November 4, 2018
Scripture John 17:10-26
“The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:22-23 (NRSV)
After listening to any portion of this long and theologically saturated prayer from Jesus in the Gospel of John, any of us likely will want a pause button, perhaps with a rewind and replay feature. It is a lot to take in at once. The writer uses various writing techniques to declare the unique position of Jesus as the Son of God among human followers. These verses are taken from a farewell prayer at the time of the Last Supper in this Fourth Gospel of John. It is a declaration of completing God’s work. This gospel also declares to all the world: Jesus is the Logos, the Living Word, terms beyond the more familiar Messiah.
Despite his exalted and glorified previous existence, Jesus came to this reality that we call our world and lived and dwelt among us, fully human and fully divine (Philippians 2:5-11). In the verses from John, Jesus declares that he loves us and fully embodies God for us, demonstrating God’s merciful love for each one of us. And, despite our many shortcomings God cherishes us along with God’s Son, Jesus Christ. God is with us and never leaves us; and, the presence and ministry of Jesus were the first new evidence of God’s love for all the world. As believers, we know that God’s Spirit remains with us and abides with us. This is important to our faith, our prayers, and our worship: We never leave God’s presence.
Because of that, the words of Christ in the Gospel of John serves as a harbinger, a wake-up call, for our earthly existence. It tell us something that was obvious to Jesus, but less so for us: God existed before time began and will exist after human history ends. Yes, God has come to us in Jesus Christ. Despite hardship and sorrow, God is with us.
And, God will remain with us forever: through our time together here and now-
and far, far beyond.