Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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The Love of God 5/17/10

For those of you who read this regularly, this writing which is usually done on Monday mornings are reflections from the sermon that I preached on the previous day and it is not meant to be a manscript of the sermon. But rather it is done so as to be open to continued revelation from the portion of Scripture that was studied and meditated upon last week and preached upon yesterday. May the Holy Spirit continue to reveal Christ to us as He reveals and shows our Father unto us. It is our prayer that our hunger and thirst to know Him would grow through our thinking on Him in His Word. But also, for those of us in our congregation, may we continue to ask the Lord for ongoing and continued revelation of Himself through the Word which was preached in our fellowship on Sunday.

Scripture: John 17:20-26

This meditation in the Scriptures is taken from the 17th chapter of John, and is commonly referred to as the High Priestly Prayer. It is one of the many prayers of Jesus that are recorded in the Bible and certainly is the one that gives us the most insight into the relationship that was between the Father and the Son. The words that are our basis of meditation are the final words that He shared with His beloved disciples, "as He loved them unto the end."

KJV John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Beginning with the 13th chapter and continuing through the 17th, Jesus shares some last words with His beloved disciples in the Upper Room before He begins the final part of the work that His Father has sent Him to do: To make atonement for the sins of the world. It is through His death, burial and resurrection this would be accomplished. (1 Cor 15:1-4)

Let us observe the events and listen in on the conversation that is going on between Jesus and his beloved disciples in the Upper Room, where they have prepared for and have partaken of the passover feast. We will do that by noting the main subjects of discussion in chapters 13-16 so that we may understand the context of the last part of chapter 11.

Here is an outline. May the Lord by His Spirit open to our comprehension and to our understanding the heart of God toward us as we consider these events and words that surrounded the life of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
We remember that God promises to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him for it.

Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Here is an outline of John 13-16
13:3-20 Jesus washes the feet of His disciples
13:21-30 He foretells His betrayal
13:31-35 He gives a new commandment
KJV John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
KJV John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Here I might add that in my meditations I have observed that the Apostle, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, first writes of life and of light before he speaks of love. That seems to be a theme of his: Life, Light and Love.
God is Life, God is Light, God is Love. Through John's pen, through Jesus' life, God is revealed to us. As we can well imagine, Jesus is speaking of the most important matters with His beloved disciples as He knows that He has little time with them, full well understanding that they are grasping and comprehending very little of what is immediately before Him as the "time approaches." But He loves them "unto the end."

13:36-38 He foretells Peter's denial

14:1:1-15 He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
KJV John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

14:16-31 The Promise of the Holy Spirit is given
KJV John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
KJV John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
KJV John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

15:1- 17 He is the True Vine
KJV John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
KJV John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

15:18-16:3 The world will not receive Him

16:4-15 The Work of the Holy Spirit
KJV John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you
KJV John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
KJV John 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
KJV John 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
KJV John 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

16:16-24 Sorrow will be turned into Joy
16:25-33 He is our Peace because He has overcome the world.

17:1-5 He communes with the Father
17:6-19 He prays for his disciples
17:20-26 He prays for us.

Jesus prays for us.
John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

He prays for oneness that He and the Father have so that the world would believe that God has sent Jesus.
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

He prays that we would be with Him in heaven, so that we could behold the glory which He was given from the Father, that was His before the foundation of the world.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

He has revealed His name, He will continue to do so, and He prays that the relationship of love that exists between He and the Father would be in us. And that He (Jesus) would be in us.
26 And I have declared (made known) unto them thy name, and will declare (make it known) it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

It seems to me that the prayer that Jesus prays here has been explained in the previous chapters (13-16) and it is through study and meditation over those chapters that the key to understanding His prayer is to be found. For example, in 17:21, Jesus prays for oneness. Let us refer back to chapter 14 where Jesus is teaching of the Holy Spirit, Who is to come in power. He promised to His disciples that He would pray to the Father so that the Holy Spirit would come to reveal and illuminate to them the meaning of the words He had told them.

KJV John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
KJV John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
KJV John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

By careful examination, we will see the connection with the oneness that Jesus is speaking about and the eventual coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, which came 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus. That seems to be the day that He is referring to when He says, "At that day"
It is through the indwelling Holy Spirit that God comes to dwell in us.

As I said earlier, it seems as if the explanation of the meaning of the John 17:20-26 is "hidden' in the previous parts of the Gospel, and especially in chapters 13-16. It is as if Jesus one more time poured out His heart in prayer before the Father, calling upon all heaven to open the matter of what it means to live in unity with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in love to us. As I have thought about this oneness that Jesus is praying for here, it has been a great great encouragement to be reminded of the fact that He prayed for us and He yet today prays for us. Check this reference out in which the writer speaks of our High Priest, Jesus Christ:

Hebrews 7:23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Yes, He prays for us today. Let us remember that fact: He prays for us! He is praying that we could understand of the oneness that is our as the result of His finished work on the cross, because of His resurrection and because the Holy Spirit has come to indwell us. We are one in Them. Oh, Lord, keep praying for us so that we could see this amazing reality.

In conclusion, I would like to spend a little time on the last verse of our meditation. This is the last verse of His prayer and it has a depth of riches in it so deep that if one is able to scratch a bit off of the surface, one will be blessed from its meaning.

KJV John 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

He says that God's name has been made known and that it will be made known in the future, for the purpose that the love which God has loved His Son may be in us and also that He will be in us. (Again, we remember that He has spoken about this in chapters 13-16) He seems to be speaking of past revelation and that it is not a one time deal, but that He prays that this revelation would continue on into the future. Not for the sake of knowledge, but that we would grow in our comprehension of the love that the Father and the Son have between them and that we would live in that same oneness of love that they enjoy in and with each other. Wow, how can we understand this truth??

Let us scratch a little at this thought by taking a look at the name of God by reading of the account of Moses' discussion with God over His name as well as recalling the time that Moses asked God to show him His glory.

KJV Exodus 3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
KJV Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

KJV Exodus 33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
KJV Exodus 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Then let us look at some Scripture which teaches us of the love between the Father and the Son. First we look at the three times that the Father spoke to the Son from heaven:

KJV Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
KJV Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

KJV Matthew 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

KJV John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
KJV John 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

Here are some verses which relate to their relationship.

KJV John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

KJV John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

KJV John 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

KJV John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

KJV John 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

KJV John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

I do not know about you, but I feel like I am dipping into the Pacific Ocean with a spoon in order to empty the ocean in trying to comprehend the magnitude of the reality that God has come to live with us through His Spirit in a oneness that puts our relationship with Him on equal basis of His relationship with His Son!! Yesterday afternnoon as a brother and I marvelled over this love, he borrowed the song writers words to express his wonder of it all:

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song. Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

May the Holy Spirit illuminate these words into our minds and hearts today so that we may see the true God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

KJV John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Together we are one with Them and in Them, (Him)

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 17 May 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns