The first verse of chapter thirteen is an introduction to everything
that comes after it in the Gospel of John. Having loved his own in
the world from before the beginning of time, he was prepared to do
what was necessary for them to be saved. His “hour” had come, and he
was preparing to face his death and resurrection, which would lead to
the many people being reconciled with God. This verse reminds us of
the greatness of God’s love for us.
As a counterpoint to this great love, John tells us that Judas was
already busy on his plot to kill Jesus. The Devil had put this desire
into his heart, and he was delighted to obey Satan’s commands. Even
though Jesus’ murder was a result of Satan’s evil, John is quick to
remind us that it fits into God’s plan. Jesus is not a helpless
victim, but has all things in his hands (John 13:3).
Jesus then prepared his disciples to understand the love that drove
him to the cross by demonstrating that love by washing their feet.
Though he was the Lord of all, he performed a task normally reserved
for the lowest slave. This footwashing serves to illustrate what
Jesus does for his people at the cross. The Almighty Son of God
humbled himself by putting on flesh and dying for us (Phil. 2:6-7).
We are cleansed from our sins by relying on Christ, and this cleansing
results in us continually relying on Christ for the rest of our lives.