Reading: John 17: 1-5
Verse Four: I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You have Me to do.
It was quite a night for Jesus and His disciples. They gathered together one last time. It has been a full night: the Passover meal with the institution of communion added in; the washing of the disciples’ feet; the predictions of denial and betrayal; and, the promise of the Holy Spirit. Three chapters in John are dedicated to Jesus’ farewell discourse. And then Jesus prays. These are His last words in John before He is arrested in the garden. This prayer us our reading today.
In verse four, Jesus says, “I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You have Me to do”. He has completed the work God gave Him to do. The work encompasses teaching us what to do as disciples of Jesus Christ. As a good teacher, Jesus taught by example. His work included teaching how to live as a child of God in a fallen world. This certainly helps us see the world and those in it as God sees them, not as the world sees them. Jesus’ task also included showing us how to be at work in the world. This meant feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the orphans and widows, caring for the sick, welcoming the stranger and the outcast. It is being the very hands and feet of Jesus in our world. The work also included healing. This too is part of our work. We pray for other’s physical healing. We offer words of comfort and encouragement and lift up prayers for emotional and spiritual healing. We also work to bring healing and restoration by fighting to end injustice and oppression and prejudice when and where we can. All of this is the work Jesus completed when here on earth. It is the work He commands us to continue.
Verse three reads, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent”. Eternal life comes only through knowing God and Jesus Christ. We come to know Him n the Word. We come to know Him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We also come to know Him through those we encounter in the world as we work as His hands and feet. May we know Him well today in our study, in our prayer time, in our encounters with the Spirit, and in those we meet.