Infused by the Love of God

Understanding the Red Letters   Part 41

O righteous Father, even though the world does not know You, I know You, and these know that You have sent Me.  I have made known to them Your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:24-26).

“That You have sent Me” (vs 25) is the most common phrase that Jesus uses in the book of John to identify Himself as the Son of God.  Believing that God sent Jesus.  Believing that He came to die in our place.  Believing that He rose again sealing our redemption.  This is how we cross over from death to life.  “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” (John 5:24).  Here in John 17, Jesus acknowledges that His disciples believe.  “They know that You sent Me” (vs 25).  They now belong to Jesus and the Father.

Jesus’ final petition to the Father in this chapter of prayer is centered on the love of God.  This request goes to the very heart of God’s essence.  Love is not one of God’s attributes.  Love is His identity.  The apostle John simply writes it elsewhere as, “God is love” (I John 4:8).

What do we learn about God’s love in this passage?  “That the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (vs 26).  Jesus prays for God’s love to saturate us, to wash over and inside us.  And in this verse, we see the path of how this happens.  “I in them.”  Christ in us is the only way for the love of God to be in us.  We can’t find it on our own.  We can’t manufacture this love by will-power or trying harder.

Because God is love and His Spirit lives in us, it only stands to reason that God’s supernatural love lives in us also.  We are infused with His love.  Our role?  To let it out.  To let it flow.  To send love out into the world.  Then the world will know the loving embrace of the Father.

“I in them” (John 17:26).  Wow, what an ending!  In these last three words of Christ’s message to us in the upper room, we are back to the intimate connection we have with our Savior.  A union built on love; the love of the Father for His children.  We return that love and demonstrate it through our obedience to His commands.  And the beauty of this is that because of His dwelling in us, His commands are not burdensome.  They fit who we now are as children of the King.

The promise of “Christ in us” comes to us the moment we believe the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  When we believe that Jesus is indeed “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”, we begin to capture the fullness of all that Jesus promised in this beautiful message of John’s gospel.