Dwelling in God’s Heart – The Bosom of the Lord

Dwelling in God’s Heart – The Bosom of the Lord

Dwelling in God’s Heart – The Bosom of the Lord.

“I am inside My Father, and you are inside Me, and I am inside you.” (John 14:20).

During the Biblical era, the heart was seen as the center of the body, so the reasoning was that therefore the heart was the center, the core, of every person. The heart was viewed as that which housed everything about a person that made him human… emotions, thoughts, motivations, inspirations. The heart was the central part of the inner life of each person, a home to the essence of each person, and represented a person’s personality, character traits, actions, thought process. The heart was the source of love and faith, as well as hate and sin.

With that in mind, God of course has a heart. The only reason each person has a heart is that we were all made in God’s image, therefore we all have an inner home within that operates as a source of what is true and distinctive about each of us. Yes, God has a heart that is bigger than the universe, an inner home that is able to contain everything and everyone. God had been on the lookout for a “person after God’s own heart” as He searched for a suitable King of Israel to replace Saul. (1 Samuel 13:14). The closest man God could find was David, but even the best of men are not perfect. But God knew all along that there was only one Man who would perfectly reflect His heart as a King… His Son Jesus. Jesus was the tangible image of the intangible God, and so it was Jesus who was perfectly able to reveal God’s heart on earth. If we wonder what makes God tick, that will remain a mystery. But Jesus did reveal the inside of God’s heart-home. So as we explore something as incomprehensible as the heart of God, at least, through Jesus, we have something to get us started. The heart of God… full of grace and truth.

Jesus fleshed out the spiritual heart of God, and in fact is somehow inside His Father’s heart. The Father is so intimately in union with the Son, that they are somehow inside each other. And going a step further, we are inside Jesus when we begin to trust in Him and accept Him into our own heart. In the kingdom of God, we find unions popping up everywhere… Christ inside the Father; the Father inside of Christ; Believers inside of Jesus, and at the same time Jesus inside of believers. “Dwell inside of Me, abide in Me, make yourself at home inside of Me, and I am inside of you.” (John 15). “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives continuously inside me, and I live inside of him.” (John 6:56). “God has given us His Spirit as proof that we live inside Him, and He inside us.” (1 John 4:13). “Those who obey God’s teachings remain inside Him, and He inside them.” (1 John 3:24).

Even though the phrase “accept Jesus into our heart” is not in Scripture, we get the picture. Accepting Jesus into our hearts means we receive Him into the very core of our being, into the centerpiece of who we are, affecting everything about us. When we receive Jesus into our heart-home, our identity becomes His, the essence of our personhood is intimately wrapped into the essence of Christ’s Personhood. When we make our home in His home, He miraculously become a resident inside each of us as well. And when we experience that Double Union with Jesus Christ, we discover that our spiritual location is inside of the very heart of God. In other words, if the Son is inside the Father, and we are inside the Son, then logically we are inside the Father! By dwelling in the Son’s heart, we dwell in the Father’s heart as well. By living inside the “Person after God’s own heart,” we find ourselves inside God’s heart! As Paul claims in Colossians 3:3, believers are “hidden within Christ, inside of God.”

What should we expect to see inside of the heart of God? At this point, we can only imagine the interior of God’s house, but we have some clues. Scripture reveals some of Gods’ character through the ages, His personality, His actions, His Self-descriptions (Exodus 34). Through the Bible, we can even read a little bit of God’s eternal mind. And then of course, Jesus fleshed out God’s temperament and revealed much of God’s heart during His ministry on earth. May we be so bold as to take a guided tour through the home-heart of God in our imaginations? What would we expect to find waiting for us as we are escorted through the inner home of God?

Way back in 1954 there was a creative little evangelistic tract produced by Inter-Varsity Press, written by a pastor named Robert Boyd Munger. He entitled his brief tract, “My Heart – God’s Home.” I recommend it if you find it. Following up on Revelation 3:20, Pastor Munger imagined a believer opening his door and escorting Jesus through the home of his heart, now that Jesus has taken up residence in him. Now that Jesus dwells in him, and He has moved into his heart, what will Jesus see there? So the believer in the tract proceeds to give a tour of his heart-home with Jesus as he welcomes Christ into his heart. Together they tour the person’s study, dining room, living room, workroom, recreation room, bedroom and hall closet. I thought this was an engaging idea, but now I would like to give the other side of the story. Jesus lives within us, to be sure. But we also live within Jesus, hence inside the very heart of God. So if the Father was to give us a guided tour of His heart, what would we find? What will be waiting for us to discover in the many rooms of God’s heart? We could easily entitle this, “God’s Heart -My Home.

Like anyone’s home, God’s heart will reflect His attitudes, motivations, personality, character traits, His heavenly “tastes” in interior décor. God’s deeply held convictions will be revealed in His heart-home, as they are in our own hearts. Using Scripture as our guide, we will explore God’s heart as we make ourselves at home and abide in Him. We will explore everything from the front porch to the front door, the living room to the dining room, from the kitchen to the study to the chapel. And many more rooms as well, like the bedroom, the bathroom, and the sick bay. There may be a sneak peek at the family room, the children’s playroom, and the school room. And could there be a rooftop vineyard as well?

Eternal Privacy. And now we come to the place in God’s heart that is inaccessible to everyone except His Son. Of course, since the Father and Son are there, their Holy Spirit is there as well. This room deep in His heart’s innards is the only one with the door marked “Private.” This place is called God’s bosom. The Greek word for bosom in the New Testament is “kolpon,” and there are a variety of meanings:

John 13:23: At the Last Supper, when John reclined against Jesus while at the table, leaning against His chest in friendship and brotherly intimacy;

Luke 6:38: When the Lord will pour multiple blessings into our lap, in which the term bosom was referring to the fold of one’s robe forming a pocket in the mid-section over the belt, which could be used to carry food or provisions or any smaller items;

Luke 16:22-23: In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Jesus referred to the “bosom of Abraham,” which was a symbol for Paradise, or Heaven, the place of delight, sitting closely by the side of Abraham at the messianic table;

Acts 27:39: When the bosom was another word for a natural harbor, a bay, where it’s safe to rest away from the storms over the sea.

God’s Bosom. In the case of John 1:18, though, bosom meant something very special. “No one has ever seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, has made Him known.” One could name this room The Trinity Room, because it is where they are united as One. Bosom was the innermost place of the deepest relationship possible; the place of mystery inside of God where the profound union takes place; where there is complete intimate knowledge of Each Other that is reciprocal; the spiritual “womb” deep in God’s heart of hearts from which Someone is “brought forth;” the place of deepest affection, where the intimacy is reserved for the Three who are in union; it is where the Three-in-One are truly “with” each other at the deepest level possible.  In God’s heart, which is utterly holy throughout, His bosom would be considered the “Holy of Holies.”

“The secret of the whole world of humanity is the love between the Father and the Son. This is at the root of it all. Upon the love between the Son and the Father hangs the whole universe.” (George MacDonald,  Knowing the Risen Lord).

Jesus would often probe the profound intimacy between Father and Son, relishing the mystery. The Spirit of love shared between them is eternal, and their spiritual union is boundless. The personal relationship between Father and Son has always been so intimate that somehow they are inside of each other. There is nothing in the universe that is as tightly knit together as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit they share. Their love for each other is the energy source for all the love in the world. Without their trinitarian love for each other, there would be no love. Human love would not exist were it not for their divine love for each other.

Based on how a wide variety of New Testament scholars have translated John 1:18, the following is another way of looking at that passage: “No one has ever seen the invisible God at any time. It is the Father’s one and only Son who has made God known at that visible level. God chose to reveal Himself physically through His one-of-a-kind Son, who exists in the deepest, most intimate part of God. The Father and the Son share a union in God’s mysterious bosom, His heart of hearts, the innermost part of God where the Godhead partakes of Each Other. Jesus had an assignment… bring forth Father God out into the open where He can be explained and understood.”

John 1:18 has two other words that are fascinating, besides bosom: “Begotten” and “made Him known.”

Begotten: “monogenes” = literally means ‘unique birth,’ a type of birthing that waz truly one-of-a-kind. This is a birthing word for one who has been fathered forth, revealed to the world in a completely unique way. For Jesus to be begotten means He wasn’t conceived, He wasn’t created, and there was no beginning point with Him. Instead, Jesus is eternal and was uniquely brought forth in order to reveal the Father in a new way to the world. In other words, too, Jesus was brought forth from the bosom of the Father so that Jesus could bring forth the Father into a world that has never seen Him. So, in a sense, both Father and Son have been brought forth.

Made Him Known: “exegeomai” = to make God thoroughly visible; to explain God to the world; to make God understood; to make Him known and reveal the true nature of God; to declare God to mankind; to interpret God to a world that speaks a different language. So Jesus had a mission to explain to people who God is in a language that can be understood. The Son was brought forth to “exegete” the Father.

Jesus, the only possible God-scholar, completed His task, to the point of declaring the heart of God through His death on the Cross. When Jesus painfully uttered “It is finished!” on the Cross, He indeed completed His assignment. He made God visible, He revealed God’s nature and character, He explained the complexity of God to a world who wondered about Him, He helped the people to understand God at a whole new, life-giving level. Jesus fleshed out God and brought forth the fresh bread of God’s presence to a starving world.