Lesson Title: Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet
Bible Reference: John 13:1-17
Target Age Group: Preschool
Learning Context: Children’s Church
Target Time Frame: 1 ½ hour
Gospel Connection: In John chapter 13 Jesus is almost ready for the Crucifixion but He still has more to teach the disciples. Typically we want to try to be the best but by washing the feet of the disciples Jesus teaches that a true leader is a servant. Today, our children will learn that God wants them to help others.
Learning Aim: God wants us to Help Others.
- Tub of water
- Plastic toys with Feet
- Towels (to clean up)
- Paper Plates
- White Paper
- Red, Green, and Yellow Paper
- You can download our free Jesus washes disciples feet coloring page based on the illustration above.
- Our friends at Crafting the Word of God have simple soap making activity that would be a helpful addition to this lesson plan.
Before class fill a tray or bucket with just a little bit of soapy water. Give the class several small toys that have feet-can be human or animals as long as they are plastic. Give the kids rags and let them wash the feet of the toys. If you want to skip the mess just use baby wipes. As they are washing feet tell the story from John 13:1-17. You can tell in your own words or from the retelling below.
Jesus and His disciples were getting ready for the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that it was almost time for Him to leave His home on Earth and go back to Heaven. While they were eating dinner Jesus had a lot of things on His mind. He knew that one of His friends was going to betray Him. He also knew that God had a plan and had everything under control.
After dinner He got up, got a bucket of water, and started washing the disciple’s feet. 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.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
You see, usually only servants washed people’s feet and Jesus was a king! A King shouldn’t be washing anyone’s feet. But Jesus did this to teach His friends a lesson. You should help people. Everyone should be a servant and help the people around them.
When he had finished washing their feet, he returned to the table. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and that is right for you to do because that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Jesus was the very greatest person to ever live and He wasn’t too good to wash other’s feet. Now we don’t often wash people’s feet, but what are some other ways that you can help the people in your life?
Let the class talk about how they can help others in practical ways.
Duck, Duck, Goose
Play Duck, Duck, Goose or another simple children’s game. When it is over say, When we play games like this we want to be the winner. Winning makes us feel like we are the best. However, Jesus taught us that we don’t have to be the best all the time. It is better to be a servant and love others. That doesn’t mean you have to lose all the time, but it does mean that we should care more about helping others than making ourselves look good.
Coloring with your Feet – Craft for Jesus Washing Disciples Feet Lesson
Say, When Jesus was alive it was important to wash people’s feet because they wore sandals and their feet would get dusty. You are wearing socks so your feet stay a little cleaner which is good because you will want clean feet for this activity.
Tape a large piece of paper to the floor. Have the kids try to hold a crayon in between their toes to color on the paper on the floor. It might be easier if they sit in a chair and try.
Say, Helping others can be difficult sometimes like coloring with your feet, but you can do it!
Step on the Color Game
Tape red, green, and yellow pieces of construction paper to the floor, one per child. Read the following story about helping others to the class. Each time you say a color they have to go and stand on that color. Make sure to read slowly so that they get all the actions.
This morning I woke up and put on my red house shoes. I made my bed and folded my green blanket before I walked into the kitchen. In the kitchen I saw my mom wearing her red house coat and her yellow house shoes. Her face looked a little green. She was sick! I told her to go and sit on the couch with the yellow blanket and rest while I made breakfast. I got down the red cereal bowls and the yellow spoons. I grabbed the green cereal box and poured some cereal and milk in the bowls. Then my sister came downstairs to eat breakfast with me. She was wearing her new yellow dress and I helped her put a red bow in her hair. Then we sat down to eat. Next, we went into the living room and sat on the green rug by mom’s yellow house shoes. While she rested I told her a story about a dog with a red color and my sister played with her yellow bunny stuffed animal. When my mom got hungry I brought her a yellow banana and some red juice. I wrapped the yellow blanket around her and made sure she was comfy with her green pillow. I like helping my mom because Jesus taught us to Help Other People! The End.
Closing the Lesson
Close the lesson by praying together. Asking God to help the class remember the importance of helping others.