Most of us will never know exactly when our time is up; but if you did, what would you want to say to those you love the most? Surely, you would want to reassure them of your love for them and your desire to see them live their lives to the fullest with joy and happiness. John 13 through 17 tells us what Jesus said and did with His disciples on the night before His death. All of the words He said to them in these five chapters were spoken in one evening to prepare them for His death. John tells us “It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.” (John 13:1 NIV)
He began with an object lesson of love. He washed His disciple’s feet demonstrating servant leadership and challenging them to lead by serving others humbly in love. He gives them a new command to love one another as He loved them. Love is the distinguishing characteristic of a Christ follower. The only way we can love like Jesus is to have God’s love in our hearts through faith in His Son. When we receive His love, we have the capacity to love. In John 14 and 16, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit. He told them “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go I will send Him to you.” (16:7) Jesus gives them encouraging instruction about the work of the Holy Spirit as a Counselor, Comforter and Teacher. He said the Holy Spirit would guide them in all truth. What a gift we have been given in the person of the Holy Spirit to enable us, equip us and energize us to live a quality of life that has no other explanation but Christ living in us! We should pray daily for God to fill us with the Holy Spirit. Why? Because we leak! Satan hurls fiery darts at us every day and sometimes they penetrate our armor. We need a fresh encounter with God daily. Have you prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Ephesians 5:18 commands us not to be drunk with wine but to be filled with the Spirit. The verb in that verse describes continuous action, keep on being filled.
His presence in our lives brings love, joy and peace despite the circumstances in our lives. Before the evening is over, Jesus prays for His disciples. He not only prays for them, but also for you and me! John records Jesus’ prayer in John 17. Jesus prayed, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message.” (Vs. 20) What did He pray for? “… that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us….” (Vs. 21) If you continue to listen to Jesus’ prayer you discover the reason He ask for us to be one in Him. “… so that the world may believe that you sent Me.… May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You have sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.” (Vs. 21; 23)
As you read these chapters today, experience the work of the Holy Spirit in your own heart guiding you. Listen to the prayer Jesus prayed for you and commit to walk in unity with other Christ followers finding common ground in the person of Jesus Christ so that a watching world may be attracted to Him by the love we share for one another.
Bible Reading: John 17:1-26 (NIV)
1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.
2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.
3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.
7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.
8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.
10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.
11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name–the name you gave me–so that they may be one as we are one.
12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.
14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.
15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:
23 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 loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “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.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.
26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
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