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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

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Commentary on John

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13, 1–19, 42 :

The Book of Glory. There is a major break here; the word “sign” is used again only in 20, 30 . In this phase of Jesus’ return to the Father, the discourses (chs 13–17 ) precede the traditional narrative of the passion (chs 18–20 ) to interpret them for the Christian reader. This is the only extended example of esoteric teaching of disciples in John.

13, 1–20 :

Washing of the disciples’ feet. This episode occurs in John at the place of the narration of the institution of the Eucharist in the synoptics. It may be a dramatization of Lk 22, 27 : “I am your servant.” It is presented as a “model” (“pattern”) of the crucifixion. It symbolizes cleansing from sin by sacrificial death.

13, 1 :

Before the feast of Passover: this would be Thursday evening, before the day of preparation; in the synoptics, the Last Supper is a Passover meal taking place, in John's chronology, on Friday evening. To the end: or, “completely.”

13, 2 :

Induced: literally, “The devil put into the heart that Judas should hand him over.”

13, 5 :

The act of washing another's feet was one that could not be required of the lowliest Jewish slave. It is an allusion to the humiliating death of the crucifixion.

13, 10 :

Bathed: many have suggested that this passage is a symbolic reference to baptism. The Greek root involved is used in baptismal contexts in 1 Cor 6, 11; Eph 5, 26; Ti 3, 5; Heb 10, 22 .

13, 16 :

Messenger: the Greek has apostolos, the only occurrence of the term in John. It is not used in the technical sense here.

13, 23 :

The one whom Jesus loved: also mentioned in 19, 26; 20, 2; 21, 7 . A disciple, called “another disciple” or “the other disciple,” is mentioned in 18, 15 and 20, 2 ; in the latter reference he is identified with the disciple whom Jesus loved. There is also an unnamed disciple in 1, 35–40 ; see the note on 1, 37 .

13, 26 :

Morsel: probably the bitter herb dipped in salt water.

13, 31–17, 26 :

Two farewell discourses and a prayer. These seem to be Johannine compositions, including sayings of Jesus at the Last Supper and on other occasions, modeled on similar farewell discourses in Greek literature and the Old Testament (of Moses, Joshua, David).

13, 31–38 :

Introduction: departure and return. Terms of coming and going predominate. These verses form an introduction to the last discourse of Jesus, which extends through chs 14 to 17 . In it John has collected Jesus’ words to his own ( 13, 1 ). There are indications that several speeches have been fused together, e.g., in 14, 31 and 17, 1 .

13, 34 :

I give you a new commandment: this puts Jesus on a par with Yahweh. The commandment itself is not new; cf Lv 19, 18 and the note there.

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