I am presently on a journey through Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer of John 17. This section is the present quarry yielding untold treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. (John 17:6-8)
One of the things standing out to me is the weaving together of relationships so that the believer is just as significant in the picture as the Father and the Son. In no way do I mean that we are as glorious, or wonderful, or good, or holy, or righteous as the Triune. However, by God’s choice, we are as essential to the picture as the Father and the Son. Which means, “Monte, MEANS SOMETHING to them!”
Somehow, in considering the relationship of the Father, the Son, and the children of God, I was reminded of John’s description of God in Revelation: “and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.”
As I meditated on the wonder of this, the fact that God deliberately left out all the details people would love to paint into this scene puts the spotlight on what things mean more than what they look like. I love thinking of this as Heaven’s Picture Book. Each scene is a picture to marvel at and enjoy, something easy for persecuted and harassed believers to remember when overwhelmed by the world’s hatred of our Savior.
Today this overwhelms me: “a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.” That tells me everything about what to expect of evil governments, evil movements, anti-Christs, beasts, false prophets, one world governments, humanity united to oppose God: because a throne stands in heaven, with one seated on the throne, “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” And no one can stop Jesus from building his church, even when his living stones include me!
So, when I read further that John:
“heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’
And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshiped”,
I know that I am in the picture as one of those creatures. In my own small experience, I am saying with them that I confess my faith in the one who sits on the throne, and I confess my faith in the Lamb, and because they are sovereign over all, blessing, and honor, and glory, and might, are theirs forever and ever, and so I bow before them in joyful confession and worship them with a thankful and awestruck heart.
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)