Monday, March 2, 2009

The Bread of Friendship

Designer Mies Van der Rohe observed that “God is in the details.” The smallest details can truly reveal someone’s heart. The Last Supper contains many tender insights into the nature of Christ. A knowledge of middle eastern meal customs is helpful to our understanding here.

While eating a meal, it was customary to place three small "loaves" of bread at each setting. These resembled modern tortillas or pancakes. Pieces of this bread were doubled up, spoon fashion, and used to scoop up the stews and sauces. By practice, this was done with much expert cleanliness and was not at all messy. When one prepared such a mouthful and handed it to another at the table, it was a sign of friendly regard. An affectionate exchange of food would take place only between friends. In some parts of the Middle East, this "sop" is called "the bread of friendship."

In John 13:26, we read of such an exchange:

Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot...

Through the sharing of his sop, Jesus truly practiced his own teaching – to "love your enemies."


  1. That was great. Thanks Donna for that insight.

  2. A wonderful insight into Jesus' love.