Author: Paul Lee, Pastor, Berkeley Chinese Baptist Church, Berkeley
13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:13-23, ESV)
What’s this joy that Jesus is talking about? It’s the joy that Jesus received because He knew that everyone that the Father chose would be saved because of what He was about to do. Hebrews 12:2 says that we should look to Jesus, who is the founder and perfecter of our faith. Because Jesus endured the cross, we are now saved when we receive Jesus Christ, and the Father has made us holy. That’s why Jesus has such joy, even in the face of such suffering He had to endure. And for those of us that are saved, and those of us that will be saved, isn’t it mind-boggling that we were chosen by the Father even before the beginning of time?
God’s love for us extends for eternity. When we enter into the Body of Christ, we all become perfectly one. We as Christians should live in unity so that we can show the world the glory of Jesus Christ and the love of God. How does knowing that Jesus received joy when you were saved, change the way you think about salvation? Are you living in the Body of Christ like we all are perfectly one? Does the world see this in you and everyone else in your church?
The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior