Today's Lectionary Text
John 17:6-8, 13-19
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
I had never noticed how incarnational this prayer is. Jesus came from the Father and is returning to the Father, and He prays for the disciples to continue his incarnational work. Jesus received the disciples from the Father. He gave them the Father’s words and they accepted them and believed that the Father sent the Son.
We too. We are Jesus’ disciples and he also prays for us to continue his incarnational work. Jesus prays, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. … As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”
Jesus, the Incarnate One, left heaven to come to earth, to make God known. In John 17:3, earlier in this same prayer, Jesus says, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Jesus was the embodiment of God. He made God known to everyone he met. In John’s Gospel we see it with Nicodemus and the woman at the well, with his disciples, and even with those who would not receive him: Pilate is such an example.
To what extent are we able to embody Jesus Christ to the world? Maybe the question really is not about our ability to embody God, but rather God’s willingness to inhabit us. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
--Rev. Don Hasty,
Dodge City/Hays district superintendent
*Devotion reprinted from 8/19/2019
Prayer for Reflection
Lord God inhabit us by your Holy Spirit. May the world encounter you when we draw near to persons in our everyday lives. In our communities, in the stores where we shop, at the venues where we recreate, in the places where you put us and where we find ourselves, may we be prepared to listen, to love, and to offer Christ. Use all of this to your Glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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