“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.” (John 17:6 – 8)
Jesus was a very personal person – that is, he did not hold back his feelings or emotions. Especially in prayer. And in his Sender’s house. And when talking to the Jewish leaders and scribes. And . . . well, you get the picture. Jesus also took “ownership” of his disciples and followers. Normally that has the potential to be off-putting. And there have been leaders who have taken advantage of their followers. No, I am not going to name any. But with Jesus, you know you are safe in his care.
“I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” (Verses 9 – 11)
Again, beloved reader, if you believe in a Triune theology, this is a big ask. But, and this is important, it is possible for Jesus to ask and have it granted that all of humanity be united together and have mutual concern for one another. Triune theology says that Jesus and the Lord God are but different aspects of the Divine. And as such, what traits and attributes One has the Others under gird that. All of the Aspects of the Divine show compassion & care, mercy & grace, forgiveness & hope, comfort & counsel – the list goes on. But it is up to humanity to take that example of ultimate unity and live it out – boy, have we (all of humanity) have we failed that one!!!
“While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.” (Verses 12 – 13)
Do you feel joy, beloved reader? That is another one of the attributes of the Divine. And peace. Would that we would have peace, beloved reader.
“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.” (Verses 14 – 16)
I have been thinking about something off and one for the past few days, or maybe it has stretched into weeks/ When I was younger, I did not have much faith and belief in myself. I believed in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. I had faith. But I did not have a strongly positive image of myself. I wish at times I could go back and make some decisions about my life that reflect the faith and belief I have in myself. I should have been bolder at times, and reached higher and farther in the plans and dreams I made for myself. It is only now, when I feel the strength and belief that the Divine has for me that I realize some of the things I would have liked to do, but did not, would probably have been possible. But then, the decisions I did make lead me to where I am in my life – so maybe the choices I made were the best for me at the time. But still, I wonder sometimes.
I know I am digressing, but my point is that while I am in the world I know I am not “of” the world. My soul belongs to Jesus, and that is its best home. As the years go on I see more and more that the priorities of this earthly world are no longer ones I want to pursue. What is, at this point, the best of me will someday taken out of this world and will be taken to the life that is to come. It is hard thinking about leaving those people that are near and dear to me, and leaving the beauty that is in this world. But think, beloved reader, what beauty there may yet to come! And being united with those who are dear to me that have already passed on!
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.” (Verses 17 – 19)
One of the best decisions I made was to go to seminary. And quite truthfully, if I had made different choices earlier in life, I am not sure if I would have ended up in seminary. Looking back I can see where the Divine has used the choices I made to prepare me for what has happened in my life. So don’t think, beloved reader, I am sad or despondent. I am just pondering a great deal. If we open ourselves to the Divine at any juncture in our lives, the Lord God will use us to further the Lord’s mission in the world. Count on it! Shalom & Selah!