Looking through the pages of these Chapters, we can categorically state that Jesus Christ has given us various lessons that are needed for our success as spiritual leaders and Christians.
Jesus sets out in Chapter 16 to put His followers in remembrance of the exhortations He has given them. He knew it was the time for Him to depart the earth…So He set out in these Chapters to encourage and bless His people.
The lesson we must glean from the first Chapter today is that of the need for a ‘divine legacy’.
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away:for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”- John 16:7
You see, Jesus knew the exit season of His life on earth and put His focus on building a divine legacy for His followers here on earth. That divine legacy is the promise of the Comforter, which is a great reality in our Christian walk today and forever. The presence of the Holy Spirit had brought the peace that Jesus Christ represents…that peace gives Christians the confidence that in spite of any challenge here on earth, we would overcome.
As Spiritual Leaders, we must continuously glean leadership lessons from the Bible…Today, we drink from the cup of ‘The Maxwell Leadership Bible’.
Looking specifically at John 17 when Jesus Christ was saying a prayer for His Disciples and His posterity in general (You and I today), the Law of the Inner Circle is clearly portrayed in these Verses.
This is the lesson of ‘Leading When No One Sees’. The majority of what we call Jesus’ “highly priestly prayer” concerns His inner circle. At the end of His life, He felt acutely aware that the success of His work depended chiefly on the twelve disciples He had trained. Observe what He prayed for:
1. Their faith (vv. 11, 12)
2. Their fulfilment (vv. 13)
3. Their future (vv. 14, 15)
4. Their faithfulness (vv. 16, 17)
5. Their fruitfulness (vv. 18-20)
6. Their fellowship (vv. 21-23)
7. Their sense of family (vv. 24-26)
The example Jesus set in this Chapter is very profound…He spent time ‘praying’. Prayer is a chief task of every Christian (Acts 6:4). As Spiritual leaders within our various spheres of influence, we must understand that the leadership we provide which no one sees may be more important than what we do in public.
Jesus’ prayer told a lot about His love for His followers…He did not only pray for the followers He had at that time, He also prayed for those to come. This is what we call ‘the prayer for posterity’…this heartfelt prayer still keeps the Bride of Christ till eternity. The joy of Jesus’ prayer for posterity is what has kept our family together and forever will. Amen.
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.”- John
17:20In the light of the great example Jesus Christ has given us this day…we must always pray and never faint (Luke 18:1) and also remember that God rewards us for every good we do…especially when we think no one recognises our dedication (Galatians 6:9).
Jesus’ prayer indeed was in two folds…He prayed for himself in the first verses of Chapter 17 (vv. 1-5) and the immediate workings of the prayer began from Chapter 18 when His betrayal took place. The trials Jesus faced in Chapter 18 and beyond were already written of Him by the Prophets…His prayer of submission helped Him fulfil God’s purpose for His life.
Our dedication to the Word, to Prayer and to the service of The Lord…will always bring the reward of God’s good promises of divine purpose and eternal life.
Our Heavenly Father thank you for the great lessons you have given to us by sending Jesus Christ as our example. We pray for grace to live according to the Scriptures. We pray that you instil in us the strength to have divine legacies at all times, the enablement to lead well even when no one sees and pray always. Thank you Lord for giving us a divine purpose and the promise of eternal life. In Jesus name. Amen.