The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
As Jesus continues to pray in John 17:6-8 he focuses on the people the Father has given to him, the Son. These are the people who have cared for God’s word. They are those who believed that the Father sent the Son. What courage can we take from this passage? First, that no person is ever trusting Jesus against the will of the Father. If we look to God in hope and trust, it is certainly God’s will. He doesn’t have a secret will which will cast away those whose dedication isn’t adequate. He doesn’t have a secret will which will refuse some who come to him in faith. The Christian can have every confidence of acceptance by God the Father.
Will there be conflict in the life of the Christian? Yes, there certainly will. This is because the Christian cares for God’s word. This is the verb used in the end of verse six. Some translations will use a word such as “obey” or “keep.” But it indicates a care or concern for something. After all, if we care about a law, we will obey it. If we care for a loved one we will keep that person from harm as much as possible. But when we keep God’s word, we will certainly fail. This drives the Christian to a life of repentance. It reminds the Christian that we need the Christ, the forgiving Lord. It is here, as we realize our sin, that we can realize the magnitude of salvation. We then can turn to God and ask for forgiveness and life. This, of course, is exactly what God wants to give his people.
It’s great that it works that way. We are not left to work things out on our own. Jesus has prayed for his people. He can keep them.
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