Lesson: How to Serve One Another – Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

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Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach children about serving others.

Needed: Bibles, drawing paper, crayons or colored pencils

Intro Game: Good and Faithful Servant 

Tell the students that you’re going to play a game in which you’re the Master, and they’re your servants. You’re going to name something you want, and they have 15 seconds to bring you what you asked for.

Anything that meets your criteria counts. If a student can’t bring you what you asked for within 15 seconds, they’re out. Items you already have in front of you count if they can apply it to meet the new criteria. The last one in the game wins and becomes the Master for the next round.

Some ideas of what to ask for include:

Something of a certain color

Something of a certain shape

Something that reminds you of the Bible

Something that reminds you of Jesus

Something you would use for a certain purpose

Part of the fun could be naming criteria that a lot of items meet and then narrowing it down to criteria that only a few items in your area meet.

Play 2-3 rounds and then explain that they were all good servants because they all tried to bring you what you asked for. Even though some of them couldn’t find what you wanted, none of them said they wouldn’t do it. They all tried.

Lesson

Ask students, Who do you think is the greatest person who ever lived?

Who do you think is greater, people who have servants, or the servants? People who are bosses, or people who listen to the boss? The king or the people in the kingdom? The President or the rest of the people in the country?

If you’re the greatest person in the world, do you think you would have people working for you, or would you work for other people?

(Read John 13:1.)

“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”

Did Jesus know He was going to die soon? (Yes.)

The reason Jesus came to Earth was to die on the cross to take our punishment so that we could be forgiven for our sins.

(Read John 13:2-8.)

“The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 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.’

“’No,’ said Peter, ‘You shall never wash my feet.’

“Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.’”

Why didn’t Peter want Jesus to wash his feet?

Peter knew that Jesus is God and that Jesus is the greatest person who ever lived. People should be doing things for Jesus instead of Jesus doing things for other people.

(Read John 13:9-15.)

“’Then, Lord,’ Simon Peter replied, ‘not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!’

“Jesus answered, ‘Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.’ For He knew who was going to betray Him, and that was why He said not every one was clean.

“When He had finished washing their feet, He put on His clothes and returned to His place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ He asked them. ‘You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for 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.”

Why did Jesus wash His disciples’ feet? (To give them an example of what they are supposed to do)

Everyone is supposed to do things for other people. No one is just supposed to have people do things for them. Everyone is equal, and everyone is supposed to do things for others instead of thinking that they’re greater than someone else. No one is greater than anyone else. Only Jesus is greater because He was part of God. Other people are just regular people. We’re all the same.

(Read John 13:16.)

“Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

Jesus was the Master, and the disciples were the servants. The disciples were the messenger, and Jesus was the one who sent them.

Jesus says that if even He did things for other people, then the disciples have to do things for other people too. They’re not more important than Jesus, so they can’t say that they don’t have to do something that Jesus did.

(Read John 13:17.)

“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

If we know that Jesus told us to do things for other people, and we do them, what will happen to us? (We will be blessed.)

God will reward us if we listen to Jesus and do things for other people as He said.

Craft: Serving Suggestion  

Give students drawing supplies and have them draw a picture of themselves doing something for someone else. When they’re finished, have them tell the class about their picture.

Game: Good and Faithful Servant 

Play the intro game again and emphasize they’re serving the Master by getting what they want but that then, they get a chance to be served by others. We’re all supposed to serve each other.

Closing Prayer

Jesus, we thank You for setting the example of how we should treat other people. Help us to think of ways that we can serve others as You did. Amen.

You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, He Came, He Saw, He Conquered.


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