As a child, where did your family eat the primary meal together—if they did? Briefly describe where each family member sat and why they sat in those specific seats.


If you didn’t eat together as a family, where did you eat your primary meal? Who, if anyone, ate with you?



Jesus is back in Jerusalem for the last time before his crucifixion. He knows what’s coming, so he gathers his followers together for one last meal. It happened to be Passover, a traditional Jewish holiday celebrating the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt when the forces of death “passed over” them. Jesus used this time to remind them of all he’d taught and prepare them for what lay ahead. Since no servant was available to wash feet (a ritual for guests who walked wherever they went), Jesus took on the role of a servant (one conscripted to serve against their will) and did the job no one else would do.


Traditional artists show 12 men (disciples) sitting around a table with Jesus. We don’t really know who was there. The crowd could have included many other followers. Plus, Jewish tradition tells us they reclined around the table using cushions and propped up on an elbow.


God’s Story

Read John 13:1-17 and imagine yourself at this table.


Finding My Story in God’s Story

1. Put yourself in a chair behind the table filled with people who’d traveled all day, on foot, in the heat. Close your eyes and describe the scene. What do you feel, smell, taste, touch?

  • What part of this story captures your immediate attention?
  • Jesus doing the “dirty work.”
  • The 11 disciples letting Jesus wash their feet.
  • Peter trying to stop Jesus.
  • Jesus’ direction to “do the same to others.”
  • Other __________.


2. Carefully examine the three statements about Jesus in verse 3. How do you think those “understandings” made it possible for Jesus to be a servant?

  • He knew his place in God’s kingdom.
  • He knew where he was headed.
  • He saw himself as a servant and knew what to do.
  • He could handle the authority given him with humility and love.
  • Other __________.


3. What encouragement might that verse offer for people who are following Jesus, trying to be his servants?


4. Why do you think Peter, among all the other disciples, was so unwilling to have his feet washed?

  • He had holes in his flip-flops.
  • He hated getting his feet tickled.
  • He was embarrassed to have his “master” serving him.
  • He didn’t understand what was going on.
  • Other __________.


5. What task are you currently doing that is most like “washing feet”?

  • Taking out the trash.
  • Changing my kid’s diapers.
  • Walking behind my dog as the “No. 2 man,” dutifully picking up poop.
  • Doing unpleasant tasks that my boss is always requiring.
  • Other __________.


6. Who is the “foot-washing” person in your life-currently, or in the past? What have they done to serve you?


Our Story

7. What would it mean for you to become more of a servant/foot-washer for those around you?

  • Taking care of __________.
  • Letting __________ care for me.
  • Demonstrating more appreciation or affection to __________.
  • Showing a willingness to do things that “aren’t my job.”
  • Other __________.


8. After studying this Bible passage, what next step might Jesus be asking you to take? How will you do it this week?


9. Pray for one another about any hesitations you might have in showing others the kind of love that Jesus does. How else can this group help you take that next step this week?