I’ve been growing in the Lord (thankfully) and one of the things most remarkable to me is the understanding being revealed to me of the immense, ever-present and deep – deep love God has for us. I know the bible says
[John 3:16 NKJV] 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
But, that is really hard to digest and understand more than at a surface level. Now, consider these verses
[John 13:23-25 NKJV] Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”
John always described himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. I often wondered why he did that. Then, reading these verses the other day, it struck me how much Jesus must have loved John to allow him to lean on him while dining. I know they probably sat on the floor around a table or around mats to eat and that’s not a very comfortable position. And, yet John was comfortable enough with Jesus to lean back on him and then even to press in even closer before asking a question.
That’s a level of intimacy I had not considered… To know God loves me is awesome! To know He is right there and I can press in anytime I need to – even laying my head on His chest as I confide in Him or ask for something is a whole different category of intimacy. I’ve had many friends in my life – many very close – but, none close enough to lean on physically or lay my head on their chest. Maybe I’m uptight, but we just never did anything like that.
In my circle of associates, we would have been considered odd if we had ever displayed such a level of intimacy. I’m not really sure why – but it would have been construed as either sexual or effeminate. Now, these were strong and hard men accustomed to hard labor, who had witnessed many brutal and vicious acts against their people by their occupiers. Yet, they had a bond closer than any I have ever experienced. Remarkable. Really remarkable!
I want that level of intimacy with Jesus. I really do. I know Him as Lord, Master and Savior. Now, I need to expand that to confidant, counselor and true friend as well. A friend who is closer than a brother as scripture says
[Proverbs 18:24 NKJV] 24 A man [who has] friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend [who] sticks closer than a brother.
I had always presumed this was referring to the Holy Spirit exclusively and hadn’t considered it could include the Lord as well. But, given John’s intimacy with Jesus…
I need to start declaring that I am the disciple that Jesus loved as well! And, so do you! Hallelujah!
Oh Lord, thank you for revealing yourself to us! How loving, faithful and forgiving you are! You are the most remarkable, amazing Lord anyone could imagine – no! Even more than anyone could ever imagine! I’ve often heard and told others, that you were right there at our elbow – ever present with us and I thank you for revealing the truth of that to us. Thank for being our Lord and our friend – the lover of our souls. Thank you Lord for YOU! In all your ways, you are perfect and holy, and righteous! Magnificent, merciful and mighty One! Oh, how we adore You Lord!