John 13:1-17 A Mixture of Love and Humility: The Gospel of John—An Inductive Study

Written by Paul J. Bucknell on January, 06, 2020

John 13:1-17 A Mixture of Love and Humility: The Gospel of John—An Inductive Study

Key Thought: John 13:1-17

The heart of Christianity does not chiefly lie in religious activities but the grace gained through Christ’s death which, in turn, spurs a host of loving actions among His people.

Make observations for each of the three sections below. (NASB) Who? Where? What? Why? When?

13 1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, 4 got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.

5 Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter said to Him, “Never shall You 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, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” 10 Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Seek and apply God’s Word (John 13)

  1. What did Jesus understand about His life and purpose (13:1-4)? How does His understanding about His life shape the understanding of our lives?
  2. What do we find Jesus doing in John 13:5-11? Are you surprised? How does this link to the previous paragraph? How does Peter and Jesus’ mini-dialogue in verses 9-10 shape the understanding of our lives?
  3. Read through John13:12-17 again and pick out anything that might relate to leadership. What are the qualifications of leadership? What kind of blessing might follow those who “do these things” (17)?


Jesus, in John 13, unites the significance of His upcoming Passover sacrifice on the cross with His ongoing influence on His own disciples. Jesus insists that His sacrificial spirit (i.e., love) would indwell His own disciples and ignite an unending movement of His love throughout the world. Christ’s love powerfully surges on through His disciples today—through you and me.


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