Tenth Avenue North – “No Man Is An Island” (Devotional)
John 17:23; 2 Corinthians 6:16
It’s breathtaking how other centered Jesus was. Or should I say, Jesus is. Even in His last moments on earth, just before quite possibly the most horrifying event in all of human history, here we have Jesus praying for us.
Unbelievable. Jesus, who was about to die, was praying for us. Take and a second and let that get in you.
And how does He do that? How does Jesus have the ability to think outside Himself, particularly in the time of His greatest need? Well, there is an ocean of reasons here, but most poignantly, I think the answer lies in who God is.
What? The Trinity? I thought the Trinity was just something the church taught to confuse me! Ha! No my friends, this reality is the proof we need for the nourishment of our souls. In other words, in perfect relationship with the Father and the Spirit, Jesus is other centered at His core. God’s nature is love, because God is a relationship.
As the “Three in One,” the Trinity is an overflowing fountain of communal love.
And so, when we muse upon the triune mystery, Jesus dying for us actually comes as less of a shock. Laying down His life, He does exactly what we would expect Him to do. Because HeΓÇÖs been doing it since before time began.
So we, made in His image, are beckoned forth to this divine participation. Like Father, Son, and Spirit, we are made to be other centered. We are made to lose ourselves in giving to someone else.
But we don’t necessarily like this calling. The essence of sin is to rage against this self-gifting. Cut ties. Be independent. Make something of yourself. As fallen image bearers of the divine, we do not want to be dragged down or kept back. We do not embrace interruption, do not weep with those who weep. We want to build our brand, to leave a legacy, and to grow our sphere of influence.
So when Jesus prays for us to be in perfect unity, He knows it will take some learning. He knows it will take some friction. He knows it will take some loving the very people who don’t deserve it. Isn’t that, after all, how He loves us?