top of page

John 13 Reading Guide

Dig In:

Dig Deeper:

Chapter Summary

  • v1-20 - The action slows way down now in John's gospel, and the next five chapters will be mostly Jesus talking and teaching His twelve disciples.

    • In v3, we read that Jesus "knew that the Father had put all things under His power."

    • What would you do if you knew that all things had been put under your power? None of us would make the first two choices Jesus did:

      • To allow one of His closest followers to betray Him (v21-30);

      • To suddenly get up from the meal and perform one of the most menial tasks there is: washing feet.

        • Peter, of course, famously refuses to let Jesus wash his feet.

          • Jesus replies that unless Peter allow Jesus to serve him, he would have no part in Jesus.

          • Peter then immediately changes his mind and goes all in.

        • After finishing, Jesus tells His disciples (and us) to model the servant leadership He'd just demonstrated.

          • The ironic thing is that as we make it our goal to serve others,

          • we will be the ones who are blessed (v17)!

  • v21-30 - Jesus allows Judas to betray Him. What would cause Judas to want to do this after everything he's seen Jesus do and say?

    • We've been looking at the significance of what John meant as he wrote the often used phrase 'believe in Jesus,' and how we are to understand that as 'believing into Jesus,' meaning that our belief is expressed by putting every ounce of trust into Jesus.

      • Most people would rather keep their faith & trust in themselves, but doing so creates a spiritual vacuum. Judas demonstrates the danger of living in spiritual vacuum:

As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him (v27).
  • John has been using the metaphors or light and dark, day and night throughout his gospel (see the list on BibleGateway). Building on these metaphors, he absolutely nails the final line of this passage, which represents the lowest point in human history:

and it was night (v30b)
  • v31-38 - Just as John somberly notes it was dark, Jesus announces the light, declaring that the Son of Man is now glorified and God is glorified in Him (in a sense, to glorify something means to shine the bright light upon it).

    • Jesus says the way His disciples will be identified is by the way we love one another.

    • The final few verses of this chapter foreshadow the coming events:

      • Jesus is going away, and although the disciples can't follow Him now, they will later.

      • The cocky & bold Peter will disown the Teacher he loves so much.

OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE: There are so many parts of Psalm 49:1-13 that point forward to this point in Jesus' life, especially v9.


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:

  1. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: After Jesus got up from the mean He was sharing with the disciples, and before He began washing their feet, what three things did He do? (See verses 4–5.)

  2. In John 1:18, we read that Jesus, who is Himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, had come to make God known. After reading what Jesus did and said in this chapter, what would you say that God is like?

Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father who is glorified in His Son

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will live selflessly for others as Christ taught (v14-15)



Listen To:

drive-faith logo - blue.png

Curated Reformed Podcasts - Updated daily

bottom of page