Our Father’s Love is Revealed {John 17}

11:00 PM

By Mari Sandoval

Today we close an amazing week as we’ve become closer to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Ministry. On and on through this book (and this week) we’ve studied how Jesus taught His disciples with a living and loving example, and even at almost the very end of His Ministry, at the last Supper we read: “Now before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that His hour had come [and it was time] for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. Having [greatly] loved His own who were in the world, He loved them [and continuously loves them with His perfect love] to the end (eternally)” (13:1); “Then He poured water into the basin and began washing the disciples’ feet and wiping them with the towel which was tied around His waist.” (13:5); “14 So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet as well. 15 For I gave you [this as] an example, so that you should do [in turn] as I did to you.” (13:14-15) Imagine the impact of these last words to His disciples as a command to them… and to us, too! But there is also a wonderful promise in doing so: “If you know these things, you are blessed [happy and favored by God] if you put them into practice [and faithfully do them].” (13:17)

I can imagine these men felt as if this was their “Graduation Day”! There were so many challenges to be met out there, but were they really prepared to conquer them on their own, without their Teacher and Lord?  Then Jesus continues encouraging them giving them words of HOPE and a FUTURE: “Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you.(14:1-4) And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [c]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.

Over and over we find Jesus, encouraging as He teaches His disciples to be in UNITY, through His Love in them: “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples. I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love [and do not doubt My love for you]. 10 If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing.” (15:7-11) Hearing these promises from Jesus must have been like fresh ointment to their weary heart!

“In that day you will not [need to] ask Me about anything. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name [as My representative], He will give you.” … “27 for the Father Himself [tenderly] loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from the Father.”  (16:23, 27)

As Jesus finished this discourse, He raised His eyes to heaven and prayed out loud to His Father: this is His last teaching in the form of a prayer. Jesus begins with a petition for the glorification of the Father and the Son (vs. 1-5), after which He prays for the disciples gathered around Him, first describing their situation (vs. 6-11) and then praying that they be protected and sanctified by the Father (vs. 11-19). Jesus then prays for all who will become believers through the witness of the eleven, that they may share in the UNITY of the Father and the Son: “I do not pray for these alone [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for [all] those who [will ever] believe and trust in Me through their message, 21 that they all may be one; just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe [without any doubt] that You sent Me.” (vs.20-24).

In the last verses Jesus prays for a UNITY founded in love.23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected and completed into one, so that the world may know [without any doubt] that You sent Me, and [that You] have loved them, just as You have loved Me”, “and these [believers] know [without any doubt] that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them [overwhelming their heart], and I [may be] in them.” (vs. 23, 25-26).

 Jesus revealed the Love of the Father to us, through His love and obedience to Him (Heb. 5:7-12) The love the Father has for Jesus is the same love He has for us believers, indeed for the whole world (3:16)! “For "God is love" (1Jn 4:8, 16), and "there is only one love of God" The believers are to embody this love and thereby provide living proof of God's gracious character, which is his mercy, love and truth. They will be an advertisement, inviting people to join in this union with God. The love of God evident in the church is a revelation that there is a welcome awaiting those who will quit the rebellion and return home. Here is the missionary strategy of this Gospel--the community of disciples, indwelt with God's life and light and love, witnessing to the Father in the Son by the Spirit by word and deed, continuing to bear witness as the Son has done.“ (Brown 1970:772 – Bible Gateway)

 May this become a reality in our life, I pray in Jesus’s Name. Amen


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