High Voltage Elementary: Average Pete

Lesson 6: The Foot Washer

When Jesus began to wash the disciples’ feet, Peter was not happy. He felt that Jesus was way too important to take on a job like that. After all, Jesus was the King of Kings. He shouldn’t be serving others. They should be serving Him. Jesus didn’t see it that way. In fact, He told Peter that He didn’t come to be served, but to serve others. He gave Peter an important lesson in leadership. “If you want to be a leader, you’re going to have to serve.” In this lesson, the children will learn how to put “others first—me last!” It is one of the toughest lessons for any child to learn!


Classroom Instructions


Before the lesson read John 13:1-17 and become familiar with all the details of the Bible Story; choose a volunteer ahead of time and prepare them for when you pull them out of the crowd.

Materials: Rod Tacklebox
Drama Team

Rod: Ahoy there, boys and girls!

Leader: All right! Everybody it’s our favorite fisherman, Rod Tacklebox!

Rod: That’s me!

Leader: Rod, is it true that you are the greatest fisherman that’s ever lived?

Rod: Oh, I wouldn’t put it that way.

Leader: I bet you’re a great fisherman!

Rod: I guess you could say I’m okay at what I do. I went out fishin’ earlier this morning and caught a little bit.

Leader: How many fish did you catch?

Rod: (pulls out a list that’s rolled up tightly and begins reading aloud) Well let’s see….2 hammerhead sharks, 12 king crabs, 18 electric eels, 22 lobsters…

Leader: Wow, Rod that’s a lot--

Rod: (unrolls the list completely, letting it roll out along the floor) 16 lion fish, 35 octopus, 57 swordfish, 167 dogfish, 237 catfish, 578 squid, 894 tuna, and one very lost and confused kangaroo.

Leader: WOW!! Rod, that’s AMAZING!! You caught all of those fish! How could you say all of that was just a little bit??

Rod: Well it was kind of a light day for me.

Leader: Rod, you’re an amazingly talented fisherman, how is it that you stay so humble?

Rod: Well, it’s all thanks to my Pappy! Y’see when my brother Reel and I were youngin’s we helped our father fish all the time.

Leader: I bet you caught a lot of fish for him.

Rod: I sure didn’t.

Leader: Do what?

Rod: Ya got lobsters crawlin’ out of yer ears? I said I sure didn’t! He wouldn’t even let us fish!

Leader: What did you and your brother do on his boat then?

Rod: We did all kinds of stuff! We scraped gunk off the bottom of the boat, we cleaned the steering wheel, we patched holes in the sails, and we even polished all of his fishing gear every night.

Leader: I bet you hated that.

Rod: At first. But, in the end we loved it.

Leader: What do you mean?

Rod: We remembered our hero, Peter! He once learned a lesson that no one is too important to get down and work and serve others. He learned that if you want to be a Leader, you have to put others first, before yourself. Why, if I hadn’t served all those years working for my Pappy, I’d have never learned all of his fishing tricks, and I wouldn’t be the fisherman I am today!

Leader: Wow, it’s crazy that you mentioned that, because that’s what we’re talking about today! Today we are talking about the importance of being a servant.

Rod: Aye, there’s nothin’ like learnin’ to put others before yourself. Now if you’ll excuse me boys n’ girls, I gotta skedaddle!

Leader: Where you going, Rod?

Rod: I gotta book a plane ticket back to Australia for a lost kangaroo! I’ll see ya later, everybody! THERE SHE BLOWS, AND HERE I GO!


Optional: Game music is suggested during the scramble.

Choose an even number of boys and girls to compete in this crazy game. Have them all take off their shoes and place them in a pile in the middle of the room. Mix up the shoes very well. When you say, “Go!” the music begins and the children must dive into the pile to retrieve their shoes. The first team to find their shoes, put them on (laced up) and stand to their feet wins.

Materials: a fake king’s crown; large pitcher of water; large towel; large bowl of water; a chair

Choose a volunteer ahead of time and prepare them for when you pull them out of the crowd.

(put the king’s crown on your head) Have you ever wished you could be a king? Think about it—you would have ALL the power, ALL the authority, and ALL the money you could ever imagine. You could do ANYTHING you wanted. What sorts of things would you do if you were the king? (allow children to respond, giving their ideas for things they would do if they were a king)

Those are all very interesting ideas. (take off the crown) We are going to talk about a king today. He is not only a king, but He is known as the “King of Kings.” That means that all the kings in the world are actually ruled by HIM! Does anyone think they know who the “King of Kings” is? (allow response) That’s right! JESUS is the “King of Kings.”

Jesus left his throne in Heaven to come to earth. He was still a King, but He didn’t treat people like a king might treat people. He didn’t look down on them. He didn’t treat them as “not important.” In fact, in our Bible Lesson today, we are going to see that Jesus actually acted like more of a servant than a King. Our friend, Peter, learned a BIG lesson from Jesus.

In John chapter 13 we find Jesus, Peter, and the rest of the disciples eating at the Last Supper. This was right before Jesus was going to be arrested and crucified. Jesus knows that He is about to be killed and that He has one last opportunity to teach a very important lesson to His disciples. So, Jesus does something that may seem very strange.

Jesus gets down on His hands and knees and begins to wash the disciples’ feet. Now, just to give you a picture of what this looked like, I am going to use a volunteer (bring the volunteer you prepared up to the front and have them sit in the chair—begin to take their shoes off and wash their feet as you talk).

The people’s feet back in that time were VERY dirty. They didn’t wear shoes and socks like we do. They wore open toed sandals that didn’t cover much of their feet at all. They walked through dirtfilled streets where camels and donkeys also walked—and used the bathroom. It was not a pretty sight. It was that kind of mess that was all over the feet of the disciples. Yet, Jesus was washing their feet.

When He got to Peter, suddenly Peter stopped Him.

Peter said, “Lord, you will not wash MY feet.” Why do you think Peter was not wanting Jesus to wash his feet? (allow response) It was because Peter knew that this job was supposed to be for servants to do. It was NOT a job for a King to do. Peter was telling Jesus, “You are way too important to be doing this job.”

But, Jesus said,

“If I don’t wash you, then you cannot be a part of what I am doing.” He was telling Peter, “You have to learn this lesson. If you don’t watch me do this and learn this very important lesson, then you can’t be a part of changing the world with me.” What was the lesson that Peter was learning? What was the lesson that Jesus was teaching? It’s the same lesson we must learn today…

Jesus was a leader, but He took on the role of a servant so that He could show us what we should be like. Like Peter, we sometimes think that leaders are not supposed to do the “little” jobs. Peter believed that Jesus was better and more important and shouldn’t be doing the job of a servant. Jesus didn’t think so.

Sometimes we think that if we are a leader at church, then that means that others are supposed to serve us, but that is not what Jesus was teaching us. He was teaching Peter and us that if we want to be a leader, we must first be a servant. We do this by doing exactly what Jesus did in this situation.

Jesus was the King of Kings, but He chose to humble Himself and take on the role of a servant. He got down on his hands and knees and washed the feet of Peter and the disciples. He didn’t have to. No one MADE Him do it. He did it Himself. He humbled HIMSELF.

You and I must humble ourselves and choose to serve others. Instead of insisting that others do what YOU want, choose to do what others want. Instead of acting like a big-shot, act like a servant. Help others, pray for others, serve others. When you see someone who doesn’t have a friend, be their friend. When you see someone who doesn’t have candy, give them your candy. When you see someone who needs help, choose to help them. We can do this if we live by this plan…

Everywhere He went, Jesus put others first. He healed others, loved others, helped others, and served others. He never once demanded that people treat Him as the King that He is. Instead, He took on the role of a servant and put others first—Himself last.

Can you imagine what a group of kids would look like if they lived like this? “Others first—me last”? I imagine that every kid in the city would want to come to that church because they knew they would be treated with kindness, love, and care. Can you imagine if we all learned the lesson from the Foot Washer? I imagine we would all look a lot more like Jesus.

Peter understood this.

So, he told Jesus, “Lord, don’t just wash my feet, but my head and my body as well.” Jesus explained to him that it wasn’t about being washed, but it was about understanding what it means to be a servant. So, Peter allowed Jesus to wash his feet

and learned a very important lesson that day! A lesson that each one of us must learn as well.

  • (play soft music) Pray with the children that they would be able to treat others the way that Jesus treated them. Pray that they would choose to humble themselves every day, putting others first—themselves last.

  1. What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “I Will Put Others Ahead Of Myself!”

  2. Who had a bad attitude in Pete’s Diner in our video today? Answer: “The King”

  3. What was Jesus doing to the disciples after dinner? Answer: washing their feet

  4. Which disciple would not allow Jesus to wash his feet at first? Answer: Peter

  5. Jesus explained to Peter that it’s not about being served, but about being a _____________________. Answer: servant

  6. Did Peter eventually allow Jesus to wash his feet? Answer: yes

  7. According to our lesson today, “I Must Be A Servant Like ____________.” Answer: Jesus

  8. According to our lesson today, “I Must ____________ Myself.” Answer: humble

  9. According to our lesson today, our attitude should be “_________ First, _____ Last.” Answer: Others, Me

  10. Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: Romans 12:10

At Home

At Home Instructions

Family Devotion: The Foot Washer

About High Voltage Elementary

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