I haven’t shared here for a long time. It is not that I have not been enjoying the Scriptures, for I have… Perhaps part of the reason is other responsibilities crowd into the time required to write. Perhaps another reason is I’m not sure why I’m writing. What started as a desire to exchange thoughts about Christ really is just an outlet for what I’ve appreciated about Him, with others listening in if they like. Will it continue? I don’t know… perhaps, if I still feel an urge to write and happen to have the moments to do so.
But our Lord Jesus never stops sharing. I find myself going back to John chapter 17 many times–a chapter full of the sharing, loving heart of the sent One as He speaks to His Father in heaven. His desire is to share what He is, has and enjoys with us. Having recently witnessed a wedding, His sharing took on another dimension that I thought someone else might enjoy enough to make an attempt to put it into words worthwhile.
So what things does He, our Maker and Redeemer, our Friend and Bridegroom, have, that He wishes to share with us?
1. My Peace. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
The Lord had to leave His disciples, but He left them with His peace, and a promise of His return. What do we need if we are to enjoy real peace in a world of turmoil? I suggest that we at least need to have certainty in regard to our current and future security and well-being, assured through the knowledge that someone who cares for us is also able to provide for us. Now as to our position before God, in order to be safe, we need the knowledge that we are at peace with God, that our sin debt has been settled, and that nothing separates us from God’s presence any more. Our Lord Jesus satisfied that requirement when He died for our sins. And so our emotional peace can only come after our soul has found positional peace (union with God) in the cross-work of Christ. “My peace I give unto you.” So our eternal well-being comes from our Savior. He made peace by the blood of His cross.
But not only that, our Savior gives us peace in the experiences of life–emotional peace. This reminds me of various places where the word shadow is found in the Scriptures. Psalm 36:7 says, “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.” I think of the Lord’s words in regard to Jerusalem in Luke 13:34: “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!” Here, the Lord compares His care for a city (that should have received Him) to a hen’s care for her chicks, carefully gathering them under the shadow of her wings. He wanted to care for them not once nor twice, but how often! Such is His caring desire for the well-being of His own. A hen’s wings demonstrate care and refuge. All who come to Christ find His shadow to be a place of care and refuge.
Psalm 91:1 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Here we learn that our God provides protection to those who draw near and take refuge in Him.
Isaiah 32:2 “A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, And a cover from the tempest, As rivers of water in a dry place, As the shadow [or shade] of a great rock in a weary [or parched] land.” Our Lord provides for us cool refreshment and defense as does a great rock in a weary land.
Song of Solomon 2:3 “Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, So is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, And his fruit was sweet to my taste.” As we sit under the shadow of our beloved Savior with great delight, His provision and presence is sweet to our soul.
So come, beloved, sit under His shadow, and enjoy the peace that He alone can give.
2. My Joy. “But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” (John 17:13)
Our Lord imparts His joy to us through His Word. As we meditate upon His words to us and work them out in our lives, His joy is imparted to us. In John 15:9-11, that joy is linked with the knowledge of His love for us as we do what is pleasing to Him. Even amidst suffering, the Lord Jesus delighted to do the Father’s will, anticipating the joy of being glorified to the Father’s side and being united with His blood-bought bride (Hebrews 12:2).
3. My Glory. “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one…. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:22, 24)
In what way does our Lord Jesus share His glory with us? We know that His divine glories are His alone. But the glory of sonship (relationship with the Father), a special place of blessing and privilege, and shared love and union with divine persons are some ways in which His glory is shared with us. In a future day, we will be glorified together with Him, made like Him (1 John 3:2), and reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12). We are to sit with Him on His throne… He shares that with us! (Rev. 3:21)
4. [My] Father’s Word. “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14)
The Word which He received from the Father He has shared with us. With the treasure of the Father’s words, He imparts to us wisdom, understanding, truth, revelation, promise.
5. Our Love. “And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26) “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21)
The Father didn’t spare His own Son, but freely gave Him up for our sake (Romans 8:32). If the Father was willing to give His most precious possession for us, then we can be sure that He will withhold no blessing that would be for our good. That same love that is shared between the Father and the Son is also shared with us! The Son is willing to share the Father’s love with us, and the Father is willing to share His Son with us. How overwhelmingly wonderful this truth is.
6. My Father. “go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ” (John 20:17)
Akin to the previous point, the Son of God calls us family– His Father is now our Father, and He calls us brethren. While He retains a special place as the only-begotten Son of the Father, yet we are brought in to share in a relationship which He has enjoyed from eternity past. This is so deep that only faith, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can take it in (Romans 8:16).
7. My Body. My Blood. “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:19-20) “For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. ” (1 Cor. 10:17) “For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ” (Ephesians 5:30)
How much more can one give, or how much closer can one get than one’s own body? In giving His own body for us upon the cross of Calvary, and shedding His own blood as a perfect payment for our sin, He made union with Himself possible, through faith.
8. [My] Inheritance, Wealth. “…that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6) “to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4) “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:16-18)
He became poor, humbling Himself to the cross death, to make us [spiritually] rich. The wealth we receive because of His sufferings is beyond compare. As children of God, He shares with us an eternal inheritance (1 Peter 1:4), as the Father makes us co-heirs with Him. We share His Father’s house (John 17:24, John 14:2) and His Throne (Revelation 3:21), inheriting a place in His eternal kingdom. Now isn’t that worthy of a bit of trials and toil here and now?
9. [My] Sufferings. “but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:13)
We move to a different viewpoint as we consider our sharing Savior. If we are to share in His future glory, then it follows that we will share something of His sufferings for the present as well. We rejoice even in sufferings, recognizing that just as Christ was glorified, so we, too shall be glorified together with Him. Our short time on this earth is our opportunity to prove our love to Him in the face of trials and hardship.
10. My Yoke. My Heart. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)
As we work side by side with Him, sharing the yoke which He as well carries, we come to know Him better in His meek and lowly character, and we find rest of soul in the midst of toil of body.
11. My Name. “And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26) “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.” (Revelation 3:12)
When a bride is married, she receives a new name. We, as the bride of Christ, have already received a new name as children of God, but there awaits a special time of full identification with our Bridegroom in a future day, when He will reveal Himself to us in a special, personal way. What a day that will be!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.