Jesus eats the Last Supper with his disciples before the Passover. Jesus washes his disciples’ feet and directly accuses Judas of plotting to betray him, but his disciples still don’t understand. Chapters 14-16 is a near-monologue of Jesus to his disciples, in which he says:
- I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me
- I am in the Father, and the Father is in me; my words are not my own, but the Father’s
- If you love me, keep my commandments: love one another as I have loved you
- I will be returning to my Father (dying), but whatever you ask in my name, I will do
- The Father will send a Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, to teach you everything
- My Father is glorified by your testimony of me
- The world will hate you and cast you out of synagogues
- I will die and resurrect (“a little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me”)
- You will be persecuted, but take courage, for “I have conquered the world!”
Commentary: Note that in this gospel, unlike in the three synoptic gospels, the Last Supper is not a Passover meal–it is eaten before Passover.
Jesus’ monologue in these chapters is highly metaphorical and repetitive. I don’t claim to understand all of it, and the disciples don’t seem to understand much of it either. That said, the disciples seem extremely dim-witted overall. During the Last Supper, Jesus says that “the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish” will betray him. He then gives the bread to Judas and tells him to “do quickly what you are going to do”, but nobody at the table understood what he meant. In 16:30, his disciples finally figure out who Jesus is: “Now we know that you know all things […] we believe that you came from God.” Jesus had been telling the disciples this over and over again throughout his entire ministry, which lasted many years, yet they didn’t remember it until just before Jesus’ death.