In but not of the world

Click here to listen to the audio recording of this 9-minute message. Or watch the YouTube video below, or read the text that follows.

In his prayer for his disciples, shortly before his arrest and execution, Jesus speaks about our relationship with the world (John 17:13-19). He says four things in rapid succession:

  1. We are not of the world (we are not rooted in the world)
  2. We are not to be taken out of the world
  3. We are not of the world (we are not rooted in the world)
  4. We are sent into the world

These four prepositions – of, out, of and into – set up Jesus’ expectations of us as his disciples.

We are not to be rooted in or ‘of’ the world. Just as Jesus is not of the world – he did not originate here and is not rooted into the world – we also are not of the world. Instead, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20).

But, as much as we may wish then to be taken up out of this world, Jesus is explicit, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world.” Instead, he prays, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” And to guide us regarding our place in the world he prays that we “too may be truly sanctified.”

Our values, ideas, aspirations and truths should all be shaped by and rooted in God’s world – in heaven. But we are commissioned to work in this world, to influence it with God’s values, to shape it into some resembling the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus proclaims, and to be somewhat set apart or separated from the world.

It is like our head is at the top of a long stick figure, in heaven, while our feet and hands and hearts are here on earth, working out God’s plan for the salvation of the world.

2020.05.27_A_CH3772

Featured image from a collection of ‘walking tree’ photos by Alejandro Chaskielberg at https://www.chaskielberg.com/portfolios/the-walking-trees

2 thoughts on “In but not of the world

  1. Genevieve Geekie says:

    So special to hear your messages, dear Adrian.

    XxXx

    Gen

    On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 8:52 AM Reflections of God’s Love wrote:

    > Adrian van Breda posted: “Click here to listen to the audio recording of > this 9-minute message. Or watch the YouTube video below, or read the text > that follows. In his prayer for his disciples, shortly before his arrest > and execution, Jesus speaks about our relationship with th” >

    Like

    • Thanks Gen. Blessings! Adrian

      On Wed, 27 May 2020 at 10:07, Reflections of God's Love wrote:

      > Respond to this comment by replying above this line > New comment on Reflections of God’s Love > > * Genevieve Geekie commented on In but not of the world > * > > Click here to listen to the audio recording of this 9-minute message. Or > watch the YouTube video below, or read the text that … > > So special to hear your messages, dear Adrian. > > XxXx > > Gen > >

      Like

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