Monday – March 14, 2016
Day 34 – John 17:1-26
Focus: vss. 15-17
15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Our scripture for today is a major portion of what we now call, “The High-Priestly Prayer” of Jesus. Jesus is about to go back to His Father so is now praying for His followers. It is clear later on that He means all followers both then and in the future. That means He is praying for us as well. He says of His followers (us, too) that they, like Him, are not of this world. This is a two-fold statement as it speaks not just of Jesus but also about His followers who are still in this world, and that includes us.
Have you ever heard of some Christians being so heavenly-minded that they are of no earthly good? Do you think that applies here? I have seen some who are so out of touch with the realities of life that their version of Christianity never has a positive impact at all. Whether or not they will ever enter the pearly gates is not mine to answer but I do feel they will never really receive the accolade of “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” If others cannot see your struggles and the victory you achieve in the midst of them through Christ then perhaps truly, your living has been in vain. The point is that we are to be transparent before the world in order to have a real impact on it. There will always be those who will not see and would rather ignore heart-felt effort for God than admit they themselves have even greater shortcomings.
Jesus was not of this world. He was of heavenly stock. He came from God to represent God to us in a form we could understand – our own. We are not of this world because we have been transformed by the renewing of our minds through the work of the Holy Spirit and faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. When you read our scripture you will notice that this phrase about not being of the world is repeated twice by Jesus. That must mean it has importance for us.
Jesus prayed that we would be kept from the evil one and that we would be set apart (sanctified) in God’s truth and then declares that the word of God is truth. We are to be repositories of and messengers of God’s truth to the world. That is why Jesus says he does not ask for us to be taken out of the world. We are to be the new prophets sharing God’s truth to the world. God is still looking for a remnant out of the world that will be His. We are part of that plan.
Prayer Focus: O God, we know you keep us in this world for a reason. It is not just to be manipulative but rather that You may have a presence that will draw those who will come to Yourself. Help me to become part of that presence which marks You in this world. Use even my poor responses to your Spirit’s direction to show others how important it is to be one of Your own. AMEN.