Overhearing a Majestic ConversationPastor Jason | Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 | No Comments »
For the three years of His ministry, Jesus taught His disciples and preached to the masses. Many people repented of their sin and believed by faith in Jesus as the Messiah. More, however, turned away in disbelief and chose not to follow. Jesus was obedient to the Father’s will during this entire time and was now at the culmination of his work – the final week leading up to the crucifixion.
Jesus spent this precious remaining time with His disciples, His trusted friends, who had given up everything to follow Him. They had grown so much and experienced, first hand, walking with the very Son of God. However, there were still doubts and confusion as to what Jesus meant when He said He had to die. No leader ever talks like that, so they had no bearing on how to process it.
Fully knowing this, Jesus spent a lot of time with the disciples at the end of His earthly ministry explaining so many of these promises and doctrines of their faith. He personally poured into them the truths found in the final chapters of the gospels during this time known as the Passion week. At the end of this teaching, right before they left the Upper Room to head to the Garden of Gethsemane where He would be betrayed, He prayed for them.
Now, this may be the most intense prayer ever spoken. Here the disciples were able to observe the Son of God in direct conversation with God the Father interceding specifically for them and other believers. Read John 17, and imagine being in the room with Jesus as He prays for you.
The rich truths and promises found in this chapter are humbling and energizing; I can barely start to unpack it all right here. The Father has given Jesus all authority on earth to give eternal life to all those given to Him (17:2), and Jesus accomplished this work. Jesus made the Father known to His children, that they would come to know the truth (17:8). We belong to the Father and the Son, and they are glorified in us (17:10).
To further see the deep compassion Jesus has for His disciples, He reminds the Father that He has kept and guarded them in this fallen world, but Jesus was now leaving. He asked the Father to watch over and sustain them while He had to go to the cross. Wow! Jesus would not leave his children unprotected for a moment, but had the Father step in while He finished the redemptive work of God’s eternal plan of salvation. That is faithfulness on our behalf, while we contribute nothing.
Next we see their plan for us. Jesus prays that the Father doesn’t take us out of this world but keeps us shielded from the evil one (17:15). We are God’s instruments here on earth through which we shine His glory. With God as our source, we are no longer of this world, so Jesus tells God to “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (17:17) That simply means we are to be separated from the pattern of this world and transformed into holiness. This is accomplished through the truth of God’s Word – don’t ever doubt it. Jesus puts an exclamation point on it by saying He will consecrate Himself (i.e. personally take all the burden of God’s wrath for our sin), so that nothing can hinder God’s desire to make us holy (17:19).
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have planned, since before the beginning of the world, to make their children one with them and share in their glory. Maybe we should take a moment to humbly praise our God for His favor on us and deliberately work to not think so highly of our own selves, wants and needs.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1