From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield
The Lord Jesus teaches us, while speaking to His Father, that eternal life is to know the Father and the Son. This means that what Jesus teaches us is more important than anything that could ever be learned in any institutional college or university. It means that we have to learn it right. And it also means that we need to learn with our hearts, and not just with our heads.
I read of a little girl who asked her mother about the Name of God. Mom tried to explain that God has several names like “Jehovah, Adoni, Elohim” and so on. After her short course in Theology, the little girl looked up and said: “I think I’ll just call Him ‘Steve.'” We may smile, because this comes form an innocent little girl. But this illustrates the great problem with most of humanity: “Steve” the god, is not good enough.
There was an elderly woman, whose favorite verse was II Timothy 1:12: “For I know whom I have believe, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”Eventually as her mind began to fail she was confined to a nursing home. Every time her family visited her, she would talk about the Bible and quote her favorite verse, but with every visit she was having a harder and harder time remembering. Even parts of her favorite verse kept disappearing. “I know whom I have believe… He is able to keep…what I committed…to him.” One her last day on earth her son leaned over her and listened to her last words: “Him, Him, Him.” That was all that was left, and that was all that was needed.
In our Lord’s prayer, He has finished praying for himself. With verse 7-8 He basically finished some background thoughts about his disciples and about us. And in the next verses, we’ll start top look at His actual concerns about us.
“Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.”
How much to you know about he way that all your body parts work together? Do you understand, in detail, what is the function of your pancreas and spleen? Can you explain how a single cell can develop into the thousands of cell variety in your body? No? Just because you can’t explain these things, doesn’t that mean that you are not alive?
I’m not sure that there are any theologians who can describe the “all things whatsoever the Father has given Christ.” That would be wonderful and useful knowledge, and many of us, could name and describe some of those things. But the important thing that we need to know is that they have been given by the Father to Christ. It is essential that we believe that “in Him dwelleth in the fulness of the God-head bodily.” “It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” It is imperative that we know that as”God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son.” It is essential to know that “he who hath seen the Son hath seen the Father.” We need to know that “all power is given unto Him in heaven and in earth.” It is important to realize that the miracles which Jesus performed were given Him of the Father. It is necessary to know that Christ is our Saviour and Mediator established by the covenant made between them. And there are ten thousand times more to this equation.
In John 16:29-30, not long before this prayer, the disciples said to the Lord, “Lo, now speakest thou plain, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee; By this we lie that thou camest forth from God.”
“For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me.”
Again, let me emphasize that what the lord is saying here is very important. Listen to John 6:63 and 68.”It is the sprit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto they are spirit and they are life. Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”
In the Greek the Lord Jesus said, “I have given to them EACH of the words which thou gavest me.” I’m not sure of all that is contained in that thought, but I think that at the least we can see that the Lord has given all that He was commissioned to give.
Notice that the Lord doesn’t either quantify or qualify His use of the word “words.” He doesn’t say that He has given us all the theology that there is. He doesn’t use the words “commands” or “law.” Nor does He say that He’s given us all the words that there are to be received. There is more to come. In chapter 16, He said,”When the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.”
“And they have received them.”
This is how we know that all things which Jesus had came from the Father. We have received and truly recognized the revelation of the Father through the son. And how was this reception accomplished? This, too, is of the grace of God.
“And have known surely that I came out from thee.”
One of the things that we need to keep in mind is that Jesus is speaking as the Messiah. This is a tough concept for me to grasp, but you may find it easy. These words do not leave His lips as God the Son, but rather as the Anointed Ambassador of the God-head.
And this reference to coming out from the Father, isn’t talking about the generation of the Son, but the commission and the coming of the Messiah. God the Son, never came of the Father, in the sense of a conception and birth, and although the Father sent His only begotten Son into the world, that is the meaning here. But Messiah was the “sent one” the Angel of the Lord with the message of God to share with us.
This was the subject that these disciples had grasped. And it is a very important subject. Look at verse 18, 21, 23 and 25. I’m not sure for whom the Lord is repeating this: Himself or for us, but it’s a kind of refrain thorough this prayer.
“And they have believe that thou didst send me.”
We know that Christ is the sent One because we have been given faith to believe.