A Daring Love

Wednesday

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word.” (John 17:20)

Jesus prays for us.  This cannot be taken lightly.  He who is Lord of all intercedes on our behalf before the throne of God.  He in whom and for whom all things were made remembers us to the Father.  It is humbling – and should be life-shaping.  It is hard to be slack in school if I have overheard my mother in the quiet of her room praying for me to succeed.

Jesus prays for us.  And he prays for those who will put their hope and trust in him because of our testimony.  He prays for all those to whom we will speak about the grace and love of God.  He prays for all those to whom we will promise heaven’s mercy.  He is not praying for our safety, success and happiness; he is praying for our fruitfulness.

Our safety and happiness matter to him, of course, but of what value are they if the world is not blessed through us?  He does not send us to be cautious but bold; he does not send us to be tentative but courageous.  Healing the world requires some daring.

Jesus is asking God “that the love with which you have loved me may be in them.”  And love of God that was in Jesus was nothing if not daring.

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2 thoughts on “A Daring Love

  1. This is an amazing image to have in your heart and mind. When Jesus prays for our fruitfulness, what vision of that do you think He envisions?

    • The short answer is: anything that leaves the world a kinder better place.

      The longer answer is: Since this text is from John’s Gospel, John would frame our fruitfulness first of all in the word love: allegiance and fidelity to Jesus and one another. I think for John this is the primary sign of God’s spirit and presence. (“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”) In a world as torn and conflicted as ours, every act of compassion and solidarity is a fruit of God’s spirit.

      Secondly, in John’s Gospel, the risen Jesus says, “As the father has sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathes his Spirit on his followers and says, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven.” We tend to hear this through the ears of modern evangelicalism or traditional priestly acts of confession. I see in it the remarkable word to those who feel alienated from and unworthy of God that God has washed away all that has stood between them. “God loves you and forgives you” has gotten kind of cheap and shallow in our modern world – but every now and then we have an opportunity to speak it as the liberating and transforming word it truly is.

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