“You are face to face with your enemy on his turf. Victory would mean you own his turf. You have all the power needed to defeat him. What would you do?”
This was the question posed in my mind as I sat safe and secure on my front porch watching another spectacular Arizona sunset.
I had been meditating on the Temptation of Jesus. Wanting something new for my heart and soul, I prayed, “Lord, how does this show your love for us?”
I then saw Jesus and Satan squared off on the battlefield. The Arizona sky was flaming red and orange in the background. Jesus had Satan locked in His sight with weapon loaded. But he didn’t fire.
I asked Him, “Why?”
His answer was one word, “Love.”
He loved His Father. Therefore obedience to the mission had to be fulfilled according to the Father’s will.
He loved mankind. He knew it would take time to forge a love relationship with His disciples. He was willing to invest the time in them. He knew it would take years for His disciples to love Him enough to choose Him.
He could have squashed Satan and the entire demonic army in one swoop. We would have reclaimed planet earth and could have set up His Kingdom. But death would still have reigned.
He could have forced his hand and caused the chain of events that would have lead to His crucifixion to happen in 3 months, 3 weeks, or even 3 seconds. This would have defeated death but it wouldn’t have built the relationships He wanted and loved.
He lived it out so we could live it out.
What makes this more amazing is that He did it twice. In Gethsemane, Jesus was once again face-to-face with the enemy. Even knowing that in the coming hours, He would face a hideous suffering unto death, and worse of all separation from His Father; but Jesus held His power to stay the course.
Jesus was motivated, driven, and fueled with love. Love for the mission of His Father and love for us, His children.
I have to love a Savior like that. There is no other response.
Read the prayer of Jesus recorded in John 17. As you read, look for evidence of this amazing love. I’ll help you along with some questions.
Jesus is all about relationships. Foremost in His heart is His Father. But we are right there next in order. This is evident in the prayer of John 17.
Read John 17:1-5.
By what name did Jesus address God? (verse 1)
What is He asking? (verse 1,5)
What is the motivation of His heart? (verse 1)
How had Jesus brought glory to His Father? (verse 4)
What kind of life is Jesus asking for His children? (verse 2)
Jesus said that this is eternal life: that they may _________ ______ and know __________.
Do you detect anything remotely selfish in His request?
Never. He did not ask for power, authority, or anything that would break allegiance to their relationship.
Jesus asked the Father to give eternal life to those His Father has chosen. He wants God’s glory on Him so that God can be glorified over all the earth. This was accomplished because Jesus completed the work He had been given. Loving obedience to the Father from the beginning motivated him to the end.
I like G. Campbell Morgan’s quote on this passage, “The deepest passion of the heart of Jesus was not the saving of men but the glory of God; and then the saving of men, because that is for the glory of God.”
Could we then say that relationship holds precedency over the mission?
As you read John 17:6-19, I will list the evidences I found to prove Jesus’ love for His disciples, you fill in the appropriate verse.
Verse _____ : Jesus revealed His Father to the chosen.
Verse _____ : Jesus gave the disciples the very words of God.
Verse _____ : Jesus prayed for the disciples.
Verse _____ : Jesus’ name will give protection to disciples.
Verse _____ : Jesus requests the disciples to be one with Him as He
is one with His Father.
Verse _____ : Jesus wants His disciples to have full measure of joy.
Verse _____ : Jesus prays for their protection from the evil one.
Now go back over these verses and find evidence of His passion for relationship with His disciples. How do you see this love being fulfilled in relationship?
Now we come to the section that blesses my heart beyond words. Jesus prays for you and me. Read John 17:20-26.
List each verse or phrase that shows His passion for us to be one with Him. (verses 21, 22, 23, 24, 26. Wow, nearly every verse!)
What is His motivation for such a relationship? Verse 23; to let the world know ______________________________________________
I pray this lesson has blessed your heart to invest the time in a love relationship with Jesus who loves us more than we can imagine.