Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Those That are His

John 17:9 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.

9 Ἐγὼ περὶ αὐτῶν ἐρωτῶ, οὐ περὶ τοῦ κόσμου ἐρωτῶ ἀλλὰ περὶ ὧν δέδωκάς μοι, ὅτι σοί εἰσιν, 10  καὶ τὰ ἐμὰ πάντα σά ἐστιν καὶ τὰ σὰ ἐμά, καὶ δεδόξασμαι ἐν αὐτοῖς.

This is part of what is known as Jesus' High Priestly Prayer.  I think that this is a section that merits some time camping.  But for now I want to focus on this part of the prayer.

Jesus' language is curious, isn't it?  Well, it's curious in light of how most evangelicals tend to think of Jesus.  The idea is that Jesus loves the whole world so much and wants the world to come to Him, but they just won't do it.  Now of course there is an element of truth to that.  But on a deeper level it seems clear here that not everyone is His.  Experience in the world bears this out, doesn't it?  Not everyone knows Jesus.  Not even the so-called "good people" out there.

There is a subset of humanity that is sometimes called "the elect," to use a biblical term.  Here Jesus refers to them as ὧν δέδωκάς μοι.  The relative pronoun ὧν is where we get "those."  The word δέδωκάς is a perfect active indicative second person singular.  Generally speaking, the perfect has the idea of "past event with present effect."  In other words, some time in the past there was a group of people that God the Father gave to belong to God the Son.  Those people are called the elect.

I love the book of John for a lot of reasons.  I didn't when I was first coming to know the Lord as I was stuck in my sin.  I just wanted the facts about Jesus.  But John gives us more insight into the character of Jesus and more of a spiritual look at Him and His ministry.  Plus, the more I become convinced of the truth of election, the more I enjoy these passages in John.  You don't even need to go to Paul to find this doctrine.  It proceeds from Jesus' own lips.

If you are part of the elect I hope that this passage fills you with awe and wonder that God would choose someone like you.  I can't believe that He chose a sinner like me.  If you don't know Jesus, but wonder if you're part of the elect then I would submit that you probably are.  If you weren't then you just wouldn't care. But if you feel this nagging inside your soul like there is a void that nothing seems to fill then God is calling you to Himself.  Answer the call sooner rather than later.  You'll be glad that you did.

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