Having Given New Profound Significance to Bread and Wine, His Next and Final Priority is to Pray
In this recent study from Chapter 17 in the Gospel of John, my own life has been so enriched as I have been reminded of these prayerful words of Jesus.
Nearing the end of this recorded prayer, in verse 23, Jesus prays that the world may know, that God the Father had sent Him into the world and Jesus is also profoundly concerned about the unity of the church, for the sake of evangelism and mission. One day the Father will answer the prayer of Jesus.
Jesus continues in prayer just minutes before being betrayed and arrested and taken away to be crucified on Calvary.
Righteous Father, the world does not know You. Do take time and even make time to read these prayerful words of Jesus Christ.
Many people know that there is a God, but only a few know Him, and what a wonderful thing it is, to know God, and to be on talking terms with our Creator God, and to experience His forgiveness and mercy and love and power, and peace, and to be absolutely certain that you are forgiven and that you are His, and to have that assurance in your heart, and to feel His peace flowing through you, and to know that no man can take that peace away.
That is a much longer sentence that I prefer to write but this whole prayer just flows, and it is difficult to stop mid sentence.
When we receive eternal life, we then want the Word of God, and when we receive the Word it strengthens us, and when the world sees strong Christians it responds with hatred! We have to learn to come to terms with that, but that is what Jesus mentions in His prayer. We dare not simply select the sentences we wish and overlook other vitally important truths.
If any man is going to stand on his pride and keep himself apart from any other Christian, he is guilty of working against the very prayer of Christ Himself, and guilty of violating God’s Holy Law. This is serious. It is sad when the community of peace is at war.
Those closing words are so beautiful. Righteous Father, and Jesus looks up and away from this world, to the loving Father. “I pray that the love with which you loved me may be in them!” We would hardly believe that this could possibly be true, if Jesus had not prayed these words.
Allow me to amplify what Jesus expresses. “Father, over these 33 years, You have been utterly loyal to me. Father, I pray that You will continue this same quality of loyalty to these My disciples. Father, this is My prayer. Hear Me.” Then He is arrested and taken away for a series of illegal trials and crucified.
Of all the things Jesus Christ could have done that final night on earth He gave himself to the priority of prayer, after having given the bread and the wine that new deep significance.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children’s Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
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