Friday, May 29, 2020

Jesus Prays for You

I have read through the entire Bible several times now. I would encourage you to do so as well. It may seem overwhelming at first, but if you break it down into small chunks each day, it can be done. This year I am using the NLT One Year Pray for America Bible. It has me reading some verses in the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs every day. It only takes about fifteen minutes. Less time than it takes me to brew and drink one cup of coffee.

One of the great things about reading the Bible is how God can reveal something new to you every time. No matter how often I have read the Gospel of John before, something new jumped out at me this time around when I finished my readings for May 28 yesterday. We are all familiar with the story of the Last Supper. Jesus gathers with His followers in the Upper Room and they celebrate Passover together. Well, in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, one gets the impression that they eat and then leave for the Garden of Gethsemane. How long do you figure that took? An hour? Two? How long does it take you to finish your Thanksgiving meal? Yesterday, in John, I noticed something. First of all, in Chapter 13, John tells the story of Jesus washing His disciple’s feet – it is the only Gospel that does. Secondly, we see that Jesus then taught for quite a while after that. In fact, Jesus’ teaching takes three more chapters 14, 15, and 16, to complete. Apparently, they did not simply eat and run.

Then in Chapter 17 (part of my May 28 reading), I noticed that Jesus prays for His disciples. It is not a quick prayer. It is twenty-six verses long. Over 640 words! Just to offer a little context, the Lord’s Prayer is only sixty-eight words. What jumped out at me this time was the realization that Jesus is not praying only for the twelve apostles or anyone else who may have been at the Seder Meal. He is praying for us too. In verse 20, Jesus says, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.” That means you and me. Did you know that? We do not just pray to Jesus. Jesus prays for us.

Remember when Jesus appeared in the Upper Room again, after His resurrection, but Thomas did not believe because he missed it? What does Jesus tell Thomas when He finally sees him? “You [Thomas] believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:29). Again, that’s you and me. We believe, but we have not seen. Yes, Jesus prays for me, and for you. I just think that’s pretty cool.

No, I never get tired of reading the Bible. I recommend it highly. Not just once, but repeatedly. God is always ready and willing to show us something new, and I find that exciting!                 


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