TODAY’S READING: JOHN 16-17
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” – John 17:20-21
Jesus did not ask for just the 12 apostles. He also asked for those who would believe in him through the word the 12 apostles spoke.
Jesus specifically asked that all these would be one. He did not ask that these people would be one with each other. There have been many groups of people that have been one with each other throughout history. And, those groups of people have done many destructive things because while they were one with each other there were others outside their group.
Instead of being one with each other, Jesus asked that they would be one with the Father and himself. For, if these people were one with the Father and Jesus, then there would be none outside of their group and they would be one with all people of the world.
Why did Jesus ask that the 12 apostles and those who would believe in him through their word be on with the Father and himself?
“So that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
Was Jesus’ desire that the world would believe God sent him, that he went from point A to point B because God told him to?
Or, does Jesus’ desire that the world believe that God sent him come with a specific meaning?
In other words, why did God send Jesus?
Jesus’ desire for the world is that they know why God sent him not merely that God sent him.
So, why did God send Jesus?
“He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all.” – John 3:31
Jesus is the one who comes. He was sent by God. Jesus comes from above, or heaven. In 1 Corinthians 15:47, Paul said, “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.” The first man is Adam, the man of the earth. Jesus is the second man from heaven.
The one who is of the earth speaks in an earthly way, that is a way that reflects where he is from. But, Jesus speaks in a different way because he is from a different place. Jesus is from heaven, from God.
“He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony.” – John 3:32
Jesus is speaking, bearing witness to, what he has seen and heard in heaven. This is his testimony.
What is Jesus’ testimony?
1 John 1:5 says, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” In this verse, John directly states that Jesus gave this testimony. In his gospel, John states Jesus’ testimony without saying Jesus gave it. John 1:4-5 says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men, The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
What is Jesus bearing witness to?
God is light.
Jesus was “the true light, which gives light to everyone.” (John 1:9) Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12). Also, Jesus said, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” (John 12:26)
What is the source of Jesus’ light? What is the source of God’s light?
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
Jesus’s testimony is about light, God’s life, coming into the world and overcoming darkness, or death.
What did Jesus say about his own testimony?
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people [literally, men or peoples] loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”
Jesus knew that men would not believe his testimony. He knew that people would prefer darkness instead of light, death instead of life.
But, this would not always be the case. For, God sent Jesus so that the world, men, peoples, would believe why he was sent.
“Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.” – John 3:33
Jesus’ testimony is that light, God’s life, is coming into the world and overcoming darkness, death. If you believe Jesus’ testimony, then you believe in him. If you believe Jesus’ testimony and believe in Jesus, then God is true.
What does it mean that God is true?
“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” – 1 John 5:9-12
God is true means that you believe God gave us eternal life, not death. He gave us eternal life, his life, in Jesus. This is why God gave, or sent, his Son – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Remember, this is all “so that the world may believe that you [the Father] have sent me [Jesus]. The goal is that the whole world, the whole creation, believes in Jesus and why he was sent.
If we receive Jesus’ testimony and that God is true, then we have a seal set on us.
What is the seal of believing this testimony?
The Holy Spirit.
“And who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” – 2 Corinthians 1:22
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth [Jesus’ testimony], the gospel of your salvation, and believe in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:13-14
“The Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” – Ephesians 4:30
“For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.” – John 3:34
Jesus is the one God sent.
Jesus speaks the words of God.
What are God’s words that Jesus speaks?
“For I have not spoken on my authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment – what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father told me.” – John 12:49-50
The Father commanded Jesus to speak eternal life.
Is there any death in eternal life?
Jesus not spoke death to anyone. Nor will he ever speak death to anyone. The Father commanded him to speak eternal life.
Why does Jesus speak life?
Because “gives the Spirit without measure.”
What do we know about the Spirit?
“It is the Spirit who gives life.” – John 6:63
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:2
“To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” – Romans 8:6
“The Spirit is life.” – Romans 8:10
“He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” – Romans 8:11
“The Spirit gives life.” – 2 Corinthians 3:6
The Spirit is always associated with life, never death.
Jesus gives the Spirit. Therefore, Jesus only gives life, never death.
“Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 15:45
Jesus gives the Spirit without measure. to give without measure means to give without limit or degree. Therefore, Jesus gives life without limit. He’s not giving life to only a portion of people while he gives death to other people. Jesus gives the Spirit, life, without any limit, which means he gives life to all.
Do you see?
The entire reason Jesus was sent was to give life. Another way to say this is that Jesus was sent to save.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn [judge] the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:17
“In order that the world might be saved.” Not a small group of select people might be saved. No, the whole world would be saved. For Jesus gives the Spirit, life, without measure.
Jesus wants the entire world to believe this.
And, the whole world will believe this. Otherwise, Jesus’ sending was a failure.
If the world does not believe Jesus was sent, meaning that the world believes in Jesus and his message of life, then love will have failed or ended in direct contradiction to 1 Corinthians 13:8, which says, “Love never ends” or “Love never fails.”
If the world fails to believe Jesus was sent to give life, then “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” would never come true. For you can only confess that Jesus is Lord by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). And, because the Spirit is life, you can only confess Jesus is Lord if you have received his testimony of life.
Those that believe in Jesus, in his testimony of life, are to be one in God so that the whole world will believe that the giving of life, life only, never death, is the reason the Father sent Jesus.