If your image of the “Last Supper” is the one painted by Leonardo da Vinci, you’re going to miss John’s point in chapter thirteen.
Formal dinners such as this one were held around a “U” shaped table. Participants didn’t “sit” at the table, but rather reclined on cushions, propping themselves up with their left arm and eating with their right. There were two ends of the table — both places of honor. John was at one end. Jesus was right behind him so that when John leaned back, he was leaning on Jesus’ chest and at Jesus’ right hand. Across from him, at the other end of the table, was Peter, and Peter and John, looking across the table, could see one another clearly.
Behind Jesus, to his left, in the place of secondary honor was . . . Judas. Judas was at the Lord’s “left” hand, a place of protection.
When Jesus says: “One of you is going to betray me,” Peter looks across the table at John and says: “Ask him who it is.” John leans against Jesus and asks: “Who is it?” Jesus says: “It’s the one I give the bread to.” Then he leans against Judas and gives him the bread.
Here comes the lesson:
Jesus then says: “A new command I give you: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus knew what Judas was, but he loved him to the very end anyway.
I want you to notice Jesus did not say “love everybody.” Nor did he say: “Love the world.” To his disciples he said: “Love one another.” We’ll never be able to love as Jesus loved until we can love one another within the church. To be a follower of Jesus, that’s where we must begin.