Why Did We Start North Village Church, Part 2" (John 17:13-21)
John 17 has been an instrumental passage for our church family, because in the passage we see Jesus is on His way to lay down His life at the cross, and it is on the way to Jesus’ death we see Jesus pause to pray for the disciples, and for those of us who would come to know Jesus in the days ahead. Look at verse 13:
John 17:13, “13 But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.”
Jesus has been talking about His joy being extended to His people since John 15, “11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you.” John 16, “So that your joy may be made full.” And in John 17 Jesus is praying to the Father, “These things I speak so that they may have My joy.”
Our culture teaches us to seek our circumstantial joy in our careers, in our friendships, in our accomplishments, in our romantic relationships, in our social standing and our physical appearances, but that type of joy is fleeting.
Jesus has come to bring us His eternal joy of being reconciled to the Father. Jesus has come to bring us His eternal joy that doesn’t fade or pass away. Jesus has come us His eternal joy of bringing us home to the Father.
Do you know those moments when you travel, and you can’t wait to come home? You can’t wait to take a shower in your shower; you can’t wait to lay down in a bed that is your bed?
In verse 13 Jesus says, “He has come, stepped out of the heavens, into humanity, to bring you home to your Creator.” At first glance we might think to ourselves, "But, how does that work?" We aren't home yet, we are still here. The answer is YES and NO.
Yes, we aren't face to face with Jesus in eternity, but we are home with Jesus. Yes, there is heaven today, and yes there is the fullnes of heaven to come. In Jesus' prayer we see that our joy is made full in Jseus, and in the next verse Jesus prays for us to grow in that joy. Look at verse 14:
John 17:14, “14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
In verse 14 Jesus is praying for us to be in the world, and not of the world, so that yes our joy is made full in Jesus, and at the same time Jesus is inviting us to share His joy with the world. Look at verses 15-17:
John 17:15-17, “15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
That word “Sanctify” in the original language is the word “Hagiazo” and it means “to be set apart for sacred use.” In verses 15-17 Jesus is praying for every man, woman and child who follows Him and His word that we are no longer aliens and strangers of this world, but we are citizens of heaven who are to “Hagiazo” to be “Set Apart for Sacred Use.”
Our culture will teach you that you have been “set apart” for a career. Our culture will teach you that you have been set apart to make friends, set apart to accomplish goals, set apart to find that special someone, but that type of joy is fleeting.
Every movie, every book, every song, every class, every message is trying to convince us to find our joy in this world, and it doesn’t mean those things are wicked, but those things are just fleeting.
In Jesus our careers are no longer just a career, but now we get to spend 40-50 hours a week surrounded by “sacred opportunities.” Our romantic relationships are no longer there to make us feel special, but now we are stepping into “sacred opportunities” of stirring up His joy in one another.
Our neighborhood is no longer just a place to live, but now in Jesus we are surrounded by “sacred opportunities” to extend His joy to others. Our hobbies are no longer simply experiences to bring us pleasure, but now we, whose joy has been made full, are participating in “sacred opportunities” of sharing His joy with others. Look at verse 18:
John 17:18, “18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”
When you see the word, “Sent” in verse 18 it is building off of verses 15-17. The word “sent” in the original language means, “apostello.” It is where we get the word, “apostle.” It isn’t capital A apostle, but lower case a apostle, because the Father has sent Jesus into the world to bring His joy to His people, and and in verse 18 Jesus is sending His new people to share His joy into the world, “As you sent Me, I have sent them.”
Don’t misunderstand. The work of sharing His joy with the world belongs to Jesus. In fact, the work has already been completed by Jesus, and it is in His grace and mercy, we who are His have been made new, retro-fitted with new purpose, get to share His joy with others. Look at verses 19-20:
John 17:19-21, “19 For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. 20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even 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 sent Me.”
Look at verse 20. C’mon! This means that Jesus prayed these words in verse 20, and then men, women, and children obeyed Jesus’ words over 100’s and 100’s of years, through generations and generations of other men, women, and children believing in Jesus, obeying Jesus, stepping into their new purpose in Jesus, and then someone poured into your life the eternal joy that has been made known in Jesus. Isn’t that amazing?
Every one of us have so much to offer, and your stories are so beautiful, your stories are so powerful, and it isn’t because you’re polished and pretty, it’s not, but it is because you’ve encountered His joy in your life, and He wants you to share it with all types of other people in your life in all types of ways.
And it means you might not ever be on a stage with a microphone, and you might not get a title of pastor, but Jesus has determined the times and places in which we live, and He has placed you in a circle of influence so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Won’t you respond to His call on your life? Won’t you give your life to Jesus? Won’t you find the joy of being reconciled to the Father? Won’t you admit the fatigue of trying to manufacture your own joy, and receive His eternal joy made full?