"My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 And all of them, since they are mine, belong to you; and you have given them back to me, so they are my glory!” John 17:9-10
Some things in life are subtle and others are glaring. I was in a store recently that had a sign instructing you how to use their soap dispenser. The sign was very small, blended in with the wall, and was placed under the soap dispenser in such a way that it was nearly impossible to see. It became a little humorous watching person after person try to figure out the soap dispenser, not one of them seeing the sign. I was in another store that has a sign as well, but this one was different. This sign was placed directly above the soap dispenser, was 12 inches high and 12 inches wide, and was bright red. In big letters the sign read, “Use soap and wash your hands!” There was a serious difference in the two signs. One was subtle and appeared to be something we didn’t really need. The second one was glaring and left people a very clear instruction.
I feel like this is the world we live in today. There are constant messages being thrown at us all the time. Some are subtle and others are glaring. Students in school receive subtle messages that you have to dress a certain way to fit in. Adults receive subtle messages that they have to drive a certain car to be considered successful. There are thousands more subtle messages we receive every day from the world around us. There are glaring messages as well. The world we live in sends glaring messages that position, fortune, and notoriety are the signs of success. Poverty, homelessness, and struggle are the signs of those to whom success has been elusive. The world bombards us with messages every moment of every day and some are subtle, while others are glaring.
That’s what I love about Jesus! In the Scripture passage above, Jesus is very clear. In this prayer to God, the Father, Jesus says, “My prayer is not for the world…” The world are all those who have yet to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus has a different prayer for them. Jesus came to save the world, but here he is focusing on those who believe in him in this prayer. The difference in how Jesus delineates between the world and those whom God has given him is glaring. Jesus prays for those who believe in him saying, “…so they are my glory.” The world are those who do not believe in Jesus and those who believe in Jesus are His glory. Other translations read, “…in them I am glorified.” A big difference indeed.
This Sunday I am looking forward to exploring the following question with you, “Is Jesus Christ glorified in me?” as we begin our new message series “How to Change the World”. Be sure to join us this Sunday.