The Upper Room

John 13:21‑25  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The first occasion on which John is called "the disciple whom Jesus loved" is in the Upper Room, as described in John 13. What a scene it is for the heart to contemplate! Jesus is there with a love that can never break down, for "having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end." John is there delighting himself in the love of Christ, resting his head on the bosom of Jesus, and describing himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. Peter is there with real and ardent love for the Lord, but trusting in his own love to the Lord rather than resting in the Lord's love to him. Lastly, Judas is there, with no love to the Lord – with the bag at his side and the devil in his heart, ready to betray the Lord and pass into the long dark night.
In Jesus we see how very near His love has brought Him to men like ourselves, inasmuch as John can rest his head on the bosom of the One who dwelt in the bosom of the Father. In John we see what the heart of the Saviour can do for a sinner, bringing him to perfect rest in perfect love. In Judas we see what the heart of the sinner can do with the Saviour – betray Him, with every profession of love, for thirty pieces of silver.
The feet-washing is over and the time has come for the Lord to utter His farewell words; but for the moment His spirit is troubled by the presence of the betrayer. The Lord unburdens His heart to His disciples, saying, "One of you shall betray Me." Immediately the disciples look one on another, doubting of whom He spake. Looking one on another will never solve difficulties that arise amongst believers. We must look to the Lord, but looking to the Lord demands nearness to the Lord, and in the circle of the Upper Room, the disciple who was nearest to the Lord, was the one whose feet had been in the hands of the Lord, whose head was resting on the bosom of the Lord, and whose heart was delighting in the love of the Lord, who can describe himself as "one of His disciples whom Jesus loved." Peter, the man who was trusting in his love to the Lord, was not near enough to the Lord to learn His mind; he must needs beckon to John.
Thus we learn that nearness to the Lord and intimacy with the Lord, is the happy portion of the one who is resting upon the Lord's love.