Before the celebration of the Passover, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world and return to his Father. Having loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, he loved them to the very end. They were eating their evening meal together and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given him all authority and that he had come from God and would return to God, got up from the table, removed his coat, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but later you will.”
“No!” protested Peter. “You must never wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you don’t belong to me.”
“Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord,” said Peter, “and not just my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Those who have bathed only need to wash their feet. And you disciples are clean, though not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
After washing their feet, he put his coat on again and sat down.
“Do you understand what I’ve done?” he asked. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I’ve given you an example to do as I’ve done to you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than the one who sends him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
“I’m not saying these things to all of you. I know those I’ve chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.’ I’m telling you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I am who I say I am. I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.”
Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!”
The disciples looked at each other, wondering who he could mean.
The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?”
So that disciple leaned across to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus said, “It’s the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him.
Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food, or to give some money to the poor.
As soon as Judas had eaten the bread, he went out into the night.
When Judas had left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should love one another. It’s your love for one another that will prove to the world that you’re my disciples.”
“Lord,” asked Peter, “where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”
“Why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”
“Die for me?” said Jesus. “I tell you the truth, Peter, before the rooster crows you will deny three times that you even know me.”