For three years the disciple’s lives had been consumed with ministry. Not so much a physical ministry of hands-on ministry, but one of learning.
They had been in a spiritual laboratory, sitting at Jesus’ feet watching, listening and sensing the love of God in its purity, power and holiness. Then as they daily walked with Jesus they observed Him in action, loving the unlovely and drawing people to God. Jesus was an example of a man perfectly submitted to the will of God and filled with the Holy Spirit.
If there was ever a job you couldn't wait to get up to every morning, walking with Jesus everyday was such a job. Watching Jesus heal the deaf, raise the dead, make the cripple walk and love the socially cast-out sinner had to be the greatest job ever.
Initially, the disciples believed that Jesus was going to physically restore His kingdom on earth now. They thought they were going to be delivered from the dominion of the Roman government. Apparently the masses also believed that. When Jesus taught about being the bread of life the Scripture says, “…many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore.” Jesus then asked His twelve disciples, “do you not want to go away also?” (John 6)
Yet another pivotal moment was about to occur in the life of the disciples. The more they walked with Jesus the more they began to realize that Jesus didn't come to earth to destroy the Roman government. He came to set the spiritually captive free and give eternal life to all who believed.
This next pivotal moment began to unfold when Jesus started praying in John 17. Picture this moment in your mind as Jesus started to pray. This was the time when Jesus and His band of disciples were at the height of their popularity, great miracles were occurring, the masses were following them, and then Jesus begins to pray.
“…the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify thee…I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you have given me to do. Now glorify me together with yourself, Father, with the glory which I had with you before the world was…and I am no more in this world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in your name…but now I come to you; (John 17)
I don’t believe the eyes of the disciples were reverently closed at this moment, agreeing with the Jesus in His prayer, saying “amen, so be it Lord”. I think they were wide-eyed, looking at each other, shrugging their shoulders, wondering what this prayer meant. Yet, looking back at this event after the resurrection they realized that this was a major pivotal moment in their life. This pivotal moment would become the very foundation doctrinal teaching of God’s grace.
They also remembered the rest of this prayer recorded in John 17:
“20, I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21, that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22, The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23, I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.“
The extraordinary truth that Jesus revealed to them is a new concept of relationship prophesied by the prophet Jeremiah several centuries earlier. This was a promise that God would personally indwell them and would be always with them, and in them. This good news is this promise is not just for the Apostles but also for us today.(Jeremiah 31:31-33)
"20, I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;"
God’s desire for us is that we live out of and enjoy our union with Christ. Because we are placed in Christ, and Christ is placed in us at salvation, we came into a divine union relationship with God.
What’s my point? For every pivotal point in our life, God is there with a revelation of Himself. If you undergoing a season of doubt, fear, suffering, or testing, remember that this is a pivotal point where more than likely, God is giving you a new revelation of his goodness and his glory.