Today’s reading is John 17.
Two weeks ago I wrote about figuring out if God is the king of our heart. While the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as a whole help us know Jesus’ heart, today we read what is known as The High Priestly Prayer where we get to listen in on a one on one conversation with Jesus and God the Father to hear and know Jesus’ heart. I’ve heard prayer called the ultimate wireless connection because it’s a direct line to God 24/7 and how cool is it that we get to listen in and hear Jesus talk to the Father.
What is your “why?” Have you ever been asked that question? It’s really another way to ask you what your purpose is in life. Many would say their children, spouse, parents, or to make impact in the world in some shape or form. And while those are all good things, it is very apparent here what Jesus’ “why” is.
Jesus says in John 17:4, “I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave me to do.” A few verses earlier in John 17:1 he says,”…glorify your Son that the Son may glorify You.” Jesus’ “why” was very clear, He was here to glorify the God. Personal coaches will tell you that your “why” should resonate in your soul and push you through challenges and hard times to strive towards it. You will do nearly anything to accomplish your “why.” No set back will stop you from pursuing it. To me, Jesus had the ultimate “why” that we should all strive to have in some shape or form..to glorify God through our life here on earth and to be able to say at the end of lives like Jesus did in John 17:4 and John 17:2 that we accomplished the work God gave us to do and that God was glorified through it. Jesus glorified the Father by showing the Father’s sacrificial love through laying down His life for the forgiveness of our sins.
While I could (and maybe should) stop here, there are a few other big takeaways I had in reflecting on John 17. The first is that when we are in the midst of striving towards our “why,” we will probably have some big wins and successes in life where people tell you privately or publicly great job and maybe there are even big awards and trophies. When this happens, who do you give the glory? Jesus gives us a great example in John 17:7, “Now they know that everything that You have given Me is from You.” I used to not like it when an athlete was interviewed after a game and thanked God because I thought it seemed silly…does God really care about who wins a game? Did God want your team to win more than the other team? My perspective has changed on this. The person is not saying that at all typically. They are saying all their talents and gifts and abilities come from God. They are giving Him the glory..no different than Jesus here.
My last big take away here is how Jesus prayed for us. He knew we needed protection from the evil one. He prayers in John 17:15, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” In John 17:17 he says, “Sanctify them in the truth, your Word is truth.” We must fervently pray for our children and family and even our country and governmental leaders and the whole world to know God and His truth and will. How cool is it that Jesus prayed specifically for us and our protection?! We should do the same for our loved ones…not just from physical harm and for good health..but for protection from Satan.
Those who know me well know that in text messages I will commonly use an emoji that looks like a hand holding up the number one. My interpretation of this emoji is that it’s not a number one, it’s pointing to the sky. When people tell me good job or thanks on something, I can easily get puffed up with pride thinking it’s me. When there is a problem, I can commonly think this seems hopeless or there is no way out. This emoji reminds me that everything that I do should be to glorify God and anything that was accomplished was because of what He has done through me. It also reminds me through Him there is a way out of every situation and problem because everything is possible through Him. Jesus gives us this example in John 17. May He, and He alone, be glorified through all things.