Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world to the Father…
To provide a guest with water to wash his feet is a common act of hospitality among the Hindoos. It is also considered a privilege and duty for disciples to wash the feet of any celebrated gooroo, or religious guide. But for a gooroo to wash the feet of his disciples would be diametrically opposed to a Hindoo's ideas of propriety. "Suppose," I said to my pundit, the other day, "a celebrated gooroo were to attempt to wash the feet of his disciples, would they allow it?" "Never," he replied; "if he were to make the attempt, they would refuse to allow him; would rush out of his presence; and would think he was gone mad. Such an idea is entirely opposed to the reverence which a disciple has for his teacher, and would not be tolerated for a moment. To permit it would bring reproach upon both teacher and disciple." With these ideas in his mind it is easy to understand how Peter should be startled and astonished when Jesus drew near to wash his feet. "Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?" Such an act had never been heard of; was contrary to the customs of the country; contrary to every idea of propriety; and calculated to bring reproach upon his teacher.
(J. L. Nye.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.