1997-11-27 - Protection, Joy & Influence
The Cross Series, Part 18
The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus
John 17:11-19 "And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are. 12 "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 "But now I come to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14 "I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 "I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. 18 "As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
The single most remarkable event in human history is coming to a conclusion. God has clothed Himself in flesh and blood and entered into time and lived amongst us. He veiled His immeasurable power and glory, and made Himself appear very unremarkable.
Phil 2:5-8 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
There was nothing special about how Jesus looked to those around Him. Sorry, no halos, no glowing auras. He looked just like the average Joe on the street. But Jesus had created the atoms that made up everyone and everything everywhere. He created the disciples and the Pharisees, the fire and the water. Jesus is looking forward to returning to Heaven to be with the Father again. The 33 year journey through this life had been one of many, many sorrows. His friends would have to continue their journeys without His physical presence. The Master has done everything to prepare them as best as they can be prepared for the road ahead.
The battle is at hand and Jesus must deal with all the sin that had been, was present, and would ever be. The cup draws near. He makes a fairly remarkable point that during the three years of travel and adventure that none of them was lost or even seriously hurt save Judas. Through at least two major storms on the Sea of Galilee, encounters with demon possessed wild men, and soon, a direct confrontation with 6,000 armed soldiers Jesus has kept his companions safe. What safer place could there be than in the care of the One who had the wisdom to spill out the stars into the heavens? He turns the care of His friends over to God the Father.
Jesus asks the Father to give the men around Him the same joy that He and the Father have shared. Right now these guys are probably a mixture of scared, confused, tired, sad and worried. Deep down their faith is holding in the hurricane, but joy is not the first thing on their minds. Jesus has spent the evening explaining powerful concepts along with what is about to happen to Himself during the next few hours. The mood is as black as the darkness that is attempting to swallow Jesus. But sunrise will come again to these men in this same upper room. That is when the joy will explode on their lives, never to be extinguished.
Jesus make what at first blush might seem and odd request. Father, don't take these people who have figured it out away from the rest of these folks who are going to hate their guts. Boy, that would be a sight. See someone pray to accept Jesus as Savior and poof, their gone. But we must stay. First, my alternative would scare the daylights out of people. And second, if we leave who will tell the world about the Savior who means more than life to us? God sends us into the world equipped with the words He has given us, set apart for the service of God with those words. He gives us handles in those words to hang the changes in our hearts and lives on, giving us a way to tell others what He has done in us and for us. Without that influence, this world is doomed to follow what it thinks is best right off the cliff of eternity.
What has Jesus done? He pulled us out of the muck and mire of the world's truth. This slippery, changing truth of ethics based upon situations and planted us in fixed truth. He shows us our imperfections, shows us the required perfection and how we can not match up to the standard on our own. Then, Jesus offers us His perfection so that we can match up. Sound too simple? It is simple, but it was made that way so we couldn't get it wrong. If you want to know more about the simple plan of God for your life check out the web links on our homepage (http://www.cfdevotionals.org/) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to tell you more.
The world has this idea of Jesus. But lightening bolts to not shoot from His fingers at sinners. He does everything He can to reach out to each one with His love. Only when someone chooses to refuse the gift Jesus offers, can He do nothing for them, by their choice. He waits with open arms for everyone to come and spend time with Him. We'd really love to introduce you to the Jesus we know.
Lord Jesus, Open the doors of hearts all around us, so that your grace and mercy can flow through them. Begin a flood that will swell on in joy as it grows. Thank you for the safety and care You provide for us. Amen
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.