Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Jesus final instructions to his followers are very important to understanding his mission. We see him delivering them in an upper room just before his final passion week.

He is getting them...and us....ready for life when he is not around in the way we are accustomed to [physically].

Churches usually get on-track or off-track depending on how well they know the words of God. And more than even that, that they know them in terms of priorities and emphasis. IE: Jesus heals, but that is not the mission of the church...it is part of the Mission. The mission is to make disciples and present the gospel and live like Kingdom people in a tribal family called the church. Those are the essential matters, for every church, all the time.

a summary of John 17 might look like this:

  • Father you and I are 1 in love
  • Father you have made me 1 with these disciples in love
  • Father make them 1 with each other in love
  • Father make the future ones, 1 with all of us in love
  • Father help them to continue my mission of love
  • Father I can't wait till we all are 1 in heaven merged together forever in love

Notice:

  • what he says to the believers about the need for unity. He knew there would be temptations for them to be divided
  • what he says about the mission continuing after he leaves. The mission of the kingdom and the gospel, he makes sure these are remembered and reinforced as primal priorities
  • what he says about those who don't know him yet but will in the future [us!]

John 17
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.
6-12I 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).
13-19Now 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.
20-23I'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.
24-26Father, 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.

1 comments:

Karen S said...

This is my second favorite prayer next to "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

 

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