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The Breaking of Bread in John (John 13,14)

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Jesus and Judas




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John 13

The last supper
Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that his hour had come, that he should depart out of this world to his Father, having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them to the end.
   2 And during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded.
   6 When he came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him: Lord, are you going to wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said to him: What I am doing you do not comprehend now, but later you shall understand. 8 Peter said to him: You shall never wash my feet! Jesus answered him: If I do not wash you, you have no part with me. 9 Simon Peter said to him: Lord, wash not only my feet but also my hands and my head.
   10 Jesus said to him: He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not every one of you. 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said: Not all of you are clean.
   12 So when he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and sat down again, he said to them: Do you comprehend what I have done to you? 13 You call me teacher and lord, and you say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you: A servant is not greater than his lord, neither is one sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If you know these things, and if you do them, you will be blessed.
   18 I speak not of you all. I know whom I have chosen; but the scripture must be fulfilled: He that eats my bread lifted up his heel against me. 19 From this time forward I will tell you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you: He that receives whoever I send receives me, and he that receives me, receives Him that sent me.
   21 When Jesus had said this, he was disturbed in his spirit, and testified: Truly, truly, I say to you: One of you shall betray me. 22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering of whom he spoke. 23 There was at the table reclining on Jesus' chest one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him, and said to him: Tell us who it is of whom he speaks. 25 He leaning back, as he was on Jesus' breast, said to him: Lord, who is it? 26 Jesus answered: It is he to whom I gave the morsel of bread after I dipped it. When he had dipped the morsel, he had given it to Judas the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after Judas had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him: What you are about to do, do quickly. 28 Now no one at the table knew for what reason Jesus spoke this to Judas. 29 Some thought because Judas had the money bag, that Jesus said to him: Buy what things we have need of for the feast, or that he should give something to the poor. 30 He then having received the morsel went out immediately into the night.

Jesus predicts Peter’s denials
31 When he was gone, Jesus said: Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 And God shall glorify him in Himself, and will glorify him immediately. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You shall seek me, but as I said to the Jews, where I go, you cannot come. So now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give to you: Love one another. Even as I have loved you, you also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know you are my disciples- if you have love for one another.
   36 Simon Peter said to him: Lord, where do you go? Jesus answered: Where I go, you cannot follow now, but you shall follow afterwards. 37 Peter said to him: Lord, why cannot I follow you even now? I will lay down my life for you! 38 Jesus answered: Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you: The cock shall not crow, till you have denied me three times.


13:1 To give your life for God’s people is ‘love to the end’. Jesus defined that for us in His crucifixion.

13:3,4 We sense in these verses the very definite sense of purpose which there was in Jesus. We who carry His cross should have the same. The stream of small decisions we face each day we will make in the context of the purpose-driven life which we have in Christ.

13:5 To wash the guests’ feet was the job of the lowest servant. Jesus showed us that true greatness is in humble service, being a “servant of all”. Even Peter struggled to understand the huge extent of this principle (v. 7) and we also find it hard to grasp.

13:8 No part- This could be a reference to the vital importance of baptism in order to be “in Christ”; “he who believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Jn. 3:3-5); unless a person is born of water and spirit, they cannot enter God’s Kingdom (Jn. 3:3-5).

13:16 Jesus repeatedly describes Himself as “sent” by God; He therefore recognized that God was greater than Him, as He stated specifically in Jn. 14:28. He wasn’t therefore ‘God’ in a Trinitarian sense.

13:19 The purpose of prophecy / Biblical prediction is not to give us a road map of events in the future, but rather so that when events happen, we will be able to understand them in their Divine context.

13:20 We are the representatives of Jesus in this world, and our behaviour should be appropriate.

13:23 This other disciple was probably John. In preaching the Gospel, John deemphasized himself. He describes himself as simply a disciple whom Jesus loved. We should have such self-effacement when preaching Christ, focusing upon Him rather than ourselves.

13:26 This was the sign of being the specially favoured guest. Realizing the greatness of Christ’s love for us leads us to either repent, or as Judas, go out into the darkness.

13:34 What’s “new” about this commandment is to love as Jesus has loved us. And He died for us, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.

13:35 Our unusual love for others should be a startling witness which grabs the attention of those around us.