My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. – Jn. 17:15, 17 NIV
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Jesus Christ was about to depart the world and right from Chapter 14 of the biblical book of John, the disciple John had attempted to give his own account of those final acts as much as possible. Chapter 17 seems to be a summary of what looked like a valedictory session with Jesus Christ reported to have pleaded with his father, that he should be glorified after satisfactorily completing the task he was commissioned to do in the world. The first five verses of this chapter of the biblical book of John reveals the Prayer of Jesus Christ to his father, pleading that he should be glorified as a reward for satisfactorily completing his task on earth. The next fourteen verses, verse 6-19, of this book of the disciple John contained the prayer of Jesus Christ for his disciples and he was indeed very specific about the focus of his prayers being his disciples – Jn. 17:9. In his attempt at informing his father of what he was able to achieve in the life of this group of people called his disciples, that gave him the impression that he had completed that area of his work satisfactorily, and for whom the prayer was been rendered, he in the process revealed the qualities of those who can be classified as disciples and what such people should expect from God.
In informing his father of the quality of knowledge he successfully imparted of this group of people, that qualified them to be tagged disciples, he in the process revealed to the world, the character traits of those expected to be classed as his disciples, and these are as follows;
1. They know God – Jn. 17:6a. Their knowledge of God should produce a difference in the manner in which they approach Him in all situations. Beyond the fact that the Bible states that those who know their will do exploits (Dan. 11:32), they are also in a position to represent Him effectively in the world. To know God is to know all His dos and don’ts and thereby become a great soldier of His, who do and implement His Will. Do you really think you know God? How well do you know Him? You cannot be His disciple if you do not know Him. Spend more time dwelling on His Word as that remains the only way you can know Him.
2. They are people who belonged to God from the beginning – Jn. 17:6b. Jesus Christ revealed that those who are disciples were created for that role from the beginning but probably just required re-orientation by the Word to discover their purpose. This is not strange either because God himself revealed that he had earmarked Jeremiah for the role he eventually played in life, right from his mother’s womb (Jer. 1:5), just as Paul himself in his letter to the Romans confirmed that some people have been pre-destined for kingdom roles – Rom. 8:29. Do you think you are operating in his plan for your life? because it will be impossible to refer to yourself as a disciple if you are not operating in your destined purpose in life. Just as Jesus said, it will require that God has destined you to be a disciple before you can become one – Jn. 6:44.
3. They are people who are obedient to God and His Words – 2Cor. 10:6c. It is impossible to be a disciple of Jesus Christ if there is no total obedience to the instructions of God. To know the Word is different from operating in the Word. Discipleship implies following Jesus Christ. He himself said that the proof of love for him is to follow his commandments, which are all commandments of the Almighty God. But it is impossible to follow a law that is not known which is why again, a disciple must have time for the Word of God. Create time to dwell in his Word today so that your claim to being a disciple can be more rooted.
4. They acknowledge that all that Christ said was God given – 2Cor. 10:7-8a. To be a disciple is to accept that Jesus Christ did nothing outside the Will of the Almighty God – Jn. 5:19; 14:11-15. Anyone who is a disciple will have no restriction in doing all that Christ has instructed, not just because Jesus Christ said so, but because he/she believes it is the Almighty God that is speaking. He had said in one of his teaching that those who believe in him believe God – Jn. 10:37-38.
5. They have no doubt about the origin of Jesus Christ and his destination when he departed from this earth – 2Cor. 10:8b. The Bible says that anyone who does not believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God is possessed by the spirit of the anti-christ – 1Jn. 4:3. It is not possible to be a disciple of Christ and entertain discussions that doubt the divine origin of Jesus Christ. To be a disciple is to believe that he came, died, rose and ascended to heaven and more importantly, that he is coming back to judge the world – Acts 1:11. A true believer and disciple never stops expecting his return.
6. They will always bring glory to the name of God and Jesus Christ – 2Cor. 10:10. A true believer will always, by his/her action, bring glory to the name of the Almighty God. A true disciple will avoid being involved in anything that will bring the name of God to disrepute.
Going through all these points that Jesus told his father he achieved amongst his disciples, can he claim such perfection in you? Are you a true disciple? Do you think you will not present him as a liar before his father on that judgement day? He presented you before his father as a complete work due for salvation. Are you sure that you will not disappoint him? Re-define your life style and ensure that you are indeed a true disciple because it is not just by how the world see you, but also how the father sees you also. We shall all indeed stand before the judgement throne to render account of our works – 2Cor. 5:10. What will your account look like?