"For I have come down from Heaven, not to do what I want, but to do the will of him who sent me. The will of him who sent me is that I should not lose anything of what he has given me, but should raise it up when the last day comes. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and trusts in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up when the last day comes.” John 6:38-40
How often we hear people say, and even say ourselves, "Oh, I wish I knew the Lord's will" for some decision we need to make, or during a crisis, or on a question we’re presently pondering. But in these last two verses, Jesus tells us the Will of God: 1) that He "should not lose anything of what [the Father] has given [Him]" and 2) "that everyone who sees the Son and trusts Him should have eternal life." THE Will of God is to possess and redeem. How stunning!
But did you notice that each of these will-of-God statements is binary: composed of two parts? The first part in each was different, but the second was the same: He will "raise [them] up when the last day comes." The word John uses there for "raise up" means just that - "to raise up" or "raise from the dead" - but it also has a lesser definition that goes beautifully with what we know to be one of the truest definitions of our lives-in-Him: "to produce a witness."
THE Will of God is to possess and redeem, that we might be raised up - raised from the dead, in fact - and produced as witnesses of what we know and have seen of Him.
“But,” you might say to me, “it would still help to know His particular will in this one particular decision I’m trying to make.” Well, here’s your decision-making grid: “I have come down from Heaven, not to do what I want, but to do the will of Him who sent me.” The “wants” of Jesus were nothing when compared to His delighted, intimate, listening, waiting-upon expectation of having the will of God daily revealed to Him. Can’t you see Him out in those lonely places in the pre-dawn hours, simply waiting and receiving word of the Father’s particular will for each particular day?
May it be so for us as well!
"By faith Moses led the exodus from Egypt; he defied the king’s anger with the strength that came from obedience to the invisible king. By faith Moses kept the first Passover and made the blood-sprinkling, so that the angel of death which killed the first-born should not touch his people. By faith the people walked through the Red Sea as though it were dry land, and the Egyptians who tried to do the same thing were drowned." Hebrews 11:27-29
Have you ever stepped far enough outside your sense of historical inevitability - meaning, "Well, of course the Bible stories happened that way" - to realize that these are not stories, that the people involved did not know they were "in the Bible," and that, frankly, these incidences are crazy and these people probably looked insane? A friend was sharing that thought with me last week: the look of sheer insanity comprised by so many of these "faith moments" in Hebrews 11.
And so here we go again: A formerly royal shepherd demanding release for his enslaved people, goods being painted in blood to ensure freedom from the darkness of death, and millions of refugees crossing through a Sea because of one man with arms outstretched at back of them.
But, let's be honest, what does our faith look like? It looks like our King of Kings, our Good Shepherd, earning eternal release for all enslaved people everywhere. It looks like lives painted in blood, washed in blood, so that full freedom from death might be theirs who would choose to believe. It looks like millions upon billions of lost broken refugees crossing forevermore from death to life because of one man with arms outstretched at back of them.
Faith means faith to actually believe the fullness of the Gospel. Unbelief is always getting stuck upon one's own salvation. Oh, may we grasp the fact that we have, today, once and for all time, entered into the Kingdom of Heaven... forever and ever!
"Later on, Jesus went out and looked straight at a tax-collector called Levi, as he sat at his office desk. 'Follow me,' he said to him. And he got to his feet at once, left everything behind and followed him." Luke 5:27,28
It seems to me that Levi doesn't leave everything at Jesus' "Follow me" simply because of Jesus' authoritativeness in calling him. Generally - wouldn't you agree? - when we leave something behind for something else, we believe that what we're gaining in the exchange will be something better.
Levi must have seen something of the reality of who Jesus was in His eyes, in His voice, in His person, and felt that all he had was nothing compared to what he was going to gain.
Something about Jesus always whispered the entirety of the Kingdom.
Do our lives have that essence?
In studying through Hebrews this fall, and in seeing how fully Jesus represents the dividing-line between the Old and New Covenants, I was struck this week by how the calling of Matthew - referenced in Matthew, Mark and Luke - is such a perfect picture of Jesus' way of showing the difference. Consider the text with some "Old Covenant reminders" thrown in for context:
On a certain day, Jesus went out and looked straight at a tax-collector called Matthew, as he sat at his office desk. The Old would say “This man is a despicable sinner, unworthy of any fellowship with the living Embodiment of God.” “Follow me,” Jesus said to him. The Old would then say, “Well, now this man must go through elaborate rituals of purification, sacrifice and external proofs of the change of heart in order to even have a chance of following God.” And Matthew got to his feet at once, left everything behind and followed him.
Then Matthew gave a big reception for Jesus in his own house… And the Old would say, “Okay, but let only the perfect, pure and utterly righteous come to this party; let only the exactingly religious sit at table with God’s Son.” ...and there was a great crowd of tax-collectors and other disreputable people at table with them. For there were many such people among his followers. The Old would say, “Well, at least these disreputable people, tax collectors and riffraff are now going to get an earful from their God, regarding their sin and lawlessness to this point...” But it was: The Pharisees and their companions, the scribes, [who] kept muttering indignantly about this to Jesus’ disciples which, yes, according to the Old, was the proper way of doing business: at second-hand, away from God, and they said, “Why do you have your meals with tax-collectors and sinners?” To which the Old would say, “Precisely! What sort of person associates with sinners?”
But Jesus heard this and replied, “It is not the fit and flourishing who need the doctor, but those who are ill! Suppose you go away and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ The Old would now be shaking in its boots as He continues: In any case I did not come to invite the ‘righteous’ but the ‘sinners.’” Which is a verbal invalidation of everything that the Old has ever stood for.
The constant question for our hearts: Is this the Jesus we're following?
There is no one better to lead us into the fullness of the life of Abiding, no one better to teach us the way of the Holy Spirit, than the very One who first taught of that life, and sent us that Other, for the purpose of His Kingdom's arrival upon this earth.
Truly, daily, our only job is to ask Jesus for the forward steps that that day solely holds. And then take them.
"Under the old arrangement the outer tent [of the Tabernacle] was habitually used by the priests in the regular discharge of their religious duties. But the inner tent was entered once a year only, by the High Priest, alone, bearing a sacrifice of shed blood to be offered for his own sins and those of the people. By these things the Holy Spirit means us to understand that the way to the Holy of Holies was not yet open, that is, so long as the first tent and all that it stands for still exist. For in this outer tent we see a picture of the present time, in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered and yet are incapable of cleansing the soul of the worshipper. The ceremonies are concerned with food and drink, various washings and rules for bodily conduct, and were only intended to be valid until the time when Christ should establish the truth." Hebrews 9:6-10
And as good as that last sentence sounds, when compared to the stringencies of the past, the actual Greek wording is even better: "these consisted only of ordinances of the flesh - foods and drinks and various washings - until the time was imposed of restoration, of the making straight..."
Do you remember, back in John 1, when the religious leaders asked John the Baptist exactly who he was? They said:
"Who are you? We want to give an answer to the people who sent us. What would you call yourself?" [And John replied:] “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord…’"
How wonderful that John's self-perception, his calling, was to "make straight" the Way of the One whose Way would "make straight" the way for all of us!
That should be the business, the self-perception, the calling of everyone who calls on the name Jesus: that our lives would make straight the Way, so that all may walk it!
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:33,34
All of you reading this certainly know my passion for the Early Church, for learning the ins and outs of what made their experience of Jesus so explosive and so world-changing. And I think what keeps me up at night about it is that nothing - not Jesus' life, not His death, not His resurrection, not His ascension, not the work of the Holy Spirit - none of it has changed from back then and yet, on our end, we so often think, "Hmmm, doesn't it all seem really different back then?"
No! Again, nothing has changed! "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever." If we want to see the Book of Acts alive in our day, this prophetic passage from Jeremiah 31 is like a checklist for the fullness of the experience:
Is that the sense of the Kingdom of Heaven as it pours through us? Through you?
“What Christ himself claimed was to reveal the nature and character of God. So that if we accept his claim, however immense our conception of God may be, the clue to his nature and purpose will always be found in Christ. In other words, we look out upon that immense mystery which we call 'God' through the opening which Christ has made in our darkness.”
J.B. Phillips, Good News
"Now to sum up — we have an ideal High Priest such as has been described above. He has taken his seat on the right hand of the heavenly majesty. He is the minister of the sanctuary and of the real tabernacle — that is the one God has set up and not man." Hebrews 8:1,2
Right now, even as you're arranging your attentions to focus on Jesus via these words, He is there, sitting at the right hand of the Father, minister of the sanctuary and of the real tabernacle, and He is totally and intently focused on you. He is ever at work. And yet He is steadfast, seated, in firm control.
So, following the opening words of this chapter, let us "sum up" - and be reminded of - all that has been described of our High Priest to this point in Hebrews. To do that, I've gone back and collated every single High Priestly description from Hebrews 1-7, and then shifted them from the third person to the second to make them all the more personal. If you have the time today, let these act as a prayer from your heart to His...
Jesus, it was imperative that you should be made like us in nature, since you were to become a High Priest both compassionate and faithful in the things of God, and at the same time able to make atonement for my – and for our – sins. For by virtue of your own suffering under temptation, you are now able to help us who are exposed to temptation… We meditate on you, the messenger and High Priest of the faith we hold, Lord Jesus. We see you as faithful to the charge your Father gave you…
Jesus, seeing that we have a great High Priest who entered the inmost Heaven – you! the Son of God! – help us hold firmly to our faith. For you are not some superhuman High Priest to whom are weaknesses are unintelligible – you yourself have shared fully in all our experience of temptation, except that you never sinned. We will therefore approach your throne of grace with fullest confidence, that we may receive – from you, Jesus! – mercy for our failures and grace to help in the hour of need…
Jesus, you did not choose for yourself the glory of being High Priest, but you were honored by the One who said: ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’… When you had been proved the perfect Son by your death for us on the Cross, you became the source of eternal salvation to all who desire to obey you, being now recognized by your Father Himself as High Priest ‘after the order of Melchizedek…’
Jesus, by two utterly immutable things, the word of God and the oath of God, who cannot lie, we who are refugees from this dying world now have a source of strength, and can grasp the hope that you are holding out to us. This hope we hold as the utterly reliable anchor for our souls, fixed in the very certainty of your Father in Heaven, where you, Jesus, have already entered on our behalf, having become, as we have learned, ‘High Priest for ever…’
Jesus, you who are described as our High Priest belonged to another tribe of Israel, no member of which had ever attended the altar! It is a matter of history that you were a descendant of Judah… You derived your priesthood not by virtue of a command imposed from outside, but from the power of indestructible life within… Quite plainly, Jesus, there is a definite cancellation of the previous commandment because of its ineffectiveness and uselessness – the Law was incapable of bringing anyone to real maturity – followed by the introduction of your better hope, through which we approach your Father. Yes, you mean a ‘better’ hope for us, Jesus, because you have become our priest by the oath of God…
Jesus, because you live forever, you possess a priesthood that needs no successor. This means that you can save fully and completely we who approach your Father through you, for you are always living to intercede on our behalf. You are the High Priest we need. A Man who is holy, faultless, unstained, beyond the very reach of sin and lifted to the very Heavens. There is no need for you, like the High Priests of the past, to offer up sacrifice, first for your own sins and then for the people’s. You made one sacrifice, once for all, when you offered up yourself… The word of the oath, which came after the Law, makes for High Priest you Jesus, the Son, who is perfect forever!
“A Christian is a person who confesses that, amidst the manifold and confusing voices heard in the world, there is one Voice which supremely wins his full assent, uniting all his powers, intellectual and emotional, into a single pattern of self-giving. That Voice is Jesus Christ. A Christian not only believes that He was; he believes in Him with all his heart and strength and mind. Christ appears to the Christian as the one stable point or fulcrum in all the relativities of history. Once the Christian has made this primary commitment he still has perplexities, but he begins to know the joy of being used for a mighty purpose, by which his little life is dignified.”
Elton Trueblood, The Company of the Committed
When the Sabbath was over, just as the first day of the week was dawning Mary from Magdala and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. At that moment there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from Heaven, went forward and rolled back the stone and took his seat upon it. His appearance was dazzling like lightning and his clothes were white as snow. The guards shook with terror at the sight of him and collapsed like dead men. But the angel spoke to the women, "Do not be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here - he is risen, just as he said he would. Come and look at the place where he was lying. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead. And, listen, he goes before you into Galilee! You will see him there! Now I have told you my message."
Then the women went away quickly from the tomb, their hearts filled with awe and great joy, and ran to give the news to his disciples.
But quite suddenly, Jesus stood before them in their path, and said, “Peace be with you!” And they went forward to meet him and, clasping his feet, worshipped him... (Matthew 28:1-9)
This first touch that those Mary's had with the risen Jesus - down there in the dust, clasping His actual alive feet with their own two hands - must have carried those two ladies through the rest of their lives, giving unlimited riches of courage. To actually grasp and feel and touch a living Savior is to have true immutable knowledge of a Power who is unshakable.
By His Holy Spirit, may that sort of knowledge be more ours today.
"By two utterly immutable things, the word of God and the oath of God, who cannot lie, we who are refugees from this dying world may have a source of strength, and may grasp the hope that he holds out to us. This hope we hold as the utterly reliable anchor for our souls, fixed in the very certainty of God himself in Heaven, where Jesus has already entered on our behalf, having become, as we have seen, 'High Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.'" Hebrews 6:18-20
Let me do my best to paint the picture of what is being said here. Jesus, the Word and Oath of God incarnate, having lived and died for our sakes, tore the curtain between God and men, men and God, forever. Then, in rising from the dead, He showed us the unending power of the new and resurrected life that is now ours, and, in ascending to the Father, He lifted our life to Heaven. No separation now exists between Heaven and earth. Jesus is the Way, the Door, the Go-between...
And so, in bursting back through the doors of the Throneroom of Heaven, in re-approaching His Father upon the throne, it was as if He carried all our hope, our certainty, our belief, under His arm. And, in retaking His seat next to the Father, in their shared smile of acknowledgment that "It is finished," it was as if Jesus hooked the arms of the Anchor of our Hope firmly around the legs of His throne...
Do you and I always have grounds for hope? Why, yes! We have our Friend, our Teacher, our Savior, alive, upon the very Throne of Heaven. Do you and I always have grounds for an audacious certainty in this life? Why, yes! Our hope is hooked like an anchor to Jesus Himself.
My friends, as we prepare to start another month, do you see Him there, watching you, loving you?
You and I never lack for anything - especially hope - when our hope is in this Man, a Man we know and love, a Man who is God, the One we know as Jesus.
In J.B. Phillips' version of the three-servants parable in Matthew 25, the one who hid the money away comes before the master, explains himself, and concludes with: "Here is your money, intact." And it strikes me that that is the posture and highest hope for far too many Christians: "I just need to 'keep the faith' and stay intact."
Yet consider the way that the Apostle Paul must've hobbled into the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), having recently been beaten and stoned: broken, battered, teeth missing, scarred all over. Imagine if he, on that day, had then run into one of us modern, self-protective, "intact" Christians; he would've been perfectly justified in laughing, even scoffing.
Oh, that you and I might be willing to risk everything for the sake of our Savior and His Good News and simply abandon all thought of self-protection! Doesn't "intactness" seem a pitiful measurement in face of a One whose ministry on our behalf cost Him His blood, His everything, His life?
From A.B. Simpson's The Christ of the Forty Days - “Christ’s ascension was the exaltation of man to the right hand of God. It was as Man He entered heaven and sat upon His throne. It is as the Son of Man, with a human face and form, that He is sitting there today. It is in our behalf that He has gone up to God. He claims our place there, and keeps it till we come. What an honor to the once lost human race was the ascension of Christ! It was the entrance of a Man to the highest place in the heavenly world, with the first-fruits of this new race following in His train and taking a place with Him that angels could not claim. Lord, what is man that Thou hast set Thine heart upon him and so strangely redeemed and lifted him up for ever? Oh, let us rejoice and shout for joy as we see the Son of God ascend and write our names upon the seats of glory, as our Great Forerunner! God has recognized man’s right to enter heaven, to enter it as a King, to enter its highest place of dignity and blessing through the ascension of the Son of Man.”
And now consider the end of Revelation 3 in that light -
"As for the victorious, I will give him the honor of sitting beside me on my throne, just as I myself have won the victory and have taken my seat beside my Father on his throne."
The Law told the people of God what they must not do.
The Way of Jesus tells us what we're now actually able to do - through Him.
The Law frustrated, and eventually cut off, most forward movement for fear of overstepping its outer bounds of propriety.
The Way of Jesus is only possible through a continual moving forward; a movement that is just like His own, because He now lives His life, all over again, in us and through us.
"The Law never succeeded in producing righteousness — the failure was always the weakness of human nature. But God has met this by sending his own Son Jesus Christ to live in that human nature which causes the trouble. And, while Christ was actually taking upon himself the sins of men, God condemned that sinful nature. So that we are able to meet the Law’s requirements, so long as we are living no longer by the dictates of our sinful nature, but in obedience to the promptings of the Spirit." Romans 8:3,4
The end of the Law and the life of the Way are now - right now - today - this minute! - already alive within you because of the presence of His Holy Spirit. Thank you, Jesus!
As he walked along the shore of the Lake of Galilee, he saw two fishermen, Simon and his brother Andrew, casting their nets into the water. "Come and follow me, and I will teach you to catch men!" he cried.
At once they dropped their nets, and followed him.
Then he went a little further along the shore and saw James the son of Zebedee, aboard a boat with his brother John, overhauling their nets. At once he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and went off after him. (Mark 1)
In those five verses, in the calling of Peter, Andrew, James and John, what really strikes me is the image of the nets, their main tackle for their life-work as fishermen. It's what they're using, when Jesus first stops to watch them, to actually make a catch of fish; to provide for themselves and their families. It's what they're caring for, carefully mending, "overhauling," when Jesus walks up to James and John; their maintenance ensures their future livelihood. Really, these nets are their life. A fisherman without his net, in that day and age, was nothing. When these two pairs of brothers, on this one stretch of coast, drop their nets in the presence of Jesus, it is their highest expression of total self-abandonment. They will now source their lives in this Man rather than in those nets.
What is normalcy to us, today? What is "life" in our present context? Education; physical prowess; looks; charm; career; possessions; family; friends; reputation; honor; future legacy; family name? Let me help you. It's what we throw around to get what we need; to make sure this world knows "WHO I AM"; it's what we most attend to in order to ensure our future livelihood, position, personal comfort...
And THAT - our normalcy, our quickest self-definition, our Life - is what we must most quickly have down there at the feet of Jesus. A fisherman without his net was nothing. A disciple still holding his net is nothing too.
"But Jesus said to Peter [after Peter sliced off the ear of one of the men arresting Jesus], 'Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me?'" From John 18
In the other three Gospels, Jesus has only just been praying that this “cup” might pass without His having to drink it, and yet, according to Mark’s account, “it is not what I want but what you want” that matters to Him. But here’s what matters to us: What is this “cup”? What is the meaning of this that “the Father has given” Him on this night, and what will it mean for Jesus that He must “drink” it?
Looking back at the Old Testament, the Old Covenant, there are fourteen references, each using slightly different language, to describe a “cup of the Lord’s wrath” against the sin of the world and the accumulation of all wrongdoing throughout human history. Then, within the narrative of the Passover, we have the four promises of Exodus 6 – 1) “I will bring you out” 2) “I will deliver you” 3) “I will redeem you” 4) “I will take you as my people” – commemorated by four specific cups of wine – 1) The cup of sanctification 2) The cup of deliverance 3) The cup of redemption 4) The cup of restoration.
Now consider the promise of Isaiah 51, as it pertains to the coming of a Savior:
And why won’t we drink it again? Listen to Jesus, taking up the third cup (the cup of redemption) at that night’s Passover dinner:
As Jesus took and drank to the dregs the eternal “cup of the Lord’s wrath” on our behalf at the Cross, He was simultaneously pouring out His blood and thus, once and for all times, sealing a New Covenant between Himself and the Father. We are sanctified, delivered, redeemed and restored – the four cups of the Passover – because of the empty “cup of the Lord’s wrath” and the cup brimming over with Jesus’ shed blood. And what does He hold out to us?
Psalm 116 tells us: “the cup of salvation.”
And how full is that cup?
David declares: “my cup overflows.”
Grateful for our wonderful friend, Dale Brooks, who sent us this gem from Thomas Merton:
"Make ready for the Christ whose smile, like lightning, sets free the song
of everlasting glory that now sleeps, in your paper flesh, like dynamite."
Brothers and sisters, "the everlasting song of glory" is within us, "like dynamite," and it's our daily experience of the face - of the smile! - of Jesus that lights off this powder keg!
Closer, Jesus, draw us ever closer!
A famous moment, from Matthew 19, with some play-by-play notes in bold italics:
Then it happened that a man came up to Jesus - the perfect place to come with questions - and said, “Master what good thing must I do to secure eternal life?" This man is asking THE question which is "set in the hearts of men" (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and he is asking the only One who has, and is Himself, the Answer. For the so-called "Rich Young Ruler," so far, so good.
“I wonder why you ask me about what is good?” Jesus answered him. “Only one is good. But if you want to enter that life you must keep the commandments.” Jesus, in essence, casts the question back upon this man.
“Which ones?” the man asked, casting the question back upon Jesus.
“‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honour your father and your mother’, and ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’,” replied Jesus. To put the answer back upon some of the Ten Commandments, with the codicil of "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," is nearly a non-answer. Any Jewish male with any degree of Jewish education could've answered this question with a similar, and seemingly similarly non-helpful, response.
“I have carefully kept all these,” returned the young man. Which very well may have been perfectly true. “What is still missing in my life?” He is now, with beautiful vulnerability, opening his heart to admit that his personal religiosity is not working; that "the system" is not working. This is this man's "midlife crisis" of faith.
Then Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go now and sell your property and give the money away to the poor — you will have riches in Heaven. Then come and follow me!” We modern believers usually fasten on the complete financial abandonment Jesus requests, and, ourselves, get terribly fearful there: "Oh, no. What if He should ask that of ME? I certainly HOPE that's not the actual requirement for actually following Him..." Yet it's our sense that our security is in our possessions that's actually the most troubling subtext to such internal questions. And, really, it's our unawareness that Jesus is BETTER THAN ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT THIS WORLD CAN OFFER that proves we don't even begin to know Him yet...
When the young man heard that he turned away crestfallen, for he was very wealthy. This man's mistake is not his greed, his greatest sin is not his worldliness; his actual error is that "he turned away." He was standing in the presence of Eternal Life Himself, personally engaged with Him, and chose to turn aside. Hadn't Jesus proved that questions were acceptable, that He would've loved to have this man accompany Him down the road a little? Perhaps if this man had spent another twenty minutes in Jesus' presence, self-abandonment would've seemed like nothing, his possessions would've seemed like dross.
Brothers and Sisters, there is nowhere else to go with our initial questions, our follow-up questions, our pure and impure motives, our struggles with this world, our hopes for eternity, but to Life Himself. And then - haven't we already seen this to be so true, so many times, in so many situations? - the secret is always to stay.
In John 17, Jesus prays: "I have given [the disciples] your word, and the world has hated them, for they are no more sons of the world than I am. I am not praying that you will take them out of the world but that you will keep them from the evil one. They are no more the sons of the world than I am — make them holy by the truth; for your word is the truth. I have sent them to the world just as you sent me to the world and I consecrate myself for their sakes that they may be made holy by the truth.”
What a mystery is our relationship to the world in light of being indwelt by the One who came, not to be of it, but to save it! We are the ones He daily sends to be “in” something in which we don’t belong; we are meant to be as disarmingly “other” as He Himself was, to catch people’s attention in the manner in which He did.
That’s why the closing of His prayer for His disciples is so incredible important. Consider the exact wording of verses 17:17-19 - “Sanctify them in the truth, your Word (λόγος, ‘logos’) is truth. As you sent me into the world, I also sent them into the world; and I sanctify myself for them, that they also might be sanctified in truth.”
Our experience of life-in-Jesus isn’t meant to be analogous to the life of Jesus, it’s mean to be absolutely identical. He was “sent,” we are “sent.” He was “sanctified,” we are “sanctified.” But the linchpin for our identical experience of His life can be found in how He states it in verse 17: You and I must be sanctified – bathed in holiness – in the truth that is the λόγος, the Word, Jesus Himself. There is no part of this that’s apart from Him. His eternal, never-changing life is running concurrent to your daily experience of your life.