Jesus’ final words here at the tail-end of the Upper Room Discourse connect directly with Jesus’ opening words at the very beginning of the Upper Room Discourse.
As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, Jesus began His parting words to His disciples with this promise:
“When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
That is the beginning of John 14.
Jesus added one last exclamation point to it all with this parting prayer:
“Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am.”
This at the end of John 17.
Jesus’ heartfelt emotion in this moment cannot be overstated.
These are the heartsick words of a smitten bride-groom about to leave His newly-betrothed bride. His bride with whom He is very much in love. His bride from whom He must now depart in order to — in the words of John 14 — return to His Father’s house to prepare the place where He and bride will dwell together forever.
It was back in Podcast #20, at the wedding at Cana, when I first clued you in that when Jesus, in John 14, promised to return to His followers, Jesus painted that promise in the portrait of a Jewish wedding. From the disciples’ point of view, in less than 24 hours, their bridegroom would indeed depart to His Father’s house in order to prepare a place for them.
You need to feel it, keenly so, that the dark cloud casting a dreary shadow over entire majestic Upper Room Discourse and Jesus’ glorious High Priestly Prayer is specter of Jesus’ immanent departure.
This is in every sense of the words high drama and intense — very human — emotion. On a couple of most-significant levels.
We are about to gaze directly into Jesus’ sizable soul. And what we are about to discover there is Jesus’ eager anticipation of a bridegroom (that will be fulfilled), coupled with His expression of an expectation that His newly-betrothed bride will historically, dramatically, and devastatingly fail to fulfill.
An unconscionable departure from what is clearly the plan, purpose, and will of God, for which the entire world is now paying a very high price. You talk about a clash/collision of contradictory emotions! Welcome to the world of Jesus.
Yes, this climax, this high water mark of this Upper Room Discourse is very much the very definition of high drama.
Now, just to give you a heads-up as to where we’re going tonight.
What you are about to see, in living color, in HD, in real time, is this:
- When your prayers seemingly go unanswered…
- When you cry out to God to fix a problem, heal a disease, restore a relationship knowing that such a fix/healing/restoration would meet with God’s approval, but your cries seem to fall on deaf ears…
- When your faith faces a devastatingly deep disappointment, an unnecessary and totally avoidable set of circumstances, what should be an easily fixable situation into which God for whatever reason does not intervene and does not fix…
- Know this: Jesus experienced, and continues to experience, all of that, His own disappointment to a degree that we cannot begin to fathom.
- A devastating disappointment that breaks His heart even to this day. One that breaks His heart — Hear this — His own prayers about this very situation notwithstanding.
To be blunt: a singularly-important part of Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer has yet to be answered, this after 2000 years and counting.
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God bless you richly as you listen.