Before Jesus was betrayed, arrested and crucified, He prayed His “High Priestly Prayer” (John 17). In this prayer, Jesus prayed for His followers, who would become the church. He prayed many things for us. One of the things I notice in His prayer is that He is praying for us to be a model of Him in the world. Christ is the example we are to follow. When we live like Him, we are the model of Him to a watching world. Based on Jesus’ prayer, let me mention five things we, as His church, are to do and be in this world. The church is to be a MODEL of Christ in the World.
M—Model Christ’s Holiness (John 17:6, 14-19)
Jesus said to the Father, “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world.” In other words, Jesus revealed the holiness and character of the Father to us. We, in turn, are to do the same in the world. Jesus prayed for us so that we would be sanctified in the truth (v. 17) in order to show the world what God is like.
O—Own Christ’s Truth (John 17:7-8)
Jesus said He had given us the words that the Father had given to Him. Jesus lived out the words, truths, and commands of the Father; so should we.
D—Display Christ’s Unity (John 17:20-23)
On many occasions, including His prayer in John 17, Jesus declared that He and the Father are one. In other words, their unity (the unity of the Trinity) is a beautiful model of unity. We, as God’s people, should also be unified. He prayed “that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” Church, our unity is critically important…it points to the Father, and proves that the Father sent Jesus.
E—Experience Christ’s Joy (John 17:13)
Jesus prayed that we may have “my joy fulfilled in themselves” (v. 13). We are to experience HIS joy. His joy should be our joy. And then that joy should be exhibited to a world that is joyless. We are the light of the world. His joy should be displayed in us, His disciples.
L—Live out Christ’s Mission (John 17:18)
Jesus was sent from heaven to our earth on a mission from the Father. We, too, are on a mission. His mission is now our mission. Jesus prayed, “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” Jesus modeled for us how to live on mission. Now, we are on His mission to make disciples.
Church, it’s very important that we model Christ to a lost and dying world. They need to see Christ’s holiness, truth, unity, joy and mission lived out in and through us. Swift Creek, let’s continue to be a model of Christ to the world.