A mixed bunch - Hope 103.2

A mixed bunch

By David ReayFriday 16 Oct 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read John 17:6-9

6 “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.

9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. (NLT)

We quite rightly read this passage and understand that Jesus loves his disciples, and this love is expressed in prayer for them. But we can easily skate over the underlying fact that these disciples were, to put it mildly, a pretty mixed bunch.

Jesus is commending individuals who were at various times thickheaded, impulsive, self-centred, thoughtless, narrow-minded. Not to mention Judas: we might wonder if that man too is included in this prayer. The point being that Jesus is under no illusions about his followers. He knows all about them and yet passages like this convey no sense of bitterness or disappointment.

Which is a good example for us to follow as we seek to love the all-too-imperfect disciples of Jesus today. If he hasn’t rejected them, nor should we. And it is also a reminder to us that Jesus has not rejected us. Amidst all the crazy and downright wrong things we say and do, Jesus prayer for us is much like his prayer for those first disciples.

We may sometimes wrongly imagine that Jesus is like a stern schoolmaster just itching to fail us in examinations of our life. We figure that he might be on the brink of giving up on us. But he didn’t give up on the original disciples and he won’t give up on us. Not because he is an easy touch, but because our imperfections were dealt with on the cross. We might be a mixed bunch, but we are also a loved and forgiven bunch.

David Reay