“Holy Father, keep through Thine own Name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as we are.”–Joh_17:11.
THIS MARVELLOUS seventeenth chapter of St. John’s Gospel has been called the Incense Altar of the New Testament. It is full of the sweet fragrance of our Lord s intercession for His own. Let us linger over it for a little, that its wondrous depths may unfold before our eyes. It is a window into His inner consciousness, from which we may read some of the thoughts that habitually filled His soul.
Christ’s self-obliteration. The motives that animated our Lord’s earthly ministry were all for the Father’s glory. He anticipated, in fact, those great words of the Apostle: “Of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever” (
Rom_11:36). In this we have an example, that we should follow His steps. We also must find our fresh springs in Him, as He found them in God; we also must be willing to forsake and surrender all things to Him, holding them as His stewards; we also must appropriate, moment by moment, His unsearchable wealth; If any glory should ever fall to our lot, we must lay it at His feet, and share it with those entrusted to our charge.
Christ’s self-assertion. Though our Lord obliterated His own interests, there were many things which were inalienable and of which He could not dispossess Himself. He knew that He had ever been One with God, and ever would be, that the love which had existed between the Father and Himself was to be shared by a multitude that no one could number. It is ours to know that we are loved with an unchanging love, that in Christ we are enriched into the measure of God’s unchangeable fullness. Oh, why do we not more deeply share the self-obliteration of Christ for others, that we may stand with Him on these glorious heights, beyond the reach of doubt and fear?
Christ’s self-realization. Listen to His joyous words: “I am glorified in them.” “I in them, Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one.” It is only as He sees His joy glowing in myriads of redeemed souls, and finds His love reproduced in their lives, that He is fulfilled and satisfied.
We thank Thee, our heavenly Father, for the gift of Jesus our Lord to be our Saviour and Friend. Draw us into closer union with Him, that we may know Thee better through Him, and be conformed to Thine image, Thank you Lord Jesus that you LOVE me this much. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.