John 17 has to be one of the greatest treasures of Holy Scripture. The largest chunk of prayer content that we have from the mind and heart of Jesus to His Father. Call it the “High Priestly Prayer” or “Jesus’ Prayer of Consecration” … I don’t care. But what I delight in these days is prayer, a Savior-Son who prayed, and the glorious direction His prayers give to mine. I’m simply awash in Trinitarian Trust. Let me simply illuminate a few items that have captured my expositional attention and consumed my prayer focus.
(1) Jesus trusted the Father because He knew that His own glory was wrapped up in glorifying His Father. His was not a forced, manufactured, reluctant obedience. His was not a “just get through it and get it done” obedience. His was a “for the joy set before Him endured the cross” kind of obedience (Hebrews 12:2). His was the response of an obedient Son who knew the path of greatest joy was found in the path of obedience to His Father’s plan. He was neither faking humanity, nor mired in human complaining. The bottom line is captured in the first lines of His prayer to the Father (17:1-5) … He wanted to give the Father glory, and trusted that in giving the Father what He rightly deserved, He would find His glory and joy full! Why can’t I live with that same laser-like focus everyday? My greatest joy found in obedience to the Father … trusting Him no matter what the circumstances.
(2) This one seems so simple and yet so profound to me today. Jesus didn’t give the disciples a “punch list, to-do list, or master plan for establishing the Church”. When He said back in John 16:12-13 that the Holy Spirit would come and teach them the many things Jesus still had to say to them but knew they couldn’t handle yet, He actually left it to the Paraclete to do. When He said in 16:14-15 that the Spirit of Truth would glorify me (Himself – Jesus) by declaring what they still needed, He trusted the Spirit. He didn’t feel the need to get in all the stuff the disciples would need to establish church leadership, deal with conflict, or battle particular heresies … He simply prayed for the disciples to be Protected by the Father & Sanctified by the Father. And trusting the Father, He left the rest to the Spirit.
The Son trusted the Father (by obediently going to the cross), and the Son trusted the Spirit (by leaving unsaid and untaught what He knew the Spirit would carry forward). God trusting God! How can all of that not make you want to Pray more? Trust more? Obey more? I agree, I’ll shut up and go pray!
An Obedient Son,