Reader's Theater: Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet

Byzantine mosaic of Christ washing the disciples’ feet at the Monreale Cathedral. Public Domain.

Reader’s Theatre: Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

Based on
John 13:1-17, 34-35 (NIV)

In this setting, you have the option of incorporating the first verse of The Servant Song throughout the reading. (The Faith We Sing #2222; CCLI # 72673) If you do incorporate the song, consider having the instrumentalists continue to play softly during the readings.

SOLOIST OR ALL SINGING:
Brother, sister, let me serve you
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant, too.

NARRATOR
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

SOLOIST OR ALL SINGING:
Brother, sister, let me serve you
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant, too.

NARRATOR
Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,

SIMON PETER
Lord, are you going to wash my feet?

JESUS
You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.

SIMON PETER
No! You shall never wash my feet.

JESUS
Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.

SIMON PETER
Then, Lord, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!

JESUS
A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.

NARRATOR
For Jesus knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place.

SOLOIST OR ALL SINGING:
Brother, sister, let me serve you
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant, too.

JESUS
Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

SOLOIST OR ALL SINGING:
Brother, sister, let me serve you
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant, too.

**********************
Click here, for a devotion and poem based on this scripture passage
Click here, for another worship resource based on this scripture passage

Click here, for an incredibly powerful reflection by Steve Garnaas-Holmes on the steadfast and sacrificial love of God through Jesus’ death and resurrection entitled Victory.

compilation © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the music, scripture translation, art and the use of this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

2 thoughts on “Reader's Theater: Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet

  1. Pingback: The Touch of the Towel, a poem based on John 13:1-17 | Turning the Word

  2. Thank you- this was a wonderful and simple reader’s theater- and I appreciated that it was directly from Scripture. I used it with the children in my Sunday School Class.

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