For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, You are not all clean.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For he knew who should betray him.—Comp. John 18:2, and Note on Matthew 26:48. This is the first reference to the betrayal during the feast. The words are words of warning, spoken in the love which even then might have redeemed and cleansed the heart, if it had been open to receive it. The feet of Judas were washed by his Master. Had he learnt the lesson of humility and love, he might have conquered the foul spirit of ambition and covetousness which was carrying him to destruction.
needeth not—to be so washed any more.
save to wash his feet—needeth to do no more than wash his feet (and here the former word is resumed, meaning to wash the hands or feet).
but is clean every whit—as a whole. This sentence is singularly instructive. Of the two cleansings, the one points to that which takes place at the commencement of the Christian life, embracing complete absolution from sin as a guilty state, and entire deliverance from it as a polluted life (Re 1:5; 1Co 6:11)—or, in the language of theology, Justification and Regeneration. This cleansing is effected once for all, and is never repeated. The other cleansing, described as that of "the feet," is such as one walking from a bath quite cleansed still needs, in consequence of his contact with the earth. (Compare Ex 30:18, 19). It is the daily cleansing which we are taught to seek, when in the spirit of adoption we say, "Our Father which art in heaven … forgive us our debts" (Mt 6:9, 12); and, when burdened with the sense of manifold shortcomings—as what tender spirit of a Christian is not?—is it not a relief to be permitted thus to wash our feet after a day's contact with the earth? This is not to call in question the completeness of our past justification. Our Lord, while graciously insisting on washing Peter's feet, refuses to extend the cleansing farther, that the symbolical instruction intended to be conveyed might not be marred.
and ye are clean—in the first and whole sense.
but not all—important, as showing that Judas, instead of being as true-hearted a disciple as the rest at first, and merely falling away afterwards—as many represent it—never experienced that cleansing at all which made the others what they were.John 13:2; and Christ, who knew all hearts, knew what was in the heart of Judas, and he soon after (as we shall hereafter in this chapter read) revealed it; yet at this time he had not revealed it to his disciples: now he begins to discover it, telling them, that though the most of them were clean, justified and sanctified, yet all of them were not so.
therefore, said he, ye are not all clean: he does not mention his name, though he could have done so, it not being as yet proper to make so full a discovery of him, before the matter was ripe for execution; and also to put all the disciples upon examination of themselves.For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 13:11. That Judas was meant is at once said in John 13:11. Ἤιδει … ἐστε. Jesus thus shows that He distinguishes between the offence of the rest and the sin of Judas. All that they required was to have the soil of their present evil temper and jealousy removed: they were true in heart, they had been in the bath and had only contracted a slight stain. But Judas had not been in the bath: he had no genuine and habitual loyalty to Christ.11. who should betray him] Or, him that was betraying Him. The Greek construction is exactly equivalent to that of ‘He that should come’ (Matthew 11:3; Luke 7:19); in both cases it is the present participle with the definite article—‘the betraying one,’ ‘the coming one.’
therefore] Or, for this cause: see on John 12:39.John 13:11. Τὸν παραδίδοντα, who should betray Him) who, like the rest, had received the washing of his feet.Verse 11. - For he knew who was betraying him; therefore he said, Ye are not all clean. That Christ should have been ignorant of the devices of Judas, or of his true character, is repeatedly denied by all the evangelists. John certainly calls attention to the Lord's knowledge of the secret of Judas, and justifies thus his Divine prerogative. That Strauss, Hilgenfeld, and others should see here an innuendo against Peter, and the charge against Peter of advocating a kind of Ebionitie daily ablution of the whole body, is willful and uncalled for.
Literally, him that is betraying. So in Matthew 26:2, the present tense is used, is being betrayed
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