John 13:23 – There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.
This verse is one which is easily overlooked in light of everything else going on. There had just been a shocking foot washing where Jesus Himself washed everyone’s feet.Then there was the Passover meal where Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper which has been celebrated by His followers for 2000 years. In the middle of these most important events was the betrayal, Judas went out to betray the Lord. While all of these events where unfolding the author of this book was laying on Jesus breast. Nothing else seemed to carry any more weight than this, to John all that mattered is that He was with Jesus. When telling the story he couldn’t even say his own name, he was just the one that Jesus loved.
When I read this passage my mind always turns to Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son. Joseph’s words many years later ring out through the centuries, “I am Joseph”. There was something special about being Joseph, he was the separated and favored one. So when I imagine John laying on Jesus breast I hear John’s thoughts loud and clear, “I am John”. Here is how Jonathan Edwards describes this verse.
“The Son’s intimate enjoyment of the Father is expressed by that, that he is in the bosom of the Father; so we read that one of Christ’s disciples leaned on his bosom (John 13:23). These things imply not only that the saints shall have such an intimate enjoyment of the Son, but that they, through the Son, shall have a most intimate enjoyment of the Father. Which may be argued from this, that the way that God hath contrived to bring ’em to their happiness, is to unite them to the Son as members: which doubtless is that they may partake with the head that they are so united to in his good; and so “our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).”
So if what Edwards says is true that I also share that place of intimacy that John enjoyed then I have to join with John and boldly declare, “I am John, the one that Jesus loves.” That’s me, separated by God to be loved and favored by Him. No matter what else is going on it doesn’t matter, after all is said and done I am John.