John 17:6-19: Your Word Is Truth
December 11, 2021
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
This prayer of Jesus now takes on yet more profound vistas. Jesus has shown himself to the people that God “gave” him (17:6). Our security as Christian followers is not placed in the sincerity of our devotion, but in the foundation of God’s choice of us.
What is more, we find that Christ is “praying” for us (17:9). What a sweet thought, to see the Son of God interceding for us. That intercession here modeled on earth is continued in heaven. The Spirit intercedes (Romans 8:27), and Christ is interceding for us (Romans 8:34). We are able then to be confident in our status before God because of the intercession of Christ!
And think on this: Christ is “glorified” in us! (17:10). The glory of God is shone in the disciples of God. Christ’s glory is in us! In the remarkable miraculous regeneration of all true Christians, in the presence of Christ’s Spirit, in the perseverance of God with us as we follow him, in the gifts that Christ gives us, all these and much more show the glory of Christ, and his powerful, loving, yes glorious, redemption of sinners like you and me.
And there is a theme that twists and turns throughout the remainder of the passage. We who follow Jesus are “in the world” but we are not “of the world.” We are a part of a culture around us, but we are not defined by that culture. We live in this world’s system, and do not bury our heads in the sand to avoid the problems of our cities or our towns. But we are also not “of” the world. We do not follow the depravity of the world around us; we are not defined by the values and standards of the world in which we live. We are not of the world, but we are in the world.
How can we continue in this way of being “in” but not “of” the world? “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (17:17). In other words, the way we become more like Christ—despite the trials and temptations of this world, this world that we are “in”—is to focus upon, receive, learn, study, and inwardly digest the Word of God.
It is no accident that holiness declines as Bible reading diminishes. That is not to say that mere rote and routine, arid intellectualism, of the Bible generates Christlikeness. You can throw food across the room; you can eat it and vomit up again. But such misuse of the food of God’s Word does not make it any less true that the way to grow strong as a Christian is to be fed by God’s Word. You want to put to death some sin? You want to grow in some area of Christlikeness? God’s Word is truth. And it is the Word that will do it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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