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Day 5 – Leaning Against Jesus

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” (John 13:21-25 ESV)

Gathered close together in a room, sitting on cushions, having jovial conversations, that was the scene when Jesus announces that one of the people he is sharing this very intimate moment with, will betray him.


Shock. Denial. Anger. Sadness. All of these emotions were probably flowing through the minds and hearts of the disciples as this announcement was made. Each disciple grappling with the storm of emotions churning within. Some probably recoiled in disbelief, others may have simmered with anger, while a profound sadness settled over the room. Their friendships have been betrayed and now they were all vulnerable.


What I don’t understand is why Peter motioned to John to ask Jesus when he could have easily asked Jesus himself? While it may have been out of some type of courtesy or some shame to ask Jesus directly, I believe what happens actually shows us what intimacy with God can look like when we are willing risk shame and courtesy before God.


Peter and John move quickly, with Peter motioning to John and John leaning back against Jesus to ask him directly, “who is the betrayer?” The implication here is that John’s weight was shifted from carrying himself, to relying on Jesus to support his weight as he asks Jesus a question.


This scene shoud mirror our own relationship with Jesus, reminding us of our special, very intimate relationship with Jesus. We, just like John, can lean back against Jesus to ask him about things that weigh on us. He holds space for our every emotion, offering solace and wisdom in the darkest corners of our hearts. Like John, we have direct access to Jesus’ love and grace, a constant reminder that we can lean back no matter the storm raging within, we are never truly alone.


As you meditate on these verses today, allow this image to permeate your minds: we can lean on Jesus to ask him directly about the very thing that brings shock, denial, anger, and sadness into your hearts and minds.

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