GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE 3, 17.04.19
THE GARDEN PRAYER, PART 3, 17.04.19
11 I am no longer in the world; but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are.
12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name that You have given Me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 “But now I am coming to You. I say these words while I am still in the world, so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.
14 I have given them Your word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world.
15 I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
17 “Make them holy in the truth. Your word is truth.
18 Just as You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I make Myself holy, so that they also may be made holy in truth.”
In today’s study of John 17, we will look at the two themes that are embodied in this set of passages. First, there is Yeshua’s passion to “keep them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are” (17:11). This is about unity – unity amongst believers. Then there is the teaching that Scripture will be fulfilled; as well as a focus on keeping them (His Disciples) holy, set apart from the world, to do God’s Work. We will also observe the common thread woven from Old Covenant to New Covenant.
Yeshua, alluding to His pending death and resurrection, points out that He will soon no longer be with His disciples, and is asking the Father to secure their position (“Keep them in Your Name,” John 17:11) after His departure, that they will not get swallowed up by the world, for “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name that You have given Me. I guarded them” (John 17:12). While He was with them, they had special coverage through His presence; but when He is no longer with them physically, they will need God’s protection to “keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). All believers in Yeshua need extra covering, for as long as we are in this world, it is not a given that we are protected from Satan’s threats, as Peter also warns us (he is addressing believers, not unbelievers): “Stay alert! Watch out! Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, searching for someone to devour” (1 Pet.5:8).
Yeshua kept them all. The only one that got lost was Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him: “not one of them was lost except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled” (John 17:12).
It is important to note that Yeshua makes a point of ensuring that we realize that all prophecies in Scripture must, and will be fulfilled. There are some things that are options; there are some things we, as believers, are called to pray into/through, in order for them to be completed; but the ones that have been decreed by Yahweh will be fulfilled, regardless of man’s prayers to either prevent or expedite (prime example here are the wars and disasters which are preludes to the Great Tribulation, and the tribulation itself; although many are praying against it, it WILL happen, because God Almighty has decreed it).
And He (Yeshua) wants His followers to be “not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Make them holy in the truth” (John 17:16,17), just as the Father instructed His people, Israel: “be holy to Me, for I, Adonai, am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples, so that you would be Mine” (Lev.20:26). “But know that Adonai has set apart the godly for His own. Adonai will hear when I call to Him” (Ps.4:4, TLV; 4:3 in other versions, such as NKJV). Adonai, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach want His people to walk in holiness. And how could His disciples be expected to go into the world without being polluted by the world, unless they were seeped in holiness, for “Just as You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18).
The common thread woven throughout Scripture unites God’s Principles, from Old to New, contrary to many false teachings. Yeshua constantly made statements, quoting from the Torah/Tanakh, thereby reinforcing the Word of God, from the beginning to end. From Genesis to Revelation, God’s Word, His Principles, His commandments, do not change, for “For I am Adonai. I do not change” (Mal.3:6). “Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb.13:8); “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” (Rev.21:6).
“And for their sakes I make Myself holy, so that they also may be made holy in truth” (John 17:19). Surely, of all the passages in Scripture, this is validation for the call to holiness/righteousness. This is in fact an expectation of Almighty God for all His people. For those who are still indoctrinated with the false teaching that because Christ did it all, believers are free to do whatever we want; that believers automatically have Christ’s Righteousness, thus don’t need to actually be righteous/holy, I challenge you: If believers are not expected to WALK IN/ACT OUT that holiness/righteousness, how on earth would they be expected to be “the salt of the earth and the LIGHT of the world” (Matt.5:13,14)? And why on earth would He say, “so that they also may be made holy in truth”? It is due to such false teachings; it is due to the human tendency to always look for a way of escape/easy way out, that the “church” is so powerless today, that few are attracted to the absence of salt and light that fails to set believers apart from the world. Isn’t that the WEAK LINK that forms a stumbling block for so many?
Next Study Topic will conclude the Study of John 17, Yeshua’s final prayer before His crucifixion, in THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE (Matt.26:36).
© 2017, revised 2018, 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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