Hear His Heart

John 21:20
“20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper…”

Jesus was kinda like a rock star when He walked on earth in that, everywhere He went, multitudes thronged Him.  Most of the time, you think of Him and His disciples you usually picture Him with twelve disciples, right?  But He had many others beside those we know by name.  Luke 10 records in verse 1 that “After these things the Lord appointed SEVENTYothers also, {in addition to the twelve} and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.”

So, there were seventy disciples that followed Jesus, meaning they knew Him and He knew them.  He commissioned and sent them out two by two in order to preach the gospel, heal the sick and cast out devils in His Name.  Not your average Israelite.

The twelve were closer than the seventy.  They heard the most AWSOME teaching on the planet, went with Him everywhere, ate with Him, slept where He slept and saw countless incredible miracles up close and personal.  They watched how He dealt with the religious leaders of their day, too.  He opened to these men the mysteries of the parables He taught, something He did not do with the seventy, not that the twelve always understood, mind you.

Then, there was His inner circle who were closer than the twelve: Peter, James and John.  They were witness to all the above plus a few other things the others weren’t.  They  were the three that Jesus brought with Him when went up on the mount and was transfigured.  The three inner circle were the only ones allowed in when He raised up the daughter of Jairus.  Is it any wonder why Jesus marveled that they had so little faith at times?

But the closest of all was the one who referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved–John. Did you know that the only place you find this phrase documented is IN the Gospel of John?  Check it out sometime.  He says it five times, the number of grace!  In so doing, he was practicing Jesus’ love FOR him; not his love FOR Jesus.  That’s 180% opposite.  (For more on that topic, follow this link:  http://emmausrevelations.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-disciple-whom-jesus-loved.html)

Though he was the youngest of the twelve he had learned something none of the others did until much later:  The secret of leaning on Jesus.  Leaning on His breast, John could hear His heartbeat.  As a result, His relationship to Jesus was the closest of all.

Peter, in stark contrast, boasted of his love FOR Jesus and we know the result of that:  He denied knowing Jesus WITH CURSING AND SWEARING THREE TIMES.  Happens every time.  Whenever we depend on ourselves instead of leaning on Jesus, we are doomed to failure.

At the foot of the cross, John was THE ONLY DISCIPLE present, ready to serve Jesus in His darkest hour.  He was the one Jesus asked to care for Mary, Jesus’ mother.   John took her into his home and cared for her from that point on.
Where was Peter?  Off somewhere crying bitterly, thoroughly ashamed of himself.  Yet, it is clear  that at some point after His resurrection, Jesus had a private meeting with Peter and restored him.  The Holy Spirit has chosen not to document this event for us, though it is certainly alluded to in 1 Corinthians 15:15.
This restoration had to have taken place sometime before the scene where Jesus told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat when  they hauled in so many fish, the boat began to sink.
John realized immediately Who was on the shore:  It was The Lord!

Notice Peter’s reaction?  If he was still ashamed of himself, do you think he would jump in the water and race TOWARD Jesus?  Highly unlikely.  He’d probably have hidden himself behind the others or jumped out of the boat on the other side and gone the other way.  His reaction shows instead that he was excited to see Jesus!  He was the first one to reach Him.  Restored?  Oh, yes!  He had DEFINITELY been restored!

What a difference between the two men.  Peter who had boasted of his love for Jesus and John who leaned on Jesus’ love for him. That’s the secret of walking closely with Jesus: Leaning on His love FOR you.

Seventy followers, twelve close friends, three in His inner circle but only one John.  The one who, like John, learns to lean on Jesus’ is the one who can Hear His Heart.

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