Jesus wants us to serve others.

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1 Praise Jesus! Jesus Washes His Disciples Feet Lesson 5 Bible Point Jesus wants us to serve others. Bible Verse All of you, serve each other in humility (1 Peter 5:5b). Growing Closer to Jesus Children will n act out the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet, n understand the promise God gives to those who serve, n make a pledge to serve a family member or friend, and n practice serving a friend and being served. Teacher Enrichment Bible Basis n Jesus washes his disciples feet. John 13:1-17 At the Last Supper recorded in John, it is especially significant that Jesus washed the disciples feet, because none of the disciples was willing to stoop below the others to do this demeaning task. The washing of feet, necessary because people in Jesus day all wore sandals, was customary before the beginning of any meal and was normally done by a servant as guests entered the house. However, since this was a private meal, there was apparently no servant there. The water, the basin, and the towel were there, and certainly the disciples thought about the fact that no one had washed their feet. But none of them took the initiative to do the washing before the meal. After the food had been set out, Jesus took action. Peter s resistance to allowing Jesus to wash his feet revealed that Peter didn t understand what was really happening, part of which was Jesus illustrating the cleansing power of his death. Peter also exhibited pride in his refusal to let Jesus wash his feet. He didn t yet understand that Jesus came to serve, not to be served. Peter s rejection of Jesus act was based on an understanding of the Messiah that didn t allow for such a humble, servantlike action. Prayer Read Philippians 2:3. How have you shown a servant attitude to others this week? Pray: Dear God, help me serve the children I teach with humility. Show me how to guide them in serving others by 55

2 Lesson 5 Before the Lesson n Collect items for the activities you plan to use, referring to the Classroom Supplies and Learning Lab Supplies listed in the chart. n Make photocopies of the Growing Together handout (at the end of this lesson) to send home with your children. n Pray for your students and for God s direction in teaching the lesson. This Lesson at a Glance What Children Will Do Classroom Supplies Learning Lab Supplies Welcome Welcome! Receive a warm welcome from the teacher, and make name tags. Attention Grabber What s My Job? Decide what jobs would be performed by a king and a servant. Paper, scissors, stapler, markers, tape Masking tape, marker, slips of paper, bag Bible Exploration & Application Dusty Feet Experience the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet from John 13:1-17. Helpful Servants Make a certificate to give to a family member or friend with a pledge of service. Servanthood Snack & Switch Learn how it feels to serve and be served. Bible, unscented wipes, large towel Photocopies of Helpful Servant (p. 62), markers Mini cupcakes, frosting, mini chocolate chips, plastic knives, napkins, cups, water, books Closing Foot-Long Prayer Discover many ways to be God s humble servant. 56

3 Welcome Jesus Washes His Disciples Feet Supplies: paper, scissors, markers, stapler, tape Greet each child individually with an enthusiastic smile. Thank each child for coming to class today. As children arrive, ask them about last week s lesson and Growing Together activities. Use questions such as Why is God worthy of praise? Did you praise anyone this week? What did you say? and How did you praise God this week? Say: Today we re going to learn that Jesus wants us to serve others. Hand out the name tags children made during Lesson 4, and help children attach the name tags to their clothing. If some of the name tags were damaged, or if children weren t in class that week, have children make new name tags using the instructions in Lesson 4. Tell children that you ll raise your hand to get their attention. They should respond by raising their hands and focusing their attention on you. Rehearse this signal with the children, and encourage them to respond quickly so you ll have time for all the fun activities in this lesson. Attention Grabber n What s My Job? Supplies: masking tape, marker, slips of paper, bag Before class, write jobs for a king and jobs for a servant on strips of paper. These jobs might include: make laws, wash dishes, have fancy parties, scrub toilets, lead the army, and wash clothes. Put the strips in a bag. Have the sailor hat, tissue fringe, marker, and some masking tape nearby. Have children sit facing the front of the room. Say: We re going to play a game called What s My Job? I need two helpers. Have two volunteers come up front. Put the sailor hat on one child. Write King on a piece of tape, and stick it to the front of the hat. Here s our king in a royal crown! Next, use some tape to put the tissue fringe around the waist of the second child. And here is the king s servant in a not-soroyal apron! The rest of you are going to help me by pulling jobs out of this bag. We ll read the job and then decide who would perform that job: the king or the servant. Are you ready to play? Great! Let each child take a turn picking a strip of paper and helping you read the job. Tape the jobs to the front of the king or the servant as children determine who should do that job. After all the jobs have been assigned, say: Excellent! Now what would you think if I switched the crown and the apron? Switch the sailor hat and the tissue fringe. Ask: Does this make sense? (No!) Can you imagine a king scrubbing a toilet? (No! That would be funny!) Say: In our story today, we ll hear how Jesus even though he was the King of kings showed us how to be servants. Jesus wants us to serve others and even said we will be blessed if we serve others! Moving from all the busyness and pressures of the week to focus on experiencing Bible truths can be difficult, even for children. These active and unusual Attention Grabber activities do just that. They will help kids be ready to experience all you have for them in the lesson. 57

4 Lesson 5 Bible Insight In Jesus day people wore sandals. Normally a servant would have washed the disciples feet because their feet would have been hot and dusty from the dirty roads. By taking on the role of a servant, Jesus reveals that he came not to be served but to serve even to the point of dying for our sins. It s important to say the Bible Point just as it s written in each activity. Repeating the Bible Point over and over throughout the lesson will help kids remember it and apply it to their lives. Bible Exploration & Application n Dusty Feet Supplies: Bible, unscented wipes, large towel Before this lesson, place unscented wipes nearby. Ask each child to get a chair. Line the chairs up in a long row, facing you. Have the children sit down. Open your Bible to John 13:1-17. Say: Today we ll learn how Jesus washed his friends feet. Ask: Have you ever washed your friends feet? Let children respond. Why do you think Jesus washed his friends feet? (Because he wanted to show them how much he loved them; because their feet were dirty!) Say: Back in Jesus time, most people wore sandals. When they would come inside, a servant would take off the sandals and wash the people s hot, dusty feet. This would refresh the people and make their feet clean. Today we ll find out why Jesus did this. Ask for one volunteer to be Jesus and one to be Peter. Have Peter sit in the last chair in the row, and have Jesus sit in the first chair. Explain that the rest of the children will be the disciples. Say: Jesus and his friends had gathered for a special meal. Jesus wanted to show his friends just how much he loved them because he knew that soon it would be time for him to be crucified. This means he knew he was going to die soon. While the food was being served, Jesus got up and wrapped a towel around his waist. Have the child playing Jesus stand, and help this child wrap a towel around his or her waist. Say: Then Jesus began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel around his waist. Explain that today, we wash our hands, not our feet, before eating. Instruct Jesus to use wet wipes and go down the line and quickly wash the hands of others. Have Jesus use a fresh wipe for each child and then dry the hands with the towel. Have Jesus stop when he reaches Peter. Say: Finally, Jesus came to Peter. Peter said, Lord, are you going to wash my feet? Ask the children playing Jesus and Peter to repeat the conversation as you read it, substituting hands for feet. Jesus replied, You don t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will. No, Peter protested, You will never ever wash my feet! Then Jesus said, Unless I wash you, you won t belong to me. So Peter said, Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet! Jesus explained that he needed to wash only Peter s feet, and then he did this. Instruct Jesus to wash Peter s hands. Then Jesus sat down and said, Since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. 58

5 Jesus Washes His Disciples Feet Jesus wants us to serve others just as he did. Ask: What did the disciples learn from Jesus that day? (To serve others; that they ll be blessed if they serve others.) What do you think Jesus expects us to do as servants? (Show love and respect to others; help others; share.) Say: It s hard to think of others first, but with God s help, nothing is impossible! Our Bible verse for today says all of you, serve each other in humility. That comes from 1 Peter 5:5b. Peter, the man in our story just now, is the one who wrote that. He learned, just as we are learning, that Jesus wants us to serve others. Now let s think of some ways we can serve others. Hands-On Bible Say: Jesus wants us to serve others, but he wouldn t ask us to do anything he wasn t willing to do himself. Jesus showed his willingness to serve in many ways, including what we learned about in our Bible story today. Let s look up John 13 again in our Hands-On Bibles and find the activity called Service With a Smile. We can work on this together. Help children locate the Service With a Smile activity near John 13 in the Hands-On Bible. Read through the activity together, and then brainstorm with children ways they can serve others this week. Have children call out their ideas, and write their ideas on newsprint. Ask: Who would you like to serve this week? (My parents; my big sister; the family next door.) What one thing will you do this week to serve someone with a smile, the way Jesus would? (I plan to help my mom set the table for dinner all week; I want to help my dad in the yard; I ll be nice to my little brother.) n Helpful Servants Supplies: photocopies of the Helpful Servant handout (p. 62), markers Make one copy of the Helpful Servant handout on heavy paper for each child. Set out markers or crayons. Say: Jesus wants us to serve others. To help us do this, we re going to make Helpful Servant certificates. You can give your certificate to someone this week and then serve that person as Jesus told us to do. Have children work in pairs. One child will trace the shoe of the other child on the open space on the handout, and then children will switch places. Then have children draw or write possible chores or acts of service inside the tracings of their shoes. Ask children to sign their certificates at the bottom. After each child has completed a certificate, have children sit in a circle. Give a smiley ring to one child. Have that child share whom he or she plans to serve this week and then give the ring to another child. Let children continue passing the ring until each child has shared. Then return the smiley ring to the Learning Lab. 59

6 Lesson 5 Say: Remember to give this certificate to someone this week, and then cheerfully help that person with whatever he or she asks you to do. n Servanthood Snack & Switch Supplies: mini cupcakes, frosting, mini chocolate chips, plastic knives, napkins, cups, water, books Have children form two groups. Ask one group to relax quietly while the other group prepares a snack for them. Provide books for children to look at while they wait for their snacks. On a table set out small cups for water, mini cupcakes, frosting, and mini chocolate chips. Have each child decorate a cupcake and then serve the cupcake and water to a resting friend. After the friend has finished eating, have the servant clean up the mess. Then switch! Ask the servant to relax while the friend prepares his or her snack, serves, and cleans up. Almost any snack is appropriate for this. Just be sure that it involves some type of preparation. After the snack time is over, ask: What did it feel like to be served? (Great; it was fun.) Was it difficult to watch while your friend enjoyed a snack? (Yes! It made me hungry; I didn t want to wait so long.) Ephesians 6:7 says, Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. What does enthusiasm mean? (With energy; not holding back.) Would you serve differently if you were serving a snack to Jesus himself? (Yes; I might be more cheerful; yes, I would be careful not to spill.) Say: It is fun to serve our friends. And if we trust and believe in Jesus, he will be our friend forever! Jesus wants us to serve others. When you serve your friends, serve with enthusiasm, as if you are serving Jesus himself! It s fun to be friends with Jesus! Closing n Foot-Long Prayer Supplies: none Have the children sit in a circle on the floor with their legs crossed. Say the prayer on the following page. As you say the first helpful servant chore, have the first person in the circle say, I am your helpful servant! and stretch his or her legs into the center of the circle. As you read the next line, have the next child say, I am your helpful servant! and stretch his or her legs into the center of the circle. As you read the next line, have the next child say, I am your helpful servant! and stretch his or her legs into the center of the circle. Continue around the circle until everyone has had a chance to say, I am your helpful servant and stretch out his or her legs. If you have more than eight children, read through the list again or add other chores to the list. At the end of the prayer, each set of feet should be touching others in the center of the circle to remind the children of Jesus foot-washing example. 60

7 Jesus Washes His Disciples Feet Dear God, You sent Jesus to save us and teach us. Thank you for Jesus example of being a helpful servant. Help each of us follow his example. Remind us that when we help set the table (I am your helpful servant!), keep our rooms clean (I am your helpful servant!), listen without interrupting (I am your helpful servant!), do a chore without being told (I am your helpful servant!), tell others about you (I am your helpful servant!), obey our parents and teachers (I am your helpful servant!), be kind to a lonely child (I am your helpful servant!), think of others first (I am your helpful servant!), we are following your example. Help us serve others cheerfully. In Jesus name, amen. Sometimes the best way to tell others about the peace God offers is through our service to others. Actions really do speak louder than words! Remind children that when we humbly serve others in Jesus name, we proclaim louder than any words could that Jesus offers peace to those who love him. Growing closer to Jesus extends beyond the classroom. Photocopy the Growing Together handout (at the end of this lesson) for this week, and send it home with your children. Encourage children and parents to use the handout to plan meaningful activities on this week s topic. Follow up the Growing Together activities next week by asking children what their families did together. 61

8 I m your helpful servant! How may I help you today? Instructions: Trace your shoe. Inside the outline of your shoe, write or draw ways you can serve someone this week. Signed: 62 Permission to photocopy this page from Group s Hands-On Bible Curriculum Grades 1 & 2 granted for local church use. Copyright Group Publishing, Inc., 1515 Cascade Ave., Loveland, CO group.com

9 Jesus Crucifixion and Resurrection 5: Jesus wants us to serve others. Bible Story Jesus washes his disciples feet. John 13:1-17 Bible Verse All of you, serve each other in humility (1 Peter 5:5b). Today your child learned that Jesus wants us to serve others. Jesus gave us a great example of being a servant when he washed his disciples feet. Make service part of your life and the life of your family by serving others whenever you can. God promises to bless you for it! Place Mat Reminder Make service an everyday affair by making reminder place mats. Start with a large sheet of construction paper. Cut a cross from a different color of paper, and glue this in the center of your place mat. Remind kids that ultimately it s God that we re serving. Next, brainstorm a list of others you can serve, and write their names or draw pictures around the cross. At the bottom of the mat, write Matthew 25:40b, I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me! Finally, laminate or cover with clear contact paper. Serve daily! Scrapbook of Service Lots of kids love to make scrapbooks. How about a springtime Scrapbook of Service? All you need is a notebook (three-ring or spiral bound) to keep track of ideas, prayers, photos, Bible verses, and projects. Try making it a family album. This is great for getting started serving others. And who knows? Maybe a springtime of service will lead to a lifetime of service for the Lord! Servanthood on a String Hang a sturdy string over a doorway, over a window, or along a wall. Clip clothespins to this string. Write your best ideas for being a helpful servant on index cards, and clip these to the string. Ideas might include: rake a neighbor s yard, deliver cookies to a friend, or write a nice note to your pastor. Each day you can choose one card from the string. When you ve finished all the acts of service, make a new set of cards and start over! Grateful Grahams Not only are we called to be helpful servants, but over the course of our lives, countless servants have touched us as well. Sit down as a family with graham crackers and milk. As you eat each cracker, name one person who has served you. After your snack, you may want to attach a note of thanks to a little bag of mini graham crackers and deliver them to those who have served you. It s great to serve, and it s nice to be grateful for those who have served you! Permission to photocopy this page from Group s Hands-On Bible Curriculum Grades 1 & 2 granted for local church use. Copyright Group Publishing, Inc., 1515 Cascade Ave., Loveland, CO group.com 63

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