Exactly what Jesus Does Not Hope
The final evening that Jesus spends with his beloved disciples is a night of a lot prayer. Before he prays privately within the garden he prays publicly in the higher room. Before he or she prays for themself and his own stamina, he prays to them and theirs. “I do not ask which you take them out of the globe, ” he prays to his Dad, “but that you bear them from the evil one. ” What he does not pray is as significant as what he actually does.
He does not raise up his voice to the Father to express, “I pray you take them away, We pray you take them home, I pray you take them to become where you are and where I soon will be. ” Not at this point. Not yet. For they still have work to carry out, orders to obey, a commission to satisfy. “I do not inquire that you take them out of the world. ” But there is more to his prayer. “I do pray which you keep them from the bad one. ” This individual does not petition the daddy to say, “I pray you keep them through suffering” or “I pray you keep them from persecution. ” He does not inquire God, “I pray you keep them from grief” or “I pray you keep all of them from loss. ” He does not intercede to say, “I pray you keep them from flood and fire, from prison cellular and hospital mattress. ” He prays instead that because they remain in this world, they will be kept from falling under the power plus influence of the evil one. For since his path to glory must pass through suffering, so must their own.
And indeed, they actually suffer. As the historic record is handed down from the gospels in order to Acts and the epistles, we become witnesses of their many tests. They are beaten plus tormented, mocked and persecuted, reviled plus exiled. And though history becomes hazier following the closing of the cannon, tradition suggests that Sara alone dies a natural death. None are kept from struggling, but all are kept from falling. Not one are preserved from Satan’s scourging, yet all are delivered from Satan’s authority. Lord hears the plea of his Kid, and he answers it.
And what Jesus prays for them, he prays for us as well. “I do not request these only, ” he says, “but furthermore for those who will rely on me through their own word…” We, too, are kept in this world, though sometimes we all long to leave. Moses grew careful of the complaints from the people and pleaded with God in order to “kill me at the same time. ” Elijah sat under a broom woods and asked which he might die, saying, “It is enough; at this point, O LORD, remove my life. ” Sunlight beat down on despairing Jonah’s head and asked that he may die and stated, “It is better for me to die than to reside. ” Many of God’s people desire to too early depart the body to allow them to be present with the Master. But as Our god denied the requests of Moses, Elijah, and Jonah, he or she denies the demands of others until their tasks on earth happen to be brought to completion.
And so we, too, remain here, till God decrees our work is done. Sometimes that work involves great difficulty. But we should expect no less, pertaining to Jesus does not inquire that we will be held from all studies, all suffering, most of sorrows. He prays simply that even as we remain here, we will be held firm in the grip of The almighty to carry out his may. For like the disciples, we have work to complete. Like the disciples, we have a commission to carry out, we have duties to fulfill, a God in order to represent. Like the disciples, we must be kept in this world so we can be light to this planet.
We can have no confidence that we will be kept from heartaches, but every confidence that we will be kept from Satan. We can have no confidence we will be preserved from falling into times associated with persecution, but each confidence we will be kept from falling to the evil hands from the one who, for now, could be the prince of this planet. For the prince of the world can go not an inch farther than has been decreed by the one who holds this in his powerful hand, the one who has noticed the prayer of his precious Child, the one who will solution it. As the songwriter says with such eloquence,
We fear no enemy with thee at hand to bless,
Ills have no bodyweight, and tears simply no bitterness.
Exactly where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
We triumph still, if thou abide beside me.