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Friday, November 25, 2016

Immerse me

Like Me, they are not products of the corrupt world order. Immerse them in the truth, the truth Your voice speaks.  In the same way You sent Me into this world, I am sending them.  It is entirely for their benefit that I have set Myself apart so that they may be set apart by truth.  I am not asking solely for their benefit; this prayer is also for all the believers who will follow them and hear them speak.  Father, may they all be one as You are in Me and I am in You; may they be in Us, for by this unity the world will believe that You sent Me. (John 17:16-22 VOICE)

Jesus is just about ready to be taken to the cross and he takes some time to pray for his disciples - those who follow his teachings. The moment he starts praying you can see this intimate connection he has with his father - it is a comfortable exchange of words and is free-flowing in expression of his heartfelt wishes and burdens.  A few times in this prayer, he reminds us that we are not products of this corrupt world but are set apart for his purpose by accepting the truth he declares. Truth is a liberating force in our lives - a force to be reckoned with. To this end, he prays one specific thing - that his father would "immerse" each of us in the truth - the truth which comes directly from the voice of God.

Why is this important to us today? In understanding this prayer, we must first understand the relationship Jesus had with his father - the deep connection he had with the heart of his father. It was this heart connection which causes him to be burdened for not only that generation of followers, but for all future generations who would see their example and follow their teaching. The prayer is that God would connect them as closely to his heart as he himself was connected - infusing truth into every fiber of their being (and ours). Immersion means there is nothing left exposed - it is fully and completely "covered" or saturated with whatever it is immersed in. Immersion in truth is what makes it possible for us to look beyond our differences and see the specific connection we have with each other through the blood of Jesus.

Truth does more than set us free from the bonds we have had in this world - from the bondage to sinful deeds and motives. It sets us free to unite with one another even when we are not entirely like the other person - breaking down divisive walls and creating a cohesive bond between us. Immersion in truth is the only way to realize true unity - apart from that, all we have is casual connection (occasional agreement on a subject or matter at hand). In Christ, and the unity made possible because of our heart connection with the heavenly father, we can unite together in purpose on this earth. We may not all be the same - but in Christ we can focus on the same goal!  What we may need just a bit more of in this world right now is not more truth, but full immersion in the truth we have already received in Christ Jesus. Just sayin!