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May 31, 2021 18:00pm
Humility: Feet and Foot Washing
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There are three segments to our Legacy Lesson:

  1.  Icebreaker
  2. Legacy Lesson–Bible point: Feet, Foot Washing, and Humility
  3. Wrap-up: Apply the message to our own lives; work on memory verse

Last week, we finished up on our month of GENTLENESS! Can any of you remember ways we can be gentle?

Here are a few points we focused on with gentleness:

  1. Let’s be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
  2. We ought to respond GENTLY to angry situations/people. Do you remember some interventions when you get angry yourself? (HOLY PAUSE!!)
  3. We can be gentle with our words and speak LIFE into others, not death! Do you remember our memory verse from this week. ↓↓↓

I. Icebreaker:

Let’s talk feet! 

Discussion Question to get your people thinking about today’s topic:

⭐ In the summertime, do you ever check out other people’s feet? What do you notice about them?

⭐ What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen people do with their feet?

⭐ What do you think about YOUR feet?

⭐ Well, for today’s lesson, we are talking about FEET and something called humility. Does anyone know what the word HUMILITY means?

  • Humility means to be courteously respectful of others; it is the opposite of arrogance or pride.
  • Humility pushes us to go more than halfway to meet the needs of others. 
  • Humility opens our eyes to our own weaknesses so that we do not become proud. 

Feet and humility sound pretty different, but with today’s lesson, you will understand how feet can help us have the UTMOST humility. Just ask Jesus. 

2. Transition over to Legacy Lesson:

Feel free to modify for your sphere of influence. Add, revise, or delete sections that would help keep attention for 30 minutes or less. (For younger audiences, I would aim for 10-15 minutes!)

This lesson is going to be different, so prepare yourself! You will need a tub of warm water for each of your people. You will also need some sort of a scrub or soap. We are going to act out the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. No matter how you feel about feet, we parents can model humility by washing our kiddos’ feet. While we are doing this very humble act, we will tell the story of Jesus doing the same act with his disciples. After the foot washing is done, then you will connect foot washing to “humility.”

#1. Let’s talk feet. 

Before your people put their feet into their tub of warm water, say:

Let’s talk about feet during biblical times. People wore sandals everywhere they went. Tell me what their feet may have been exposed to on a typical day.

*dusty, dirty roads

*mud

*garbage

*sharp debris that could cause scratches

*since livestock were everywhere, there was a good chance biblical feet had some POO on them. 

You know how dirty our feet get in the summertime when we wear flip flops? Take that picture and multiply it by 10…then, we might understand what it was like for people’s feet during this time period. THEY WERE DOWNRIGHT DIRTY…ALL THE TIME.

Extra Information:

When there was a formal meal (like the Passover), the host would have a servant wash the feet of all his guests. It was considered the lowliest of all jobs. Very rarely did Jews do this task; the general idea was that it was a demeaning task for them. This job was left up to a servant who was Gentile. There may have been times in which a child washed a parent’s feet or a wife washed a husband’s feet. Occasionally, a host would wash his guests’ feet himself as a sign of humility, but typically, foot washing was left up to a non-Jewish slave.

2.  Have your people put their feet in the water, and say:

It was Passover and Jesus knew this meal would be his very last. He knew his death was coming soon…very soon. He knew it would involve pain and separation. He loved his disciples very much and wanted to spend one last night with them. 

If you knew you had to leave your family and loved ones forever, what would you do the last time you were with them? What would you say? 

Jesus had taught them much over the past three years, but for their last night together, his last lesson would be SHOWING. During the meal, there was some discussion among the disciples about who the greatest disciple was. This was the opposite of humility; some might say this was PRIDE. Perhaps it was at this point, Jesus got up from the table, took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist. Little did they know, they were about to get taught a powerful lesson on humility.

Jesus poured water in a tub and began his work.

3. Begin washing your people’s feet, and say:

You guys, here is a powerful point:

These men have fallen into sin, made impulsive decisions, spoken out of turn, and had wavering faith. This act of washing feet isn’t just shocking for us to read about, it was even more shocking to the disciples! To have a teacher, a rabbi like Jesus, wash their feet was so humiliating, they tried to stop him. Just imagine a room full of disciples watching in astonishment as their teacher, the one who raises people from the dead and cures diseases, washing their feet (their bony, calloused, dirty feet). I can see Jesus taking his time with each disciple, washing his feet gently and tenderly. I bet you could hear a pin drop in that room it was so silent!

Peter protested, telling Jesus, “You shall never wash my feet!”

Jesus made a startling statement: “If I don’t wash your feet, then you are not one of my people.”

Wow. This statement of Jesus’ was so surprising, that Peter then begged for Jesus to wash not only his feet, but his hands and head as well!

There is also something equally astonishing in this moment: Jesus washed Judas’ feet. Jesus washed the feet of a man who was about to betray him for 30 silver coins. Jesus took as much time and gentleness with Judas as he did with the other disciples who were loyal to Him. What a beautiful picture of Jesus’ love for us, even amid our grievous sin. I wonder, could any of us treat those who betray us the same?

Another Point to make:

People who aren’t saved have “dirty feet.” Salvation is like cleaning these dirty feet up—it washes away the sin. Not only that, every time we believers confess our sins with a heart that means it, we are cleaning ourselves up on the inside. Feet got dirty daily. We need to confess our sins daily. Only Jesus’ sacrificial blood can cleanse away all the dirty, garbage, scratches, and even poo in life.  He’s the best cleaner we’ve got.

4. After the foot washing, finish with Jesus’ final words:

⭐ Discussion Questions:

What humble act did Jesus just perform for the disciples? He washed their feet.

Why did He do this? Jesus, compelled by love, humbled Himself to do something Jews would refuse to do: wash feet. To a Jew, this was lowly and beneath them, yet Jesus used this very act to show them that they are not better than anyone else. They are to stoop down, get their hands dirty, and serve others.

When they serve others, how will they feel? “If you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.” (v.17) Jesus was making the point when we serve others, we walk away feeling happy in the process. It’s a double blessing! 

3. Wrapping-Up: Applying it to our lives

In order to kneel down and wash people’s dirty, stinky feet, it takes a humble attitude. It takes an attitude that says, “No matter how gross your feet look and smell, I am going to honor you by washing them with my best effort.”

  • With humility, there’s no, “I don’t do foot washing” attitudes.
  • With humility, there’s no, “Eww….that’s gross—I’m not doing that!” attitude.
  • With humility, there’s no rough touch that wants to get the job done as quickly as possible.

This week, we are going to work on having a more humble attitude!!

  • Humility honors.
  • Humility puts others’ needs in front of our needs.
  • Humility says, “You first.”
  •  Humility doesn’t have to be right.
  • Humility depends upon the Lord, not itself.
  • Humility is focused on others, not ourselves.

Our focus verse for this week will come from Philippians 2:3

Let’s consider others more important than ourselves this week by SERVING THEM. Be on the lookout for a “foot-washing” opportunity each day. Share with the family at the end of the day.