Jesus Washes Feet John 13:1-17 Leader Notes Serve the LORD with gladness! Psalm 100:2
Key Point God pours out His love for me by sending Jesus to serve me by saving me from sin, death, and the devil and by empowering me to serve others in His name.
The washing of the disciples' feet takes place on Thursday evening of Holy Week. Foot washing was normally done by the most menial of slaves, never by a master. When Jesus says, 'The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet but is completely clean.’ (John 13 1O). He is referring to common ancient practice. Walking on dusty roads in Bible times made one's feet extremely dirty. Those who had recently bathed would be clean except for their feet, which would need to be washed again.
Opening Activity Investigation Station
To provide a connection to what they will learn in the Bible lesson, set out some housekeeping items, such as a wand duster, play dishes, dish rags and tea towels, a laundry basket and towels to fold, a watering can, stuffed dogs, and toy dishes for pet bowls. Add a dishpan filled one-third with water for children to wash their dishes.
Encourage the children to wash and dry the dishes, feed their pets, dust, and fold clothes.
Say You are being good helpers! Do you help at home? What do you do? Accept answers. Jesus wants us to be helpers, doesn't He? When we help others, we are serving them.
Say Today, you will hear about a time when Jesus used water to serve His disciples. The disciples were very surprised when they saw what Jesus did. Listen carefully to find out what surprised them.
Have children pretend they are walking along a wet, puddle-filled road as they gather for the opening and Bible story.
Bible Story John 13:1-17 Jesus Washes Feet God's Promise in the Bible
What you do: Put a towel and a bottle of water in your story bag. You will also need a shallow basin. Tell the children that you want them to help you tell the story today by following your actions.
Say Are you ready to hear another story about Jesus' love? I have some things in my story bag that you are going to hear about. Take out the bottle of water and towel. How can we use these things? Allow for answers. Here's something else that's in our story today. Show the basin. I wonder how a basin, towel, and water can tell us about God's love. Let's listen and find out.
What you do: You will need a sandal, a bottle of water, a towel, and a basin.
Say Our Bible story for today is found in the Book of John in the Bible. Show Bible. It happens at Passover, a special time when God's people went to Jerusalem to thank God. Show the sandal.
Ask If you put sandals on your feet and went outside to play for a long time, how do you think your feet would look clean or dirty? Accept answers.
Well, in Bible times the people wore sandals instead of sneakers or shoes. The roads the people walked on were muddy and dusty. What do you think happened to their feet? Yes, they got dirty! When they went into the house after walking outside, their dirty feet needed to be washed. Pretend to wash. This was a yucky job. Look disgusted. So usually a servant did this.
In our story, Jesus and His friends were walking along a dusty road. They were going to the big city of Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Walk, walk, walk. Walk in place. Finally, they came to the house where they were going to eat. But when they went into the house, there was no one there to wash their feet, so they sat down to eat without washing their feet.
Now Jesus knew that soon He would have to die on the cross. Make a cross with index fingers.
He wanted to teach His disciples something important. So, Jesus got up from the table and took off His robe. He wrapped a towel around His waist. Pretend to tie a towel around your waist.
Then He put water into a big bowl and carried it to where the disciples were sitting. Make pouring motion.
What do you think Jesus did? He began to wash His friends' dirty feet! Pretend to wash .
After He washed their feet, He used the towel to dry them. His friends, the disciples, were so surprised that they didn't know what to say. Look surprised. They thought, "Jesus is our Lord and teacher. He is not a servant. He shouldn't be doing this for us!"
When Jesus came to wash Peter's feet, Peter said, "No! I can't let You wash my feet. I should wash Yours!"
Jesus said, "You don't understand why I am doing this right now. But someday you will. I want to show My love for you."
Then Peter said, Lord, don't just wash my feet. Wash my hands and my head too!" Hold out hands and touch head. But Jesus only needed to wash Peter's feet. After Jesus finished washing the feet of all His friends, He put on His robe. He told His friends, "Do you know why I washed your feet? I did something kind for you because I love you. I am your Lord and teacher, but still I washed your feet. I helped you. If you love Me, be kind and help one another. Love each other as I have loved you."
When Jesus washed the disciples' dirty feet, He was showing them how to serve each other. Serving others shows love and kindness for them. God, our heavenly Father, showed His love for us by sending Jesus to serve us. How did Jesus do that? Yes, Jesus served us by dying on the cross to save us from our sins.
We believe in Jesus. Because we are God's children, God helps us serve others. God helps me serve others. He helps you serve others too.
Read this passage from your Bible. Ask students to locate it in a Bible too. Help them learn this verse. Serve the LORD with gladness! Psalm 100:2
Say Who was a helper this morning? How did you help?
Jesus showed love for His friends by washing their feet. He did the work of a servant. How else did Jesus show love for us and serve us? Yes, Jesus died on the cross and became alive again. He did that for us so our sins would be forgiven. He did that so we could live in heaven with Him someday. Jesus showed His love for us. Now He helps us to help others and show love for them.
Listen to our Bible Words for today (read from Bible Psalm 100:2): "Serve the Lord with gladness!" Jesus doesn't live on earth with us the way He did with His disciples.
How can we serve the Lord with gladness? Let children give ideas to see what they understand. Yes, we can help others and be kind to them. When we show love for others, we are showing love for our Lord Jesus. When we serve others, we are serving Him too. Let's say our Bible Words together.
Say True service flows out of a heart of gratitude. Service isn't joyful if you do it because you feel guilty. And it isn't really service if you do something to "look good" to others. Serving the Lord draws attention to God, not to us.
Who gives us this servant heart? (God gives it to us through His Holy Spirit working through His Word.)
Serving starts with God. He is at work in us and His work shows through our actions, hands and feet. Since we each have different gifts, we serve differently. And that's good.
Practice these Bible Words in a responsive reading. Leader: Washing feet, sweeping floors, Students: Serve the Lord with gladness! Leader: Raking leaves and so much more! Students: Serve the Lord with gladness! Leader: Helping strangers, helping friends, Students: Serve the Lord with gladness! Leader: We can serve until life's end. Students: Serve the Lord with gladness!
Craft Idea Serving Pouch What you do: For each project, you will need four 5-inch circles of white construction paper, one 9 x 12-inch sheet of colored construction paper, four craft sticks, and one 18-inch length of yarn. You will also need glue, markers or crayons, staplers, fine point markers, and a paper punch. Print "I can serve others" on a whiteboard or paper for children to copy. Make a sample pouch to show the children.
Options: If you have young children, print the words on the pouch ahead of time, or print the words on labels for the children to attach to their pouches. Provide religious stickers to decorate the front of the pouch.
Say Jesus served His friends by washing their dirty feet. He was teaching them how to show love for one another. Jesus showed love for us by dying on the cross for us. He helps us to show love and serve others. What does it mean to serve someone? (Serving others means we can do something kind and loving for those who need help at home, at school, or in our neighborhood.)
Today you will make a pouch with ideas of ways to serve others.
Distribute the materials. Have the children draw happy faces on the circles.
Encourage them to make the faces look like themselves with the same color hair and eyes.
Then help the children think of ways they can serve others. For example, they can set the table, feed pets, run errands, clean their room, and so on. Have them draw pictures of ways they can serve on the back of the faces. Attach craft sticks to the circles.
Fold one end of the large construction paper in half. Staple or tape around two sides to form a pouch. Write "I can serve others" on the front of the pouch, or provide labels of the words for children to attach. The children can decorate the pouch with markers, crayons, or purchased stickers. Place the happy faces in the pouch. Punch a hole in each corner of the top and attach the yarn for a hanger.
Encourage the children to hang the pouch on the refrigerator or a doorknob to remind them to serve others.
God's Promise for Me To Prepare: Gather Bibles and small cloths or shop towels for each student. Say Jesus shows us what it means to serve others. He was humble. He put the needs of others before His own.
Direct the students to look up Philippians 2:3-8. Have a volunteer read the verses. Ask Besides washing feet, how else did Jesus humble Himself as our servant? (He came down from heaven to earth as a man. He willingly went to the cross to give His life to save ours.)
In the Second Article of the Apostles' Creed, we confess that truth. We say that Jesus died and rose to save us from our sins. Jesus served us when He shed His blood and died. Through His service, believers in Him are victorious over sin, death, and Satan through faith in Him.
Say Because Jesus served us in this life-changing way, in gratitude we want to serve. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength, the power, and the desire to serve. With His help, it is a joy to serve others in Jesus' name. Whenever we do so, we share Jesus' love and care with others.
Let's celebrate being servants for Jesus! On each towel, write a different way you serve by using water.
As students work, direct their attention to the list of cleaning projects compiled during the Opening time of this lesson as examples of some projects they can do.
Closing Activity Say: God loves you very much! He sent Jesus to be your Savior! Dear Jesus, thank You for serving me by dying on the cross and saving me from my sins. Help me to serve others by being a helper and showing love for them. Amen.
Sing To the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb": God keeps all His promises, Promises, promises. God keeps all His promises That He makes to me.
Say Jesus showed love for His friends by serving them. Not long after that, Jesus served us all by dying on the cross for us. You and I are God's children. God helps us to serve others too. Let's say, God helps me to serve others/ together. Do so.