Key Passage: Romans 6:9
Big Picture Question: Why did Jesus wash His disciples’ feet? Jesus showed the disciples how to love and serve each other with humility.
Christ Connection: At the Passover, Jesus shared with the disciples His last meal before His death and resurrection. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, something a lowly servant would do. Jesus showed His love even to His enemies when He washed Judas’ feet as well. As sinners, we are all enemies of God. But God proved His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, our journey takes us to The Last Supper in John 13–17. Although this is the same event as we focused on last week, this week we are emphasizing Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Our story starts when Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, had approached the religious leaders. (Matt. 26:14-16) For 30 pieces of silver, Judas agreed to betray Jesus. Hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, David prophesied the Messiah would be betrayed by a close friend—one who broke bread with Him. (Ps. 41:9) Jesus knew Judas Iscariot’s true motivations from the moment Jesus called him to be a disciple. (John 6:70-71; 13:18-19; 17:12.) Jesus’ death and resurrection was God’s plan from the very beginning. (Acts 2:23)
During the Passover meal on the night, He was betrayed, Jesus did something very unusual. Knowing that His death was near, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet—even the feet of Judas. (See John 13:2-11.) Jesus set forth an example of love and humility for His disciples to mirror in their own actions towards each other. (John 13:14-16)
After Judas left to betray Jesus, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him” (John 13:31). He told His disciples He would prepare a place for them (John 14:1-4), promised that the Holy Spirit would come to them (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-14), warned them about the trials they would face as His followers (John 16:1-4,33), and encouraged them through prayer (John 17:9-19). Jesus also prayed for all who would believe the gospel from their testimony. (John 17:20-26) Then Jesus led them to the garden where He was betrayed and arrested.
In the Old Testament, God made a covenant—or promise—with His people. He gave them commandments to follow so they could live in right relationship with Him. God’s people broke the covenant. They didn’t obey God, and they didn’t love Him. Jesus made a new covenant by dying on the cross. He brought forgiveness and made the way for people to know and love God again.
When believers participate in the Lord’s Supper, they remember the last night of Jesus’ life, when He prepared to take God’s wrath upon His sinless shoulders. Believers also proclaim His death and resurrection until He returns for His church like He promised. (John 17:24; 1 Cor. 11:26)
Be sure to use the following activity from the Family Journal Page with your kids if you have not already done so:
Begin your time with prayer. Review John 13–17. Using a pitcher of water, a bucket, and a towel, wash your family members’ feet. Remind kids that Jesus washed His disciples’ feet at the last supper. There were no paved roads in Jerusalem, and everyone walked everywhere they went. Feet were probably stinky! Normally, the least powerful person in a household would wash feet, but in this story, Jesus, who has the power of God, humbly washed His disciples’ feet.
ACTIVITY: Begin your time with prayer. Review John 13–17. Using a pitcher of water, a bucket, and a towel, wash your family members’ feet. Remind kids that Jesus washed His disciples’ feet at the last supper. There were no paved roads in Jerusalem, and everyone walked everywhere they went. Feet were probably stinky! Normally, the least powerful person in a household would wash feet, but in this story, Jesus, who has the power of God, humbly washed His disciples’ feet.