So I’m on to the last section in Jesus’ great prayer in John 17 (vs. 20-26). I love this part of his prayer because in it he prays for those who will believe in me through their word. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I think that is a prayer for me! Since I have come to faith more or less as a result of the word of the apostles as they spread it to faithful people who spread it to other faithful people who…and we get to the 20th century and my birth. Yep, Jesus was praying for me here.
I’m struck by the fact that Jesus keeps referring again and again to the fact that God had sent him:
- vs. 21 – so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
- vs. 23 – so that the world may know that you sent me
- vs. 25 – I know you, and these know that you have sent me
Jesus wants “the world” to know that God the Father sent him. Indeed, one of the characteristics of those who follow Jesus is that they know “that you have sent me.”
Think about that for a minute. God is a sending God. Seems pretty benign at first doesn’t it? But wait! A sending God is an active God, not a passive God. It takes initiative to send something. The receiver is passive, the sender is active.
Jesus wants to make sure that we do not miss the fact that God is a sending God. He is a God who takes the initiative and does something for we who are rebels and sinners and content to go our own way and think that we are God [which is such a laughable concept that it amazes me that so many of us actually think that, yes, we are in control of our own lives and control our destiny. Heck, we didn’t even control our birth, our gifting, our place in history, our family, zilch, nada, nothing. Good luck being God, dear reader, if you are so inclined. It will not end well, of that you can be sure].
God is a sending, active, loving, caring God. Jesus wants us to know this. The disciples listened. Here is Paul the apostle:
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, ESV)
Yep, that is a God who takes initiative. That is our God. He continues to amaze me.