Messiah Jesus reveals love as the basis for deep and enduring kingdom relationships through his words, life and actions on this this earth. On the night of Passover, the night he went to the cross, Jesus arose from the supper and washed the disciples feet.
Jesus washes his disciples feet 1 Now before the feast of the Passover, Yeshua, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from 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 Judah Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Yeshua, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came from God and was going to God, 4 arose from supper, and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel and wrapped a towel around his waist.
5 Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Yeshua answered him, “You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand later.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!” Yeshua answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Yeshua said to him, “Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For he knew him who would betray him; therefore he said, “You are not all clean.”
Messiah’s example for his disciples/servants to follow 12 So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me, ‘Rabbi’ and ‘Lord.’ You say so correctly, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Rabbi, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should also do as I have done to you. 16 Most certainly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, neither is one who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal 18 I don’t speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.’✡ 19 From now on, I tell you before it happens, that when it happens, you may believe that I am he. 20 Most certainly I tell you, he who receives whomever I send, receives me; and he who receives me, receives him who sent me.”
21 When Yeshua had said this, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, “Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Yeshua loved, was at the table, leaning against Yeshua’s breast. 24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, and said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom he speaks.”
25 He, leaning back, as he was, on Yeshua’s breast, asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Yeshua therefore answered, “It is he to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judah, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After the piece of bread, then Satan entered into him. Then Yeshua said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28 Now nobody at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 For some thought, because Judah had the money box, that Yeshua said to him, “Buy what things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 Therefore having received that morsel, he went out immediately. It was night.
A New Commandment I Give You 31 When he had gone out, Yeshua said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him immediately. 33 Little children, I will be with you a little while longer. You will seek me, and as I said to the Judeans, ‘Where I am going, you can’t come,’ so now I tell you. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial 36 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Yeshua answered, “Where I am going, you can’t follow now, but you will follow afterwards.” 37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Yeshua answered him, “Will you lay down your life for me? Most certainly I tell you, the rooster won’t crow until you have denied me three times. John 13:1-38
In that setting, Messiah Jesus gave the new commandment.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35
A new commandment—This command he gave them as he was about to leave them, to be a badge of discipleship, by which they might be known as his friends and followers, and by which they might be distinguished from all others. It is called new, not because there was no command before which required people to love their fellow-man, for one great precept of the law was that they should love their neighbor as themselves Leviticus 19:18; but it was new because it had never before been made that by which any class or body of people had been known and distinguished. Barnes
Beginning in 1921, 100 years ago, Paul E. Kretzmann wrote a practical commentary on the Bible. What he wrote on John 13 back then is vital for all of us who follow Messiah Jesus to apply in 2021.
There is work for them to do before they may follow Him into the Kingdom of Glory. The necessity of true, fervent brotherly love had become apparent that night. They had known before that they should love all men as their neighbors; but here they are given a new commandment, that they should love one another. It was a kind of love which had not been practiced up to that time, and is practiced all too seldom in our days. The manifestation of brotherly love should be a sign, a criterion, whereby the people in the world in general might at all times recognize them as His disciples. The standard of this love, unapproachable indeed, but one worth striving after, as the most beautiful ideal in all the world, is the love of Jesus to them, to His disciples of all times. The climax and consummation of His love came with His giving His life as a ransom for many. That is the ideal which should ever be present in the minds of all Christians, that everyone deny himself in the interest of brotherly love. When the Christians love one another fervently, with pure hearts, even unto death, then shall it fully appear that they are disciples of the Son of Man who laid down His life for His sheep, and who became, by dying, a ransom for all. Kretzmann
In addition to his new commandment, Jesus spoke more love commands to his disciples.
These commands apply to his disciples, including us. For, we are also his disciples. Disciple literally means learner, indicating thought accompanied by action, John 6:1-7; 14:20, 22, 28; 15:10; 19:1. It denotes “one who follows one’s teaching.” All disciples of Jesus manifest that they are His “disciples” by abiding in His Word, John 8:31; John 13:35; 15:8. A “disciple” was not only a pupil, but an adherent; hence they are spoken of as imitators of their teacher. From Vines Dictionary
John 14 :1 Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me.
John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments.
John 14:21 One who has my commandments and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him.
John 14:23-24 If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word which you hear isn’t mine, but the Father’s who sent me.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.
John 15:8-11 In this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples. 9 Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have spoken these things to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be made full.
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you. 16 You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
John 15:17-19 I command these things to you, that you may love one another. 18 If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Related article: The Holy Spirit Comforts Teaches
My wife and I participate in a small Zoom group. Together from our homes, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper and enjoy fellowship. If you would like to join with us for a one time connection (more on request), call or email me. Bill Bremer, Colorado Springs, 719-216-9055, firstname.lastname@example.org.