Summary: Jesus gave His followers many spiritual blessings -- better and greater than physical things!
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me” (John 17:6-8, NIV).
We are quick to realize and be grateful for any physical favor we received from God. For example: a good income, a nice house and spacious lot, a brand new car, or a profitable business. We easily consider a blessing when a student would obtain high grades in his studies, or a single individual would find a life partner, or a young couple would have their first baby, or a job seek-er would be employed finally in a work he sought for so long, or a very sick man would be healed miraculously.
However, there are many spiritual blessings from God, we need to treasure and be thankful at all times. Actually, they are greater and better than material blessings. So, let’s focus on them.
In the prayer of Jesus recorded in John 17, we could see many blessings that He gave to His followers. But we will just dwell today on at least two, as we consider verses 6-8.
What are, then, the blessings given by Jesus that the passage painted for us?
The text was part of the prayer of Jesus in the whole of chapter of John 17. It was recorded by the Apostle John. Jesus prayed it in the hearing of His disciples, after they observed the Passover and before they went to the garden across the Kidron Valley, wherein Jesus again prayed, but privately and with such well known line, “…not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
And as Jesus prayed in John 17, Judas was no longer with them for he already went on his way to betray Jesus.
As we go now to our text, what did Jesus say that He gave to His disciples? In verse 6, we read: “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.”
The first great blessings: Blessing of knowing God.
The passage says that Jesus revealed or made known God the Father not to everyone in the world. But to those whom the Father gave to Jesus “out of the world.” Notice further that these people “out of the world” were identified by Jesus as, “They were yours…” or they belonged to God and “they have obeyed your word.” Actually, Jesus referred originally to His eleven disciples, then, who were with Him. Jesus was not speaking of everyone in the world, for not everyone obeyed God’s Word.
Further, those people whom the Father gave to the Jesus were believers, as we read in the last part of verse 8, “…they believed that you sent me.” And not everyone in the world are believers. Again, Jesus did not mean that those whom the Father gave to Him were everyone in the world.
But, for those whom God the Father gave to Jesus, He made Him known to them. In fact, not just in one instance. In verse 26, Jesus said that He will continue to make Him known to them. In fact, that process of knowing God would not stop in our lifetime. It would go on for eternity, as Jesus said in verse 3, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” God’s Word defines eternal life not eternal breathing, but eternal knowing – knowing God. And that’s great blessing.
For if we are among also of those whom God revealed or made Himself known, we will truly believe or trust Him. As we read in Psalm 9:10, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Not only, we could easily entrust our life for Someone we know who is Trustworthy, but our love for Him will blossom and grow, as we learn more of His Goodness and Greatness. And as our love for Him will become deeper, our joy to be in His Presence will become greater. As the Psalmist declared, “…you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Ps. 16:11).
Now, let’s go to the second part of our text, which is John 17:7-8:
“Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.”