Moment of Transformation:
LOVE AS CHRIST LOVES
These things I command you, that you love one another. John 15:17 NKJV
Christ’s prayer [in John 17] … is an illustration of the intercession that He is offering for us before the Father.
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth,” He prayed (Verse 17). “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me (Verses 18-23).
Today the One who uttered this prayer is interceding before the Father in behalf of the human beings He has redeemed. He presents them to Jehovah, saying, “I have graven them upon the palms of My hands” (cf. Isaiah 49:16).
Sanctification is to come through the truth; oneness with Christ—this is God’s purpose for us. By their sanctification and their unity, Christians are to give evidence to the world that a perfect work has been done for them, in and through Christ. Thus they are to bear witness that God sent His Son to save sinners. Will you not let Christ carry on this work of sanctification in your hearts? You may all be complete in Him. You have the assurance that through the sanctification of the truth you may be made perfect in one.
The Saviour is acquainted with the mental suffering of His children. He knows how at times their hearts are wounded and bleeding. He would have the afflicted soothed and helped. He says to us, “Bear ye one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1). We are to relate ourselves rightly to one another, even though to do this demands sacrifice. Christ made an infinite sacrifice for us, and should we not be willing to sacrifice for others? We are to guard carefully against wounding or bruising the hearts of God’s children, for when we do this, we wound and bruise the heart of Christ.
Ellen G. White, The Upward Look, 17 – January 17
Quote of the Day “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.” Robert McCheyne
Did You Know?
The prayer registered in John 17 concludes Jesus’ parting counsel begun in the upper room and continued on the way to Gethsemane.
The farewell discourse is followed by the great high-priestly prayer. Barrett objects to describing the prayer in this way or as the “prayer of consecration,” since this “does not do justice to the full range of material contained in it.” Everything I suppose depends on the range one would expect to find in a “high-priestly prayer.” This common name does draw attention to the solemn consecration that is so much a feature of the prayer and to the way it looks forward to the cross as the consummation of Christ’s priestly work. This is the longest of Jesus’ recorded prayers, and, spoken as it is in the shadow of the cross, it is invested with a peculiar solemnity. “No attempt to describe the prayer can give a just idea of its sublimity, its pathos, its touching yet exalted character, its tone at once of tenderness and triumphant expectation” (MiM). The last words are important. We so often understand this prayer as though it were rather gloomy. It is not. It is uttered by One who has just affirmed that he has overcome the world (16:33), and it starts from this conviction. Jesus is looking forward to the cross, but in a mood of hope and joy, not one of despondency. The prayer marks the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, but it looks forward to the ongoing work that would now be the responsibility first of the immediate disciples and then of those who would later believe through them. Jesus prays for them all.
Leon Morris, The Gospel according to John, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995), 634.
How prayer can be an important tool in the process of sanctification?
This Week’s Homework