(Exodus 38, John 17; Optional Psalm 61, Proverbs 16:1-4)
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EXODUS 38 – See notes from yesterday. Is there an area of your life that the Lord has recently INSTRUCTED you about from His Word that you need to ACT on? That’s what this whole section is about!
JOHN 17 – Continuing the “Farewell Discourse” (John 13-17), John 17 (often called Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer”) is the lengthiest prayer we have a written down that Jesus prayed. Note the similarities in Kingdom / eternal / God-centered priorities between this and the Model Prayer in Matt 6:9ff. All through this Farewell Discourse has been a huge emphasis on prayer and praying Jesus’ name (14:12-14, 15:7-8, 15:16, 16:22-24), and here we see how Jesus prays!
Jn 17:1-5 – It’s wrong for us to seek OUR glory, but Jesus is God in the flesh and since God IS the center of the universe, this is absolutely appropriate.
Jn 17:2, 6, 9, 11 – What a thought – if you are trusting in Jesus, you are a GIFT from God the Father to His Son! (Also Jn 6:37, 39)
Jn 17:3 – Don’t miss that the very definition of eternal life is KNOWING GOD. Eternal life doesn’t begin when we die, but the moment we come to know God personally. And heaven isn’t mostly about no more sickness or sorrow (though that’s certainly true), but mostly about being with the Lord and knowing Him with NO MORE DISTORTIONS from our sin nature and this fallen world!
Jn 17:5 – A reminder that God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) have ALWAYS existed together. Jesus did not begin when planted by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb – that’s just when He took on flesh permanently (there are glimpses in the OT).
Jn 17:11-19 – Jesus praying that the Father will keep those that belong to Jesus. Notice that Jesus is praying that God will do what He’s promised He’ll do – make sure that those who are truly His will persevere to the end (Jn 6:37-40, 6:44, 10:27-30). This is a vital theme throughout Scripture – learning to pray God’s revealed will. We can be absolutely confident that those prayers will be answered (because they come directly from God’s Word), and God has ordained to use the prayer of His people as a vital means of doing His will (Ps 106:23). So in the one-chapter book of Jude, it starts (Jude 1) and ends (Jude 24) with God being the foundational and ultimately decisive Actor in keeping / preserving His people. But in Jude 20-21 we’re ALSO told that our prayers (even that enabled and assisted by the Holy Spirit) are involved in this preservation process.
Jn 17:12 – Talking about Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.
Jn 17:11-19 – This correct statement is not a verse, but an accurate summary of Jn 17:11-19 (also Jn 15:18-20): “Christians are to be IN the world, but not OF the world.” In other words, there’s a clear separation / difference between how the culture around us thinks and acts and how Christians think and act. The word “sanctify” (see Jn 17:17, 19) means “set apart”. A few truths about our being set apart that surprise many… 1) Jesus links our SANCTIFICATION in His truth (v 17, 19) with our UNITY (Jn 17:11, 20-26). Real unity is seen as believers unite around the glory of God (Jn 17:1-10, 22-24) and unite in the TRUTH of God’s word (Jn 17:17, 19). 2) Sanctification is linked with being hated by the world (v 14 – THAT part’s not a surprise) AND full joy (v 13 – THAT part surprises those who think of holiness and sanctification as being drab / stuffy / boring).
Jn 17:24 – Moses wasn’t satisfied in Ex 33:1-5, 12-16 that Yahweh would give Israel the promised land and great victories if it was apart from enjoying God’s presence and glory. Moses had grown up in the court of Egypt, experiencing the very best that the world of his day offered. Now God was offering many benefits, but if it was apart from God Himself then Moses wasn’t interested! Moses wanted one thing – to see the glory of God (Jn 17:18)! Compare Ps 17:15, 27:4 – the ultimate value / treasure of the Universe is God Himself and His presence / glory! And this is what Jesus wants for His people for all eternity. To come to the Father through Jesus the Son and see and enjoy His glory for all eternity. In God’s presence (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is full and eternal joy (Ps 16:11)!
Optional Psalm 61 – Compare v 1-4 to Jn 17:24 and notes there. Vs 6-7 reminds of the importance of praying for our leaders, and is also a pointer to the eternal Kingship of the great king David’s far greater descendant Jesus, the King of kings of Lord of lords.
Optional Proverbs 16:1-4 – Prov 16 has a strong emphasis on the absolute sovereignty of God (today, notice v 1, 4). Vs 2-3 remind us why we must NOT trust our heart (v 2 reminds that of course we THINK we’re right) and the need to totally commit ourselves to God.