Tom: We’re continuing with the gospel. We are in the Gospel of John. If you’ve followed the program for sometime you know we’ve been in the Gospel of John for some time, but I think it’s a good trip, Dave.
Dave: Quite a few years.
Tom: Quite a few years. We’re in John:17:22, and these are the words of Jesus. This is his prayer to the Father, His Father in heaven.
Dave: This is the real Lord’s prayer, in other words.
Tom: Correct. Well Dave, what do you mean by that? The real Lord’s prayer?
Dave: Well they talk about “the Lord’s prayer”—oh you know the Lord’s Prayer? We recite the Lord’s Prayer…
Tom: Yes, “Our Father who art in heaven…”
Dave: Right, no, that’s not the Lord’s prayer. That’s the disciple’s prayer. The disciples said “Lord, teach us to pray.” And furthermore, it’s not something you just repeat over and over and over, because Jesus himself said, “Don’t use vain repetitions like the heathen who think they will be heard for much speaking.” But he said, “After this manner pray ye….” So it’s a pattern of prayer for the disciples to pray.
But this is Christ himself—the Lord—really in prayer to His Father.
Tom: John:17:22, “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one.” Dave, this is a verse that we hear used quite a bit, but sadly, in the context of ecumenism. Of bringing people together, people of faith, and so on. Now—
Dave: People of various faiths even.
Tom: Right. Dave, I want to compare that with Luke:12:51-53, and you tell me if there’s a contradiction here, or what the problem is. This is Jesus again speaking. He says, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you nay, but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided; three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, the son against the father, the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
Now that doesn’t sound like unity to me Dave.
Dave: He said, “I didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword.” Well, the unity that he’s talking about here is the family unity: “as we are one.” It is only for those who, as we mentioned earlier on the program, have been born again. You said it very well. We are born into this family. If we are born once, we become the children of our earthly parents. To be “born-again,” we become children of God through faith in Christ. And then we enter into the family of God. We are joint-heirs with Christ. That’s a fabulous relationship that Christ opens for us because He paid the penalty for our sins.
The unity that He says He didn’t come to bring in Luke 12—that would be just everybody gets along with one another. Everybody in the family. We love one another; we should. We get along together; we work together on the farm, or whatever it is. Well, Lord, what are you saying? You’re going to disturb this unity?
Yes, He says. A family of five is going to be three against two, and two against three. Maybe it will be four against one. Because He calls us to Himself. He calls us to believe the gospel; He calls us to obey His word. Tom, you know that causes disruption. I mean, we could go down the list.
Muslims today—a Muslim that becomes a Christian—they’re killed. Maybe I mentioned it before. I’ll never forget being in Turkey (this was many years ago) and in talking with a young who had become—I think he was about twenty—he had become a believer in Jesus. He told me that he had to jump out of a second-story window and run as fast as he could to escape his father and two brothers [who] came after him with axes. Was that bringing peace into this family? No, Jesus had ruined this family. He disrupted it!
And did He bring peace to Israel when He came the first time? This is why many Jews say He couldn’t be the Messiah. He didn’t bring peace. He brought riots! The Roman Empire was in an uproar. You remember they said, “These are the ones who have turned the world upside down.”
So this is what Jesus is saying: “I’m calling you to leave family and friends, if need be. I’m calling you to forsake yourself, to hate your own life, to deny yourself, to deny everything that this world stands for. The ego, the self-exaltation, the selfishness, self-centeredness—and to give it all up and to come and follow Me. And I will lead you into My Father’s house in heaven.”
Well, as soon as you do that, Tom, you know—Catholics—what disruption of the families! A Jewish person who becomes a follower of Jesus! I met a number of them. Well, their parents disowned them! I remember talking to a number of Jewish men who had become believers in Jesus, and the father said, “You are no longer a son of mine.” So…
Tom: Dave, we might as well add Mormonism to this, because of those who come to Christ and come out of Mormonism, whew! That’s why some say, “Well, I don’t believe in it, but I’m not going to lose my fellowship with people I grew up with,” and so on and so forth.
Dave: Your wife has to divorce you because she can’t make it to exaltation. She can only get there by being married to a husband who is going to become a god. So, she is really forced to—and you know, we know a number of these people—forced to divorce you.
So Jesus said it very well back there in Luke 12, and you are contrasting that. He said, “I came to bring not peace, but a sword. I came to divide families.” Because He’s calling us to follow the truth. You either follow the truth or the lie.
But here, He’s speaking of something else. “…of the glory which thou gavest me.” Now what would that be? Well, Paul talks about it in Philippians 2: “He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord.”
So Christ humbled himself, he came to this earth, became a man, was despised, hated, rejected, crucified, and God has exalted him. This is a glory that He didn’t have before—even as God from a past eternity. And this He gives to us. And so the scripture says, “He will bring many sons into glory in his image.” Wow!
Tom: Dave, how wonderful this is, going on to verse 23: “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hath loved them as thou hast loved me.”
Who wouldn’t want that Dave?
Dave: Well, Tom, we have to be willing to confess our sin and repent and receive Christ. But this is what He’s doing: He’s establishing His church; this is a new family relationship between God and man. It never happened before. Some people sit and they repeat, “I am a child of God, I am a child of God”—Unity School of Christianity, for example, if you go to their meetings, that’s what they do.
No, the Bible says we are the children of God through faith in Christ. We are not all the children of God. We are the—Jesus said it, “You are of your father the devil.” Now He’s going to bring us into this family—this relationship with His Father that He has enjoyed from all eternity.
Tom: Verse 24, we’ve got about a minute: “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hath given me, for thou lovest me before the foundation of the world.”
Dave: So we’re going to be with Him in His presence. And He said, four chapters earlier: “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many mansions. I will go away and prepare a place for you and I will come again to receive you unto myself that where I am, there you may be also.” And He’s prepared this for us with the Father. It’s an arrangement—a contract they had. He sends the Son to this earth. The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world, and by paying the full penalty for our sins, He has purchased us to be the children of God. Wow, Tom, fabulous!