Because of the deceit of religion and the darkness of politics, He was delivered to death. He was proved to be without fault, but religion and politics were exposed to be dark, deceitful, and corrupt.
We’ve come today to the section of John 18 through 20 dealing with the Lord’s death on the cross and His resurrection. Generally, we consider the Lord’s death in relationship to the work of redemption. But we will see once again today that this Gospel, though certainly not minimizing the redemptive aspect, has another emphasis; the release and multiplication of life which resulted from Christ’s death.
We are one divine human incorporation in the Triune God. Surely, our Oneness is not just a “getting together” or a kind of “joining something”. It is the Oneness of the Triune God.
In John 17, you have a list: 4 verses, mentioning something of the Oneness. Verse 11 says, the Oneness is in the name of the Father. The reality of the Father’s name is the Father’s divine life. So, the first factor of the genuine Oneness is the name of the Father with the Father’s divine life. Then verse 21, this is deep verse, so profound! “That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” The point here is this. The Oneness is in the Triune God. When we are all in the Triune God, then in the Triune God, we have the Oneness. But, here we have to pay attention to this fact. How could we be in the Triune God? Through His death and resurrection…
We have an entity in New York called the United Nations. But, I think we all realize that the United Nations is actually the divided nations, that there is no real oneness outside the Triune God.
This passage (the Lord’s prayer in John 17) is maybe the most important portion of the Holy Word because this is the Lord’s final recorded prayer before He goes to the cross to die. And, what we see in this prayer is the aspiration of the Lord’s heart’s desire actually becomes His specific prayer to the Father. So, in this prayer, what we see is the very heart’s desire of the Triune God. And, in verse 1 of this prayer, the Lord opens by saying, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You.” So, this is a prayer for the Father to glorify the Son that the Son may glorify the Father. And, what this means is for the Father and the Son to have a full expression through His many believers. And, this expression of Himself is His glorification.
When the Spirit as the essence of the Word makes that written Word living, immediately we receive the dispensing of the Father’s life. And, in that life we can be one with all the believers in Christ Jesus.
Upon a first reading or a rather superficial reading of John 17, we may have the impression that the central point is the oneness of the believers. Although this point is crucial, it is neither the central point of the chapter, nor the subject of the Lord’s prayer in this chapter. The subject is clearly indicated in verse 1, where the Lord Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, … glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify you.” This sets the tone and reveals the subject of the Lord’s prayer. He is praying for His glorification so that in His glorification the Father would be glorified.
John (Program #41) – The Work of the Spirit unto the Mingling of Divinity with Humanity (2)
You come into this chapter (John 17); it’s like stepping into a room where a Godly person is praying and you feel uneasy to interrupt Him. And, you certainly don’t want to come in to inject any thought of your own. So, there’s a holy atmosphere here, of the communication in the divine Trinity that only the Holy Spirit can make known to us.
I believe the prayer, in John 17, is very very significant, mainly because it comes at the end of a long message that the Lord Jesus gave to His disciples just before He went to the cross. Chapters 14, 15, and 16 give us the message that the Lord Jesus spoke on His way to be crucified. So, this of course is a very significant portion of the Word of God, particularly in the Gospel of John. And, after that long message, then He closes with this prayer. And, this prayer is so meaningful that unless you really pray it, or I should say, read it prayerfully, you will not know what its subject is.
John (Program #40) – The Work of the Spirit unto the Mingling of Divinity with Humanity (1)
Acts 13:33 tell us that on the day of resurrection, He was begotten by God. His humanity was actually born into divinity to make Him the first born Son of God.
These 3 chapters (John 14, 15, 16) are very rich and very meaningful because these 3 chapters are the contents of the Lord’s final message given in His earthly ministry before He went to the cross, was crucified, and then resurrected. In these 3 chapters, what we see s God’s heart’s desire and God’s eternal purpose.
John (Program #39) – The Organism of the Triune God in the Divine Dispensation (3)
Those who refuse Christ and who stay in Adam by so doing will remain one with Satan, and as a result will participate in the judgment reserved for God’s enemy.
In this chapter (John 15), the Lord speaks plainly, directly, and profoundly concerning the divine organism. And, He says, “I am the true vine, you are the branches.” So, here we have a corporate entity. The vine with its branches composed of Christ as the embodiment and manifestation of the triune God. And, all those who have believed into Christ by receiving Him into them. The Lord calls this the true vine, the real vine. What we have in this marvelous picture is God the Father embodied in Christ who is the stock of the vine. And, all the believers who have been added to Christ, to become parts of Christ, just as the branches of the vine are parts of the vine to be an organism. So, now we have on this earth the living, divine organism of Christ and His believers, the vine and the branches.
John (Program #38) – The Organism of the Triune God in the Divine Dispensation (2)
When He speaks to us, we have to keep it. When His word abides in us, then right away, we are abiding in His love. So, just by saying Amen to His speaking, love will fill us, and we will find the prevailing way to love the Lord Jesus and abide in His love.
The very striking point in John 15 to me is the illustration of the vine and the branches. There’s no other plant that could adequately illustrate the life flow that exists between the Lord and His believers. The Lord said, “I am the vine, and you are the branches.” Could any other illustration make it more clear? Then, what God is producing is an organism, not an organization. The “I am” here is Christ when He said, “I am the vine.” And, the “you are” is that part of the vine known as branches. Christ, the Son, is the very center of God’s economy, and He’s also the embodiment of all the riches of the Father.
John (Program #37) – The Organism of the Triune God in the Divine Dispensation (1)
God intends to propagate and multiply, not by relying on great gospel campaigns, but rather by flowing His life in Christ into all the branches so that all the branches will bear fruit.
Chapter 14 of John has as its focus, the dispensing of the Triune God into the believers of Christ for the producing of God’s abode. In order to touch the heart of chapter 14, we need to drop the traditional concept that the Father’s house with the many abodes denotes Heaven. Simply put the Father’s house denotes the Father’s house, which is His habitation, His dwelling place, elsewhere called quite distinctly the Church of the living God or the temple of God. So, the emphasis in chapter 14 is how Christ in resurrection as the Spirit of reality comes into the believers, dwells in them, and enables them to dwell in God. And the result of this mutual indwelling is the producing of God’s dwelling place.
John (Program #36) – The Dispensing of the Triune God for the Producing of His Abode (4)
This is so critical for our experience of Christ to continually say, “Lord Jesus, I love you.” And according to these verses, when you tell the Lord that you love Him, He says “I will love you also, and My Father will love you. I will manifest myself to you. And, not only that, the Father and I will come to you and make an abode with you.”
Thus far, we’ve seen that John 14 is a very mysterious chapter. In verse 2, the Lord says, “In My Father’s house are many abodes”, and this verse has been misinterpreted and misunderstood by many people. What we have seen from the Holy Bible is that the Father’s house is the Church. 1 Timothy 3:15 tells us the Church is the house of the living God. And, in the Church, which is the Father’s house, are many abodes. These many abodes are the many members of the Church as the body of Christ, who are the many dwelling places of Christ. Each believer in Christ, as a member of His body, which is the Church as the Father’s house, is a dwelling place to Christ…