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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802414670
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication date: 01/03/2017
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 533,097
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 from strep throat in 2008. Her growing relationship with the Lord and her Bible saved her from the pit of grieving the loss of a child. During this time, she also developed a deep, abiding love for the Word of God. Kim's love of Scripture led her to develop a website and teaching blog to help other women fall in love with the Word of God, www.LoveMyWord.com. Kim also contributed to the book Hopelifter: Creative Ways to Spread Hope When Life Hurts (2013). She is an attorney who practiced business litigation for thirteen years before becoming a law professor. She earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education, and has returned to her passion for teaching. Kim lives in Florida with her husband and son.

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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His Last Words: What Jesus Taught and Prayed in His Final Hours (John 13-17) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
TLPPA More than 1 year ago
I have some conflicting feelings about His Last Words by Kim Erickson. In an effort to address those, I think it will be helpful to discuss what the book IS and what it IS NOT. His Last Words, despite the description, is a five-week review of John 13-17, a one-week gloss-over of John 18-21, and a final week of review of the readers' notes from weeks 1-6. Confusing? Sort of. Maybe that's why they went with the subtitle they went with. Either way, be prepared to read through John 13-21. His Last Words is 85% journaling, 10% Bible study, and 5% group activities that can easily be omitted if the reader wishes to use this book on their own. The majority of the book consists of large blank spaces for the reader to "answer" questions like, "Write about something you have been trying to do on your own, apart from God" and "If Jesus were sitting at your kitchen table, what would you ask Him about the trouble you are dealing with right now?" While I don't see any harm in doing these exercises, I don't particularly think of these exercises as Bible study, either. Each week the reader will read through a chapter of John and make notes about each and every verse they read. These notes are to answer the question "What does this verse tell me about God." This is good stuff. I appreciate that Erickson doesn't require the reader take the Scripture out of its original context and answer, "What does this verse mean to me?" By the time the reader (or group) gets to the end of the book, they will have read John 13-21 in 7 weeks, made notes about most of the verses, and given considerable time to self-reflection, prayer, repentance, and developing a plan for change that aims to align their life with the Word of God. This is what His Last Words is about, and it does a good job with these activities. Now, to address what this book is NOT. This book will not study the Scriptures word-by-word. It will not be of any particular help in addressing difficult verses, phrases or words. It will not help the reader to understand what John's original intent was with his writing. This book will not help the reader understand the historical setting, the occasion for writing, or the key themes of the Gospel of John. This book will not give the reader much help with observation and interpretation of Scripture. And most certainly, this book will not help the reader address any specific theological themes that appear in the Gospel. Please don't misunderstand…..I think there is DEFINITELY a market for a book like His Last Words. There are plenty of people who have NEVER taken the time to read slowly through the Gospel of John, in whole or in part. If this book encourages that, GREAT!! However, I feel that Erickson should have included at least some brief mention of word meanings, historical setting, and themes of the Gospel. It couldn't have hurt to take some time to address some of the more difficult sayings of the Gospel, either. Why not address some basic theological ideas like justification, sanctification, and glorification. In my mind, when I hear the term "Bible Study" I assume we are going to be studying the Bible. Instead, I would consider this book to better classified as guided journaling. And within that classification, it does a fine job. I received this book free from Moody Publishers. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.
acgifford More than 1 year ago
This study causes the reader to really pause and think carefully about each verse in this passage. What am I learning about God? What is Jesus saying to me personally? The method is unique and thorough. What I love about this study is that it is solid content, but at the same time the method is simple enough to be used by someone brand new to God's Word. In fact, I would recommend it for that! It would ground a new believer in solid doctrine and an understanding of who God is. On the flip side, it is so thorough, that it is equally enjoyed by someone who has been studying their Bible for a lifetime - like me! As a Moody Theology student, I loved being able to trust the content and not feel like I needed to keep double-checking what was being taught. Besides all of that, Kim is relatable and shares so much of her personal heart and testimony, so that one can practically see how what is being taught in God's Word is honestly life changing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been going through this study for the past few weeks and it has been great. Kim is so incredibly personal throughout the study. She shares her heart in such an applicable, relatable, and encouraging way. Her voice is so down to earth. The language she uses is easy for anyone to understand, mature believer or new Christian. The daily work is not too strenuous where you would get discouraged after a few days. It's just the right amount of work that will keep you thinking about the material all day. I love that the 5th days of each week are set aside for review and summary. I often find when I'm doing a study that I forget what I learned on day 1 by the time I am on day 5. It was really helpful to go back and review all that's God had been showing me throughout the week before moving on to the next weeks material. As a bible study leader, the discussion guides at the end of each week are so valuable. Sometimes there is so much good stuff in a lesson that it is hard to narrow down and choose what to talk about in group discussion. These guides really bring discussion into focus and help me as the leader prepare and feel like the discussion will be valuable for everyone. This study would be great for a group of all ages and biblical knowledge. Kim does a great job of explaining concepts and asks questions that will challenge you and make you think. I found myself writing all over the pages because I couldn't stop thinking of stuff to say in response and it wouldn't fit in the space provided! I love the charts and writing about what we learn about God from that verse. I had never done a study like this. Now I find myself doing this whenever I'm just reading in my bible. It's such a good habit to be in. This is a great study. Kim has a beautiful heart for the Lord which is evident in the study. Also, the book is beautiful! The different colored fonts help you clearly see what is reading material and what is question. The colors used are calming and easy to look at. Give this study a try! You won't be disappointed.