Lesson 1 Key Thought
Lesson 2 Flow of Logical Relationships
Lesson 3 Summary and Key Verse
Lesson 4 Seek to Know the Meaning of Words
Lesson 5 Meditation
Lesson 6 Observations
Lesson 7 Application
Lesson 8 Putting it All Together
Lesson 9 Outline, Title and Key Centre
Lesson 10 Charting
「所以你們既除去一切的惡毒、詭詐、並假善、嫉妒、和一切毀謗的話、 就要愛慕那純淨的靈奶、像才生的嬰孩愛慕奶一樣、叫你們因此漸長、以致得救． 」(彼得前書2章1-2節)
Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV): And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Many Christians find “the Great Commission” (above) compelling. After all, these words come to us from our resurrected Saviour when He was about to ascend into glory. The commission at once thrusts discipleship onto the world stage, backed by His promised presence, and hence His power. So we are rightly inspired by its grandeur, and purpose, and possibilities.
Sadly, passion towards the Commission is not always accompanied by a matching mindfulness towards the instructions that come with it. These instructions were first taught by Jesus, then amplified in every New Testament letter. Yet the followers of Jesus Christ are more prone to let their fired imaginations carry them, than to conscientiously study and follow biblical instructions concerning our Lord’s charge to all disciples to make disciples. John chapter 17 underscores the importance of this.
Jesus Christ prayed a lot: in all sorts of occasions and locations, and habitually before sunrise (Mar 1:35). Interestingly, records of His prayers are mostly pithy snippets; except for John 17 — here, His prayer is recorded in full.
John 17 begs our attention not only because of its unique content, but also because of its position.
The latter half of John’s Gospel transports us into the final intimate hours between Jesus and His disciples. In chapters 13-16, (the famed “Farewell Discourse”), Jesus gave them instructions, insights, and promises that would, first, brace His men for the shock of the cross; and, later, equip them for their life’s work. In chapter 17, He prayed for them in terms of these revelations: in other words, Jesus committed His vision and plan for His disciples to God; then, in chapter 18, He turned resolutely to the cross.
Thus Jesus instructed His disciples, prayed for them in His terms, then gave up His life that His disciples might be given His life and power to live out His teachings.
This column, dubbed Project John 17, is driven by the belief that the Great Commission is not a call to do our own work but to be a servant in His; not a call to realise our own visions, but to be a channel for His. We will work hard to comprehend discipleship and disciple making through John 17, that is, through His vision — according to the terms of His prayer for His disciples — so that we may do God’s work, God’s way.
1 Corinthians 2:2 (ESV) For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
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