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John 13

New International Version

1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 'Lord, are you going to wash my feet?' 7 Jesus replied, 'You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.' 8 No,' said Peter, 'you shall never wash my feet.' Jesus answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.' 9 Then, Lord,' Simon Peter replied, 'not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!' 10 Jesus answered, 'Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.' 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. 'Do you understand what I have done for you?' he asked them. 13 You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. 18 I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: 'He who shared my bread has turned against me.' 19 I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. 20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.' 21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, 'Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.' 22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, 'Ask him which one he means.' 25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, 'Lord, who is it?' 26 Jesus answered, 'It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.' Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, 'What you are about to do, do quickly.' 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night. 31 When he was gone, Jesus said, 'Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. 33 My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. 34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.' 36 Simon Peter asked him, 'Lord, where are you going?' Jesus replied, 'Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.' 37 Peter asked, 'Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.' 38 Then Jesus answered, 'Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
English Standard Version

1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” 21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. 31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” 36 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” 37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.
King James Version

1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; 3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. 18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. 20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. 23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. 25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? 26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. 28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. 31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. 37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. 38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
New American Standard Bible

1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of 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 Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, 4 got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. 5 Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, 'Lord, do You wash my feet?' 7 Jesus answered and said to him, 'What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.' 8 Peter said to Him, 'Never shall You wash my feet!' Jesus answered him, 'If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.' 9 Simon Peter said to Him, 'Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.' 10 Jesus said to him, 'He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.' 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, 'Not all of you are clean.' 12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, 'Do you know what I have done to you? 13 'You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 'If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 'For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 'Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 'If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 'I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.' 19 'From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. 20 'Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.' 21 When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.' 22 The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. 23 There was reclining on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 So Simon Peter gestured to him, and said to him, 'Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.' 25 He, leaning back thus on Jesus' bosom, said to Him, 'Lord, who is it?' 26 Jesus then answered, 'That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.' So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, 'What you do, do quickly.' 28 Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him. 29 For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, 'Buy the things we have need of for the feast'; or else, that he should give something to the poor. 30 So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night. 31 Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, 'Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; 32 if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. 33 'Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.' 34 'A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 'By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.' 36 Simon Peter said to Him, 'Lord, where are You going?' Jesus answered, 'Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.' 37 Peter said to Him, 'Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.' 38 Jesus answered, 'Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.
New Living Translation

1 Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples' feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. 6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, 'Lord, are you going to wash my feet?' 7 Jesus replied, 'You don't understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.' 8 'No,' Peter protested, 'you will never ever wash my feet!' Jesus replied, 'Unless I wash you, you won't belong to me.' 9 Simon Peter exclaimed, 'Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!' 10 Jesus replied, 'A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.' 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, 'Not all of you are clean.' 12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, 'Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and you are right, because that's what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. 18 'I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, 'The one who eats my food has turned against me.' 19 I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I Am the Messiah. 20 I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.' 21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, 'I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!' 22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. 23 The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, 'Who's he talking about?' 25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, who is it?' 26 Jesus responded, 'It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.' And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. 27 When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, 'Hurry and do what you're going to do.' 28 None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. 29 Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. 30 So Judas left at once, going out into the night. 31 As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, 'The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. 32 And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will soon give glory to the Son. 33 Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can't come where I am going. 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.' 36 Simon Peter asked, 'Lord, where are you going?' And Jesus replied, 'You can't go with me now, but you will follow me later.' 37 'But why can't I come now, Lord?' he asked. 'I'm ready to die for you.' 38 Jesus answered, 'Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter--before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 Now when it was time for supper, the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray him. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into his hands, that he had come from God, and that he was going back to God. 4 So he got up from supper, laid aside his outer clothing, took a towel, and tied it around himself. 5 Next, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who asked him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet? ” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I’m doing you don’t realize now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 “You will never wash my feet,” Peter said. Jesus replied, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” 10 “One who has bathed,” Jesus told him, “doesn’t need to wash anything except his feet, but he is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For he knew who would betray him. This is why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 When Jesus had washed their feet and put on his outer clothing, he reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord ​--​and you are speaking rightly, since that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you. 16 “Truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 “I’m not speaking about all of you; I know those I have chosen. But the Scripture must be fulfilled: The one who eats my bread has raised his heel against me. 19 I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am he. 20 Truly I tell you, whoever receives anyone I send receives me, and the one who receives me receives him who sent me.” 21 When Jesus had said this, he was troubled in his spirit and testified, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples started looking at one another ​--​uncertain which one he was speaking about. 23 One of his disciples, the one Jesus loved, was reclining close beside Jesus. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to find out who it was he was talking about. 25 So he leaned back against Jesus and asked him, “Lord, who is it? ” 26 Jesus replied, “He’s the one I give the piece of bread to after I have dipped it.” When he had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son. 27 After Judas ate the piece of bread, Satan entered him. So Jesus told him, “What you’re doing, do quickly.” 28 None of those reclining at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Since Judas kept the money-bag, some thought that Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 After receiving the piece of bread, he immediately left. And it was night. 31 When he had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 Children, I am with you a little while longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so now I tell you: ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 36 “Lord,” Simon Peter said to him, “where are you going? ” Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow later.” 37 “Lord,” Peter asked, “why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Jesus replied, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly I tell you, a rooster will not crow until you have denied me three times.

What does John 13 mean?

Here begins the private teaching phase of the gospel of John. Through chapter 17, John's text will focus on the words spoken by Jesus in the last hours prior to His arrest. This comes on the heels of an impassioned plea by Christ to the wider world, recorded at the end of chapter 12 (John 12:44–50).

Jesus is portrayed as fully aware of everything happening around Him. Though Judas has made secret plans to turn Jesus over to His enemies, this is not something hidden to Christ. Later, Jesus will make explicit mention of this and even tell the false disciple to leave and complete His work (John 13:1–3).

In the ancient world, people walked on dirt roads covered in mud, animal waste, and assorted trash. Washing of the feet was dirty and usually something a person did themselves. When done for another person, it was always done by someone of a lower status. When Jesus washes the feet of the disciples, Peter is especially scandalized. But, as Jesus explains, there is a purpose for His actions. Before giving that explanation, Jesus points out that there is a difference—corresponding to the spiritual message of His actions—between a one-time "bathing" and daily "washing." That frames the difference between salvation and the need for us to confess our sins to Christ to maintain our fellowship with Him (John 13:4–11).

Jesus explains His act of washing the disciples' feet by taking full ownership of His role as Master. What Jesus did was humble and submissive, but His purpose was not to set aside His Lordship. Instead, Jesus is proving, by example, that all who claim to follow Him are obligated to humility and sacrificial love for others. Spoken or subconscious, the excuses "I'm too good for that," or "that's for lesser people" have no place in the life of a Christian. In making this plain, Jesus gives another hint that one of the men present is not who he seems to be (John 13:12–20).

Different gospel writers include their own details about this last supper. That reflects a truth easily lost when reading about these events thousands of years later: the men present aren't necessarily seeing things in that moment as clearly as we, the reader, can now. Jesus makes an explicit prediction that one of these disciples will "betray" Him. Shocking as that is, it's unlikely the disciples considered something as drastic as what Judas has in mind. Peter attempts to subtly find out who the culprit is, motioning for John—the disciple "whom Jesus loved"—to ask. In the ensuing events, Jesus refers to a sign, and completes it, but the moment passes quickly enough that no one seems to grasp it (John 13:21–26).

At this moment, Judas' choices and resistance to truth bring him past the point of no return (Proverbs 29:1). He is entirely and completely controlled by Satan. Jesus tells Satan / Judas to complete his task, using a Greek phrasing that could be taken in English as either "hurry up" or "let's get this over with." So far as the other men know, Judas is simply on an errand. John, however, places great emphasis on the concept of light. Indicating that Judas is leaving the presence of Jesus and disappearing into darkness is no accident (John 13:27–30).

With Judas dismissed, Jesus begins to issue His final instructions to the disciples. This begins with the command that all Christians are to be known primarily by their love, especially for fellow believers. Jesus is not suggesting this command is "new" in the sense that it has never been stated before (Matthew 22:36–40). Rather, this is a refreshed, re-emphasized priority for love. Jesus' reference to His impending departure gives some of the rationale behind the commandment. Christians need each other in order to survive in a spiritually hostile world (John 13:31–35).

Peter's remark here is not insincere. He really, truly believes that he is ready to die for Jesus. Later, he will even draw a weapon and fight to protect his master (John 18:10). But this is another example of Peter's mouth incurring debts he's in no position to pay. Jesus predicts that Peter will, in fact, completely deny knowing Him three times this very night. Faced with fear and danger, that's exactly how Peter will respond (John 18:25–27). Not only is this prediction a blow to Peter's pride, it probably makes the other disciples suspect that the mysterious traitor might be none other than Peter, himself (John 13:36–38).

The next chapter continues this same flow of thought. Jesus' immediate command "let not your hearts be troubled" comes right on the heels of these uncomfortable conversations (John 14:1). Jesus will reassure the disciples, preparing them to view what's about to happen as prophecy fulfilled, not a disastrous change in plans. That includes Jesus' reassurance that He, alone, is the path to God the Father (John 14:6).