1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

John 13:11

ESV For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
NIV For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
NASB For He knew the one who was betraying Him; it was for this reason that He said, 'Not all of you are clean.'
CSB For he knew who would betray him. This is why he said, "Not all of you are clean."
NLT For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, 'Not all of you are clean.'
KJV For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

What does John 13:11 mean?

Jesus has just made a statement explaining the nature of the spiritual "cleansing" He offers. Those who are "bathed," meaning saved, do not need to be re-saved over and over. Rather, they need only to have their feet "washed." They need to confess and repent of daily sins in order to be in good fellowship with Christ, but they're already "clean" by virtue of their salvation (John 13:7–10).

At the same time, Jesus explains that not all of those present are "clean," in that spiritual sense. At this moment, only Jesus and Judas are aware that Judas has betrayal on his mind. The other disciples are sincere believers in Christ—they are truly committed to Him. Even if they lack understanding, or, like Peter, self-control (John 13:8–9), they are clean by virtue of that faith. Judas is neither sincere nor submissive. He's played along for his own reasons and will soon sell Jesus to His enemies (John 13:21–26).

The presence of Judas here raises two ideas often lost when discussing this passage. First, Judas is among those whom Jesus serves by washing their feet. Despite Judas being lost, treacherous, and plotting murder, Jesus extends humility and kindness to him. That will continue as they share a meal together: one last gesture of Christ's loving kindness to His own enemies.

Second, this emphasizes that spiritual "cleansing" is not accomplished by rituals like confession. Judas participates in the foot-washing just as the others. But they are already "clean"; he is not. Surface-level religion, without real faith, will not save.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: