John 17 – Kept by the Love of Jesus

These men were the gift of the Father to the Son. All of us have something we have been given by someone whom we love. We treasure that gift — not only because of its intrinsic value but because it comes from someone who means much to us. Jesus, looking at these men, guarded them and loved them and was concerned for them because they represented the Father’s choice for him.

Here is a revelation of how God works in human lives. We have already seen something of it previously in this prayer. In all the universe, Jesus is the only one who has authority to give eternal life, i.e., the right to know God, this mighty, amazing, marvelous, attractive, magnificent being who flung the worlds into existence and who designed us in all our human complexity. He is the one whom to know is to gain the greatest blessing in life. And the only one who has the right to give us that knowledge is Jesus. But Jesus says that the Father has a part in this, too. He draws certain ones to him. God is at work throughout our lives drawing us to him by various means. If you have a hunger for goodness, that is the drawing of the Father. If you have a passion for truth and honesty, that is the drawing of the Father. If you love the words of Jesus and are attracted by who he is and what he says, that is the drawing of the Father, moving in you to bring you to Christ that you might commit yourself to him.

And these men had been drawn in that way. Isn’t it amazing that out of all the multitudes that followed Jesus throughout his three years of ministry, these are all that are left? Of the thousands who followed him from city to city, these eleven men are all who remain. But that is enough. It is to these that he now commits the ministry which he himself has had. So they are dear to him because they are given to him by the Father.

And then he says that they are dear because “all mine are thine, and thine are mine.” That is, not only had the Father given them to him, but now they were his, they belonged to him. And so his concern reaches out to them because they are his property, his ownership.

Written across the front of this auditorium are words which I read frequently because I think they capture one of the greatest truths in Christian faith: “You are not your own; you are bought with a price.” You do not belong to yourself if you are a Christian; you belong to God. You haven’t the right to run your life; he has. You haven’t the right to make your own program and plans; he has: “You are bought with a price.” These men were bought with that price and belonged to him, and so they are dear to him.

Ray Stedman

Read John 17 and consider Jesus’ prayer for his disciples. What does it mean to you that you are kept by the love of Jesus? What difference does it make in your life?

Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor by Matt Boswell

Posted on: October 17, 2020 - 10:40AM

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