Summary: Learn the importance of spending time close to the heart of God.
I. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
A. TEXT: John 13:21-30
“When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me." Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke. 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?" Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly." But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, "Buy those things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor. Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.”
B. Vs. 23 says that John was leaning on Jesus - in other words – inclining to His heart. When he leaned on Jesus’ chest, he could hear His heart. That’s because, unless you are leaning on Him – you won’t hear His heart! And when you don’t hear His heart – you won’t know the direction He has for you!
C. Bosom – near the chest area. Bosom = In the East objects are carried in the bosom which Europeans carry in the pocket. To have in one’s bosom indicates kindness, secrecy, or intimacy (Genesis 16:5; 2Sam 12:8). Christ is said to have been in "the bosom of the Father," i.e., he had the most perfect knowledge of the Father, had the closest intimacy with him (John 1:18)
D. Our Lord carries his lambs in his bosom. In other words, He has a tender, watchful care over them (Isaiah 40:11).
E. Bosom - the hollow formed by the upper forepart of a rather loose garment bound by a girdle or sash, used for keeping and carrying things (the fold or pocket)
F. Remember what Jesus said in Luke 6:38 about giving - Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.
G. The Jews of those days, at their suppers, reclined, supported by their left arm, on couches placed round the table, as the Greeks and Romans did. On each couch there were two or three persons; and the head of one of them came near to the bosom of him who reclined above him on the same couch. The person here mentioned was John, the writer of this text, who always had a place at table which was nearest to the Lord.
H. In this text - other than the obvious central figure – being Jesus – there are 3 more characters represented: Peter, John, Judas.
I. The motto for Covenant Life Church is “Loving. Living. Growing.” I began thinking about what it takes to live out these three principles. And, from this text the Lord showed me three other principles that apply to each:
Leaning = Loving *Listening = Living * Learning = Growing
II. LEANING on Jesus!
My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life. And peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, your vats will overflow with new wine.
B. Verse 2 says: For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Can you say “live long and prosper?”
C. I want you to notice some things from this text in Proverbs. Leaning brings favor (vs. 4); Leaning brings direction (vs. 6); Leaning brings divine provision (vs. 8)