should do for each other
exactly what I have done for you."
It was before Passover, and Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and to return to the Father. He had always loved his followers in this world, and he loved them to the very end.
Even before the evening meal started, the devil had made Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, decide to betray Jesus.
Jesus knew that he had come from God and would go back to God. He also knew that the Father had given him complete power. So during the meal Jesus got up, removed his outer garment, and wrapped a towel around his waist. He put some water into a large bowl. Then he began washing his disciples' feet and drying them with the towel he was wearing.
But when he came to Simon Peter, that disciple asked, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus answered, "You don't really know what I am doing, but later you will understand."
"You will never wash my feet!" Peter replied.
"If I don't wash you," Jesus told him, "you don't really belong to me."
Peter said, "Lord, don't wash just my feet. Wash my hands and my head."
Jesus answered, "People who have bathed and are clean all over need to wash just their feet. And you, my disciples, are clean, except for one of you." Jesus knew who would betray him. That is why he said, "except for one of you."
After Jesus had washed his disciples' feet and had put his outer garment back on, he sat down again. Then he said:
Do you understand what I have done? You call me your teacher and Lord, and you should, because that is who I am. And if your Lord and teacher has washed your feet, you should do the same for each other. I have set the example, and you should do for each other exactly what I have done for you. I tell you for certain that servants are not greater than their master, and messengers are not greater than the one who sent them. You know these things, and God will bless you, if you do them.
I am not talking about all of you. I know the ones I have chosen. But what the Scriptures say must come true. And they say, "The man who ate with me has turned against me!" I am telling you this before it all happens. Then when it does happen, you will believe who I am. I tell you for certain that anyone who welcomes my messengers also welcomes me and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
After Jesus had said these things, he was deeply troubled and told his disciples, "I tell you for certain that one of you will betray me." They were confused about what he meant. And they just stared at each other.
Jesus' favorite disciple was sitting next to him at the meal, and Simon motioned for that disciple to find out which one Jesus meant. So the disciple leaned toward Jesus and asked, "Lord, which one of us are you talking about?"
Jesus answered, "I will dip this piece of bread in the sauce and give it to the one I was talking about."
Then Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Right then Satan took control of Judas.
Jesus said, "Judas, go quickly and do what you have to do." No one at the meal understood what Jesus meant. But because Judas was in charge of the money, some of them thought that Jesus had told him to buy something they needed for the festival. Others thought that Jesus had told him to give some money to the poor. Judas took the piece of bread and went out.
It was already night.
Contemporary English Version The Holy Bible (New York , NY: American Bible Society 1995)