As John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” reclined against Jesus at the Last Supper, he surely felt the comfort and joy that not only accompanies a close human relationship, but that comes only from knowing divine companionship as well.
Perhaps the other disciples, while enjoying the company of Jesus as well, envied John’s closeness with Him. I can’t help but feel as though I would. We too, long to recline at the table with Jesus. We crave that familiarity. So, we draw near to Him and pray that He draws near to us.
And what do we expect to find? Like John, do we hope to feel the comfort and joy of this human yet divine companionship? We are absolutely right to think so. But, contrary to our own expectations, there is more. Piercing the moment is this sorrowful revelation:
“I tell you the truth; one of you is going to betray me.” – NIV
Divine intimacies bring not only joy but sorrow. Do we want a fellowship with Christ? We may indeed have it, but with all of its magnificent rewards will come a cost – partaking in His sufferings as well.
If we are ever to reach any depth of maturity in Christ, we must know that He and this world do not mix. We tend to avoid pain at all costs, but we are unrealistic and deny His call when we expect to know Him without knowing the grief of His rejection.
When we recline and dine with the Son of Man, we are choosing the magnificence of His incomparable glory. But in that, we are also becoming close enough to feel His pain.