We continue with Jesus’ prayer …
“Now they know that everything that You have given Me is from You. For I have given them the words that You gave Me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given Me, for they are Yours. All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them” (Jn 17:7-10).
How did we become members of Christ’s family? How did we become God’s children? How did we become “those whom You have given Me”? By believing in Jesus; by believing in the One whom God has sent.
Look at how many times in just the gospel of John that belief in Jesus and receiving eternal life is tied to believing that Jesus was sent by the Father. Here are just a few of the 41 times in John’s gospel that the word “sent” from the Father is used.
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (Jn 5:24).
- Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (Jn 6:29).
- Right before Jesus raised Lazarus, He said “I know that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me” (Jn 11:42).
- And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me” (Jn 12:44).
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (Jn 13:20).
- “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (Jn 17:3).
- “That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (Jn 17:21).
Again, there are 34 more verses just in John where Jesus identifies Himself as sent by the Father. Believing that Jesus came from the Father, that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, that He died for our sins in our place is the path to eternal life.
Jesus is specifically praying in these verses for His church; His family. He identifies the disciples as those who were given Him by the Father and as those who received His words. We are now in this class. And His prayer in John chapter 17 is for us.
We belong to Christ. We belong to God. And we are valuable. In fact, so valuable that Christ Himself “is glorified in us”. How can Christ be glorified in us when we are jars of clay; simple earthen vessels? He is glorified in us because this “earthen vessel” now contains the “treasure” of Christ Himself.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves” (II Cor 4:7). You are not the Deity, that’s true. But you, my friend, CONTAIN the Deity. Celebrate that!