Leaning on Jesus' Bosom
John 13:18-30
I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled…

I. THE SIGNIFICANCY OF THIS ACT. Even with John the outward posture was only the symbol of the spiritual. It implies —

1. Reconciliation to Christ. We are by nature estranged from God and Christ. Hence we stand guilty and condemned. But, impelled by wondrous love, Jesus has taken our place and borne our penalty. Now God can be just and the justifier of all who believe in Him. Those who have been thus reconciled lean on Jesus' bosom, and those only. Suppose a child to have disobeyed its mother's commands and cherished a rebellious spirit. Will that child with conscious guilt and angry feelings nestle on the mother's breast? But let temper subside and penitence arise, then it will hasten to the mother's knee, let the mother's forgiveness kiss away tears, and throw its arms round the mother's neck and lean on her bosom.

2. Confidence in Him. He is worthy of this, for He is infinitely wise, strong, good, and ought to be thoroughly trusted. But He is not. But those who lean on His bosom have no fear, and find everything they need.

3. Love for Him. He is worthy of our best affection. Do we not naturally admire beauty? "He is altogether lovely." Are we not always affected by loving kindness? He has loved as with a love surpassing every other. Hatred separates, love unites. Those who love Christ are ever near His side.

4. Communion with Him — not merely saying prayers — but heart intercourse with Him everywhere. Silence leads to estrangement, exchange of confidences to love. So when there is little communion with Christ there is little love; but the soul whose fellowship with Him is constant will lay his head where John lay his.


1. Perfect safety. We are all exposed to danger as regards both body and soul. Most men are concerned about the safety of their bodies and money — then surely they should be about that of their souls. But where shall —

(1) The unpardoned sinner, or(2) the backsliding saint find safety save here? "There is therefore now no condemnation," etc. "If God be for us, who can be against us."

2. Spiritual instruction. We are enfeebled by ignorance. Some of us think we know much about business, science, art, etc.; but we know little about God and Divine things. Where shall we look? The learned of our day only bewilder us, but we shall get all we want from the best Teacher, who is Himself the embodiment of truth; and those who trust Him most will be the best instructed, even as John learnt most of the betrayal.

3. Moral improvement. We are greatly influenced by our associates. Those who dwell in courts acquire a peculiar dignity, and those who live near Christ become Christ-like.

4. Rest and peace. There is a fearful amount of unrest in the world arising from a guilty conscience, loss of friends, wealth, etc.; but "in Christ Jesus the peace of God will keep our hearts and minds."

(J. Morgan.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

WEB: I don't speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.'

Judas, John, and Peter
Top of Page
Top of Page