Jesus knew that the hour had come that His earthly ministry would come to a close. Soon He would die for the sins of the world. He would return to the Father. He would have overcome the penalty of sin, which was death. His believers would know that His death was an act of obedience to the Father, and love for His believers. He loved them till His death. The full extent of His love is seen in the following ways:
1. His humble service 13:1-17
2. His teaching 13:18-17:26.
3. His death Chapters 18-19
All three of these reveal His love for humanity.
The devil had already prompted. Judas Iscariot’s heart to betray Jesus. Jesus had predicted that this would happen. John 6:7-71. Note John 13:27 where Satan actually entered his heart. Even though this happened, God was still in control of all things. Nothing is done without God’s will being accomplished.
Jesus knew the following:
-His sovereign authority
-His origin and coming destiny
Jesus voluntarily took the place of a slave by washing the feet of His disciples. This was in comparison of the disciples’ self-seeking desires. http://ref.ly/Mt20.20-24, http://ref.ly/Mk9.33f-34 and http://ref.ly/Lk22.24-30. Jesus took on the form of a servant. http://ref.ly/Pp2.5-8
The act of foot-washing was common in Palestine. The streets were dusty. People wore sandals without socks or stockings. This was a common custom when welcoming an individual or individuals into one’s home. It was one of the first things done to the guest. It was a mark of honor. Otherwise, it was a breach of hospitality not to do this. Note the following verses:
An example of how families did it is as follows:
-Wives often washed their husbands’ feet
-Children washed their parents’ feet
-Most people washed their own feet