Archive for September 6th, 2010

John 17

John 17 is Jesus prayer for His disciples before the crucifixion.  He pours out His heart and places them before the Father.  As He begins His prayer, Jesus defines what eternal life is.  Check out what He says: “this is eternal life that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent”.  In a word it is a relationship.  If we are going to experience eternal life, we have to know Jesus Christ and the true God.  That is it.  It is a personal and living relationship with the Savior and Father.  Jesus has prepared the disciples for His departure.  “I have given them the words that you gave me….they have received them….have come to know in truth that I came from you….they have believed that you sent me”.   It has been a progression of sharing the truth and having the disciples make it their own to the point that they have received and believed and developed a personal relationship with Him.  That is the same process we have to go through.  We have to learn about Jesus from God’s Word.  We have to receive those words as the truth.  We have to know that Jesus came from God to save us as the Scriptures tell us.  We have to then take the step of personally receiving that truth as our own – believing in our own heart that Jesus came to save us individually from our sin and develop a personal relationship with Him.  The process of salvation has not changed from the beginning.  God’s truth has not changed – our need to receive it, believe it and act on it is exactly as it was 2000 years ago.  Have you done that?

Jesus then begins His prayer for the guys who will be left behind to carry on the work.  He acknowledges that “the world has hated them”.  Might be an indication of what we could expect.  It is that way in many parts of the world.  Here are some of the things that Jesus asks for His followers:

–       “Keep them in your name

–       That they may be one, even as we are one

–       Guard them

–       That they may have joy

–       Keep them from the evil one

–       Sanctify them in the truth

–       That they may become perfectly one

Jesus knows there are rough days ahead for those who were following Him.  And He prays for their protection and unity.  That is the one area He prays for multiple times here.  That they would be one.  Why?  Because we are more effective as Christ Followers when we walk together.  Ecclesiastes says it well when it says a cord of three is not easily broken.  The Christian walk is not meant to be done alone.  And Jesus prays that Christ Followers will walk together in unity.  He gives us a reason why that matters in verse 23 when he says “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me”.  Think the world is not paying attention?  Think again.  We struggle to live this way within our own churches let alone between churches or across denominations.  The Christian world fails at this.  We have no concept of how to be “perfectly one” together.  It is time we figure it out.  It matters.  It is how the world will know that God loves us all!

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