the Parable of John 13

Pastor Gary

Senior Moderator and Staff Trainer
Staff member
Senior Moderator
Staff Trainer
the Parable of John 13

One of our Pastor colleagues and I were recently asked to explain the meaning of John 13 (KJV).

This chapter was told by Christ in parable form. Let's first read the most important parts of the text:

John 13:5 (KJV), "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."

John 13:8 (KJV), " Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."

John 13:10 (KJV), "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."

This was done by Christ to his disiples to make a point in parable form.

When those who wear sandals walk a dirt road, the feet will become dirtied. Likewise, all humans, as they walk the path of life, will occasionally be dirtied with the sins of man. Christ is the way for us to resolve those sins by repentance. Once we repent, He "cleanses" our 'dirt' just as he physically cleansed the dirt from the feet of His disiples. He said, " If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." In other words, from the parable teaching, those who sin and do not repent and ask God for forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ, do not know Him and will not be saved.

Just a side note... Christ washed Judas Iscariot as he did with the other disiples, but he knew Judas' heart as a traitor. That is why he mentioned in verse 10, "... and ye are clean, but not all." At that time, Judas had conspired to turn Christ over to the authorities and Jesus knew that and what the outcome would be.

John 13:21 (KJV), " 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."

John 13:24-26 (KJV), 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".

The parables of Christ's teachings were done so the average scriptural reader in those days could understand what was being told as compared to the daily observations that they made in their lives. It is sometimes difficult for us in modern times, to recognize these parables and their meaning, because we are not educated in parable form.

I hope that this example of a parable can assist new Bible students to recognize the parable form and to better understand their meaning when they are encountered while reading God's Word.

Blessings to you.