, as he thought, for any sacrifice, for the most complete self abandonment; but he miscalculated his strength of will and the tenacity of his purpose. "Quid in animo ejus esset cupiditatis videbat, quid virium non videbat" (Augustine). St. Paul, long before St. John made this conversation known, must have gathered from the known teaching of Jesus the same sublime subtle truth, that it is possible to dare a martyr's death, and yet to be without true love (1 Corinthians 13:1, 2, 3).
Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
Verse 38. - With infinite pathos and pity Christ took up the words of Peter: Jesus answereth, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not have crowed, till thou hast denied me thrice. In Matthew 26:31-35 and Mark 11:27-31 the announcement of Peter's fate is made on the way to the garden of Gethsemane; Luke's account (Luke 22:31, etc.) may harmonize chronologically with this statement of John; but from all we know of Peter, it is probable that, after his long silence maintained during the discourse of John 14-17, his love may have been so quickened and deepened as to have once more induced the reiteration of his fidelity and his willingness to die for and with his Master, only to receive again a more explicit warning of his weakness. Towards the close of the sixteenth chapter of this Gospel, the Lord warns all his disciples of their inability to stand the tremendous test to which they would soon be exposed. If we reject the "harmony," and refuse to double the prediction, we should be strongly inclined, with Meyer and Lucke, to accept the higher credibility of John's chronology than that of Matthew or Mark. The extraordinary character of this prediction, recorded in all four Gospels, is one of the most vivid proofs of our Lord's supernatural power, and in its detail and definiteness places him among those who claim attention from their absolute knowledge, and not their vague guess of the future. Yet there was no fate in this prediction; for Peter is afterwards warned, entreated, prayed for even, by Immanuel.

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