"You do not realize now what I am doing, but later ..." (John 13:7)

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." (John 13:7)

Why was Jesus washing their feet?

And what is it that Jesus is doing that his disciples will only later understand?

This clearly indicates that Jesus wasn't simply interested in keeping their feet clean: There is a metaphorical, symbolic meaning to Jesus' washing their feet. What was it?

Jesus hints at it with a statement he makes later:
"I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him." (John 13:16-17)
Jesus is speaking of being a servant. Washing someone's feet is an act of a humble servant. Jesus is asking that his disciples do what he is doing: Provide service.

In other words, Jesus wants his disciples to take up a life of service, as he has done.

Jesus is clearly indicating that he is a servant and a messenger. He is the servant and messenger of God ("the One who sent him") and he is the servant of humanity.

Did God really 'put all things under his power'?

The key to this statement is the translation of the words 'all things'. The translation assumes that God had somehow handed over all His power to Jesus.

That is not what the Greek says. 'All things' is translated from the Greek word πᾶς (pas). This can mean "all" but also "any" or "all of a type" according to the lexicon.

Furthermore, the word "put" comes from the Greek word δίδωμι (didōmi). This can mean "to give" but also to "appoint to an office," "entrust," "to "grant" or "commission" according to the lexicon.

On a practical basis, it is impossible for God to give Jesus all His power. If that were so, God would cease to be God and Jesus would therefore have taken over God's position.

That would mean that God would not be God anymore, which is an oxymoron.

Therefore, the only logical translation would be that God entrusted Jesus with a certain type of power. Not all His power. But "all" meaning "full authority." In other words, God had given Jesus full authority over this particular situation.

That is also called free will. God gives each of us a certain amount of free will to make decisions to carry out our own will.

But in Jesus' case, he had the freedom to do his own will or do God's will, and he chose to do God's will. He used his authority to act freely in such a way that would be pleasing to God.

In response to this choice, God effectively empowered Jesus.

Thus a better translation of this particular translation to this phrase, as given in the Lost Gospels of Jesus, would be:
Jesus, knowing that the Creator had empowered him ...

Is Jesus a servant?

This is precisely why Jesus referred to himself throughout his missionary as υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, mistranslated to 'son of man.'

The phrase "son of man" has no practical meaning. Every male is a son of a man. Why would Jesus call himself a son of a man?

The "son" portion of "son of man" is translated from the Greek word υἱός (huios). υἱός can indicate a relationship of offspring when one is referring to a physical family, but it can also indicate a relationship of servitude. According to Thayer's Greek lexicon, υἱός can be "used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower" - a servant, in other words. Since Jesus would not be referring to "man" as his physical family, we must utilize this translation of υἱός, indicating either "follower" or "devoted servant."

The Greek word ἄνθρωπος can mean "man," "mankind" or "humanity". Jesus is obviously not speaking of a specific man. He can only be speaking of humankind or humanity.

Thus the only logical translation of υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου (τοῦ means "of") is servant of humanity.

When "servant of humanity" is translated correctly, the essence of the relationship that Jesus was describing between himself and humanity becomes clear. Jesus saw himself as the servant of all humankind because he was delivering God's message - and thereby saving us. This is why God also gave this same title ("servant of humanity" aka "son of man") to Ezekial; and why both Job and David humbly referred to themselves with the same title.

This brings together Jesus' statement above, and why he felt it was so important that he wash his disciples' feet. He was showing them that he saw himself as a servant of others, and he wanted his disciples to also see themselves as servants of others.

Jesus also saw himself as a servant of God (υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ), and many referred to him as such. Once again, the word υἱὸς is being translated to "son" but is better translated to "devoted servant." Remember that υἱὸς can only refer to "son" if in the context of a physical family. The relationship between Jesus and God was a spiritual relationship, not a physical one. God was not the physical father of Jesus' physical body.

What about 'Son of God'?

In the same way, the phrase μονογενής υἱός τοῦ θεοῦ is best translated as "devoted and beloved servant of God" - as remember υἱός indicates "follower" or "devoted servant" in the context of a relationship with God, while τοῦ means "of" and θεοῦ is the Name of God.

In the context of Jesus, other language experts have looked more deeply at the meaning of υἱός τοῦ θεοῦ and determined that its roots in the Hebrew terminology give it a reference to being the Representative of God.

Nevertheless, one can still make the case that Jesus was created by God and is, therefore, his Father - so "Son of God" is not necessarily incorrect. But what Jesus did was serve God - he did the will of God:
"Abba, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." (Mark 14:36)
Doing someone else's will means being their servant. Jesus saw himself as God's servant, and he wanted his disciples to also see themselves as God's servants. Being a servant of God means doing God's will, and God's will is to bring us back home to Him. Thus doing God's will also means becoming a servant of humanity.

And Jesus' disciples will only later understand this as they begin reaching out to others and teaching to them after Jesus left the planet: They became servants of humanity.

In this physical world, practically no one wants to be anyone's servant. We all want to be the master. We all want to be the master of someone or something. This is why winning a "masters" tournament or contest is so important to people, and being called a "master" of something is so important. We want the admiration of others. We want cheering fans to adore us. We want to be the boss so we can tell others how to do things.

This is our disease. We want to be the master. This is because we became envious of God because He is the only true Master. And this enviousness of God is why we fell from the spiritual world and took on these temporary physical bodies.

God created the physical world to allow us to play out our desires to be the master. So we each get to carve out our little niche somewhere - to be the master of someone or something. God is allowing us to exercise our desires in this virtual physical world.

But the physical world is also programmed to teach us that we are not masters. Through its various lessons, we are gradually taught - assuming we want to learn - that we are really not masters by nature.

This is why even the most successful of us, once achieving superstar status like being a big sports star, a big politician, or a business tycoon, will not be satisfied with that status. Superstar status is not fulfilling. We can only look at the lives of many who have achieved this status to see this.

And this is why most who achieve this type of success end up using their status to begin to help people somehow. They have found that helping others is more fulfilling than being the master of others.

Was Jesus the only begotten son?

The references (such as in John 1:14) to Jesus as "only begotten son" is a mistranslation - influenced by Pauline theology and the Roman-influenced doctrine "Nicene Creed" used to dominate religious worship as dictated by the Roman emperor.

The Pauline theology utilized Paul's manipulated letters to proclaim that Jesus was the only son of God and that Jesus' mission was to die for our sins. 

Paul was not a disciple of Jesus. According to Acts, he had a vision of Jesus then later was baptized by Ananias, resulting from another vision (Acts 9:18). 

Paul also argued with Peter and James - Jesus' closest disciples - about Jesus' teachings - in public. As if Paul knew better than them the import of Jesus' teachings?

The next verses underscore the depth of Paul's teachings:
At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. (Act 9:20)
Such a philosophy is pretty shallow. Instead of passing on Jesus' actual teachings - as a true disciple would - Paul elected to create his own version, one that could be accepted by "gentiles" (translated from a Greek word that better translates to "pagans" or "atheists.") 

Yes, Paul was referring mostly to Romans, who were atheists - actually polytheists to be more exact. They were used to believing in the Roman gods - and sons of gods - including Caesar Augustus, Octavian and other Roman emperors. So they could easily accept a philosophy that was focused on another "son of god."

Certainly, if we accept the translation of υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ to servant of God (see above), then we can accept Paul's teachings. But it would be far-fetched to claim that Jesus was the only servant of God. Such a notion contradicts so much of the Bible, as we find Moses, Abraham, David, Samuel, Eli and so many others were servants of God according to these ancient texts.

Rather, we find that Paul and his followers from Rome and vicinity took this statement out of context, proclaiming that Jesus was literally the son of God - and the only son of God at that. 

It is an awkward notion that God could only have one son. Is God impotent? A human can have many sons in a lifetime but God - the Supreme Being - can only have one son? This is an offensive assumption, and it is clearly negated by the many scriptural passages that use the same Greek or Hebrew reference for other devoted followers of God.

In answer to this, some ecclesiastical teachers following in Paul's and the Roman Catholic institution's footsteps have put forth the notion that God can have many sons, but only one "begotten" son. This is the same thing. They are limiting God to being able to directly create only one son.

It is quite simply a mistranslation of the Greek word μονογενής (monogenēs), which can mean "only one of its kind," but in use, the word is often used to indicate someone who is very special, or very dear.

In the context that it is being used - one of Jesus' dedicated followers referring to him - μονογενής refers to an intimate loving relationship between Jesus and God, and the fact that Jesus was dear to God, and specially chosen by God to represent Him.

Are we all servants?

According to Jesus' example here, he is teaching us that each of us is a servant.

Every soul who is seeking to understand God and understand themselves will come to realize at some point our position as servants. It is unavoidable unless we want to remain in ignorance.

God created us as His loving caregivers. Our natural position is to care for Him and serve Him. This is what fulfills us.

But since love requires freedom, we can also decide not to serve Him. We have the choice to become envious of Him. So we are sent out of the spiritual realm - our home - to exercise our desire to try to be like Him.

Jesus is trying to bring his disciples - and all of us - back home to our natural positions. But this requires that we make the choice and realize our natural position as servants: Servants of God and servants of each other. This and only this is what will ultimately fulfill us.

For this reason, we find that many people who gain positions of fame and fortune find no happiness there, but once they begin to serve others, they find some happiness. This is because we are servants by nature.

Finding our ultimate position includes this, but the foundation is serving the Supreme Being and serving others in the same vein. In other words, how we serve others must be consistent with serving God because otherwise, we could be harming others spiritually without realizing it.

Being this type of servant is not like being a slave, as indicated by the Greek word, δοῦλος (doulos) - which Jesus used in his parables to indicate a slave. Being God's devoted servant is not forced labor. Rather, the service referred to here is based on love. When we love someone, we naturally want to please them (do their will). When we want to please them, we serve them. This is why Jesus' two most important instructions were:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matt. 22:37-40)