Summary: Based on Luke 22 and John 13 & 14, this five scene script can be used for just Jesus washing his disciples' feet (scenes 1-3) and/or instituting the Lord's Supper.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: Scenes 1-3 run about 5-6 minutes, 5 and 6 are 3 minutes each. Scenes 1 -3 can be produced as a stand-alone skit as well as 4 & 5 as a stand-alone.
CHARACTERS: Jesus and twelve disciples (Peter, John, Simon, Matthew, Thomas, Philip, Thaddeus and Judas speak)
PROPS: Table covered with a white tablecloth, 13 cushions, basket of bread, 13, wine cups, baskets and platters for a meal.
SETTING: A room
JESUS: This is the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Peter and John, go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.
PETER: Where do you want us to prepare for it?
ESUS: As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.
JOHN: Yes, Lord.
JESUS: (bowing in prayer) Father, the hour had come for me to leave this world and come to you. I know You have put all things under my power, and that I have come from You and am returning to You. Yet I also love these, my disciples in the world, and I have loved them to the end.
(At rise: A low table set with a meal is center stage. Thirteen cushions are surrounding the table. Jesus is already reclining at his seat, the central one. Two disciples are also sitting, leaning on a cushion. Others stand. )
JUDAS: Where is the servant to wash our feet?
SIMON: Fine job you two did, preparing for this meal.
JOHN: I did exactly what Jesus sent me to do, no more, no less.
PETER: Don’t try to blame me either, the owner of the house should have seen to this.
SIMON: So we’re supposed to eat this holy meal with someone’s stinky feet in our faces? I think not. You two, Peter and John, messed up. You two can be the foot washers.
JOHN: Not me. I’m one of the great ones, the special ones. I was taken on the Mount when Jesus was transfigured. (sits as if signaling discussion is over)
PETER: So was I. And I was allowed in to the house when he raised the dead. (sits as well)
JOHN: So, Judas, you can wash the feet. (JESUS gets up and removes outer garment, wraps towel around waist and pours water in a basin as this argument continues)
JUDAS: I have enough to do keeping track of the money. (sits and spills contents of money bag on table to count it) Besides, I have things on my mind tonight. (Everyone else standing sits hurriedly, trying not to be the last one standing)
PETER: Matthew used to handle all that dirty tax money. Foot washing wouldn’t be much of a stretch.
MATTHEW: Forget it. Washing feet is a servant’s job. The lowest servant’s job.
SIMON: Don’t look at me. I’m not washing any feet. (JESUS kneels and begins washing John’s feet and drying them with a towel. The disciples are dumbfounded, silent and staring. Jesus prepares to wash PETER’S feet)
PETER: Lord, are you going to wash my feet?
JESUS: You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.
PETER: (horrified at the thought of JESUS washing his feet) No, you shall never wash my feet.
JESUS: Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.
PETER: Then, Lord, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!
JESUS: Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you. (JESUS pointedly looks at JUDAS. JESUS continues to wash feet as lights slowly fade to black)
(At rise: JESUS is drying JUDAS’ feet. He stands, puts on his outer garments and returns to his seat. As he does this the faces of the disciples show a mix of emotions: Judas looks at JESUS with contempt for lowering himself, PETER is confused, trying to understand. JOHN is on the verge of tears. Others are sad, embarrassed, thoughtful. )
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. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
PETER: Lord, the kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.
JESUS: You are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?
JOHN: The one who is at the table.
JESUS: But I am among you as one who serves. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
(At rise: Meal is finished. Each of the 13 has a cup of wine (JUDAS’ must contain a red liquid). A basket with a single loaf of unleavened bread is in front of JESUS who is standing)
JESUS: I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (looks at JUDAS) I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’ (looks around) I am telling you now before it happens; so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me. (sits, bows head, beat, then raises it to heaven looking troubled) But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him. (Disciples look at each other confused)
JESUS: Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me. (disciples stare at one another, at a loss to know which one he means)
PETER: (stage whisper to John) Ask him which one he means.
JOHN: (leaning into Jesus as he speaks) Lord, who is it?
JESUS: It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish. (dipping the piece of bread, he gives it to JUDAS, who takes it) What you are about to do, do quickly. (JUDAS exits. In his haste he knocks over his cup of wine. The red spreads across the white tablecloth like blood)
JESUS: (JESUS breaks the bread as he speaks) Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. (raising bread to heavens) Thank you, Father. (to disciples) This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. (JESUS passes the bread and each takes a piece. JESUS picks up his cup and raises it to heavens)
JESUS: Thank you, Father. (to disciples) This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes. (Disciples pass it)
JESUS: My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
PETER: Lord, where are you going?
JESUS: Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.
PETER: (standing) Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.
JESUS: Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! (PETER goes to JESUS, kneeling, looking up at Jesus)
PETER: Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.
JESUS: I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me. (putting his hands on PETER’s shoulders) Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. (JESUS helps him rise and turns him to look at the others) And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. (JESUS guides PETER back to his seat)
JESUS: When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?
JESUS: But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.
SIMON the ZEALOT: (standing and showing his while pointing to PETER’s sword) See, Lord, here are two swords.
JESUS: That’s enough! Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.
THOMAS: Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?
JESUS: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.
PHILIP: Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.
JESUS: Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
JESUS: If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.
THADDEUS: But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?
JESUS: Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
JESUS: All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
JESUS: You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
Come now; let us leave. (Disciples stand to exit, lights out)
DIRECTOR’S NOTES: Scenes 4 & especially 5 have extended speeches by Jesus with little stage
movement. It is imperative the disciple’s facial expressions and body language are expressive and reflect their thoughts about what Jesus is saying to keep the audience engaged and focused. They should not detract from Jesus’ words, but enhance them. They can at times, lean towards each other as if they are commenting, but they should not actually have sound coming from their mouths.
Another possibility is to show some of the scripture slides included in the accompanying package on a screen while the scene plays out to emphasize the words Jesus is speaking.