In our gospel lesson from John two supporting characters emerge at center stage with Jesus. One of these characters has been in our field of view the whole time. The other makes his official debut in the gospel, somehow avoiding notice until this moment at supper where the flickering candlelight makes shadows jump dramatically on the perimeters of that upper room.
The gospel writer says that Jesus heart was troubled as he announces that someone at the dinner table will betray him. As the disciples’ eyes dart around the room we can feel their uneasiness, perhaps because each of them at one point on their journey with Jesus had considered jumping ship and going back to their old lives and families, back into their individual realms of safety and the familiar. We read earlier in John that as many of Jesus’ followers were abandoning him, He turns to his disciples and asks if they too want to leave. You may remember Peter’s response: ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’*Jesus replied: ‘Did I not choose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.’