Read John 17 -- 18
In Today's Reading:
Jesus' prayer of intercession; His betrayal and arrest; Peter's denial; Jesus before High Priest; Jesus condemned and Barabbas released.
After the Passover meal, Jesus and the eleven disciples went to the Mount of Olives. Jesus knew that Judas would soon arrive with the religious leaders who would lead the hostile mob and Roman military to crucify Him. Jesus began praying: Father, the hour is come; glorify Your Son. . . . I have glorified You on the earth. . . . I have manifested Your Name to the men which You gave Me . . . and they have kept Your Word (John 17:1,4-6).
Jesus continued praying for all who would ever believe on Him, that the glory which You gave Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are One (17:22). This means that all true believers are to be united in the great purpose of glorifying God and exalting His Word. The disciples failed to pray; consequently, their faith was weak; and, just moments after His prayer in the Garden, all of His followers forsook Him and fled.
These disciples were so much like us. Satan is the accuser of our brethren (Revelation 12:10); but love looks past our mistakes. It is comforting to know that Jesus sees far more in His followers than we see in ourselves or in each other.
The difference between the weakest of Jesus' disciples and the worldly, unsaved person is this: I have given to them the words which You gave Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from You, and they have believed that You did send Me (John 17:8).
Notice the order: I have given to them the words, and then: They have received them. This emphasizes that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Faith is renewed and imparted as we daily meditate upon the Word of God. Spiritual discernment is gained as we continue to read God’s Word. As the psalmist recorded: A good understanding have all they that do His Commandments (Psalms 111:10).
The value placed on a gift usually depends upon the one who gave it. Jesus prayed that the Heavenly Father would keep through Your Own Name those whom You have given Me (John 17:11). How comforting to know that His prayer included every one of us as He prayed: I have given them Your Word. . . . They are not of the world, even as I (Jesus) am not of the world. . . . Sanctify them through . . . Your Word (17:14,16-17).
The Christ rejecting world is under condemnation. But the child of God is born again of the Spirit of God. Through this spiritual awakening, we then have a different purpose in life. The world's purpose is to please themselves; but ours is to please God (I Corinthians 10:31). Furthermore, we have a different destiny. Theirs is the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15); ours is to be eternally with Jesus, who promised: In My Father's house are many mansions. . . . And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:2-3).
Thought for Today: We receive the joy of the Lord as we share His love with others.
17:12 son of perdition = Judas Iscariot; 18:30 malefactor = criminal, one who does evil.
Government Official: Rep. Samuel Graves (MO) · Pray for the President · Country: Central African Republic (3 million) in the center of the African continent · Major languages: French and Sangho · Religious freedom · 47% Protestant; 34% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 3% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Have faith that God always keeps His promises (Genesis 17:16 & 21:2-3).
Memory Verse for the Week: John 10:5