3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
The washing of the disciple’s feet was a very solemn occasion. Jesus having come from the highest of high position in eternity (v. 3) now stepped into a very low status. Although He came from the Father and was God, He willingly took on a servant role.
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands,
Jesus knew what the Father was doing. His death within the coming couple of days was no surprise to Him. He had the authority of someone who was omnipotent.
This verse shows the eternal relationship of the Son to the Father. The Father was no casual observer to the events in the life of Jesus. Jesus functioned in role under the authority of the Father as the second person of the Trinity.
Each member of the Trinity has a role. The Son’s role is to reveal as the “Word” and make manifest what God is all about. For Him to do that, the Father gave Him authority over “all things.”
and that He had come from God and was going to God,
Jesus came from the Father and would return to the Father. He knew His identity as God, and He realized that this was the consummation of His mission. He was fully conscious of who He was, of His omnipotence and omniscience, yet He willingly put Himself in the place of a servant.
Jesus was no victim of a plot against Him, and neither was He unaware of the events flying around Him. He knew who He was and what was about to happen to Him. He was fully cognizant of His origin and the glory after His death. He knew the authority that He carried.
rose from supper and laid aside His garments,
The occasion for Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet was their argument about who would be the greatest among them (Lu 22:24-27). The Lord reversed roles of what would normally be expected of someone who had “all things in His hands” (v. 3).
The Lord rose up from supper and took off His outside robe. Jewish men wore two robes, one inside and the other outside.
The table was U-shaped with people resting on an elbow and their feet extending away from the place of eating.
took a towel and girded Himself.
Jesus assumed the role of a servant in washing the disciples’ feet (Php 2:7; Mr 10:45). He put on a servant’s garb.
No disciple offered to do this task. It was a too menial for them. They were not ready to lower themselves to this level of inferiority to others. This was an issue of pride, not humility.
Jesus adopted a menial role. He rendered service to His disciples.
He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet,
The streets of Palestine were dusty. Washing feet was an act that only people of lowly role performed. It was an utter shock for someone other than a menial person to wash feet. This was an act of humble love and an example for the disciples.
and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
Jesus took on the role of a menial servant to wipe the feet of the disciples.
Jesus set an example of condescension.
Jesus was thoroughly knowledgeable in His humanity of His pre-existence with the Father in eternity and the reason why He came. He had every reason to be proud, but He took the role of serving others. That is quite an example for us.