NKJV - 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
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I interpret Jesus to be saying that God the Father, by the teaching contained in the words that Jesus had spoken to the apostles throughout His ministry, had been carrying out the "pruning" (or "purging") process of which Jesus had just spoken, as a result of which the remaining apostles (other than Judas Iscariot) were now (that is, already) "clean", or fully equipped to bear maximum fruit in Jesus' name (in comparison to those who would become Christ's followers -- and undergo the same process -- in the future as a result of the apostles' evangelizing).
I think Jesus was saying that the apostles believed Jesus' teachings and that he was the Christ, the son of God. Jesus had came to redeem Israel from their sin and as such they had eternal life. So being clean was saying that they were saved. Jesus went on to say that their feet needed cleaning. I think this meant the day to day sin that mankind gets itself into because of the fallen nature of man, that even after being saved you will still sin, but less and less as you grow in Christ. Also they did not seem to understand Jesus' death and resurrection yet. So washing their feet could have been for one or both of these conditions.
Wow! This question really excites me because I am a product of God's word. Through God's word I have been changed by the renewing I my mind. My thought life and my actions are constantly being guided by the word of God. You can not love Jesus without loving the word of God. The Holy spirit, God the Father and Jesus are one. The Jews stumble over this revelation because they rejected the chief corner stone of the Father's foundational truth, that Jesus was, is and always will be a perfect reflection of our Heavenly Father. A manifestation of God the Father wrapped in human flesh. The gospel of John explains it so simply in about 18 verses. Read John chapter 1 1:18. Actually it is best to memorize it. You will not be tempted in believing the lie that their are many ways to God after that. The word of God, the son of God, the heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit are one. When we become one with the word of God in all things, we become one with them all. The word of God makes us clean through regeneration through faith in the Son of God Jesus the Christ. The son of a living God that is spirit that manifested himself as a reflection of himself called simply Jesus. Wow! So simple yet so incredibly complex, yet seen and comprehended only through the eyes that only a regenerated man or woman can see. As Jesus himself said to Nicodemus, you must be born again to comprehend the mysteries of trrough salvation. Are you born again or just religious like the Pharisees and Sadducees who persecuted Jesus at every opportunity? Don't be like them; that leads to hell. Selah!
In chapter John 4 verse 17, Jesus states, " But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you ". This also lines up with Jesus stating in John 24, God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth", Which I perceive to be meaning in faith and obedience, or boiling down to, with their lives. These are the words that Jesus had spoken to them that verified their being clean.
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