Seating charts, the Last Supper and Judas

The world the New Testament was born into was a world where seating charts were everything. There wasn’t a higher form of fellowship than table fellowship at that time and where you sat at the meal was directly related to the honor or shame the host wished to recognize. There was a pecking order. The nearer you sat to the host the more honor you had and the further you sat from the host the less honor you were thought to have.

Greco-Roman dining rooms were called “triclinium” a compound word from tri (three) and kline (couch), literally three couches. It was a room that typically had three tables set up in the shape of a U where the host sat in the central position. The two seats on either side of the host were the seats of honor where the most honored guests were to be seated. Another sign of honor was for the host to serve one of the guests himself…differentiating that person from everyone else.

These two things come together in the Last Supper, delivering a powerful message of grace.

John 13:24-27

Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”

Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

Here we find John is seated next to Jesus, the host and it hints at Judas sitting on the other side of him as Jesus doesn’t need to get up to serve him. This is further demonstrated in Luke 22:21

But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.”

We see again that Jesus and Judas are in close proximity, if not sitting directly next to each other. What is more, you notice in John 13 that Jesus personally serves Judas…another sign of honor.

All of this is entirely consistent with the rest of Jesus’ ministry where Jesus showed mercy, grace and kindness to all…even to his betrayer. What is equally profound is that Jesus invites all of the rest of us, who have also betrayed him at times, to the table in spite of our past but with a hopeful look to the future!

Everyone Has a Story – Determining Who Gets the Pen

Today’s post is also over at Wineskins. It is a followup to yesterday’s post on metanarratives…hope you find it helpful. Blessings! Everyone has a story – determining who gets the pen Like this:Like Loading…

My post over at Wineskins

I posted today over at Wineskins about our story…I hope you find it beneficial Everyone Has a Story – the Prodigal Son and Identifying Your Metanarrative Like this:Like Loading…

Why Did They Cast Lots to Replace Judas?

“So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he wasContinue Reading

Everything Communicates

Communication is unavoidable…in fact, if you try to avoid communicating that in and of itself communicates something to those who notice your behavior. If people can tell you care – that communicates. If people can tell that you don’t care – that communicates. If a ministry is running smoothly – that communicates. If a ministryContinue Reading

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I just posted this over at Wineskins and invite you to give it a read. I think we have some real issues to overcome here and am confident we will get over this, Resurrecting Evangelism…Calling a Kingdom of Priests. Let me know what you think and pass it along if you think it is helpful!Continue Reading

Resurrecting Evangelism…Here is One Missing Piece to Viable, Intentional Outreach in Our Churches

I just posted something over at Wineskins that I think you may find helpful. If you have a couple of minutes you might want to give it a read Resurrecting Evangelism…Here is One Missing Piece to Viable, Intentional Outreach in Our Churches Like this:Like Loading…

Bio Sketch of James the Brother of Jesus

In studying for a class on the book of James I ran down some information on the author, James the half-brother of Jesus that I found extremely helpful in understanding the letter itself.   James is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Jacob. His mother was Mary (Mark 6:3), his half brother was JesusContinue Reading

Living Between the Cups…which Passover Cup Jesus used at the Last Supper and What that Means for Us

When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper we are told that it was in the context of a Passover meal. Mark 14:12-18 says, 12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparationsContinue Reading

Siburt Institute is Hosting a Seminar with Reggie McNeal on April 9th

For those who are interested or live in near Dallas I would strongly encourage you to consider attending this event! You can get all the details you need at this link. Like this:Like Loading…

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