Tag Archives: Mysterious

The Mysterious Ministry

This is a mysterious truth about God choosing to advance His Gospel through the least likely of circumstances. What evidence do we have that supports Paul’s truth that what had happened to him had “really served to advance the gospel?”  We have his many writings including four epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon written while imprisoned!  God had given Paul a unique history that preceded him to Rome.  He’d appeared and defended Jesus before so many powerful Roman leaders that he’d gained some notoriety.  “The whole imperial guard and all the rest” clearly knew his “imprisonment is for Christ.”  Paul had become a celebrity “criminal.”  He was allowed to have visitors and two-way communication about his many ministries.  It’s likely he was chained to his guards and they became his very personal in-prison ministry. People who would never have heard the truth of Christ in any other way became the captive audience of an “ambassador in chains” given one of the most mysterious opportunities for the Word to create new believers and inspire “brothers” to be “more bold to speak [the Gospel] without fear.” 

Wednesday with John — Exciting

John 17:1 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. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.”  ESV

What is the general theme of the passage?
It’s all BOLD, the circumstances, the content, the intent and the focus.

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus prayed. He’d accomplished His Father’s work on earth and now His glory would once again be displayed in the Father’s presence just as it had been before the world existed.  Jesus was thankful for those the Father had given Him, who’ve received His Words as evidence for them from the true God. 

What does it say about people?
Believers in Christ hold within themselves a part of His shared glory with the Father.

Is there truth here for me?
The disciples have shared life with Jesus in every possible circumstance.  Over time the content of His life has become a real part of their own lives.  That content is now going to reshape the intent and focus for the rest of their own lives.  Jesus has declared these friends are God’s gift to Him and that He is glorified in them.  There’s something familiar about that. What the disciples have experienced in Jesus’s presence is new birth!  They were in the presence of Jesus!  For us that experience is wrapped in the mysterious phrase: “born again.” It’s really hard to try to define “born again” because Jesus is so personal in what He speaks to those to whom He speaks the Father’s truth.  But…now I’m excited because suddenly the familiar has become more real.  Let these things marinate in your heart from this priestly prayer.  Jesus is praying for you! You are God’s gift to Him!  You are part of His glory!  I didn’t restrain my use of exclamation points because I’ve just seen an exciting truth about “born again” that has changed the tense of what I’ve written to “You” into something very personal for me that has simplified my understanding of “born again.” I have been “born again” because “Jesus’s hour has come” in me!!!