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Jesus Washes Feet Sunday School Lesson

Jesus Washes Feet Sunday School Lesson
Here is our FREE Jesus Washes Feet Sunday School Lesson! Teach kids that Jesus wants us to love others as he loves us. And by the end of this lesson, kids will recognize at least one specific way that Jesus wants us to love others. This lesson is great for every Children's Ministry, Kids Church, and Sunday School! Many people believed the Messiah would be a conquering king, coming to claim what was his. Instead, Jesus humbled himself, made himself nothing, and poured himself out for our sake. Jesus wants us to follow his example; to feed the hungry, care for the sick, and love the least of these. Jesus is looking for servants, who will follow his example and love others. Not many people are willing to do that - the same way most people pick around the white jelly beans. But those who do are able to find the life that Christ wants us to have - a life that tastes surprisingly sweet and brings glory to his name! Take a look at our Jelly Beans 4-Week Children's Ministry CurriculumAnd, if you like this lesson we have over 100 more free Sunday School Lessons for Kids!

Jesus Washes Feet Sunday School Lesson:

BOTTOM LINE:

Jesus wants us to love others as he loved us.

OBJECTIVE:

Kids will recognize that Jesus wants us to love others the way he loved us.

KEY PASSAGE:

John 13:1-5. Jesus washes the disciples’ feet.

MEMORY VERSE:

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” - John15:13

SUMMARY:

Many people believed the Messiah would be a conquering king, coming to claim what was his. Instead, Jesus humbled himself, made himself nothing, and poured himself out for our sake. Jesus wants us to follow his example; to feed the hungry, care for the sick, and love the least of these.

SIMPLE PRAYER:

Dear God,

Thank you for leaving your throne in Heaven to show us how much you love us. Teach us to be servants like you and to love everyone we come in contact with.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

 

MEMORY VERSE

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” - John15:13 (NIV)

“No one has greater love than the one who gives his life for his friends.” - John 15:13 (NIrV)

LARGE GROUP:

Put the verse on the big screen and read it aloud with the kids.

SMALL GROUP:

Ask the kids what they think the writer was trying to say when he wrote these words. Then ask them how this verse is connected to today’s story.

 

SKIT

TWO OF THE OTHER GUYS

ITEMS NEEDED:

A basket of bread

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN:

2M

CHARACTERS:

Simon the Zealot

Thad (Thaddeus)

Simon and Thad enter, carrying baskets of bread.

THAD: Was it this way or that way?

SIMON: I don’t remember.

THAD: Gee, I wish Phillip had come with us. He’s like a walking map.

SIMON: I know this city like the back of my hand, but this sneaking around stuff, I get confused.

THAD: There may be people out to get Jesus. We can’t let everyone know where we are.

SIMON: Yeah, well it would be nice if the other believers at least knew who we were.

THAD: What do you mean?

SIMON: Don’t you ever get tired of being one of the other guys?

THAD: What do you mean, “other guys”? We’re in the twelve. We’ve been walking with Jesus for three years.

SIMON: I know, but we’re not one of THE guys. Any time Jesus has something special he wants to do, who does he pick? John, his brother James, and Peter. The Sons of Thunder and the Rock.

THAD: Ha. Sounds like a good night of wrestling.

SIMON: Judas handles the money, Phillip’s always bringing people to Jesus. Matthew’s writing his biography. But us? What do we get to do?

THAD: We got the stuff for Passover supper.

SIMON: Exactly. No one knows who we are! I used to be somebody in this town. I was Simon the Zealot. Now I’m disciple number ten. Or eleven. Maybe even twelve.

THAD: I’m no higher than you.

SIMON: Three years we’ve gone where he walked, seen the miracles he’s performed, done everything he asked. You’d think Matthew would at least ask us for a quote or something.

THAD: He asked me for one a while ago, after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.

SIMON: What did you say?

THAD: No comment.

SIMON: That’s it?

THAD: What was I supposed to say? I was speechless!

SIMON: I’m not saying I wanna be number two, or three, or even top five. I just wanna be recognized.

THAD: Maybe you will. But it won’t happen if you try to make it happen.

SIMON: What do you mean?

THAD: Remember what Jesus said about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven? He said whoever wanted to be first had to make themselves the servant of all.

SIMON: Yeah, that made no sense.

THAD: It’s what Jesus has done the last three years! Jesus never sought the high place at the table. Sure, people gave it to him, but whom did Jesus seek out? The blind, the lepers, the disabled, the poor, the lowest of the low.

SIMON: Like those stinking tax collectors.

THAD: You know Matthew was one of those, right?

SIMON: Yeah. I guess Jesus does have a thing for low-lifes. Why else would he have picked me?

THAD: You know, I always thought the Messiah would come in and drive out the Romans, claim his throne, and take what was his. But all Jesus has done is give himself away to others. Even when he’s tired and at his wit’s end, he has never turned anyone away. I think that’s what he wants from us as well.

SIMON: So being the “other guys” isn’t a bad thing if we’re giving ourselves away like Jesus does.

THAD: Exactly.

SIMON: Thaddeus, you’re a wise man. It’s a shame no one knows who you are.

THAD: Right back at you, Simon.

SIMON: But you know what? I think that’s what Jesus wants us to be.

OBJECT LESSON

ITEMS NEEDED:

White jelly beans

Today we’re starting an Easter series, and jelly beans are a big part of that series. I want everyone here to taste and see what a white jelly bean tastes like.

Hand out white jelly beans to the kids.

What do the white jelly beans taste like?

White jelly beans don’t look as pretty or tasty as the colorful beans, and they usually get left behind with the black ones, but they still have a sweet flavor to them. They’re a good reminder of the example Jesus set and the life he wants us to lead. Jesus didn’t live a life of luxury. He was a poor carpenter who humbled himself to go to those in need. Very few people would choose that life for themselves, but that’s just the kind of life God wants us to have.

When we make ourselves servants, we are not only being obedient to Christ, we are sharing his love through our actions. We show that Jesus was not a man of mere words. He was God’s son, and we believe he wants us to live as he did.

White jelly beans aren’t flashy on the outside, but they still taste sweet. There’s nothing sweeter than living the life God wants you to live - and sharing his love with others!

 

LARGE GROUP GAME

JELLY BEAN BILLIARDS

ITEMS NEEDED:

Nine colored jelly beans, including one white

INSTRUCTIONS:

Belly up to the table and show off your billiards skills. Using the white jelly bean as your cue ball, your task is to knock all of the colored jelly beans off the table. You have 60 seconds to complete the challenge. Knock off the cue bean, and you lose the challenge.

VARIATION:

You can use larger candy, or fewer candies, for younger kids.

Older kids could use some sort of stick candy as a cue.

 

LARGE GROUP LESSON

BOTTOM LINE:

Jesus wants us to love others as he loved us.

OBJECTIVE:

Kids will recognize that Jesus wants us to love others the way he loved us.

KEY PASSAGE:

John 13:1-5. Jesus washes the disciples’ feet.

INTRO

There are two big days on the Christian calendar.  These are two days when many people get up and go to church, even people who normally don’t attend church. The first day happened a few months ago in December.  That’s right, Christmas! At Christmas time we remember that Jesus Christ was born. God became a man and was born as a baby to poor parents inside a stable. We remember that God promised he would send a Messiah through the prophets and that Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise.

Now we’re coming up on the other big day, Easter. As we approach Easter Sunday, we’re going to think about Jesus with the help of one of Easter’s favorite treats: jelly beans.

What do jelly beans have to do with the real story of Easter? Absolutely nothing. But jelly beans are one of the most popular treats at this time of year. Jelly beans are shaped like eggs, which are another popular treat during Easter.  Eggs are symbolic of new life and new beginnings - just like the Easter story.

Jelly beans also come in a variety of colors, and it’s those colors that will help us remember more about the man named Jesus. This week, we’re going to start with the white jelly bean.

How many of you, when you see a bowl of jelly beans, reach right for the white jelly beans? Not many, I would guess. Believe it or not, the white jelly beans do have their own flavor, usually pineapple.  But our eyes and our taste buds are drawn to the brighter colors - red, pink, purple, orange, and green. The white jelly beans are one of the last colors to disappear, if they disappear at all. But all of these things make the white jelly bean the perfect reminder of the life Jesus led.

READ John 13:1-5

In Jesus’s times when people invited guests into their homes, it was customary to have their feet washed. A slave or low-level servant usually performed this humble, dirty task. A host would never, ever wash the feet of his guests because he’d only make himself dirty in the process. Yet here is Jesus, the Son of God, soon to be Savior of the world, washing the feet of his followers.

The disciples were always quarreling about who was most important among them. One time John and James even had their mother ask Jesus if he would appoint them as his right and left hand men. Jesus responded by telling them that anyone who wants to be first must make himself last. Anyone who wants to follow him must humble himself and be the servant of all.

Those weren’t just empty words. Jesus lived what he preached, and he expected his disciples - and us - to do the same.

MAIN POINT

When we read through the gospels, we find Jesus doing a number of surprising things. Instead of spending time in the temple, teaching the people and conversing with the experts in the scripture, Jesus was out in the streets. He went to the poor, the sick, the needy, and the outcasts.

Jesus was drawn not only to the sick, but also to sinners. Matthew was a tax collector, one of the dirtiest and most crooked professions of the day. Zaccheus was also a tax collector, and when Jesus had dinner with him, it made a lot of people very upset. Jesus embraced and forgave sinful women, and he sinful men to be some of his best friends.

Jesus was not the only religious teacher with his own followers and disciples at the time, but unlike the Pharisees, who expected their subordinates to bow before them and do things for them, Jesus set a different example. On the night he was betrayed, he did something no teacher would ever do for his students. He washed their feet. This is how Jesus wants us to love others.

DRIVE IT HOME

The people of Israel were expecting the Messiah to be a mighty warrior, a king, a conquering hero. They were looking for the next King David, someone to overthrow Rome and reestablish the long lost kingdom of Israel. They weren’t looking for a white jelly bean. Their Messiah was red, purple, green, colorful, and vivid.

Jesus was not a colorful person - at least not on the outside. He was the son of a carpenter. He was poor.  He traveled everywhere by foot. He had no home and no place to rest his head. He never lived in a palace or wore a crown of gold.  He never so much as lifted a sword. Jesus lived a life in service to others, and he expects us to do the same.

Paul summed it up best in his letter to the Philippians.

READ Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus is looking for servants, who will follow his example and love others. Not many people are willing to do that - the same way most people pick around the white jelly beans. But those who do are able to find the life that Christ wants us to have - a life that tastes surprisingly sweet and brings glory to his name!

CLOSE WITH A SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for leaving your throne in Heaven to show us how much you love us. Teach us to be servants like you and to love everyone we come in contact with.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (K-2ND)

ICEBREAKER

What is your favorite color or flavor of jelly bean?

MEMORY VERSE ACTIVITY

John 15:13

Ask the kids what they think the writer was trying to say when he wrote these words. Then ask them how this verse is connected to today’s story.

SMALL GROUP GAME/ACTIVITY

Have the kids act out the scene from the Last Supper, with the disciples arguing over who was the greatest and then Jesus washing their feet.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

If you have access to multiple Bibles, begin to teach the kids how to look up passages and follow along with you as you read.

Read John 13:1-5

What did Jesus do for his disciples?

Why was it unusual for a host to wash his guests’ feet?

Read Philippians 2:5-8

How does Paul say we should live?

How does Paul describe the way Jesus lived?

How can you be a servant to others?

SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for leaving your throne in Heaven to show us how much you love us. Teach us to be servants like you and to love everyone we come in contact with.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

 

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (3RD-5TH)

ICEBREAKER

What is your favorite color or flavor of jelly bean?

MEMORY VERSE ACTIVITY

John 15:13

Ask the kids what they think the writer was trying to say when he wrote these words. Then ask them how this verse is connected to today’s story.

SMALL GROUP GAME/ACTIVITY

If possible, go around the circle and have the kids wash one another’s feet. Leaders should begin by setting the example, washing the feet of a student, and letting each one in turn do the same for someone else. If not possible, have the kids act out the scene from the Last Supper, with the disciples arguing over who was the greatest and Jesus washing their feet.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Pass out Bibles before beginning the small group discussion.  If kids are not familiar with how to look up passages, begin to teach them where to find the book, chapter, and verse.  Call on kids to help read sections of the Scripture.

Read John 13:1-5

How did it feel to have someone else wash your feet?

Why do you think Jesus washed his disciples’ feet?

Read Philippians 2:5-8

How does Paul say we should live?

Can you think of additional times when Jesus acted like a servant to others?

How can you be a servant to others at school?

How can you be a servant to your family?

SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for leaving your throne in Heaven to show us how much you love us. Teach us to be servants like you and to love everyone we come in contact with.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

 

For your convenience, you can also download the entire PDF version of this Jesus Washes Feet Children's Ministry Lesson (just click the link). 

Here's a video from Saddleback kids that you might find helpful to go along with your Sunday School Lesson on the Jesus Washing Feet. 

Take a look at the links below for other ideas for teaching a Jesus Washes Feet Sunday School Lesson: 

Serving as Jesus Did (John 13:3-17) Sunday School Lesson for Kids

Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet (John 13:1-17) Preschool Lesson

Lesson: Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet - Sunday School Sources