Before we leave our consideration of the weaning of the soul, which is so essential to the calming of the soul, let’s pause to look at a biblical portrait of it. Hanging in the gallery of Scripture is the picture of John leaning on Jesus’ breast at the Last Supper (John 13:25; 21:20). Here, we see a divinely inspired masterpiece depicting for us the true essence of a weaned soul.
That the Apostle John had a unique relationship with our Lord is undeniable. Within the circle of Christ’s twelve original disciples there was an inner circle of three, comprised of Peter, James, and John. These three accompanied our Lord on certain occasions when the other disciples were left behind. For instance, they accompanied our Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration and into the inner garden on the night of our Lord’s agony in Gethsemane. What’s more, there was within this inner circle another inner circle, comprised of John alone.
The Apostle John is called the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7; 21:20). Granted, it is John alone who gives himself such a distinction, which may simply indicate how overwhelmed he was at Christ’s love for him. Truly, knowing our unloveliness, as John certainly knew his, we should all be overwhelmed by the fact that we are loved, despite our unloveliness, by Him who is “altogether lovely” (Song of Solomon 5:16). Like Philip Bliss, we too should sing: “Wonderful things in the Bible I see, but this is the dearest, that Jesus loves me. I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves even me.”
We should be careful not to misinterpret John’s distinguishing of himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” as an indication that he was loved more than the other disciples. What it may indicate, however, is that he loved the Savior more than the other disciples. One thing for sure, among the disciples, John’s relationship with Christ was unique and the most intimate. Whereas Peter may have been first in primacy, John was first in intimacy.
Along with being known as the disciple whom Jesus loved and knowing something of the heartbeat of the Savior, as a result of his leaning upon Jesus’ breast at the Last Supper, John is also the only disciple seen at the cross. Although it appears the other disciples may have witnessed Christ’s crucifixion from a distance, John was standing there front and center. In fact, from the cross, Christ committed the care of His own mother, Mary, to John (John 19:26-27).
The secret to John’s unique and most intimate relationship with Christ may be seen in the scriptural portrait of him leaning on the Savior’s breast at the Last Supper. Here, we have a beautiful portrait of the weaned soul. Someone who is satisfied being with Jesus and just leaning upon Him, not seeking or looking for anything from Him.
In his most beloved psalm, David, who claims here in Psalm 131:2 to have a weaned soul, wrote these famous words, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). In other words, David said the Lord was all that he needed. Like the Apostle John, the great King David was satisfied with the Good Shepherd. How about you?
The calmed and weaned soul is satisfied leaning upon the Savior.