November 22, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
It is easier – for me, at least – to snuggle up to Jesus than it is to the Father. After all, one of the great truths of the Bible is the incarnation of the Son of God – Jesus Christ taking on human flesh. He was a human being, just like you and me! Being a guy, I don’t usually snuggle up to other guys, but I have – my father when I was a child, my favorite uncle, a dear family friend with whom I stayed overnight on a cold October night many years ago. And my dear friend Bob whom I get to see about once every six months – we always greet each other with a big hug, and I get (and give) a kiss on the cheek!
There is a scripture that has always intrigued me, John 13:21-26. Jesus was with His twelve disciples in the upper room at the last supper:
…Jesus…was troubled in spirit…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.
But when I studied the culture of Jesus’ day, the way people dined made this scripture very clear. A cloth or carpet was spread on which bowls of food were set. The men would then lie on the floor on their left side – perhaps on other carpets – left arms bent and leaning their heads on their left hands. They would eat by dipping in the common pots and bowls of food with their right hands and bringing the food to their mouths – no silverware in those days! You see, the left hand was the ‘unclean’ hand, reserved for personal toilet use among other things. That’s why Paul referred to “…the right hand of fellowship…” in Galatians 2:9. The left hand was never offered in greeting.
But back to the dining arrangement: The men would lie at an angle from the carpet set with food, their feet behind them to the right. This is why in Luke 7:37 and 38 the sinful woman could so easily anoint Jesus’ feet as He dined at the Pharisee Simon’s house. Close by the one so inclined to eat, the next man would lie in the same position – and the next, and the next…. This way many people could dine around a relatively small ‘table’ – the cloth or carpet set with food. It would then be very easy for the disciple lying next to Jesus – probably John, although he is not named – to simply lean his head back against Jesus’ breast and ask Him the question, “Lord, who is it? ”
So it is much easier for me to picture myself Snuggling Up To God the Son than it is Snuggling Up To God the Father or the Holy Spirit. After all, in Revelation 3:20 Jesus gives this wonderful invitation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” I can picture myself dining with my Lord and leaning against His breast as we talk. I would be Snuggling Up To God!
Can we get any closer than Snuggling Up To God the Son? Yes we can! And we shall see that in the next blog on Monday. In the meantime, hear again the Lord’s invitation from Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” If you have ever seen artistic renderings of this verse, it shows Christ standing outside of a door with no handle! It has to be opened from the inside! It is up to you to open the door and invite Him in!
Jesus wants to come in and dine with you on a regular every-day basis. And He doesn’t mind at all if you lean back on His breast to have intimate conversation with Him. As a matter of fact, Jesus very much wants you Snuggling Up To God!