Eventide Reflection – April 26

By Robert Brown
Shared at Eventide, April 26th, 2017

Read John 17: 20-26

In this passage from the Gospel of John is a continuation of Jesus’ petition to his God, our God, on behalf of his disciples. This intercession follows the lengthy discourse he presents to his disciples at the last supper in the upper room.

If we go back a few chapters in John’s gospel, and read through to today’s passage, we find a number of quotes wherein Jesus explicates what’s going on in the present moment, what is to come in the next few days, what things will be like after his death and resurrection, and what all this means for them, and for the world.

It’s really quite a bit of concentrated and rich personal, social, spiritual and theological information. It’s interesting for me to wonder how the disciples may have heard these foundational points, as I continue to evolve and grow in my own understanding of them.

Starting at the beginning of chapter 13, here are a few highlights leading up to today’s passage:

Peter’s objection to Jesus washing his feet, and the resulting commandment: “For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.”

Jesus refutes Peter’s claim: “I will lay down my life for you.” Peter’s 3 denials follow.

Jesus responds to Thomas’ claim to not know where Jesus is going. “I am the way,and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus assures the disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever.”

And: “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”

From Chapter 15: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

And from just a few verses before today’s passage: Speaking to God of his disciples: “They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”

The gospel according to John is seen by Biblical scholars as fundamentally different than the other three synoptic gospels. This gospel contains a full compliment of theological assertions, principles and explanations, which theologians and scholars have been working with since Jesus’ time. It’s likely that scholars, theologians and all of humanity will continue to attempt to fully understand, in a systematic and coherent way, not just the gospel of John, but all of Holy Scripture.

All Christians, believers who walk the faith journey, have their relationship with both Scripture and with God, and this journey is one of evolving understandings of meanings and beliefs. In this sense you and I are all theologians, because of our interest in understanding God, the nature of human nature, and the relationship between God, humanity, and all of Creation.

So the gospel passage will be read again. This time see what stands out for you, what you see as having special meaning for you. All reflections are welcome shared or silent.

Read John 17: 20-26