Knee Jerk Devotional: April 12, 2021

John 17:1-12


Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said:

Father, it's time.
Display the bright splendor of your Son
So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor.
You put him in charge of everything human
So he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge.
And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know you,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
I glorified you on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What you assigned me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendor,
The very splendor I had in your presence
Before there was a world.
I spelled out your character in detail
To the men and women you gave me.
They were yours in the first place;
Then you gave them to me,
And they have now done what you said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from you.
They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,
And my life is on display in them.
For I'm no longer going to be visible in the world;
They'll continue in the world
While I return to you.
Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life
That you conferred as a gift through me,
So they can be one heart and mind
As we are one heart and mind.
As long as I was with them, I guarded them
In the pursuit of the life you gave through me;
I even posted a night watch.
And not one of them got away,
Except for the rebel bent on destruction
(the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).

This morning I am deeply struck by this little phrase in this prayer of Jesus, “…my life is on display in them.”

I’m not sure that I take that reality very seriously. Or, not seriously enough. This idea that Jesus’ life is on display in me is an uncomfortable reminder that everything I do and say is a reflection on Christ.

When we say we are following Jesus then the expectation of the watching world is to see Jesus in our lives.

There are so many Christians that want to wipe away our bad actions and unloving words by saying, “We are all flawed. None of us are perfect. We can’t be. Don’t look at me but look at Christ.” Well, the problem with this line of thinking is that to look at Christ requires the world to look at us, at least according to Jesus.

I suppose there’s an outside chance that Jesus got it wrong. But, I find that an unlikely reality.

When people look at me do they see Jesus? Do they see someone who loves without condition, full of mercy, and full of grace? Or do they see something else?

How do I engage with the world around me? Am I seen as unmerciful, ungracious, unloving, and unkind?

If you, like me, are following Christ then please take some time and look hard at how you live. We, each of us, need to ask ourselves what does the world see? Do they see Christ in us or do they see something else?