Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Daily - 5/19/2010

John 17:11b-19

11 Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.

12 When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13 But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely.

14 I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.

15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one.

16 They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.

17 Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.

18 As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.

19 And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.

Christ continues the prayer for his first priests that started in yesterday's reading. I want to point out a few things about what Christ calls "the world" - which is the physical place that we humans live in while we're alive.

- It can be a dangerous place for those committed to Christ, because the world is against them. In verse 13, Christ says he protected the Twelve and guarded them, and none were lost save Judas.

- The Apostles don't belong in the world any more than Christ does. They are transformed creatures in Christ. In Paul's letters, he describes this as the difference between living "in the flesh" and "in the spirit." The "world" = the flesh.

- The world HATES the spirit. We see this today in how openly hostile the secular population is to Christianity.

- Just as God sent Christ, Christ is sending his priests out into the world. But they will need God's protection from the evil one.

If you read this closely and believe it, you see the picture of two worlds - flesh and spirit. As believers in Christ, we are transitioning to the spirit, but we still "stuck" in the world of the flesh. It is a dangerous place, dominated by Satan, from whom we NEED protection.