[Jesus prayed:] 6“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
When our daughter Megan was in the third grade, we were told that she was only reading at a first-grade level.
We tried working with her and she would always give us the excuse that she didn’t feel good right now – Later – she would say.
We then learned that she was also having trouble seeing – even close up. And so, we were hoping that after her vision was corrected, she would feel more confident, and her reading skills would get better.
However, it didn’t seem to make a difference.
We were then brought into a parent-teacher conference and told that our daughter had a learning disability.
I struggled with the news and believed that there had to be more to her reason for her lack of learning how to read.
And so, imagine the disciples as they had heard, witnessed, and experienced Jesus in this world!
Can you imagine the struggle they had to believe and know who Jesus Christ really is?
It’s like learning how to read. It’s baby steps. It’s one day at a time. It’s absorbing the knowledge and being able to comprehend – process what you have learned and even still learning…
As Jesus begins to pray for his disciples in this Priestly prayer, He tells God – Thank you for giving me these disciples –
Honestly, for me, it is difficult to think about how I AM a gift to Jesus Christ! But you see, this is anelementary truth –
Jesus says, “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me.”
And it almost seems that Jesus Himself is surprised of this transformation from those of this world, but now they belong to God –
That as disciples – it is a citizenship change – from creatures to new creatures –
From worldlings to Children of God –
We are in elementary school – learning to read –
Learning to understand the basics of our baptism – our transformation as a child of God –
That God gave disciples – us – through our baptism – And, in turn –
Jesus gives us the KNOWLEDGE of God’s name.
Jesus prays – The Son gave to those whom you gave to him deep, lasting Life. And this is deep, lasting Life: that people KNOW YOU, the only True God.
And so, you see, we begin to learn that “KNOWLEDGE is EVERYTHING!
Before we graduate from elementary school, let’s summarize:
- God gives us – to His One and Only Son as a gift.
- Jesus, God’s Son is a gift to us – working faith in us…
- Faith is the gift of fellowship we have with Jesus Christ.
- The Son, Jesus Christ now gives to us the knowledge of God’s name.
Now we go to college: Jesus in turn gave us the very Words of God. This knowledge that you and I have – of knowing who Jesus is – the very Son – the only Son of God – gives us the VERY Word of God.
Jesus’ disciples know God because they know the Messiah.
You see, this is a privilege to know God at all.
Because of our baptism, we are privileged people
I wonder…Do we think enough about or give thanks often enough for the single fact that, through Jesus, we have been given an otherwise inaccessible knowledge – the knowledge of God?
For me, it is almost mind-boggling…
Jesus claims that His disciples have kept God’s Word – that as disciples we will falter badly – even leave Jesus completely alone as he goes to the cross – But because we know the Word of God – Jesus has the confidence that we will turn around and make the claim that Jesus Christ is the Word of God.
Therefore, this is Truth.
This is no little fidelity. It is a claim of inspiration.
And, then Jesus says that his disciples gradually began to understand that everything they saw was actually a gift from God –
These are Graduate level truths – The first step in Apostleship – to receive the knowledge of the divinity of the human Jesus – that Jesus in every important respect is the direct derivative of God the Father and not just a great or a deeply spiritual man. This Word came from above, from God his Father and then passed the Word onto his Disciples – and these disciples in turn passed on these words to others.
When you grasp all that and can wrap your head around these elementary and graduate level Truths –
Jesus then says – That they Believe…His disciples not only have the Head knowledge – but also now have the knowledge in their hearts –
They BELIEVE that you – God, the Father, have sent me.
Jesus did not fall from heave like a fallen angel, but rather YOU SENT ME
That YOU GOD THE FATHER REALLY SENT ME.
This is the Mission of all missions. And all other Christian missions worthy of the name are faithful and fruitful in the measure that they first of all, last of all, and most of all appreciate and herald God’s Single Greatest Mission ever – Jesus, God’s Incarnate and Only-Begotten Son.
So, you see…the Apostles – His disciples are fully equipped with a Christology that, when added to the crowning truths of the Cross and the Resurrection, will build churches in the world.
That is the Doctoral Level of TRUTH.
Knowledge is everything!
Our daughter Megan was in the third grade and only reading at first grade reading level.
When I was told that she had a learning disability, I did not feel that it was the truth. I wanted to first explore some other avenues before putting her in peg-hole for the rest of education life.
I had heard about Sylvan Learning Center. And, even though it was expensive for us at the time, we decided to have her tested.
What I really like about Sylvan is that they test the child for what they do already know – In other words, what are the concepts that she has grasped thus far.
What we found out that our daughter Megan had gaps in the essentials of what she needed to know so that she could read. And it was our fault!
Bob, her dad, had to move us several times in those critical few years of school that she needed to learn how to read.
So, Megan continued at Sylvan, and they taught her all the things that she didn’t know so that she could read.
In over a year of attending Sylvan, Megan was at the end of her fourth-grade year and reading above a fifth-grade level.
And currently, she loves to read and obtained her undergraduate degree in English.
Knowledge is everything!
Without knowledge, we cannot move to the next step – in anything…
And so…Jesus prays for his disciples – He prays for us because We are Gift to HIM!
Jesus didn’t just throw us away and give up on us – even though he has every right! We mess up all the time –
But, because we are HIS and we belong to HIM – and we know this because of our baptism –
We will turn around – we will turn around because of our FAITH – Our fellowship that we have Jesus Christ – Our FAITH that Jesus gives to us a gift.
You see, we don’t even have to do anything to experience God’s presence in our lives –
We are gift to Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ gives us a gift of faith and His amazing grace.
We receive the elementary initial truth that Jesus is explainable only as the One and Only Son of God –
It’s like learning to read – One step at a time – and one day at a time –
The Holy Spirit filling in the gaps that we miss along the way.
Until…When at last, that day comes– that when we truly understand, acknowledge, and receive the greatest Truth – the greatest Gift of all –
Our eternal life.