Greetings! In today’s class, we shall start a new segment entitled, ‘John 17 Is For You’.
John 17 Is For You
John 17. We are told by inspiration that this chapter comprehends more than any other chapter in the New Testament. The text we are going to look at is John 17:24. This, you remember, is Christ’s prayer when He stood in the shadows of Gethsemane. He had eaten the last supper with His disciples in the upper room. He had passed with them across the brook. He had given them those wonderful teachings concerning the vine, recorded in John 15, and on into the work of the Holy Spirit, in the 16th chapter. Now He pauses at the edge of the garden and pours out His heart in prayer, as He is surrounded by that band of disciples.
Now, before we read the text, here’s an interesting statement. I want us to understand that this text is very personal. Christ was thinking of you when He prayed this prayer:
“Jesus pleaded not for one only, but for all His disciples: ‘Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’ His eye pierced the dark veil of the future and read the life history of every son and daughter of Adam” Testimonies for the Church, Volume 4, page 529.
Are you, my friend, a son or daughter of Adam? Your life history was read by the eye of Jesus that evening hour, as He knelt there. You say, “Oh, that is impossible. Think of all the millions and billions that have lived in this world.” Yes, friends, but to infinity that is not a problem. And Christ, though tabernacled in human flesh, was God, the Son of God.
“His eye pierced the dark veil of the future and read the life history of every son and daughter of Adam. He felt the burdens and sorrows of every tempest-tossed soul, and that earnest prayer included with His living disciples all His followers to the close of time” Ibid., pages 529, 530.
You will find that here in the Bible, in the 20th verse: “Neither pray I for these alone …” (that is, the little band that was around Him) “… but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.’ Yes, that prayer of Christ embraces even us” Ibid., page 530. Thank God, friends! So as we read our text, I just want you to know you are included:
“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” John 17:24.
You notice that here, Christ reaches the climax of His prayer. If you will study the whole chapter, you will see that. This is the great mountain peak, the outpouring of His greatest longing. What is it? That you and I shall be with Him. This is the object of the whole plan of salvation.
Man was created for fellowship with God. We were brought into existence because we were needed. There was a longing in the heart of God that only Adam and Eve, and the various ones down through the ages of the human family, could fill. But this is not a mass proposition. This is an individual matter. This is why you and I were made individually. If it were simply a mass, God could turn out a lot of creatures, just like General Motors turns out Chevrolets, up in Michigan. But no, there was nobody ever made like you. And there never will be another person like you. And Jesus came for you: “The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth” Steps to Christ, page 100.
Christ showed this when He gave the story of the lost sheep. How many lost sheep? One. Oh, I am so glad, friends, as I hear that story falling from the lips of Jesus, I know He was thinking about me. If I had been the only one for whom the Saviour died, it would have been worth it to Him, friends, just to get me.
Well, somebody may say, “Wow, you think you are pretty important.” Yes, friends, I do. Yes, I do. Because I read from the inspired pen that He desires me to value myself according to the price He has paid for me. I well know that without Him I can do nothing. I well know that apart from Him my value is zero, and less than nothing. But oh, because of what He made me, because of His ransom to bring me back, because of His transforming grace, because of His plans for me through the infinite ages of eternity in the future – yes, friends, I am of value, infinite value, and I know it is for me. And I know it is just as much for you, personally, individually, for each one. So He says: “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am” John 17:24.
What was it He came for? To ransom us. Why? Because He loved us. What does love seek? Love seeks to be with the one it loves, doesn’t it? Why, surely. And the more you love somebody, the more you want to be with that one. Is it really true, friends? Does Jesus want you to be with Him, more than you want to be with anybody in this world? Oh, yes.
If this is not true, nothing matters. If this is true, nothing else matters. This is it. This is the purpose of the whole plan of salvation. And this is His prayer there in the shadows of Gethsemane: “Oh Father, the great longing of My heart is that My church may be with Me in glory, forever to share My throne, forever to be with Me.” So He went on into Gethsemane, and there agonized in that bloody, fierce struggle, and on through the judgment hall and out to Calvary, where they nailed Him to the tree and hung Him up between heaven and earth, to suffer for my sake, for your sake, that we might be redeemed.
What Stands Out To You?
What stands out to you from today’s lesson, that can help you in entering into a C.I.P. with Jesus? Please let us know, in the comment section, below! God bless!
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.
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