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Sermon Notes + 10.8.2023




Wash One Another’s Feet
John 13:1-20
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor

Overview: In the final days of His life, Jesus turns His attention to the disciples and demonstrates His love for them to the very end. After a meal, Jesus takes a towel and begins washing the feet of His disciples. Simon Peter initially objects to this humble act of service but retracts his opposition when Jesus tells him that a person who is not washed has no part in Him. Peter then wants to be washed from head to toe, but Jesus informs him that one who has bathed is completely clean. This great act of love by the Lord Jesus illustrates how the disciples are to learn from Him, love Him, and serve one another. Such love, however, does not persuade Judas to confess Jesus as Lord or recognize the disciples as brothers in the faith.

01. Jesus loves His own to the very end.

02. Jesus loves His own by cleansing them from sin.

03. Jesus calls upon His own to love one another.


1. Note the introduction to this chapter that John provides in verses 1-2. How does John present the spiritual warfare that accompanies Jesus’s final days? Is there any doubt in Jesus’s mind that God’s will shall prevail despite the forthcoming attacks by the devil through Judas? How does Jesus’ confidence in God’s providence inspire you to serve the Lord in the face of opposition?

2. John is very deliberate in presenting each movement of Jesus as He removes Himself from the table, lays aside His outer garments, stoops to wash the disciples’ feet, rises again, and places on His outer garments. How does this imagery reflect Jesus’ pre-incarnate state, incarnation, ministry, and ascension? How does this presentation compare with Philippians 2:5-11? How do both texts encourage Christlike humility in the act of serving one another?

3. What objection does Peter raise in verses 6-8? How does his objection reflect that of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:13-17? How does Jesus challenge Peter’s thinking in verse 8? Why is it sufficient for Peter to have only his feet washed instead of his whole body? How does this illustration speak toward the need for forgiveness of sins that is once-for-all, and the ongoing need for forgiveness (or, cleansing) by Jesus? See 1 John 1:5-10 for further insight.

4. What is the central lesson Jesus taught His disciples by washing their feet (verses 12-17)? In what ways can we wash one another’s feet in a figurative sense? Does Jesus want us to call Him teacher only, or should we also recognize Him as our Lord who has a special call on our lives that we should follow in all things?

5. Note the rebellion that exists within the heart of Judas despite such love shown to him by Jesus. How does John account for this rebellion (verses 2, 18)? Is it possible that a person can give every outward indication that they are a follower of Jesus but still have a hardened heart toward Him? Pray that our hearts will be softened to love Jesus and to serve one another in response to God’s great love.

For Further Reading: Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (Viking, 2008)