1John 17 Part 3:
Jesus in these passages from John 13- John 17 knew what the disciples would be facing in their lives and in the world and He was preparing them for what lay ahead. He wanted them to know what they possessed by virtue of His death, burial and resurrection. He wanted the disciples and us to know we would never be alone and there was no problem we face that God cannot handle. These great promises are for us. For if we continue in His Word, we are His disciples indeed. Jesus does not want us to just get by in life, He came to give us the abundant life. And we must be careful we do not let the world conform us to the world’s idea of an abundant life. For Jesus was clear when he said, ‘a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. ‘
So far in this remarkable night of the Last Supper, Jesus has told His disciples and us so much, it is almost too much to take in. He has given them an example of serving by washing their feet and told them if they do this they will be blessed, happy. (John 13)
He has told the disciples and us: ‘these things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ (John 15) He told the disciples to not let their hearts be troubled, but to trust Him. (John 14) He also told us: ‘My peace I give to you.’ He told them in ‘a little while, their sorrow would turn to joy. He said if we ask in His name, we would receive and our joy would be full.’
The message of this special night is comfort, peace, joy and all of this is found in Jesus. He said: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33)
Do you understand what you possess as a believer? You have His Joy. You have His Peace. You may ask anything in His name and you will receive that your joy may be full. ( And we know from the prayer Jesus taught us in Matthew 6 what we are to ask in His name: we are to ask” Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”) Jesus taught us this is what to ask for in His name. Remember: His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him. (2 Peter 1) What do we need? We need our daily needs met, give us this day our daily bread. We need our sins forgiven as we forgive others- so we can be restored to a right relationship. He restores my soul. We need to be led in the paths of righteous- He leads me not into temptation and delivers me from the evil one.
How do we come to take hold all of these possessions? The Christian life is a by grace through faith operation from beginning to end. We share His life. He is in us and we are in Him. We have within us the Holy Spirit to guide us, protect us, teach us, and empower and enable us. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.” ( Phil. 2:13) We work it out with fear and trembling.
We not only share His life, we also know His Name. For His name reveals His nature. And Jesus came to reveal God to us, to show us what God is like. For Jesus was and is the exact representation of the Father. (Hebrews 1) Jesus said He keeps us in the power of God’s name. And Jesus now resurrected is seated in heaven at the right hand of God and his enemies are under his feet, his authority. There is no name under heaven by which man can be saved. There is power not only in the blood, but in the name above all names. As I said last week, God becomes our Father -in -law, because we were legally adopted, the Spirit of Adoption made this happen. A legal process. We could also say God became our Father in law because as a member of the body of Christ, the Church, we are the bride of Christ. But we can also claim God as our Father, because we have been born again, supernaturally by the Spirit. Just as I was born the first time naturally, I had the DNA of my earthly father and also was a natural born citizen of the USA. In being born again supernaturally, we are partakers of our Father’s divine nature and citizens of heaven. We share His Name- we are Christians, this is our family name.
Now as Jesus closes this prayer we find two more possessions that are ours- that the Lord has provided:
“I have given them your Word. (John 17: 14)
“And the glory which you have given me, I have given them; that they may be one as we are one. Father , I desire that they also whom You have gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold my glory which you have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the earth.” (John 17:22 & 24) “ But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3: 18) The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God.
Let’s review what we are told we possess, what we have been given:
- We have His joy.
- We have His peace.
- We have His Life.
- We have His Love
- We have His name.
- We have His Word
- We have His Glory
These are the things God has given us we share with His Son. This is why we are called ‘joint heirs.” The Lord wants you to know for certain what you have in Him. His joy is to see us filled with His joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength.
It is important to notice the content of this verse: “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” The world, the society and culture we live in, hates the Word of God and hates the people of the Word. From the very beginning the deceiver has said joy is found in the world, not the Word. The world wants to conform us to its system. It wants us to compromise our beliefs and accept as true and equal their beliefs. They call dark – light and light – dark. They call evil-good; and good- evil. When we express our faith and beliefs and speak the truth in love, they call us: bigots, racists, homophobic, hypocrites, intolerant and hateful. And those are just the nicer words they use to describe us and our beliefs.
Jesus gave us His Word to cleanse us. “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” (John 15
His Word imparts joy. “Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” (Jeremiah 15: 16)
His Word protects us: “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119
His Word directs me: “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”Psalm 119.
His Word comforts me: “My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life.” Psalm 119.
I have put my hope in your word. Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light upon my path. Great peace have those who love your law. (Psalm 119)
Jesus has set us apart. He sanctified us and sent us into the world, just as His Father sent Him into the world. We are in the world, but not of the world. The world wants to conform us. But we must be transformed by the Word of God. As we travel through this world we must have a conscious awareness of God at all times. Sometimes circumstances, trouble and pain blind us to His presence. Like the travelers on the road to Emmaus whose hearts were darkened by the news, Jesus had been crucified and was now dead. Then along came Jesus, the Word of God who became flesh. All of a sudden he was right there traveling with them, this unrecognized stranger. He inquired why there were sad- Jesus came to seek and save the lost, he came to mend broken hearts and give us the words which would comfort us and restore our joy. He wants our joy to be full and He uses His Word to do this:
“And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Him. Then their eyes were opened and the recognized Him and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road an opened the Scriptures to us.” (Luke 24)
Why don’t our hearts burn within us? Why are we lukewarm? Do you know why something becomes lukewarm? It has gotten away from that which made it hot. It has taken on the temperature of the environment, it has cooled to room temperature. Our hearts do not burn within us because we do not spend time with Jesus Christ on the road of life. We do not have an intimate relationship which only comes from spending time with Jesus. As a result we live lives defeated by sin. We live lives of fear of the unknown. We are self-centered. And when we are away from the Word of God, we become apathetic- lukewarm.
D L Moody said: this book will keep you away from sin, or sin will keep you away from this book.
How can the world overcome us when we have the Word of God to enlighten us, enable us, and encourage us? It cannot. Do not believe the lies of the enemy. We overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil with the blood of the Lamb and our testimony. Remember our faith is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
In verses 20-26, our Lord focuses our attention on the future. He prays for those of us who live today. He has prayed for our security that we be kept safe. He has prayed for our sanctity, that we be set apart, in the world -but not of the world. Now our Lord prays for our unity. “Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have love them, even as you loved me.”
Jesus has prayed that we experience a spiritual unity like He and the Father have. We belong to the Lord and we belong to each other.
Did you realize as a believer you have the God’s glory with in you? Did you further realize our unity, our harmony is based on the Spirit in our inner being? We possess His glory and one day we will behold His glory in heaven when we see Him face to face.
The Spirit which indwells each believer wants to glorify and lift up the Lord Jesus. For when He is lifted up, He will draw men to Him. This is this treasure we have in these earthen vessels, the power and glory of the Lord in the person of the Holy Spirit.
When I was lost, the Word of God meant nothing to me. My mind was blinded. Paul likens it to a veil over my mind which kept me from seeing and understanding the Word of God. For a natural man cannot understand spiritual truths. They are foolishness to him. But when we turn to Christ, the veil is taken away.
“Now the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory , even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” This is God’s Law of Worship and Beholding. God tells us to worship Him. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We glorify Him when we worship Him. God tells us to worship Him, because He knows we adapt ourselves to the things and person we admire, idealize and devote ourselves to. God knows by beholding we become changed. Our character is transformed. This is the reason God wants us to worship Him, not only because He Alone is worthy of worship, but He knows anyone or anything else we worship will lead to degeneration. What we worship greatly influences our thought process. We constantly think about that thing, possession, position or person. And as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
When lost people see us- behold us, what do they see? Do they see someone who wants the same things they do- possessions, power, pleasure, and the things of the world? The lost world cannot see God, but they can see Christians, and what they see in us is what they will believe about God. If they see love and unity, they will believe God is love. If they see hatred and discord, they will see us as no different from the rest of the world. If they see we are jealous and envious and want to get ahead and be admired – they see we are no different than the rest of them. They will reject the message of the Gospel. Jesus has assured us some will believe because of our witness. But our witness must match our lives, our witness must be true and loving.
“For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
Now God is the One who worked in us to will and do His good pleasure. We must work it out with fear and trembling. What He worked in us was the was the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. This the treasure we possess in these earth vessels, our very bodies.
As we grow in the Lord, the glory within us begins to grow and to reveal itself in what we say and do and the way we say and do it. People do not see us and glorify us- that is what natural man does and wants. People see the Lord and glorify Him. As a believer you and I possess the light of His Glory in our lives. This is why Jesus told us we are the light in the world of darkness. We are commanded to let our lights shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God.
By this will men know you are my disciples that you love one another. Our love and unity is the witness the Lord wants us to portray in the world that the world might believe that Jesus was sent by God.
Do you know why I know I am going to heaven? Jesus paid the price for me to go and I have accepted it. I have my ticket. Jesus promised me He was going to prepare a place for me in His Father’s house in heaven and He would come back and get me, so where He was I would be also. I have His promise- He gave me His Word and told me I would not have told you if it was not so. And Jesus prayed to His Father: “Father I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” I have His prayer to His Father. Jesus asked His Father that I could come home with Him. And the Father always answers the Son’s prayer. God always finishes what He starts.
We can overcome this world because:
*We have His Life living with us and within us. We share His life.
* We have His Name. When we were born again we became partakers of His Divine Nature that we might escape the corruption of this world.
* We have His Word. His promises.
* We share His Glory.
One day each of us will give an account of our ministry. For we have been sent out into the world, just as Jesus was sent into the world. We will give a final report at the bema for our rewards. I want to hear- “Well done thy good and faithful servant.”