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John 13:3-15 - Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

Interest Catcher

 Do you think people find it hard to accept mercy? Why?


 Do you know a person who found it difficult to accept mercy? What happened?

More Pre-Study Discussion

 How do you think non-Christians view us on campus (do we have a good witness)? If not, let’s
talk about our bad witness. Why is this?
 What kind of attitude should we have toward non-Christians on campus?

Setting

 The Last Supper: the evening of Jesus’ betrayal.

Read V. 3-5

Observation Questions

 What does it mean for Jesus to wrap a towel around himself?


 V. 3 is important: God KNOWS his power, nonetheless, he still makes himself a servant.
 Our real authority comes from our willingness to serve.

 Like the Christ Hymn in Phil. 2 (“I did not come to be served…”), so he humbled himself. This
isn’t so humbling if we don’t remember this Jesus is GOD, all powerful GOD.
 This passage has a sense of urgency. The time has come; Jesus is going to be leaving
them.
 Jesus is the master and Lord over the table/banquet, so etiquette says he won’t get up
from the table, even more importantly; he certainly wouldn’t take off his robe and put a
towel around himself to wipe their feet.
 Context: It was customary when someone comes home to have their feet washed by a
servant.

 What does this passage tell us about the character of Jesus (V. 3-5)?
 What’s being told to us that conveys the character of Jesus?

 What do you observe from verse 5?


 None of the other disciples objected, only Peter questioned it. What then do we think
the rest of the disciples were thinking?
 Answer: Either all the others would object and didn’t have courage like Peter or they all
accepted and understood.
John 13:3-15 - Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
Read V. 6-11

Interpretation Questions

 Do you think Peter knew what was going on/understood Jesus? Why or why not?
 Answer: Probably not. The important thing is that Jesus doesn’t expect Peter to
understand right at that time.

 V. 6 – Peter has the gall to ask what’s up with this. It’s not normal, you deserve my respect!
 Peter is bold, even if he gets it wrong. He’s assuming he knows what’s proper by saying,
“No, Jesus, you don’t have to.”

 V. 9 – Doesn’t show Peter understands what Jesus is talking about.


 Jesus is saying, “You don’t understand that I’ll be going to the cross and I’ll take on the
form of a servant.”
 It is a gift we are to receive.

Follow Up Questions

 What’s going on then? What does it mean to be washed or be clean?

Discussion

 What’s the big deal of washing the feet? Why the feet and not everything else?
 Answer: Unless we receive Jesus’ gift, we have no part with him (V. 8).
 Washing the feet is a humbling act. Are we going to accept the humbling act of Jesus on
the cross?

 What does it mean to be clean?


 Answer: Being clean is the result of being washed. Then…how are we washed?
 V. 11 – We’ve been washed by the blood of the lamb, but we betray God all the time, so
does that makes us unclean?
 Unclean is the equivalent of someone who is unable to accept what Jesus does,
(Example: Judas) therefore, they are not washed and therefore unclean.
 Jesus saves us by the incarnation and by his actual life by what he did. “Though we were
yet sinners Christ died for us…”
John 13:3-15 - Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
John 13:3-15 - Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
Read V. 12-15

 What’s the significance of this example (the washing of the feet)?


 How do we know this isn’t just about a ritual of washing feet?
 If it was just about the washing with water, Peter would’ve been right to have Jesus
clean his hands and head too.
 Answer: What matters is symbolically receiving Jesus as a humble servant, not just the
act of washing feet.
 V. 12 – If we don’t accept the way God loves us and saves us, what meaning do we have?

Application

 Are we able and willing to accept what Jesus offers us?


 Remember what this foot washing resembles.
 As Christians, we are to be like Jesus, Christ-like. Jesus sets an example for us. What is being
Jesus to other people look like?
 What are we called to do? What’s the example we are called to exemplify?
 What does it mean to wash each other’s feet?
 If we believe that this example is important that Jesus has set before us, how can we be called
to serve each other and how are we to serve other non-Christians around us?

Charge

(Lead by example. Lead by love. Lead by the power of the Holy Spirit.)

 It’s great to discuss how this all applies to our context, and it’s even greater to go out and live
this application.
 Pray and then leave and go serve someone in some capacity.