John 17 -- 18
After the Passover meal, Jesus and the eleven disciples went to the Mount of Olives. Jesus knew that Judas would soon come with religious leaders who would lead the hostile mob to crucify Him. Jesus began by 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 to pray 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 all true believers are to be united in the great ministry of glorifying God. This has nothing to do with a physical, earthly organization, but a oneness of spirit with all who have kept Your Word. Yet the disciples' faith was weak, so weak that, just moments after this prayer in the Garden, all of His chosen eleven forsook Him and fled. One of them denied Him with an oath.
These disciples were so much like us. Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10); but love looks past the defects. It is comforting to know that the Lord 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 unto them the words, and then: They have received them. This points out that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Our faith is strengthened as we prayerfully meditate upon the Word of God. Spiritual discernment will result as we receive Gods Word, since all Scripture . . . is profitable (II Timothy 3:16).
The value placed on a gift usually depends upon the one who gave it. Jesus prayed: Keep through Your Own Name those whom You have given Me (John 17:11). This reveals how precious we are in the eyes of Christ and the value He placed on Peter, though he denied knowing Him, and doubting Thomas, as well as the nine who deserted Him. How comforting to know that His prayer included every one of us. Clearly, His concern is that we be kept -- not because we are so great or so good, but because we now belong to the family of God. The believer is no longer of the world, even as I (Jesus) am not of the world (17:16).
The world is under condemnation, but we are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6). All the unsaved are born of the flesh, but the child of God is born again of the Spirit. We have a different purpose in life. Theirs is to please themselves, ours is to glorify God (I Corinthians 10:31). We have a different destiny. Theirs is the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15), ours is with Jesus, who promised us the Fathers House on high: In My Father's house are many mansions . . . I go to prepare a place for you (John 14:2).
Pray for Bible Pathway Faith Promise Supporters · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast sponsored by two of the Lord's Bible missionaries · Country: Indonesia (209 million) five large and 13,662 lesser islands in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Bahasa Indonesian (modified form of Malay) and English · Growing pressure from Muslim leaders to limit advances of Christianity by not renewing many of the missionaries permits to stay in the country · 44% Muslim; 35% Islamic mixtures; 10% Protestant; 4% animist; 4% Roman Catholic; 2% Hindu; 1% Buddhist · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to fill you with love for the unlovely (I John 4:7-8).
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