John, The Love of God
This morning we are perplexed with a hiccup in our paperwork to go on mission to Bolivia. The issue will be solved one way or another, but time is now short to solve it. So, this next passage is “timely” for me. It is great and very comforting to be reminded that Jesus prayed for his disciples who would carry on the work He began. He also prayed for all who would come after them in following Him in His work to help people find and follow Him.
Yes, before He went to the Cross for us, Jesus Christ prayed for us…ALL of us who believe and trust in Him. I tremble at the very thought that we were on His mind then. We are on His mind now. Thank you, Holy Spirit for this amazing love!
Timing is everything. We learn that timing is in the hands of God, our Father in heaven who hears us on earth. At the right time, Jesus saved us. But He stops to pray, explaining His mission and ours in detail.
Read Jesus’ prayer slowly and be blessed. He begins with Who He is and why He was sent to earth. He follows with Who God is and describes their relationship “before there was a world.” Then he prays for his dearly loved disciples. Jesus follows by praying for us! He prays for protection from the world for his followers! He prays for us to be one heart and one mind.
What kind of love is this that Jesus would stop and pray passionately for his followers then and for all of us now? What love to ask for protection and help from the Father for us…just before HE is tortured and beaten and then nailed to a cross in payment for our sin? Can we grasp the depth of this expressed love that flows through this conversation with God, the Father?
“In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I’m consecrating myself for their sake so they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.” Wow.
John 17, The Message
Jesus’ Prayer for His Followers
1-5 Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said:
Father, it’s time.
Display the bright splendor of your Son
So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor.
You put him in charge of everything human
So he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge.
And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know you,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
I glorified you on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What you assigned me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendor,
The very splendor I had in your presence
Before there was a world.
6-12 I spelled out your character in detail
To the men and women you gave me.
They were yours in the first place;
Then you gave them to me,
And they have now done what you said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from you.
They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I’m not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,
And my life is on display in them.
For I’m no longer going to be visible in the world;
They’ll continue in the world
While I return to you.
Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life
That you conferred as a gift through me,
So they can be one heart and mind
As we are one heart and mind.
As long as I was with them, I guarded them
In the pursuit of the life you gave through me;
I even posted a night watch.
And not one of them got away,
Except for the rebel bent on destruction
(the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).
13-19 Now I’m returning to you.
I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing
So my people can experience
My joy completed in them.
I gave them your word;
The godless world hated them because of it,
Because they didn’t join the world’s ways,
Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways.
I’m not asking that you take them out of the world
But that you guard them from the Evil One.
They are no more defined by the world
Than I am defined by the world.
Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;
Your word is consecrating truth.
In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,
I give them a mission in the world.
I’m consecrating myself for their sakes
So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.
20-23 I’m praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you’ve sent me and loved them
In the same way you’ve loved me.
24-26 Father, I want those you gave me
To be with me, right where I am,
So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me,
Having loved me
Long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you,
But I have known you, and these disciples know
That you sent me on this mission.
I have made your very being known to them—
Who you are and what you do—
And continue to make it known,
So that your love for me
Might be in them
Exactly as I am in them.
Dear Heavenly Father,
It’s time our desires match yours. May YOUR timing be revealed and Your work completed that you began in us. In the Name of Jesus Christ, let our mission continue in Truth according to Your Time. Father, it’s time to lean into You. Thank you, dear Jesus for praying for us then and now. Thank you, Holy Spirit for guiding us and helping us keep our minds working toward the goal, reminding us of the bigger picture…all in God’s time.
In Jesus Name, we pray, Amen. I believe.
“So that your love for me might be in them exactly as I am in them.”