Intimate Jesus

Published on Dec 9th, 2015 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Intimate Jesus

Intimate Jesus

I have been meditating on a seemingly insignificant part of a verse.  John 13:25, “So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, ‘Lord, who is it?”.  There are several layers to this verse that have caught my thinking. This is when the disciples were having dinner and Jesus announces that one of them was going to betray him.  He then points out Judas and tells him to go do what he needs to do.  As was the custom, they were eating on the ground, probably on a bunch of pillows as they were lounging with each other.  It would be a very relaxed and intimate kind of setting.  John was laying on Jesus, probably right on his breast, and he would have just turned his head and asked Jesus who was going to betray him.  I have heard that a host would often dip bread and give it to an honored guest as a way of recognizing that guest.  When Jesus does that and offers it to Judas it demonstrates how Jesus loves even in the face of a great betrayal.  How Jesus could sit and eat with someone he knew was going to stab him in the back is beyond me.

What really moved me about this whole scene is how much Jesus was a part of the disciples lives.  We often think, at this time of year, about Jesus coming to earth and offering up his life as a sacrifice for our sins.  Our hearts are moved by what he has done.  We are moved by his love and mercy shown to us.  We are angered at those who rejected him at the inn and at the cross.   But how often do we stop to think about how intimately Jesus shared his life?  He did not simply come and die.  He chose to get involved in the daily lives of many people.  He made friends and worked hard to change the culture he was in.  He relaxed and spent quality time with the disciples.  I always knew that John and the others loved Jesus but I was moved to think about how they spent three years so intimately connected.

My heart is overwhelmed to think about how the God of heaven desires to have a close, intimate, relationship with me.  He desires to spend time with me and to enjoy my company.  He desires to share my life with me and to walk with me through life.  My walk with Christ is not simply a walk of obedience but it is a relationship with a loving and caring God.  As I sit alone with my Bible I now picture laying with Christ around the dinner table. Relaxed.  He chose to come and be a part of my life.  He chose me as a friend.  He desires for me to be part of him and for him to be part of me.  He is interested in hearing about my day.  He desires to influence my life for God’s glory and my own good.  He truly is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

As with all accurate pictures of Jesus, I was also convicted of my sin.  I keep people at arm’s length.  I have learned to keep my distance and to put up walls.  It seems to be better that way.  Less chance of getting hurt or my toes stepped on.  But here was Jesus, knowing that not only Judas would betray him but that all of the disciples would run, eating and relaxing with all of these men.  His love for them and what God desired to do in their lives was greater than his personal hurt.  In fact, he was willing to give his life to bring about change in their lives.  If I want God to use me to bring about Godly change in people’s lives then I must be like Jesus and be willing to face the hurt when change doesn’t come as quickly as I think it should come.

God came to earth.  He did not come and simply do a job or complete a task.  He chose to be intimately involved in people’s lives.  He not only touched them but he allowed them to touch him.  That is why it is a Merry Christmas.

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