Not of This World


What is the meaning of this phrase?  It is even the logo of a popular “christian” clothing line.

In the hours leading up to his arrest and murder, Jesus prayed His amazing high priestly prayer and uttered the following words:

“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 ESV

Jesus is praying for His disciples and the those who will believe in Him in the future.  He is praying for the body of believers who will make up His pure, undefiled church.

The things he says here are more than just a prediction, and they are not just a mere prophecy.  They are more than a guide, more than a teaching.

This is fundamental truth spoken by Jesus.

It was true 2000 years ago and it is true today. In fact, it is truer today more than ever. The two major pillars of the world system, government and mainstream media, both hate God and his principles.  This has been documented in multiple modern societies from those subscribing to Communism to free democracy. I have personally seen it in totalitarian communist Romania and freely democratic USA.

The world hates Christians because of Jesus. It is the message of exclusive salvation that is so repugnant to those who do not believe it. Jesus gave us His word, and as a result, the world hates us.

However, there are many tolerant folks who claim to be Christian who present a watered-down version of the Word of God.  The world loves them because they do not present a salvation message that is exclusively through Jesus. This acceptance by the world is in stark contrast with Jesus’s claim that the world hates us because of his word.

Be suspicious of any preacher of the gospel who is loved by the media, Oprah, etc and the rest of the secular world.

We are in the world, but not of this world.

Father, the Hour Has Come…

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, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.”

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

In the moments and minutes before His arrest, Jesus delivers one of the most amazing passages found on the pages of Scripture.

The glory of God is evident as central in this prayer.

But also central is the subject of Christ’s sacrifice: God’s children.

Because of this prayer the love of God is in us, and Christ is in us via His Holy Spirit.

As we celebrate the Lord’s Supper tonight, let us not forget that Christ lifted us up in prayer in the last hours of His life.

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And Now, Father, Glorify Me…

We are quickly approaching the Passion Week which is the most important time period in Christendom, culminating with the en-bloc event of death and resurrection of Christ, the greatest event to grace the face of the universe.

Without the death of Christ there is no atonement, there is no substitution, there is no forgiveness of sin.  And without the resurrection of Christ there would not be any Christianity.

This Man left His mark on human history like none other.  Even secular folks will agree with that.

But this Man was infinitely more than just a mere man.  He was divine.  He was God Himself, the Son of God.

We know that Jesus spent long periods of time in prayer communicating with the Father, and in John 17 we are given a glimpse, a revelation, a majestic treat of  the content of one of His prayers.  This special prayer occurred Thursday night of Passion Week, before Jesus went into Gethsemane where His arrest happened, and one day before his death.

He started the prayer with the final motive and outcome of the entire chain of events which would take place, God’s glory: “Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”  John 17:1

The culmination of God’s redemptive plan brings Him the most glory via a most unlikely path, the death of the Son of God followed by His resurrection.  Such a method is contrary to any human approach.  That is why God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and God’s ways are not our ways…

Things that Jesus communicates to the Father in this prayer are incomprehensible for us.  Attesting to His divinity, Jesus says: “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” John 17:5

The same glory that will unfold in His death, resurrection, ascension, and return, the Son already had with the Father before the institution of time and the foundations of this world came to be!  This concept alone, under the revelation of the Holy Spirit, should make every Christian bow down in their spirit and worship God because He left that ultimate glory to come and die in our place!

But this is not the end of the story of glory…

Apostle Paul tells us that we will be glorified with Him, not because of us, but because He is in us: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col 1:27

As we approach Passion Week, meditate on Christ’s unimaginable glory and the fact that He, by His grace will share it with us one day.