May 29, 2024

Closest to Jesus

Written by Boyd Bailey

Each day, offer your life as a living sacrifice for the life of Christ to live through you.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 29, 2024

Lying back on Jesus’ chest was one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. So Simon Peter nodded to this disciple and said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.” He then simply leaned back on Jesus’ chest and said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” John 13:23-25, NASB

At the beginning of this month, on our anniversary trip, Rita and I had a sweet encounter with the Lord as we stood before Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper at a church in Milan, Italy. Our guide, Valentina, shared insights into the artist’s rendering of the disciples’ emotions in this moment of Jesus calling out His betrayer. Pictured just to the left of Jesus, John is told by Peter to ask Jesus to reveal the rogue disciple. John then leaned back on Jesus’ chest and asked, Lord, who is it? Jesus goes on to identify Judas, the trusted treasurer of the group, as the betrayer. The disciples did not immediately connect the dots, as they thought Judas might be leaving to buy things needed for the feast or give to the poor. What a tense moment as love exposed evil intentions. 

After arriving home and upon further prayer and reflection, I pondered the disciples’ proximity to Jesus during the Last Supper. John was closest to Jesus physically, and it struck my soul that this disciple whom Jesus loved was also closest to Jesus relationally. Why? John, like no other disciple, understood and emulated the love of Christ. His actions and writings exposed his heart…captivated by the love of his Lord. Jesus especially loved the one who loved like Him. Jesus chose John, not His brother James, to care for His mother because John would love and care for Mary like her son. John was closest to Jesus, as his love and life most resembled Jesus. 

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home” (John 19:26-27).

Being closest to Jesus is not the goal of an authentic Jesus follower, but being close to Jesus to be truly loved by Jesus is a worthy aspiration. Selfish ambition seeks to be the closest, while godly ambition rests in being close. The closer you draw to Christ, the clearer you are able to discern His heart. As John was able to write, right before Jesus revealed His betrayer, “He was troubled in heart.” When your head and heart rest on the bosom of your Savior Jesus, you are able to discern what’s on His heart, how He loves you in good times, how He draws even nearer in hard times and how He warns you of evil lurking at the door of your life. Draw near to Love, and Love will draw near to you. You are closest to Christ when two hearts beat to the sound of one.

How do you stay close to Jesus Christ? As Paul admonished, pray without ceasing. Center your life on God moment by moment, and the Holy Spirit will bring to your mind and heart what you need to know and do. Yes, everyday life will bring distractions, but what if you start by making mundane activities an act of worship? As you wash dishes or clothes, ask the Lord to wash your mind by renewing it with truth and cleansing your heart with the Lord’s grace and forgiveness. On your drive to work, listen to scripture, devotionals, sermons, and praise music. Each day, offer your life as a living sacrifice for the life of Christ to live through you. You draw closest to Christ when your intimate love encounter with Him fills you with the Holy Spirit’s fruit. Like John, listen to the heart of Jesus, ask Him questions, and follow His instructions on how to love.


Jesus, draw me near to You, for in Your love, I find true fulfillment. May my heart be a dwelling place for Your presence, where Your love transforms me. Help me abide in You, knowing that Your love surpasses all understanding and satisfies my soul. Amen.


What everyday life activity can you creatively approach as an act of worship?

Related Reading

1 Samuel 14:36; Psalm 69:18; Isaiah 29:13-14; James 4:8

On His Breast- Spurgeon on Jesus’ love of John

Worship Resource

Michael Bethany/Gateway Worship: Draw Me Close


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