Highlights In Today's Reading:
Looking beyond the cross and the tomb, Jesus asks the Father for seven things (17:1, 5,11,15,17,21-24). He prays for Himself (17:1-5); His disciples (17:6-19), and us (17:20-26). The love gift of God to the world is Jesus (3:16).
Jesus revealed in His profound heart-stirring, high-priestly prayer that the Word of God, dwelling within His followers, would produce a hatred for sin and a desire to separate themselves from the things of the world, in thought as well as deed. Jesus did not seclude Himself from sinners; but He also did not condone nor participate in their activities.
Jesus said His true followers will do the same: If ye keep My Commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's Commandments, and abide in His love (15:10).
In Matthew, the angel announced He should be called Jesus (meaning Jehovah is Salvation) because He would save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21). In Mark, Jesus said He came not to call the (self) righteous, but sinners to repentance (Mark 2:17). The paramount message of Luke is that Christ came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). In the Gospel of John, Jesus prayed to the Father for Christians: Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth (John 17:17). Sanctify means set apart for God. Our privilege is to conform to Christ.
Jesus confirmed this as He continued to pray: As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world (17:18). Christ works through us, His disciples, to whom He also says: As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you (20: 21). It is our privilege to go to the unsaved with the Good News of eternal life. Our purpose is to accomplish the ministry that Jesus began, as revealed in all four Gospels. We are expected to use our assets, our time, and our abilities as good stewards, managers of His possessions entrusted to us, to reach the world with His Word.
Our Lord prayed: Holy Father, keep through Thine own Name those whom Thou hast given Me. . . . I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world . . . keep them from the evil (John 17:11,14-15)!
Thought for Today:
Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; shew forth from day to day His salvation (I Chr. 16:23).
17:12 son of perdition =b> Judas Iscariot; 18:30 malefactor =b> evildoer, criminal.
For John 17:12: See Ps. 41:9.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Sam Graves (MO) • Country: Kirabati (86,000) 3 islands in southwestern Pacific • Major languages: English and Gilbutese • Religious freedom • 52% Roman Catholic; 44% Protestant; 2% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks and praise to the Lord (Ps. 92:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:24