Gifts are a sign of love. We give gifts to those we care about and love. For some, gifts are a love language and by the giving and receiving of them express and receive love. The bestowing of gifts is the physical demonstration of the delight, satisfaction, and acceptance of one for another. So gifts are something to be treasured and appreciated as visible outpourings of love. In light of this, did you know that the Father has bestowed a gift to His Son, Jesus Christ? We are God’s gift to Christ.
John 17 is the pinnacle of the Great Discourse. Known as the “High Priestly Prayer”, this chapter reveals the heart of our Savior and the deep relationship between the Father and the Son. In it, Jesus prays for Himself that the Father would glorify the Son so that the Son may glorify the Father. He prays for His disciples that the Father would keep them in His name and protect them from the evil one. And lastly, He prays for us—the future believers—that we may be one just as the Father and the Son are one.
Have you ever had moments when you were just scared to death? What has terrified you the most or given you the most unrest in your spirit? Maybe it was news coverage of a calamity or evil on world news or the announcement of a local tragedy. Or for you, it may be the political state of our nation or just politics in general, both international and domestic. We all have things that we fear and that give us anxiety and unrest. Yesterday was the remembrance of September 11th, the day fifteen years ago when all of America was struck with fear by the destruction of three key buildings and icons of American liberty. Since then, there have been many acts of terror, tragedy, and evil committed around the world that can cause us to fear and fret. Therefore, the final words Jesus speaks to His disciples in the Great Discourse are a timely message for us.
Joy. We hear that word so often within the Christian world. There are multiple books written on why one must obtain it, sermons dedicated to the pursuance of it, and within this John 7-21 Study we already looked at “Fullness of Joy” being found by abiding in the Vine. So why are we going to look at this quality again? Why rehash such a reoccurring subject? Well, because Jesus brings it up again. The word joy is used seven times in the gospel of John and four of them are found in John 16. So this is obviously an important topic to Jesus!