A Most Precious Gift


Giving our best to Jesus.


“Smelly Feet” handout - 2 or 3 copies; essential oils or scents - 3 to 5 kinds


John 12:1-8

Make copies of the handout so there are enough feet for each scent. Cut apart the feet on the handout. Put a different scent on each foot. If you don’t have essential oils, use perfumes with scents that are identifiable, such as perfumes that smell like flowers. You might also use foods to scent the feet, such as oranges and pineapple.

Today you’re going to smell my feet. Does that sound fun? (Pause.) When I say my feet, I mean the feet from my “Smelly Feet” handout. (Show the handout.) Who wants to get a sniff of these smelly feet? (Wave them around). 

They’re good smelly, not stinky. I’ve put some nice scents on them, like perfume, and I’d like you to guess the scents. (Pass around one of the feet, and encourage kids to think about what they think the smell is, but not say it aloud until everyone has smelled it. After everyone has smelled the foot, then invite them to shout out the scent. Confirm the correct scent. Repeat for each scent.)

It might seem strange that I had you smell my feet from my handout today, but I did for a reason. Today, we’ll learn from the Bible that Jesus was invited to His friend Lazarus’ home for a party in His honor! After they ate, His friend, Mary, took out a big bottle of perfume and poured it on His feet.

  • Even if you’ve read this in the Bible before, picture yourself there and talk about your own reaction to this event.

It was surprising, but not only because it was expensive, but also because Mary wiped the perfume on Jesus’ feet with her hair. Judas, the disciple who would betray Jesus, was angry she did that. He said she could have sold the perfume and given the money to the poor.

  • What do you think about Judas’ reaction?

Judas was right, it could’ve been sold and the money given to the poor, but Judas had been stealing the disciples’ money; so maybe it would’ve gone into Judas’ pocket. Regardless, Jesus said it was good because Mary gave her best to Him. It was honoring and Jesus said it made Him ready for His burial after His crucifixion that He knew was coming. 

If Mary’s best was to give her expensive bottle of perfume to clean Jesus’ feet, I wonder what our best could be. (Pause.) Today we’ll learn about giving our best to Jesus.

Dear God, help us understand what it means to give our best to You, and give us excitement to do it. In Jesus’ name, amen.