Nearness to the Lord

John 13:1-10: Jesus, with the twelve, partaketh of the passover feast in an upper chamber, washing the disciples’ feet, by William Hole (1846-1917). G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection.

There was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples whom Jesus loved.

John 13:23.

The gospel of John radiates a wonderful simplicity and yet simultaneously an immeasurable profundity. This is closely connected with the relationship of the writer to his divine Master. Since his heart was filled with the unique Person of the Lord Jesus, he was able to record in simple words that all can understand profound truths concerning the eternal Son through the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Emphatically John presents the eternal deity of the Lord Jesus. He describes Him as the One who walked on this earth, although being at the same time in the Father’s bosom in heaven and enjoying intimate fellowship with the Father (cf. John 1:18; 3:13; 17:21).

When the disciples lay at the table with the Lord Jesus, as was the custom at that time, John was in His immediate vicinity, so that he could lean on His breast (v.25). He was especially conscious of the Lord’s love. But he did not emphasize this: he remained anonymous. His purpose was otherwise: in his gospel the glory of the Lord Jesus and of His Father should shine forth. The closer we are to the Lord, the greater He becomes for us, and the less significant we ourselves become. 

This place so close to the Lord’s heart is not reserved exclusively for John. It is there for all who wish Him to be near us to admire His glory, hear His words and feel His love, so that we can respond accordingly.

Image: By Hole, William, 1846-1917 – Library of CongressCatalog: url:, Public Domain,