I’ve sent them, even as You sent Me

Sunday 01/30/22

Message –  I’ve sent them, even as You sent Me

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I’ve sent them, even as You sent Me

Well last week we finished up chapter 16 in John as we’re working through Jesus’s last week on Earth with his disciples as a mortal man, and the lessons He was eager to teach them which He knew were the most vital lessons they needed to learn before His departure.

I want to remind you that John 12-17 are somewhat sequencil in the way they are presented in John’s testimony of Jesus

It begins at the end of chapter 12 with a teaching Jesus offered during His week of passion.

He said, “(44)Then Jesus cried out, “The one who believes in Me believes not in Me, but in Him Who sent Me. (45)  And the one who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me. (46)  I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness. (47)  If anyone hears My words and doesn’t keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. (48)  The one who rejects Me and doesn’t accept My sayings has this as his judge: the word I have spoken will judge him on the last day. (49)  For I have not spoken on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a command as to what I should say and what I should speak. (50)  I know that His command is eternal life. So the things that I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” ~ John 12:44-50  

So at least three things came up here which also came up again as we progress through to chapter 17

  1. That to see Jesus was to see the Father
  2. That Jesus came to reveal the Father
  3. That eternal life was to know both the Father and the Son 

When they arrived in the upper room, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, told them that they as disciples were not greater than He their Lord and so if He stooped to wash their feet they were to do the same for one another. 

He then offers them a new command, not just to love one another, but to love one another EVEN AS HE had loved them. They may not have been able to articulate specifically how but I imagine that they instinctively knew that this was taking the commandant of the Old Testament to love your neighbor and take it up more than a few notches. 

In chapter 14 we read of His encouragement of them regarding His departure and told them He would not leave them without comfort our guidance.

In chapter 15 we are told about the discussion they continued to have as they left the upper room, and began their walk to the Garden, during which time, He then tells them of the new relationship they had with He and the Father which He illustrated with a grapevine.

In chapter 16 as they were nearing the garden He then told them that their lives would become a testimony of Him which would result in the world hating them and persecuting them.

Then Jesus entered the garden to pray. Matthew’s account of this is very clear.

Matt. 26:36-46, “(36) Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” (37)  Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.  (38)  Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow–to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with Me.” (39)  Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (40)  Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He asked Peter. “So, couldn’t you stay awake with Me one hour? (41)  Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (42)  Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.” (43)  And He came again and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open.  (44)  After leaving them, He went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.  (45)  Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the time is near. The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. (46)  Get up; let’s go! See–My betrayer is near.”

He then told them to go pray lest they enter into temptation. The temptation Jesus was attempting to help them avoid was the temptation to forsake and deny Him.

We know that during this time Jesus asked the Father if there might be the provision of another way of salvation without having to become sin and be separated even for a moment, but we also know He prayed something else – something in which He began His church age ministry of prayer and intercession for the saints during the age of grace.

That is what we will read this morning…

John 17:1-26, 

“(1) Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said: 

Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You, (2) for You gave Him authority over all flesh; so He may give eternal life to all You have given Him. 

Give the knowledge of God to all the Father had given to Him. This was the ministry of Jesus and it became the ministry of His disciples and by extension all who would eventually believe through their word. God has ordained that the good news would be proclaimed through the foolishness of the message preached. Jesus preached, His disciples preached and so do we in one fashion or another – we both LIVE a testimony before the world and GIVE testimony before the world.

This is NOT entirely unlike what happened with Lydia in Macedonia and it reveals the type of people God the Father gave to the Son. It is recorded in Acts 16:13-15,

“(13) On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate by the river, where we thought there was a place of prayer. We sat down and spoke to the women gathered there.  (14)  A woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God, was listening. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was spoken by Paul.  (15)  After she and her household were baptized, she urged us, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.”

The same was true of Cornelius who sent for Peter in Joppa, to “hear words by which they would be saved”.

Cornelius was in a position to hear these words because he too was already a worshiper of God – and such worship which manifested itself in regular prayer and active giving into the Jewish community.

“(3) This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent–Jesus Christ. 

You glorify God by bearing fruit – doing the work He commissioned you to do

“(4) I have glorified You on the earth by completing the work You gave Me to do. (5) Now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with that glory I had with You before the world existed. 

Jesus gave eternal life, by revealing the Father to them

“(6) I have revealed Your name to the men You gave Me from the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. (7) Now they know that all things You have given to Me are from You, (8) because the words that You gave Me, I have given them. They have received them and have known for certain that I came from You. They have believed that You sent Me.” 

In the garden this was part of His prayer

“(9) I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those You have given Me, because they are Yours. (10) All My things are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I have been glorified in them.” 

His mind had already been made up

“(11) I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one as We are one. 

(12) While I was with them, I was protecting them by Your name that You have given Me. I guarded them and not one of them is lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture may be fulfilled. 

(13) Now I am coming to You, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have My joy completed in them. (14) I have given them Your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. 

(15) I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. 

(16) They are not of the world, as I am not of the world

(17) Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.”

The Great Commission

“(18) As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 

To both illustrate this point and to better explain it by example, let’s turn to 2Cor 5:1-21. It will also, no doubt be a source of comfort to us after having so immediately lost one of our own just yesterday.

“(1) For we know that if our earthly house, a tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  (2)  And, in fact, we groan in this one, longing to put on our house from heaven,  (3)  since, when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.  

(4)  Indeed, we who are in this tent groan, burdened as we are, because we do not want to be unclothed but clothed, so that mortality may be swallowed up by life.  

(5)  And the One Who prepared us for this very thing is God, Who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.  

(6)  Therefore, though we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord–  (7)  for we walk by faith, not by sight–  (8)  yet we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord.  

(9)  Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him.  

(10)  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or bad.  

(11)  Knowing, then, the fear of the Lord, we persuade people

We are completely open before God, and I hope we are completely open to your consciences as well.  (12)  We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may have a reply for those who take pride in the outward appearance rather than in the heart.  

(13)  For if we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we have a sound mind, it is for you.  

(14)  For Christ’s love compels us, [such love is both His example and His command] since we have reached this conclusion: if One died for all, then all died.  (15)  And He died for all so that 

those who live should no longer live for themselves, 

but for the One who died for them and was raised.  

(16)  From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him like that.  

(17)  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.  (18)  Now everything is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  

(19)  that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.  

(20)  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; certain that God is appealing through us, we plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”  

(21)  He made the One Who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Jesus gives everything, and so therefore should we

“(19) I sanctify Myself for them, so they also may be sanctified by the truth. (20) I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. 

(21) May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me. 

(22) I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one. 

(23) I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.” 

Jesus’ heart and desire for us

“(24) Father, I desire those You have given Me to be with Me where I am. Then they will see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the world’s foundation. 

(25) Righteous Father! The world has not known You

However, I have known You, and these have known that You sent Me. 

(26) I made Your name known to them and will make it known, so the love You have loved Me with may be in them and I may be in them.”

I know it may seem as if the apple has fallen a bit far from the tree in terms of what we started out looking at these passages for, but in reality, all we have done is work to further complete that same picture. So in closing let me explain how all of this comes together.

We came here to illustrate how the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives enables us to maintain our hope of Christ being formed in US and that works being completed on the day we see him at his return. Jesus was walking through his final week on Earth as a mortal man. He was investing everything he had into his disciples, he always had but now that the time was so short there was much he wanted to tell them but was not able. A phrase we see him mentioned more than once in these chapters. 

His desire, as led by the Holy Spirit, was to dissuade their fears regarding His departure, ignite their hope in their reunion & to stabilize their hearts- stealing it against temptation and falling away. 

He did this by all the means we’ve discussed. The greatest two things of which were His illustrating for the disciples, the vital nature of the relationship they shared with Him as their Vine and the necessity of Holy Spirit and His work within to produce fruit, maintain Union with there Vine and the vine dresser, and His power within and upon them to be living testimonies unto Him. 

All of this is the work of the kingdom great within the heart, and then in the life as they lived it as salt and light to the world. 


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!