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His Last Words: What Jesus Taught and Prayed in His Final Hours (John 13-17)

His Last Words: What Jesus Taught and Prayed in His Final Hours (John 13-17)

by Kim Erickson


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Imagine knowing you only have several more hours to live. Picture the faces of your loved ones gathered around you. Allow the emotions to rise up in your heart.

What would you say?

John 13–17 records Jesus’ last words to the disciples before His death, revealing what was most important to Him. When we study those words and prayers today, we enter deep into the heart of Jesus and come away changed: overwhelmed by the love of God, inspired to follow Him, and empowered to spread the gospel.

His Last Words is an 7-week Bible study that plumbs the depths of Jesus’ final teachings to the disciples. It features:

  • A verse-by-verse study of John 13–17 and portions of John 18–21
  • Five lessons each week, one set aside for reflection and prayer
  • Discussion questions for small groups
  • Two weeks for review, reflection, and application
    and more

Jesus’ last words are words of eternal life—powerful and full of love. If you’ve been longing for more intimacy in your relationship with God, more meaning in your life, and more boldness in your witness, His Last Words will draw you into just what you need: the Word of God.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802414670
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication date: 01/03/2017
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 674,960
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

KIM ERICKSON began following Christ after the death of her three-year-old son in 2008. Kim began a writing and teaching ministry to help other women, which can be found at She is the author of His Last Words: What Jesus Taught and Prayed in His Final Hours and Surviving Sorrow, as well as a contributor to Hopelifter: Creative Ways to Spread Hope When Life Hurts. Kim is an attorney and practices immigration law. She lives in Florida with her husband, Devin, and son, Ethan.

Read an Excerpt

His Last Words

What Jesus Taught and Prayed in His Final Hours (John 13-17)

By Kim Erickson, Pam Pugh

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2017 Kim Erickson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-1467-0


WEEK 1 | DAY 1


Read John 13:1-11 in your Bible, then complete the chart below, verse by verse.

Briefly write what each verse reveals to you about the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the verse reflects a character trait of God (merciful, patient, gentle, loving). The verse might show what the Lord values (obedience, service) or how He wants us to behave (humbly, kindly, compassionately). It's fine to leave some spaces blank since you won't find an answer to the question in every verse. The idea is to read each verse thinking, Does this verse tell me anything about God? and then writing what comes to mind.

JOHN 13:1–11 What does this verse tell me about God?

1. Now before the Feast of the
Sample response:
Passover, when Jesus knew that
his hour had come to depart
Jesus loved His disciples to the end.
out of this world to the Father,
Jesus loves me as His own.
having loved his own who were
in the world, he loved them to
the end.

2. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,

3. Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God,

4. rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.

5. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?"

7. Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand."

8. Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me."

9. Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!"

10. Jesus said to him, "The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you."

11. For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, "Not all of you are clean."

If you knew you only had one day to live, with whom would you spend your last hours on earth and why?

We know how Jesus chose to spend His last hours on earth — with those He loved, and loved "to the end." John gave us some understanding of how Jesus loves us and what He did for us. The word he used for "end" is telos, meaning "perfection" or "completeness." Jesus loves His own to perfection. Jesus loves His own to completeness. The love of Jesus makes you complete!

If you knew you only had one day to live, what would you do with your last hours?

I am willing to bet that washing feet did not make your list! But serving one another in love and humility is so important to God that Jesus spent some of His last hours on earth washing the feet of His disciples. Jesus gave us a living, loving, and humble example of how He expects us to love one another.

It is interesting that the disciples did not appear to have any servants. It would have been customary in the culture at the time, at least in wealthier circles, to have a servant wash their feet. The disciples must have done duties themselves, typically performed by servants.

By the time the Last Supper took place, crowds were following Jesus. Surely some of the followers were servants in other households and would have gladly given up their posts to serve Jesus and the disciples. Yet, Jesus had no servants. Doesn't that say something about the character of God? He did not ask servants to attend to Him. More importantly, He did not expect it. Clearly, pride and position mean nothing to God.

In your last hours on earth, what would you tell your loved ones? What lessons would you want them to learn from the example of your life?

Next, Peter objected when it was his turn to have his feet washed. "You can't wash my feet!" But Jesus' reply to Peter was startling; that if He didn't wash him, Peter would have no part in Him. Jesus has illustrated both humbly serving one another and the spiritual aspect to His act: in order to share in fellowship and eternal life we must be cleansed through Jesus. When we put our faith in Christ, we are cleansed — forgiven and made children of God.

Jesus told the disciples that, by the grace of God alone, they would one day share in God's kingdom. What are you holding on to that might be keeping you from fully sharing in your inheritance as a follower of Christ? Are you feeling guilty about something that is keeping you from joyfully sharing in God's grace? Write about it here:

Ask God to forgive you and know that you are completely clean through the grace of Christ!

The washing of the disciples' feet also is symbolic of God's daily grace and forgiveness of our sins. Jesus told Peter that once he had been washed clean, he only needed to wash his feet. In other words, by believing in Christ and accepting Him as our Savior, we are granted eternal life, but we should consider our sins often and confess them to God. Thankfully, His mercies are new every day!

The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

— Lamentations 3:22–23 NASB

Closing Prayer: Try to close each day's lesson in prayer. You may pray the written prayer aloud if you choose. Father God, help me to fully understand that putting my faith and trust in Your Son, Jesus, washes me clean of my sins and grants me eternal life and fellowship with You. Help me see when I am putting pride and position before You or my service to others. Lord, I want to spend a few moments every day confessing my daily sins and seeking the cleansing that only You can bring. Thank You, Lord, for Your grace, mercy, and love for me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

WEEK 1 | DAY 2


Read John 13:12–17 in your Bible. Next, complete the chart below, verse by verse.

Briefly write what each verse reveals to you about the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the verse reflects a character trait of God (merciful, patient, gentle, loving). The verse might show what the Lord values (obedience, service) or how He wants us to behave (humbly, kindly, compassionately). It's fine to leave some spaces blank since you wont find an answer to the question in every verse. The idea is to read each verse thinking, Does this verse tell me anything about God? and then writing what comes to mind.

JOHN 13:12–17 What does this verse tell me about God?

12. When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you understand what I have done to you?"

13. "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am."

14. "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."

15. "For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you."

16. "Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him."

17. "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them."

Even at this late hour in Jesus' ministry, most likely a few days before the foot washing, the disciples clearly needed a lesson in humility. Read Luke 22:21-27 and describe the scene:

The disciples, even though they spent the most time with Jesus, were still focused on things of this world: prestige, position, and pride. Jesus reminded them, "Let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves" (v. 26). Jesus also said, "I am among you as the one who serves" (v. 27).

Jesus sent a clear message that not one of them was greater or more important than the others. He pointed out that if He could wash the disciples' feet, they should also serve one another. It is a powerful reminder not to think too much of ourselves.

Think of a time recently when you thought too much of yourself. Write about a time when you allowed your pride or your focus on prestige to shift your focus off Christ.

When Jesus spoke to the disciples after washing their feet, He reminded them of their position with respect to the Lord. The student is not greater than the Teacher and the messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. In other words, we will never be "greater" than our Lord. Also, nothing in our lives should be "greater" than Him.

Next, Jesus gave a clear directive. He gave us an example we should follow (v. 15). As followers of Christ, we are to serve one another without consideration of pride or position. Jesus showed us how to serve: with a heart understanding that we are no better or greater than others.

If you are serving because you think you are "supposed to," then you are not serving in love. If you are serving with thoughts that you are so "good" because you volunteer at a local charity, then you are not serving the way Jesus taught us. If you are serving because you feel sorry for someone, you are not serving the way Jesus taught us. Serve because you love the people you are involved with. Consider each and every person, and ask yourself: Do you love them? Is that why you are serving?

What activities should you stop doing because you are not serving in love?

What service could you do with love?

Now, let's turn this around. Remember in yesterday's lesson that Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet. Surely not! But serving one another is what God asked us to do. Are you letting anyone serve you? If not, why aren't you letting anyone help you? Is it pride? Is it fear? Is it selfishness? Turning away help, or not asking for help, is sometimes selfish or prideful. Are you handling something all by yourself so that you alone can take credit? Who are you denying the opportunity to be blessed by serving you? Write your thoughts here:

Jesus continued His clear message: you will be blessed if you do this. God wants us to use our lives to serve Him by serving others. He assured us that it will not be in vain. Write about the blessings the Lord has provided as a result of serving others. Explain what you have received from doing the work of the Lord.

Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. — 1 Corinthians 15:58

Closing Prayer: Father, thank You for being our Teacher and Lord. Thank You for making it so simple to do Your work. I pray that I will serve others with humility and love. Lord, show me the service You would have me do. I want to abound in Your work, Lord. I pray that I will allow the Holy Spirit to guide my way. Thank You for the blessings You give me every day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

WEEK 1 | DAY 3


Read John 13:18–30 in your Bible. Next, complete the chart below, verse by verse.

Briefly write what each verse reveals to you about the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the verse reflects a character trait of God (merciful, patient, gentle, loving). The verse might show what the Lord values (obedience, service) or how He wants us to behave (humbly, kindly, compassionately). It's fine to leave some spaces blank since you won't find an answer to the question in every verse. The idea is to read each verse thinking, Does this verse tell me anything about God? and then writing what comes to mind.

JOHN 13:18–30 What does this verse tell me about God?

18. "I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, 'He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.'"

19. "I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he."

20. "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."

21. After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, "Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me."

22. The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke.

23. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus' side,

24. so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.

25. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, "Lord, who is it?"

26. Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it." So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.

27. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."

28. Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.

29. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, "Buy what we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor.

30. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

This scene is an example of how God grants understanding in His time. Even though Jesus spoke of the betrayal three times, no one around Him really understood what was going on. Often we cannot understand things when they are happening to us, though we might later. In all things, understanding comes from God.

Write about a time in your life when understanding something that happened to you came later, after the fact:

Verses 19–20 are interesting because Jesus told His disciples that He was telling them things before they happened so they would believe that "I am he." Really? Even the disciples didn't get it. Even the disciples didn't really believe it. These verses tell us that even those closest to Jesus had trouble understanding who Jesus was, or perhaps had their doubts. If you ever stumble or have doubts about God, remember that Jesus understands. Though most Christians will admit they struggle with doubts at times, your faith in Jesus is still the foundation of your relationship with God.

Jesus next became troubled in spirit because of the betrayal, and He told the disciples that one of them would betray Him. They were confused. They could not imagine who among them would betray Jesus. Some said, Is it I? (Mark 14:19). The disciples' questions and confusion about the betrayal of Jesus should be a lesson that any of us are capable of grievous sin. If we don't believe this, we are deluded and have no real idea of how much we owe to the grace of God."

Consider also that Judas was close enough to Jesus that Jesus was able to hand a piece of bread to him (v. 26). Judas must have been sitting near enough to hear Jesus say "not all of you are clean" (v. 11) and the reference to Scripture that was to be fulfilled: "He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me" (v. 18). And again more plainly, "One of you will betray me (v. 21).

By referencing the betrayal before dipping the bread and handing it to Judas, was Jesus giving Judas a last chance to think again? In their culture, it was considered a gesture of friendship to hand the bread to another during a meal. One commentary put it this way: "No man in history was more 'put on the spot' than Judas in that moment." Judas's acceptance of the bread reflected his choice — his rejection of Christ.

The enemy tempts each of us to sin and we are each capable of giving in. How is the enemy tempting you right now? What choices are you making in your life that reflect the enemy more than they reflect Christ and your faith in Him?

Please understand, as seen in these verses, Jesus gives us endless chances to choose His way and reject Satan's prompting. Next time, in that moment when you must choose, picture Jesus sitting next to you holding out a piece of bread and giving you a chance to choose His way, a chance to make the right choice. Take each thing you wrote above and write how you could choose differently. Make it some sort of action, not just a thought or emotion. What could you do at that moment when you must choose?

Let's look at what happened when Judas made his choice. Jesus commanded Judas to "do quickly" what he was about to do. Although prompted by Satan, Jesus was still in control of Judas and the situation. Jesus was not a victim of His circumstances. He went willingly to the cross ... for you. Why? Because He loves you infinitely more than you can imagine and because Jesus desired to do the will of the Father:

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man. (Matthew 16:21–23)

Perhaps when you feel tempted and before you take the actions you listed above, you could say, "Get behind me, Satan! You will not be a stumbling block to me. will keep my mind on God's interests, not my own!"

Take comfort, however, in the fact that even when you do not stand firm and make the right choice, Jesus is still in control. Jesus still commands you and your life.


Excerpted from His Last Words by Kim Erickson, Pam Pugh. Copyright © 2017 Kim Erickson. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

A Son's Last Words 9

Getting the Most from This Study 13

Week 1 John 13: Love One Another 15

Discussion Guide 43

Week 2 John 14: Jesus Is the Way, the Truth, and the Life 45

Discussion Guide 77

Week 3 John 15: Abide in Him 79

Discussion Guide 107

Week 4 John 16: Filled with the Holy Spirit 109

Discussion Guide 141

Week 5 John 17: His Final Prayer 143

Discussion Guide 177

Week 6 John 18-21: His Final Words 179

Discussion Guide 213

Week 7 Taking It to the Next Level 215

Discussion Guide 222

Notes 223

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

His Last Words is a study for women who want a more intimate relationship with Christ.  It’s rich in biblical truth and filled with thought-provoking questions that will teach you how to grow your faith in a deep and abiding way.  You’ll learn how to study scripture in a new way as you discover the character, behavior, and responses of Jesus.  If you long to know Him more personally, consider taking a group of women through this book and discover the life-changing power of His final words.”


Carol Kent

Speaker and author, Unquenchable



His Last Words is a must-do Bible study for any small group, women’s group, grief group, or church preparing for Easter. This is more than a study; it is a life-transforming experience that will challenge you to cling to Jesus’ final words like never before and live for Him more passionately. Thank you Kim Erickson for living what you teach and for allowing God to transform your hurt into hope that multiplies.

Kathe Wunnenberg

Founder, Hopelifters Unlimited

Author, Grieving the Child I Never Knew


His Last Words magnifies the importance of every word Jesus spoke in John chapters 13–17. The format of this study truly reflects the author’s passion to know God. I believe you will find Kim’s enthusiasm for learning to be contagious. You will be powerfully impacted by God’s great love for you as you study these life changing words of Christ.


Tami Engram

Director of Women’s Ministries at Desert Springs Community Church

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