Summary: Sharing in the person of Christ
Ordained by Christ
John 17:6-11, 15-19
Setting: Last supper- conclusion, teachings; The High Priestly Prayer
Christ forewarns His disciples that He will soon be departing, but He doesn’t leave them empty handed. For three years Christ has walked with them, talked with them, prayed with them, and taught them. Christ has for three years been discipling these eleven men. [I say eleven, because Judas Iscariot, who would betray Him, had already taken leave of absence.] So, for these faithful eleven Christ has shepherded them, guarded them, led them, and now, as He has in the past He prays for them.
His prayer, though directed to the Father, is as much a teaching moment as has been the entire discourse throughout the meal. For us The High Priestly Prayer has much to teach; but, the one particular aspect with which we are concerned today, is that through this prayer Christ is, or rather already has, ordained His disciples into His ministry.
Ordained- Definition, most people’s interpretation
vs18 "As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them." Christ has commissioned His disciples. He has prepared them for the task. Now He prays God’s blessing upon them that they may successfully continue the task.
The task is not theirs alone. For, Christ concludes His prayer by praying God’s blessing upon those of us who would continue far beyond His disciples; for those who would believe because of their continued belief.
Hear the words of Isaiah:
"I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness." Isaiah 42:6-7
The task to which we are called is discipleship. Discipleship of ourselves and of others.
If you remember, last time we discussed the first issue of making disciples: "To make disciples we must first be a disciple."
Today we are going to discuss the second issue of making disciples: "We are ordained by Christ."
There are four important things we need to understand about this ordaining.
I. The first, is that we are ordained to be a peculiar people.
"Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." Exodus 19:5-6
Peter adds to this when he writes: "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." I Peter 2:9
In former times, in the Old Testament, God called Israel to be a people of His own possession; a peculiar people; a people to stand out. God wanted people, non-Jews, non-Israelites, non-Hebrews, people who didn’t have a relationship with God to notice them.
Laws for Israel to be distinct.
Circumcision (Genesis 17:10)
Don’t cut the corners of your beard (Leviticus 21:5)
They were to be quickly and easily identified. A people who weren’t ‘normal’. People who seemed a little ‘odd’.
As Christ said in our text: "They are not of this world, even as I am not of the world." John 17:16
We are ordained to be a peculiar people. Not by our looks or our cultural mores, but rather by our moral distinctiveness.
Salt & Light
We are called to be Holy and Righteous
Leviticus 19:2 "You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy."
II. We are ordained to share in the sufferings of Christ.
Luke 9:57-62 Three people wanted to be Christ’s disciples.
Christ gave us three clear indications of suffering for the Gospel.
2. Urgency/ Precedence
3. Dedication/ Devotion
Being a disciple, making disciples requires self sacrifice. Putting the kingdom first; putting God’s interests above my own.
Being a friend, taking someone to dinner when I don’t feel like it.
III. We are ordained to share in the persecution of Christ.
John 15:18 "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you."
Hallmark of Generation-X "Been There, Done That!"
You may come across people who are hostile to what you believe. You will be called "Biased", "Closed Minded", "Old Fashioned"
Christ is saying to us, the original X-Generation man himself, "Been There, Done That!"
John 16:33 "In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
IV. We are ordained to share in the calling of Christ.
Matthew 9:13 "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."