John sat on the floor around a low stone table while the other apostles spoke. Candles danced light around them.
“Did you hear what Jesus spoke in the streets?” Bartholomew asked in low tones to Thomas across the table. “He said ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain, but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’ What do these words mean? He speaks in riddles. If he is to be glorified will he now take his place as ruler over the land of Jerusalem? What role would we play then?”
Thomas took a hand and placed it on the table, turning to his fellow apostle. “I do not think he means to rule, but I am afraid I also do not understand. He spoke of death, and yet he then told the masses ‘Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.’ I do not think he would speak of serving and following if he or we were to die now. But then he has said before ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.”
“I would die for him if he asked,” Simon Peter spoke from nearby John.
It had been like this for days, ever since their arrival to Jerusalem during the festival while Jesus rode the donkey over branches of palm. Jesus spoke words they did not fully understand, words that brought fear to the apostles.
John looked around the table at his eleven brothers. Their faces were apprehensive, some masking it with jovial talk and others asking questions about what was to come. All seemed to feel this coming meal with Jesus was important and pivotal in some unknown way. Tension held between them at all times.
No food or drink had been brought to the table, only empty plates and cups, and John’s throat was parched. A cup of wine and loaf of bread had been on the table before the apostles’ arrival, but none of them had touched them, as the apostles were awaiting Jesus. The servants of the house will bring more food when Jesus comes, he thought, catching Judas’ eyes from across the table as he spoke to Philip. Judas looked away from him quickly. You speak more than usual, brother, he thought of Judas. It is good to see you in good spirit; either that or you mask your emotions well.
All conversation went silent as the room’s door opened and Jesus stepped in, holding a clay plate with pomegranates, lamb, honey, olives, grapes and bread in one hand and a pitcher of wine in another.
“Why do you carry the food and not the servants?” Thomas asked as Jesus came to the table, near John and Simon Peter, and set the food and drink in its center.
Jesus sat on the cold stone floor, reaching across the table and touching Thomas’ hand. “Tonight I serve you. Come, let us eat. There is much in my thoughts but first let us share this time of togetherness.”
They passed the tray around the table, taking enough only for their needs and then returning the empty tray and pitcher to its center. And as John ate he savored the richness of the lamb and juices of the fruit. John took seeds from his pomegranate and placed them in his mouth before looking up, watching the others as they consumed with enjoyment. The fruit was sweet and good. You provide for us in all ways and all you ask is our faith, fellowship and words to others, he thought of Jesus. I take sometimes, and am not grateful, but instead partake without thought of what you have gifted my life. All are blessed by the way you touch them.
“I love you, John.” Jesus looked up from his meal, wrapping his strong, warm arm over the apostle’s shoulder. “Hold that in your heart always, for I am always with you.”
“And I you, Lord.” John smiled, feeling the warmth of Jesus in his heart. Jesus had a way, a look within him that spoke of humble confidence, deep love and yet steadfast strength. To be in his presence was not like being in the presence of any other man.
Moments later, as John continued to eat; Jesus stood from his stool and walked to the corner of the room where a towel lay on the floor. He took off his robe and tied the towel around his waist before picking up a pitcher and basin that were also there.
The room went quite as the apostles turned to watch the Lord. Jesus poured water from the pitcher to the basin, the sound of the liquid collecting echoing in the room, and then brought the basin near Simon Peter’s feet.
Simon Peter turned to him. “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” There was confusion in his voice.
Jesus touched Peter’s cheek. “You do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“You will never wash my feet.” Simon Peter’s hands shook as he spoke.
Without removing his hand from the apostle’s face Jesus responded, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”
Simon Peter’s hands calmed then. “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head.”
Jesus looked up at the rest of the twelve. “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” There was silence for a moment as Jesus looked at them. “Not all of you are clean.”
Jesus took Simon Peter’s sandals and set them on the floor before running the water over his feet with his hands and cleaning them thoroughly.
He did the same for each apostle, taking their feet and giving this gift of love to them. He took his time and John could see the depth of care Jesus gave as he washed each man’s feet.
Then he came to John, removing his sandals as he had done for the others. As Jesus took John’s feet John looked into his Lord’s eyes. His Lord’s touch on his calloused feet somehow lifted a weight from him, lifted the weight of the past few days and tension within him from his confusion of what was to come. In that moment he felt one with the Lord. He was completely calm and at peace. How is it that he can look into my eyes and make my soul feel so complete? He looks upon the world, all of man, like this and with each person sees just as fully and gives as much care. It is the Lord, God, within him. Knowing him and seeing those eyes can leave no place to sustain doubt.
John closed his eyes as Jesus cleaned his feet lovingly. I do not deserve this, he thought. And yet that is part of the beauty of him, that he gives to us love and forgiveness that we do not deserve, always calling us to his side so that we may learn.
Jesus’ hands left his feet and John opened his eyes to see Jesus putting back on his robe.
John left his sandals off, letting the touch of Jesus’ hands linger there and not wanting something else to touch his flesh until he must.
Jesus came to the table’s center once more. He looked lovingly upon his apostles. “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me teacher and Lord–and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
The look in Jesus’ face changed as he finished his words, a moment of silence before he continued. There was now sadness in the Lord’s eyes, not anger, but something of loss. John began to stand and go to him but Jesus motioned him down.
Jesus touched the stone table with an open hand. “I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But it is to fulfill the scripture, ‘The one who ate bread with me has lifted his heel against me.’ I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am he. Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whomever receives me receives him who sent me.”
“Who will lift their heel against you?” Simon Peter spoke, looking to Jesus. “Is it one who has broken bread with us in the last few days?”
“Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” There was frustration in Jesus’ raised voice.
“Surely not I, Lord,” several of the apostles replied.
John looked around the table into his fellows’ eyes and saw they were doing the same. Betrayal? Certainly none of these men could bring harm to Jesus, to the son of God. Who would, after seeing all they had seen by his side, as servants of his message?
Simon Peter touched John’s shoulder, motioning him near. “Ask him,” Peter whispered. “He favors you. Which one of us does he speak of?”
John turned from Simon Peter and looked to Jesus. I wish I could relieve the pain in your eyes, Lord, he thought. He took a breath, steadying his nerves. “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus took a piece of bread from his plate, which was almost all that remained of his food, and held it up. “It is the one whom I give this bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” He took the bread and dipped it in honey, and then passed it across the table to Judas.
Judas took it and set it on his plate. His expression did not change.
Why? Why has Jesus given Judas the bread? Judas cannot betray Jesus. John’s mind was foggy somehow.
Jesus held Judas’ gaze. “Do quickly what you are going to do.”
Judas stood, looking doubtingly at Jesus before exiting the room. Cool night air came from the Upper Room’s balcony as his footsteps left their hearing. The candles in the chamber flickered.
Did Jesus instruct him to purchase something for the festival before we arrived here, or possibly to give something to the poor? John watched Judas’ empty place, uncertain of what had happened. Whatever it was, John looked to Jesus once more and saw again the deep love for them all. He did not know who would betray Jesus, but was comforted to see his Lord’s soul calmed. The apostles were twelve men. Surely they could protect him from whatever danger would come.
Jesus held his hands before him. “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. God will also glorify him in himself and glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
There was silence for a moment and then Simon Peter broke it, confusion on his face as he looked to Jesus’ eyes. “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus breathed a deep breath, closing his eyes as silence again moved through them. “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterward.”
John saw Simon Peter’s hands shaking as he responded. “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
Jesus met his apostle’s hand on the table, looking at him with love, and yet something else, some longing perhaps. “Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.”
How could Simon Peter deny our Lord? John thought, feeling a chill in his heart. Peter would never deny Jesus. If he denies Jesus, then what am I capable of?
Jesus let his touch from Simon Peter’s hand go and then looked to the others, meeting each apostle’s eyes. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the Lord where I am going.”
“Lord,” Thomas’ voice came. “We do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
Jesus touched his breast. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know the Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
“Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.” Philip leaned over the table.
“Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me?” Jesus responded. There was a warmth in his voice that somehow comforted John. John watched Philip’s body relax. “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”
The strength of John’s faith was in him now. The room seemed to breathe the life of the Lord, an energizing life that moved the spirits of the apostles. The darkness of the world remained over them, but Jesus’ light warmed and brought the spirit of God over their mortality.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Jesus said. “And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be among you.
“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
“Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” Thaddaeus asked.
Jesus met his eyes. “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father that sent me.
“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.” Jesus stopped speaking for a moment and silent warmth lingered in the air.
John’s eyes caught on the loaf of bread and cup of wine still before Jesus on the table. He had not thought of them while consuming his meal, but now watched as Jesus took the loaf of bread in his hands.
“Blessed are You, Father, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.” Jesus took the loaf of bread and broke it, placing portions of the loaf into the apostles’ hands as they reached to take his gift. Jesus also was reaching over the table.
As John took the bread Jesus’ hand touched his. He felt the warmth of the Lord in that embrace.
“Take, eat; this is my body.” Jesus told them.
John placed the bread in his mouth, holding it there for a moment as he reflected on the words. Jesus has reminded us that the bread is a gift from God through the earth, and has now broken it and called it his body. He is a gift from God as well. What greater gift could we be given? Praise to you, Lord, for all you provide. As he chewed the bread, continuing to think of this, he watched Jesus lift the cup of wine.
“Blessed are You, Father, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.” Jesus took the cup and held it out. “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Jesus passed the cup to John first and John took it. As he drank the wine it seared his throat. You will give your blood for our sins? The reality of it finally struck him. The gift was so great that he still could not fully believe. The wine was good and yet bitter as it rested on his taste buds.
“Come, let us sing,” Jesus spoke when they had passed and drank from the cup. Jesus began and as John recognized the hymn he joined with the other apostles.
“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
‘Lord, save me!’
The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
I trusted in the Lord when I said,
‘I am greatly afflicted’;
in my alarm I said,
‘Everyone is a liar.’
What shall I return to the Lord
for all his goodness to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful servants.
Truly I am your servant, Lord;
I serve you just as my mother did;
you have freed me from my chains.
I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord--
in your midst, Jerusalem.”
“Praise the Lord,” Jesus spoke when they had sung the last lines. “Rise, let us be on our way.”
John rose in silence, picking up one of the candles on the table and following Jesus with the other apostles from the room. As they descended the building’s stairs from the upper room, candle light flickered on the walls, dancing shadows of the apostles’ forms and distorting their silhouettes. Cool air met John as he walked from the structure to the street beyond, sending a rush of chill up his back as his robe gusted in the breeze.
They walked through the darkness, following Jesus through the dirt streets toward the Kidron valley and a garden in it where Jesus often took them to pray.
As they walked, the candles the apostles held lit orange illumination over their forms. But Jesus walked before them, his light robe reflecting the beams of the moon.
After a distance Jesus stopped, turning to them and speaking as he put one hand on Simon Peter’s shoulder and the other on Bartholomew’s. “I am the true grapevine,” he said, “and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A servant is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’
“But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.”
Tears streamed down Thomas’ cheeks and Jesus walked to him, wiping the tears from his cheeks with his fingers. “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. This is because they have never known the Father or me. Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.
“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.
“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’ In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.” Jesus then turned and began to walk once more.
Bartholomew looked to Simon Peter, his face illuminated by candlelight. “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’?”
“What does he mean by ‘a little while’?” Simon asked, also confused.
John listened and realized he also was confused. “We don’t understand, Lord,” he spoke.
Jesus turned to them once more, a caring look in his eyes, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before.” Jesus placed an assuring hand on John’s shoulder, and then another on Thomas’s. “Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
“I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”
“At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively,” Philip spoke, stepping into the center of the candle light. “Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus stood silently for a moment as the apostles looked upon him. “Do you finally believe? But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John was speechless. Was the Lord truly leaving them?
Jesus looked away from their eyes, looking upward toward heaven, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.
“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
“Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
The disciples had lowered their heads, listening to Jesus’ words.
“Come, it is time,” Jesus spoke, his strong voice causing John to open his eyes.
They did not speak as they walked the city streets and out across the Kidron valley. Instead John watched Jesus, witnessing the great burden that seemed to weigh down his shoulders. The Lord led them, moonlight blanketing his form, brighter than the light playing on the sand and vegetation around him. Each footstep he made set deep, as if it had always been there.
It was a long walk, and as they reached the garden of Gethsemane Jesus stopped, holding his arms out, calling forth his disciples. There was great anguish in Jesus’ eyes and heavy sweat dripping down his flesh. The limbs and leaves of olive trees swayed around them.
“Sit here while I go over there and pray,” Jesus spoke to them with pain in his voice.
One by one the disciples sat beneath the olive trees, laying back against them and whispering to one another, but as they went to sit, Jesus placed hands on Peter and James’ shoulders. He also looked John deeply in the eyes as he began to sit. “Come with me further,” he spoke.
The three followed him until they reached a clearing. As Jesus turned to look upon them there was great grievance in his eyes. “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me,” he spoke, kissing each man’s forehead before walking a short distance away from them. He kneeled low on the ground to pray.
Peter and James sat down beside John, leaning back against the same olive tree.
John watched Jesus intently, wondering what words he spoke to the Father, wondering what was to come now. I will not betray you, he thought as his eyes became heavy. It was late and had been a long night. Surely I can close my eyes, just for a moment, just a little rest before Jesus returns.
Darkness moved like a fog over his thoughts. He could hear the breathing of Peter and James somewhere distantly.
“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me,” Jesus’ words surfaced in his thoughts, “yet not what I want but what you want.”
Time passed in the darkness and Jesus’ voice returned. “So could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
John tried to awaken, but was drawn again to darkness.
“My Father,” Jesus’ voice entered John’s mind a third time, “if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”
‘The Last Supper: John’ was written by the author with the intent of taking what we know of Jesus’ last supper with the disciples and their walk to Gethsemane, and putting it in story form, so that we may further think on Jesus’ preaching at that time. The majority of speech in the work has been taken directly from the Holy Bible, the New Revised Standard Version, with some quotes from disciples and between the disciples and Jesus added for story composite. Great care has been given in these cases.
Because the author chose John to write through the mind of, the Gospel of John was heavily used and quoted from. John was also chosen by the author because his gospel is perhaps the most in-depth of the gospels in regards to The Last Supper and the happenings leading up to Gethsemane.
Another important note is that in the Gospel of John there is no specific mention to the breaking of bread and drinking of wine as sacrament. The author has included it in this work because of the sacrament’s mention in the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke. There is some discrepancy also between gospels as to when The Last Supper took place and so since the author wrote from the mind of John, who writes that The Last Supper took place before Passover and not on Passover, the author has also not written ‘The Last Supper: John’ as a Passover event.
Wikipedia writes - The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to as the Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar wording. They stand in contrast to John, whose content is comparatively distinct. The term synoptic comes from the Greek, meaning "together", and optic, meaning "seen”.