Word from Scotland: Let me meet a real live committed Christian
Jesus Christ’s call to His Disciples, then and now, is for our lives to be holy, to be set apart, to be different, to be like Him, loving, compassionate, forgiving, powerful, bold, challenging, courageous, and also, willing to minister to the needs of a hostile world.
There is no way at all whereby we can be reconciled to this world, and with this world, and we simply have to accept that. This is why it is so vitally important to be at peace with God, and united in fellowship with one another.
Our interests are different – our values are different – our standards are different – our commitment – our hope – our strength – our attitude – our way of looking at things. We hear this time and time again throughout the teaching of Jesus and particularly do we sense this note being sounded in John Chapter 17 where Jesus is praying.
It is only when we compromise in these areas that we know it and recognise just how high our calling is, or when somebody might say something to us, and we sense that we ought not to have spoken such words or behaved in that manner.
Did you know that the world somehow knows more about how we should behave than we do? And, the world is watching closely.
The world is in such a mess just now I wonder if some people might be looking at our lives just to see if there is any reality and depth to what we claim to believe.
It has been said, that some people are in such a mess, and so much need, that they are crying out, “God, if there is a God, let me meet a real live committed Christian.”
Some people are so desperate.
That is why Jesus goes on to pray – verse 15 – Do not take them out of the world, just protect them from the evil one. Keep them in the world and guard them and preserve them and keep them secure. Is it true to say that even Jesus Christ prayed risky prayers?
We remain in the world, and do whatever we can, and whatever we are called to do, and pass on the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those around us and to the next generation. Who would pass on the message of mercy and forgiveness and sacrifice and shed blood and love and healing, if it were not for the Church of Jesus Christ of which we are part and members of His Body? (I had typed ‘embers’ of His Body, and in some places where people are being torched and burned, that is quite accurate!)
We are not to isolate ourselves from the world or in the world. We are called to be witnesses in our homes – at work – at school – in the shops – wherever we go.
Wherever we go for the remainder of our lives, our calling is to be the light of the world, and we are commanded to shine in the love and power of God.
But remember, as the evil one pours upon us cold water in an attempt to put out the fire, Jesus is pouring on the oil of the Holy Spirit to keep the fire burning in the hearts of the faithful.
Don’t tiptoe. If you are going to be a Christian, be one!
As Christ’s disciples, we are not of the world, but nor are we out of the world.
We are called in a similar way to Jesus, to be immersed in all its problems and brokenness, seeking to offer help and healing and comfort.
This is why we so need God to keep us safe – to fill us with His love – to anoint us with His power – to prevent us from becoming part of the problem. We are called to be part of God’s answer to the problems of others.
Verse 17 – Sanctify them – set them apart – for this holy demanding work. Father, consecrate these men – keep them from the evil one – and saturate them with your truth and in your truth.
If you want to do a work for God, if you want to be used in a mightier way, come to love His Word more and more.
Verse 18 – Jesus is going to send His Men out into the world in exactly the same way as the Father sent Him into the world. He was born of the Spirit, and 30 years later anointed or baptised in the Spirit.
Jesus was born of the Spirit in the womb of Mary, and for 30 years the Son of God did no mighty works, but as Jesus emerges from the River Jordan the Holy Spirit descends upon Him, and anoints Him with power from on high for the work which the Father sent Him to do. Note, how the Father was not in a hurry.
This is how Jesus sent His Men out into the world. This is what He is saying here, Father, in the same way as You sent Me into the world, that is how I am sending them.
Our mission is very similar to His, and He sends us out equipped with the same tools, gifts, weapons, and graces.
It is not a question of – have you got what it takes? Rather it is – have you received all He offers? And this is at the heart of His Prayer.