“That the world may know”
What does the world “know”?
One answer is – a great multitude of things! But nearly all of those things are of no lasting significance. We started reading Ecclesiastes today and Solomon is lamenting that all life is only “vanity” – meaning a ‘mist’ which has no substance, it simply fades away. He is nearing the end of his life and his vision and relationship with God has faded – so much so that he can write,
“It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with … all is vanity and a striving after wind” (verses 13,14).
In total contrast we see in John’s gospel a wonderful intimate account of his Lord and Master’s prayer in chapter 17; this is immediately before his arrest. And what perplexity followed! However, Jesus is command of the situation , but no one seems to realize this – except, perhaps, Pilate!
In the events that unfolded everything seemed to be dysfunctional – just like our world today! But those who know God’s word today see that God’s plan and purpose with is nearing its completion. The words of Jesus challenge us to think through them to fully grasp their sense: a wonderful unity of mind awaits us if we can do this.
Jesus prays for his disciples whom his is sending “into the world” and
“also for those who will believe in me through their word …” (verses 18,20)
We notice what he is particularly praying for,
“that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us” (verse 21).
The real nature of this one-ness is very clear – unity of mind – creating for us, a unity of vision of the plan and purpose of God. And now we must note the wondrous climax of this part of our Lord’s petition to his Father!
“I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (verse 23).
This surely also applies to all “those who will believe” in Jesus “through their word”.
So few in “the world” today “know” this: it is a perception in our hearts, let us make sure that we “know” it. Jesus further says,
“O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me” (verse 25).
May we be among those who “know” – and show that we do by all that we think, say and do, today and every day until our faith is turned to sight. And how wonderful our lives will then become!