The Best Piece of Bread

Denise Vredevoogd

Read: John 13:18-30

Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” (v. 26)

In the King James Bible, the word “sop” is used in this verse, which means a small piece of bread dipped in broth. In Middle Eastern culture, the host would offer the sop to a guest of honor during a meal to show preference and respect.

Imagine eating a meal with close friends with the awareness that one of them had lied about you, cheated on you, or worse, was planning to help kill you. Would you be able to give this person the same preferential treatment that Jesus gave to Judas? Earlier in this passage we read, “Jesus was troubled in his spirit” (v. 21), knowing that one of his close friends intended to betray him. Was this gesture an opportunity for Judas to reconsider his decision or was Jesus saying, “In spite of what you are planning to do, I am going to show that I love you”?

To the disciples, this may have been just another Passover meal. They had no idea what would happen later that evening and in the coming days. In retrospect, they probably analyzed Jesus’ every word and gesture during this last supper together, knowing, as we do, that his death brought the Passover promise of deliverance to life.

“Amazing love, how can it be?” Even in the simple act of serving a morsel of bread to his betrayer before his intense suffering and death, Jesus demonstrated the depth of his compassion and love. —Denise Vredevoogd

As you pray, thank Jesus for his incomprehensible love!