Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jesus' High Priestly Prayer -- Part 8

You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. John 17:2

In the last couple of posts I have emphasized the fact that Christ has been given authority over all flesh. We looked at what that means and how far-reaching that authority is. In this passage though, the focus for that authority is on the fact that He uses it to give eternal life to as many as the Father has given Him.

In John 6:37-40, Jesus states that all that the Father gives to Him will come to Him. Apparently there are some people whom the Father has given to the Son. Whoever they are, all of them without exception will come to Christ. If the Father gives them to the Son, they must be the Father’s to give. They belong to Him and He gives them to the Son. Everyone He gives, comes.

And how is it that this coming can be insured? Verse 44 of John 6 says that no one can come unless the Father draws him. Verse 65 says that no one can come unless it has been given to him by the Father. So we see that the Father has given some people to the Son. Those He has given are drawn by Him to the Son and the Son is under obligation by the will of God to keep them and not lose them and ultimately to raise them up on the last day. None of those who come will be rejected or cast out. In fact, he says, it is the Father’s will that He lose none of those He’s been given but will raise them up on the last day.

John 10:27, 28 talks about this same thing but using a different picture. In this case Jesus uses the illustration of sheep and a shepherd. In speaking of His sheep, Jesus says that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. There are no sheep that don’t follow. They hear and follow. He gives them eternal life and they will never perish. That is the same thing He said in chapter six where He said that He would raise them up on the last day. In explaining why they will not perish He says that the Father who gave them to Him is greater than all. Here we see the parallel with chapter six and chapter seventeen. He speaks of the Father having given Him these sheep. They are a gift from God the Father and Jesus is to keep them just as the Father is keeping them.

So the point for today is that the authority that God has given to Christ was given to secure the permanent salvation of all of those people God has given to Christ. Their coming to Him is certain because the Father draws them and their keeping and security is assured because both the Father and the Son are holding on to them. None will be lost because this is God’s will and Christ’s mission.