The High Priestly Prayer
17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jn 17:1–8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The Sabbath of Jesus - Part 1
There is a lot of discussion circulating in the church today about what Sabbath time is all about. If you are new to that discussion, look back at Exodus 20:8 where it is mentioned as #4 of the Ten Commandments. Most churches todays teach that obeying this commandment fits somewhere in a broad range of activities from attending church all day long once a week, to staying home and doing nothing but praying, to simply taking time for health, exercise, and recreation - and everything in between. John 17 is part of a long prayer that Jesus prayed before going to the cross, and I believe there are insights in this prayer as to how Jesus remembered and honored Sabbath time.
Jesus did not get hung up on the day of the week. We know he preached and taught on many Sabbath days, which could be considered work for Him, as well as performing healings and miracles, which was definitely considered work by the Jewish leaders. He got in trouble over that. However, he would often take time off to go be alone with God in prayer, and there is no scripture to account for this happening on any particular day of the week.
Look at what he focuses on instead. Jesus focuses on thanking God for the work He did with Him. Then He asks God to restore Him, returning that “glory” that He had in the beginning with God. I think that is because really serving God takes something out of us… so much so tat even Jesus felt the need to be replenished. This is an important point because Sabbath is not just an end of a work week, it is more like a pause in an ongoing work period. Jesus knows that there is more ahead, even more challenging work, and He cannot do it unless God is replenishing, supporting, and guiding Him all along the way. Sabbath time is for Jesus is less like a rule to follow and more like an oil change in your car. Sure you can skip it, ignore it, forget it, but it will come back to bite you later down the road when suddenly everything breaks down and it’s too late for a quick fix and the cost to get back on track is significantly higher.
Reflection: Do you take time to pause and allow God to replenish, restore, and realign your life? How are you practicing Sabbath?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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