The Disciples and the World

The High Priest Prays Part 2

In John 17 Jesus prays for his disciples, and for those who will believe as a result of their ministry. (That’s us!)

Jesus prayed about their assurance and about their unity. (That was the last sermon.) Jesus prayed about their relationship with the world. It’s a complicated relationship. There’s a word in the “Christianeze Dictionary” that has caused much consternation over the years. That word is ‘worldly’. The church has tended to think of worldliness and sanctification as matters of what a disciple of Christ should avoid. The things he or she should not do.

But Jesus’ prayers shows us that we are not just set apart FROM, we are set apart TO. We are set apart and sent like Jesus was set apart and sent. We are sanctified for the sake of His mission in the world. Jesus promises that those who have the Father’s word, who are set apart by the Father’s truth, will be hated by the world. But it is to that world we are sent.

It can be a complicated relationship. But it is a relationship Jesus is committed to nurturing and empowering for the glory of the Father.