In John 17, we read one of Jesus’ most detailed prayers recorded in the Four gospels. In this prayer, Jesus provides insight into who he is and his vision and expectation for Christians then and now. Reading from the Passion translation of the New Testament, Casey shared twenty-seven insights and encouragements that we can learn from John 17.
1. Glory doesn’t always look like you think it will
2. Eternal life is not in the future
3. The glory of God is revealed in obedience
4. The greatest glory is experienced through face to face encounter
5. Jesus is perfect theology
6. We are God’s gift to Jesus
7. Same words equal same authority
8. Are you convinced; do you fully believe?
9. You are deeply loved by Jesus
10. You are Jesus’ gift back to the Father
11. You are protected by God
12. Jesus wants you to experience full and overflowing joy
13. Our allegiance is to Christ
14. He wants you in the world, but he doesn’t want the world in you
15. The truth of Jesus makes us holy
16. You are commissioned to represent Jesus
17. His sacrifice enables you to be Holy and fully dedicated
18. Unity displays the Father’s heart
19. Unity must be tied to God
20. Jesus gave us the same glory
21. You have the full Jesus
22. Evangelism will work
23. We have the same love
24. Christ has given us authority
25. We will see his glory
26. Revelation in progressive
27. The purpose of revelation is love
Before Jesus was crucified he prayed that all of his disciples (then and now) would be sanctified in truth and perfected in unity. He wanted his disciples to be known for truth and be united as a loving family. The combination of truth and perfect unity would show the world that Jesus is the Son of God. Yet, truth and unity is a difficult achieve and can be hard to balance. In the well intended search for truth Christian churches may easily divide by demanding that the everyone must believe in a long list biblical facts in order to maintain Jesus’ desire for truth. On the other hand, through the well intended pursuit of unity a church may water down biblical truth to the point of vague morals in order to avoid disagreements amongst the group. So how can we seek the truth without causing division and how can we stay unified without abandoning truth?
In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul encourages Christians to practice godly principles in all situations: to love enthusiastically, to hate evil but love good, not to think too highly of yourself, to practice hospitality, and pray often. We are to remember that Christians are members of the body of Christ and therefore “individually members of one another”. Christians are a real family and we need to act like it no matter where we are from and no matter the situation. Paul taught that the we are to practice this behavior because of God’s truth and such behavior is the only reasonable way to worship God because of the mercy he has bestowed on us. As we are transformed in the way we think and act by the truth of the gospel, we will act in a way that will create an attitude of unity, but it takes practice and requires patience. To balance truth and unity we must learn to love God with a passion and forgive often.
Scripture references: John 17:11, 14-23 and Romans 12:1-21
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