3/12/2009 - Can You Hear Jesus Praying? (Part 2)

Quiet Time 3-12-09:  Can you hear Jesus praying? PART 2 – Praying FOR those that follow Him (John 17:9-19)

I accept the Bible as God’s Holy Word, the truth, to be taken seriously in its entirety.  The words of Jesus in the New Testament always get my special attention.  This passage is more than Jesus preaching or teaching; these words are Jesus praying to His Heavenly Father.  Therefore, I think these verses deserve extra special attention.  In verses 9-19 Jesus is praying for the disciples, his followers.   No doubt Jesus was praying for the disciples at that time, but I believe this portion of the prayer applies to those that follow Him today.  God’s Word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  I realize that we understand it differently at different times and God uses it in different ways with different people to meet specific needs, but the Word never changes, so Jesus’ prayer applies to disciples today.

In verse 10 Jesus expresses that disciples bring Him glory.  That sure is humbling as I question just how much glory do I bring.  I’m surely not what I should be and thank God for his patience with me.  It is comforting in verse 11 that Jesus prayed for the protection of His followers from the evils of the world.  On the other hand, the full power of protection does not come automatically; I think this prayer of Jesus conveys that protection from evil comes with unity and harmony among believers.  That gets scary and is one reason we have so much hurt, trouble and injustice within the Christian community. 

In verse 12, Jesus warns about believers that betray and end up in destruction, referring to Judas.  I do not intend to get into a “once saved, always saved” discussion.  I will simply state that I believe the wise thing to do is to be heading so far and so fast in the “right” direction that the possibility of losing salvation could never become a personal issue, just in case it is possible spiritually and biblically. 

In verses 14-19, Jesus reminds that Christians do not belong to the world.  Not belonging to the world means that we are different than world.  That humbles me also, as I ask myself can the world see a difference in me.  To be a difference we have to know the difference.  We can only know the difference by knowing God’s word and it is encouraging that Jesus asked God to teach us His word.  We just have to listen.  Finally, Jesus’ prayer was that he was sending us into the world for the same reason that God sent Jesus to the world; talk about big sandals to fill.  Jesus has sent us into the world, not just so the world will see a difference, but also for us to make a difference, to be an impact.  We can not be impacted by the world.

In summary, pray for me to become increasingly steadfast on the journey as I see how long the road ahead of me is when I ask myself the following:

Am I bringing glory to Christ?
Am I protected by being unified and in harmony with other believers?
Am I heading as far from destruction as possible?
Can the world see the difference in me?
Am I allowing God to teach me His holy word?
Am I making an impact on the world?

. . . make smart choices, love everybody, be a blessing, I love you and have a great day.

John 17:9-19 (New Living Translation)
The Prayer of Jesus
 9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. 11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. 12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
 13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.