“My life was not meant to be an example to copy. Being my follower is not trying to ‘be like Jesus’, it means for your independence to be killed. I came to give you life, real life, my life. We will come and live our life inside of you, so that you begin to see with our eyes and hear with our ears, and touch with our hands, and think like we do. But we will never force that union on you. If you want to do your thing, have it. Time is on our side.” ~Jesus speaking From the book, The Shack
Jesus came for one reason, to give us life, and to give us safe passage back to the Father should we choose to follow him by believing in him.
Hebrews 6:17-20 GNB To those who were to receive what he promised, God wanted to make it very clear that he would never change his purpose; so he added his vow to the promise. (18) There are these two things, then, that cannot change and about which God cannot lie. So we who have found safety with him are greatly encouraged to hold firmly to the hope placed before us. (19) We have this hope as an anchor for our lives. It is safe and sure, and goes through the curtain of the heavenly temple into the inner sanctuary. (20) On our behalf Jesus has gone in there before us and has become a high priest forever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.
I had to stop, overwhelmed by this realization once again. My eyes filled with tears as I thought, why me? I have done nothing to deserve such love. It can only be because of the strength and mercy of the Father.
In reading the Hebrews passage above I can see clearly at verse 19 that Jesus is that hope. Hope is a person, and he is safe, sure, and an anchor for our lives.
With that in mind we finish off chapter 17 of John's gospel. The anchor and future high priest was standing there encouraging them in the hope. There was still so much for the Holy Spirit to show in the future, but the basis for hope stood before them.
John 17:20-21 NASB "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; (21) that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
I included verse 20 because it tends to clarify and answer the question that verse 21 presents me.
Who is he talking about when he says, “that they may all be one;”?
We should all understand by this point that he is talking about, and to, the disciples directly, and future believers indirectly.
Why would he have to make such a statement unless they did not have the unity he had hoped for?
If Jesus had to say this, then they were not one with each other. I think the term we are looking for is unity. The Greek word is heis, and means the numeral one. That can only mean cohesiveness.
Now I want to look for examples of how the disciples reacted with each other.
I struggled for a moment, but then my mind pictured the boys struggling with each other, and then verbally pulling at Jesus as they fought to gain superiority with him by getting Jesus to allow one to sit next to him at the throne of power. You can see this here:
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She *said to Him, "Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?" They *said to Him, "We are able." He *said to them, "My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father." And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. "It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, (Matthew 20:20-26 NASB)
“....even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us,..”
There is something about this that is so intense it overwhelms me. Why would it do that?
Because Jesus is speaking about the relationship that I can and should have with the Father.
I believe that Jesus always had his prayers answered, therefore there is nothing on God's part that is preventing me from living in a continual relationship like Jesus did.
One might think that Jesus had fewer distractions than we do; perhaps, they were definitely different, more relational, but stress is still an inconvenience.
John 17:24 NASB "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
This statement is filled with Joy. I am not sure why I said that, especially when you consider what he has said to the disciples and what he is about to endure, but we have this as our hope.
Again the idea that Jesus always had his prayers answered tells me that we will be with him, where he is. And for those who struggle, trying to comprehend what we will be doing in Heaven, we have other verses to support the this glory which we will share in.
Psalms 31:19 AMP Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear, revere, and worship You, goodness which You have wrought for those who trust and take refuge in You before the sons of men!
Isaiah 64:4 AMP For from of old no one has heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] waits for Him.
“..for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
I find myself frequently reminding myself that God chose me. Why would I do that? Because I am damaged and have to be reminded that I am loved and wanted.
How many people are we surrounded by that are like that; so broken that they have to be reminded that they are wanted.
Ephesians 1:4-6 GW Before the creation of the world, he chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence. (5) Because of his love he had already decided to adopt us through Jesus Christ. He freely chose to do this (6) so that the kindness he had given us in his dear Son would be praised and given glory.
1 Peter 1:18-21 GNB For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold; (19) it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw. (20) He had been chosen by God before the creation of the world and was revealed in these last days for your sake. (21) Through him you believe in God, who raised him from death and gave him glory; and so your faith and hope are fixed on God.
That they might be preserved in their salvation;
that they might have His joy;
that they might be fortified against the evils of the world;
that they might be purified through His Word;
that they might demonstrate oneness with Him;
that they might be edified in Him,
and at last behold His glory.
- Hebrews 5 Is PACKED! (philadelphiamtc.wordpress.com)
- Follow the writer of the book of Hebrews as he reveals Jesus. (jlue.wordpress.com)
- Elijah and Elisha Show Us How Jesus Became Our Heavenly Father (blogforthelordjesuschristianleaders.wordpress.com)
- Melchizedek Who? (chinesechurchstudies.wordpress.com)
- True Identity (mubiana.com)