It’s dinner time. It’s not exactly a party, but it is a special meal. They booked a private room, ordered the food, and now they are sitting around, eating, drinking, talking. The leader of this disparate group of friends had seemed very eager for the supper—he’d even helped initiate the arrangements. But now he is in a serious mood.
Amid the clatter of plates and cups, he makes a shocking statement: Someone is going to let them down, someone among their number is going to betray them. Amongst his friends, there’s one loud, outspoken fellow who often takes the lead. Like the others, he’s astonished to hear this. He really wants to know who this traitor will be, but he realizes that it probably wouldn’t be too smart to shout across the room.
There’s another quieter friend. He too is one of the closest friends of their leader. We may wonder why, because he hasn’t done anything outstanding. But whenever the leader is doing something important, there he is at his side. And tonight, at this important meal, he’s sitting close to the leader, so close that his head is almost on his shoulder.
The louder fellow motions to him. The message is clear: “Find out who this traitor is.” The quiet one whispers a question to the leader. He replies in a soft voice. Nobody else in that busy room could make sense of the reply. Nobody else was close enough to get the message. It is only in sitting quietly at our Savior’s side that we hear His voice. It is only in leaning quietly upon Him that we receive the answers we seek. He promises, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”1
In the account of the Last Supper,2 we read that “the disciple whom Jesus loved was reclining next to him.”3 John’s closeness to Jesus is also evident on other occasions. John was among the faithful few who were present as Jesus died on the cross.4 Then when a distant figure appeared on the beach, inviting the disciples to leave their fishing boat and join him, it was John who first recognized the risen Savior, exclaiming, “It is the Lord!”5