Daily D – John 17:4
I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. JOHN 17:4 (NLT)
I glorified you on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What you assigned me to do.
There is plenty of time for pondering when you drive across America no matter how many Audible books and podcasts you listen to. There is plenty of time to sort through failure and success, plans and dreams.
More than I prefer to confess, a good chunk of that think time involved grieving personal failures. The turn inward was so sharp and so deep I kinda sorta forgot how to get out of my own head there for a while. A good nudge from a trusted heart pushed me back toward the light.
This verse helps us with perspective. Begin reading John’s Gospel at chapter 12 and continue through this chapter. Pause only to ponder. Notice the deepening depths. Hear how Jesus pulls together all he has said and done leading to this moment. Note how he points beyond the discomfort of the moment, beyond the terror to come, beyond the grief to settle upon them, to the joy coming without end.
Read this prayer. Read it completely. Read it aloud with new ears not only hearing the words but listening to what they say.
Meditate on this verse. Jesus completed “down to the last detail” the work our Father in heaven gave him to do.
Will I ever be able to pray a similar prayer? A soft No must be spoken here. The cross-country drive reminded me of so many failures, so many shortcomings, so many missed opportunities.
Consider this: Jesus did not heal every sick person. He did not repair every malformed limb. He did not open every blind eye. He did not convert every lost soul. Yet in this high priestly prayer before offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins, he said truthfully, “I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” He completed his project and all its associated tasks.
What was to become of the sick, the handicapped, the blind, the lost which remained? Maybe that is what he was talking about in 14:12-14. There he said, “Anyone who believes in me
- will do the same works I have done
- will do even greater works
- you can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it
- Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!”
Jesus only did what he could do in one place at a time for as long as he lived. He clearly stated that he would go away and that his followers would not be left alone. He would send the Advocate, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit who would remind them of all Jesus said, who would convict the world, who would empower them to accomplish together the project of communicating the Good News to the ends of the earth and the end of the age.
Jesus focused on three disciples more than the others, he gave the twelve exclusive training, and he sent the seventy in pairs. That turned into 120 gathered together in eager anticipation on the Day of Pentecost which erupted into thousands on that day of all days. Notice Jesus did not send out anyone alone. Maybe that’s why he never does that well in Hollywood where they love the solo superstar who is in touch with his feelings or the Force or nature or whatever they call it these days.
Our best success, our surest insurance against failure, is found in working together. We need each other. We require differing perspectives and complementary strengths. Something happens when two or three work together that solopreneurs never accomplish.
I will come closer to praying like this verse only if I do all I can do in the company of others. Alone, I will never be enough, I will never do enough. I need a partner. I need a team. I need the intelligence, wisdom, strength, and patience of others to live a life of maximum expression.
I will accomplish all that is left for me to do by connecting with others in joint pursuit of our great commission.
Our Father, only Jesus could pray the prayer recorded in John 17. Thank you that he did. Empower me to take to heart his instruction regarding working together. Remind me as often as necessary that my finest achievements will come as a result of cooperation and collaboration rather than attempting anything alone. Teach me how to depend on other people’s strengths to fill the many gaps where I am weak. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.