Scripture: John 17:7 CEB
“Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.”
For the past 16 years I have been sharing the way in which God has been working on me. I have had the privilege and responsibility to be doing this in the form of preaching on Sundays. When I believe the Holy Spirit is leading me to do so, I will share something from my own life that God has been teaching me. It can be something very simple or a major life lesson. It truly is up to the Spirit. Over the past 16 years a parallel experience has been taking place. My parents have discovered things about their son that they never knew. They have discovered that I wasn’t trying to sneak out late at night, I was actually sneaking back in. They have discovered that when I was fourteen I borrowed my aunt’s rental car for an evening. They have discovered I did all kinds of things they were unaware of when I was younger. Hopefully, they have also discovered that God has done some pretty incredible things with the kid who did all those not so great things earlier in life.
Another aspect of revealing the secrets I kept in my earlier life is the freedom that comes from confession. Every time my parents would hear a new story their response was similar, “I never knew that!” My response to them was always something along the lines of “Well, now you know!” It’s probably a little easier to reveal past secrets where the parental statute of limitations has run out. However, it is cathartic at the very least to know that you no longer must keep something a secret because, now they know. Have you experienced this freedom? Perhaps there was something in your past that you were a little too embarrassed to admit. Once you came clean about it you felt a newfound freedom. I believe there is power in not keeping secrets and letting people see the real you. If they don’t accept or understand the mistakes you have made, or just who you are, that's okay. It’s better to be open and make sure that people know the real you.
As we continue to look at Jesus’ prayer in The Gospel of John, I believe this is the type of thing Jesus was praying about. Do you remember early on in Jesus’ ministry when he performed a miracle or a healing he would tell the person not to tell anyone. Jesus was not trying to keep a secret about his past. He told them this because it wasn’t the right time yet. In fact, in this prayer he is talking with the Father about how he has only told the ones the Father has given to him. He has not yet told the whole world. The important thing at the moment is that Jesus believed it was the right time to let them know. They now know that everything Jesus taught them was given to them by the Father. Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, raised people from the dead, rebuked the religious leaders, and cast out demons by the authority and power given him by the Father. The incredibly amazing thing is the disciples got to see ALL of this and now hear Jesus praying about why. What will be important is what they will then do with this information. Now they know!
What will you do with this information today? Now you know! You know why Jesus came to earth. You know who Jesus is. You know why he was beaten, crucified, dead and buried. You know why on the third day he was raised from the dead. Now you know what it means to have your sins forgiven and your life transformed. What will you do with this knowledge today? May we live a life that exhibits the love of Jesus. May we be as patient with others as God, the Father, has been with us. May we offer compassion toward our fellow humans. May we forgive those who offend us as quickly and completely as Christ has forgiven us. Those who have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ live differently. Now they know, and that knowledge changes everything.
Prayer: Holy God, thank you for the faithful witness of your Son, Jesus Christ. It is only through Jesus’ example of what it means to follow you that I am free. Empower me today through your Holy Spirit to be a witness to your love. I will be more patient, loving, grace-filled, and compassionate today. I will give you all the honor, glory and praise in the name of Jesus. Amen.