On this Thursday night of Jesus’ final week, mere hours before the crucifixion, Jesus was worried about His disciples.
And as you are about to hear in this PODCAST, He was worried for a very good reason.
I don’t know if you have ever associated the word worry with Jesus, but as you will hear, in this case, at this time, in this place, that word worry is most appropriate.
Don’t worry (pun intended). I’m not trying to get all psychoanalytical on you. I am not fluent in psychobabble. And I’m not about to subject Jesus to a psychoanalysis.
But let us not overlook the fact that this is one of those rare glimpses into Jesus’ mind and heart on this — the single most traumatic night of His storied life.
What we see is a most-endearing picture of Jesus in all of His humanness on full display before disciples. I say endearing because the fact of the matter is this:
Jesus is equally worried about you. And that for the exact same Very.Good.Reason.
So what did Jesus do in response to His loving concern, His worry, His anxiety about His disciples? His loving concern, His worry, His anxiety about you?
Here’s a hint: What He did was AMAZING!
After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. (John 17:1)
…and with that, He began what is known as the “High Priestly Prayer”.
As Jesus worried about His disciples and us, He did what Paul prescribed to do when we face worry… even before Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6)
Now, to worry is not a sin. To worry is to be human. What we do when we worry… that’s where the consequences lie. Some spend, some do drugs, some drink, some eat, some over-commit in order avoid thinking about what worries them. These are all wrong ways to respond to worry.
The righteous response is this:
Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. (Philippians 4:6-7, Amplified Bible)
Sometimes life can be overwhelming. Isaiah actually begged God to kill him because he simply couldn’t take it anymore.
Sometimes circumstances, decisions, mistakes, or just life may cause us to even stumble and loose faith in God. Just as John the Baptizer experienced. Just as Peter experienced. And just as many friends of mine have experienced.
But, know this – all is not lost. In part, because just as Jesus prayed for His disciples who He knew would flee during His arrest, beating and crucifixion, He also prayed for me and you. And your return, even as a prodigal, is an answer to Jesus’ prayer.
“Father, the hour has come…” (John 17:1)
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.” (John 17:20-22)
“…Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! (John 17:24)
Someday soon, this prayer of Jesus will be answered in full.
In the meantime, stay alert, be ever on your guard, for we have an adversary who is seeking to trip us up on the race. But be assured of this: though circumstances may arise that may be so terrible that they would cause us to abandon God, He will never abandon you!