Thursday, February 5, 2015

Jesus prays for us, conclusion


“So I have sent them into the world”

What is the purpose of Jesus' prayer that we've been studying? He has prayed that we would be protected, sanctified, and that we would experience unity with other believers.
Why?
It's so that we would be prepared for being sent into the world.
Jesus doesn't ask the Father to just keep us safe while we wait for Jesus to come again.
Nope!
He said, "As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world."
He asked for the protection, the consecration, and the unity so that we could continue His work in the world. While we are here, there is work to do!
While He was here, He revealed the character of the Father, and explained the role of the Spirit, and then He lived out that love for the sake of those who would believe. He went to the cross and gave up His life for those who believed then, and for those of us who would believe in the future.

Only by first loving Him, and then loving each other, can we be effective witnesses in the world. We have a mission, and we will fail at this mission unless we are protected, and sanctified, and are unified in our mission to witness.

                        Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on
                        earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all
                        nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and
                        of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have
                       commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end
                       of the age.”  (Matthew 28:18-20)

Think about what we see on television, and what we hear about in our day-to-day lives. We are surrounded by, indeed doused in, stories of dysfunctional families, broken marriages, conflicts and splits in church congregations.  If we are able to show unity and mirror the love that Jesus shows us, then the world would see that God is at work -- no human effort would accomplish and sustain that! Jesus' love made it possible for Him to lay down His life for us; when we are willing to go the extra mile for others, and even lay down our lives for them, we witness to the changing power of Christ in our lives. And we do something else important: we both give and receive glory. We give glory to God by admitting to all that He empowers us to do these things. And we receive glory by following Jesus on His path -- He received glorification by walking the path that led to His death and resurrection.

So, this week, we've studied this our Lord's prayer. We've seen that we cannot accomplish the things He asked God the Father to do: protect and guard us, sanctify and consecrated us, and make us one in hearts and minds.

All of what Jesus asks of his Father here can be summed up in what he says at the end of his prayer: “I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Love is the key.

When love prevails among believers, especially in times of strong disagreement, it presents to the world an indisputable mark of a true follower of Jesus Christ. That is what we are called to do.
Let's pray that we will follow His path, and witness to the fact that He's changed our lives, and we follow Him.

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