Bible Story: (John 12:12-19 & 13:1-15)
Text Truth: Jesus loved and served others even though He was the only one worthy of honor.
Memory Verse: John 17:3
In our story today, Jesus has already done many amazing miracles. He has healed sick people, fed 5,000 people with just a few loaves of bread and fishes, and He even raised a man from the dead! As Jesus and his disciples walked toward Jerusalem, a huge crowd of people gathered around.
Question: Why do you think so many people were gathering in Jerusalem?
The people were very excited to see Jesus! They had seen Jesus do all of these miracles and they were constantly talking about it. As Jesus rode into town on a young donkey, the people took palm branches and shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
A few days later, Jesus was sitting with his disciples in a room in Jerusalem. They were eating the Passover celebration dinner together. As Jesus sat there, He knew that He would be leaving the earth soon.
Questions: Where was Jesus going?
(Jesus would soon die on the cross and then rise again to go back to Heaven.)
Jesus loved his disciples very much. He wanted them to know how to love and serve others just as He had done. When they had finished eating, Jesus stood up, got a towel, and poured water into a bowl. Jesus, who was God’s Son on earth; Jesus, who deserved to be served by us; Jesus, who is mighty to do miracles and worthy of all our praises, STARTED WASHING FEET!
Imagine: Close your eyes and imagine if you lived in Jerusalem during this time. You wore sandals everywhere. Most of the roads were just dirt. If it had rained at all, the roads were muddy. You did not have a car. Instead, you rode either a horse, donkey, or camel. Maybe, you even just walked. BUT remember all those animals? They had to go to the bathroom somewhere…usually, it was on the same road you had to walk. Eww!
Question: Do you think the disciples’ feet were clean or dirty?
The disciples’ feet were probably VERY dirty after walking around Jerusalem all day. Jesus didn’t just decide to say nice things to the disciples. He didn’t even choose to clean the dinner table. Jesus chose to serve the disciples and show them love by doing the dirtiest and stinkiest job. He washed their feet.
When Jesus started washing Peter’s feet, Peter asked, “Lord, are You really going to wash my feet?” (John 13:6). Jesus told Peter, “What I am doing, you will not understand right now. Later you will understand” (John 13: 7).
When Jesus had washed everyone’s feet, He asked the disciples, “Do you understand what I have done for you? (John 13:12).
Jesus told the disciple that He had given them an example to follow (John 13:15). Even though Jesus was God’s Son and the disciples’ master, He chose to serve them. Jesus is the only one who is worthy of all honor, yet he decided to show love to others.
Jesus is not just a good example for the disciples. He is a good example for us as well. Just like Jesus chose to love and serve others, we should do the same. We should love and serve EVERYBODY.
1) Palm Leaf Craft (Courtesy of Lifeway’s Explore the Bible)
Supplies: different colors of green construction paper, paint stirring sticks, pencils, glue/tape, scissors
Guide children to trace their hands with a pencil several times on different colors of green construction paper.
Cut out hand prints.
Beginning about an inch from the bottom of the stirring stick, help kids glue/tape their hand prints along the stirring stick alternating different colors of green hand prints as they go up the stick.
Say: “As Jesus entered Jerusalem during His last week on earth, people filled the streets to welcome Him like a king by placing coats and palm branches on the road. People didn’t really understand what king of King He was, though. Some wanted Him to be an earthly king who would rule as a national leader and restore their nation to its former glory. However, Jesus came as a different kind of King. Jesus came as one who would humble Himself completely.”
2) Bible Skills Game (Courtesy of Lifeway’s Explore the Bible)
Supplies: A List of New Testament Books (you can write them out or print them from the link provided below)
Cut out each book of the New Testament and spread out on the table/floor. Explain that you are going to give a description and they must bring you a book of the Bible that meets that description.
Begins with an M
Is a person’s name
Has a 2 in it
Has four syllables
Comes anywhere before the book of Hebrews
Is a letter written by Paul
Ends with an S
Is in the New Testament
Has seven letters
Is the last book of the Bible
Comes anywhere after the book of Titus
Is not in the Old Testament
Is one of the four Gospels
Has at least three vowels.
Continue asking similar questions as long as it keeps interest.
Say: “Today’s lesson is from the New Testament in the book of John. Do you remember which book the lesson was in last week?” (Lamentations) “Is Lamentations in the Old or New Testament?” (Old)
ACTIVITY SHEET LINKS (Click the link to download a printable pdf)