John 17:26 “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
I don’t know what I was thinking when I put the whole Pastoral Prayer as one reading! There is so much marvelous truth in this chapter that it calls for verse-by-verse digestion, and then continued meditation. That is so that Jesus may indeed make the Father (the Japanese, with the Greek, says, “Your name”) known to us more and more. We have a problem with capacity. It’s kind of like trying to download terabytes of information through an old dial-up modem. That’s one of the many reasons the Holy Spirit is essential to us, because He can “trickle it through” as fast as we can take it. (John 16:12-13) As the Lord has been pointing out recently, knowledge by itself is static; it must be applied to be effective. However, we must have the knowledge in the first place to be able to apply it. That’s the same principle that applies to evangelism and salvation: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14-15) We have already been sent by Jesus, (John 17:18; 20:21, Matthew 28:18-20) so we are to preach (proclaim) the Good News we have received. Salvation is actually the first step of really knowing God. It is a process that will be completed only when we are before Him, with nothing in the way. (1 Corinthians 13:12) Our task on this earth is to keep learning more (continuing that download) and applying what we learn, which also means sharing what we have learned with those around us. Since we are analog rather than digital beings, we need to let the Holy Spirit also do constant “error-checking.” because our understanding of God can really get distorted at times. However, He is more than up to the task, so we need to be diligent but not anxious, rejoicing in Him.
I’m amused at the computer analogies that came out in that, but they shouldn’t be surprising from a geek like me! This whole issue is a major issue for me, because as a pastor I have particular responsibility in teaching people more about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I am never to think I’ve already got it all down, that I don’t need to learn any more, but at the same time I am not to hesitate to share with others what I do know. It is fascinating to experience God revealing more of Himself to me even as I am sharing Him with others.
That’s something I have experienced many times, and have observed in others as well. I am always amused, as well as delighted, when I see/hear a supposed “non-believer” telling someone else about Jesus. I can be absolutely sure their baptism won’t be far off! In this next week I will have various opportunities to share Christ with people who haven’t yet opened their hearts to Him. I’m very caught up with preparations for going to our granddaughter’s wedding, but I must not overlook any of the opportunities the Lord has for me to share the Gospel before then. I am to keep learning more of Him, even as I share Him with all who will receive.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for how You are demonstrating Your control of time and schedules. Help me be anxious about nothing, but fully faithful and diligent in everything, so that all of Your purposes may be accomplished on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!