The very splendor I had in your presence
Before there was a world.
I spelled out your character in detail
To the men and women you gave me.
They were yours in the first place;
Then you gave them to me,
And they have now done what you said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from you.
They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,
And my life is on display in them.
John 17:5-12 (MSG)
I was reading concerning lion behavior for this posting of Ask the Animals and one author said the lion has a grandeur only God could have bestowed upon him. If you have ever had the privilege to see a full grown male up close you would agree. Lions are awe inspiring.
Jesus is known as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and He is every bit deserving of the honor. To be the head of a tribe or a pride is a position only the most worthy could defend.
An interesting lion behavior I discovered was the disconcerting practice demonstrated by a new male ascending to the position of pride leader. A male may be in charge of protecting a territory containing several females. (Those females are not ornamental but fierce in the extreme and supply most of the food for the pride in skillfully coordinated hunts.) What the pride leader is defending them from, is the intrusion of a new male seeking to reproduce. He is interested in only his genes swimming in the pool.
Should a new male succeed in overthrowing an existing leader, the first order of business is for him to eliminate any cubs not his. This causes the females to stop nursing and become available to produce the new leader's offspring. New life born to the pride must be his bloodline. My sympathies if you are horrified by this practice but creation did not come about out of a Disney script, after all.
In John 17, Jesus makes His pedigree evident in a prayer to His Father, "I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me...They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, That everything you gave me is firsthand from you, For the message you gave me, I gave them; And they took it, and were convinced that I came from you."
Jesus overthrew the evil one and laid claim to the regenerated hearts and minds of those who believed on Him. Jesus produced in His followers the character of the Father as He had demonstrated it and a new family came into being that looked and sounded just like the Father. The Father recognized them as His own bloodline. "My life is on display in them."
As we come down to the final weeks of Lent let us take time to do some serious self-examination. Is the life of Christ on display in us? Does He know us as His own? It is not enough that a church family claims us in its membership. If we are not His, He will know it. Time to eliminate all that is from a foreign gene pool and be true sons and daughters. Jesus blazed the trail.
"For they are yours by right."
May it be said of us and known for the truth.
Link to Lion of the Tribe of Judah by Misty Edwards in live worship
Ask the animals what they think—let them teach you;
let the birds tell you what's going on.
Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics.
Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories.
Isn't it clear that they all know and agree
that God is sovereign? That He holds all things in His hand—
Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature.
(Special thanks to Christian Jeter, age 7, for using her giftings for God-things. She will join me to produce Ask The Animals Sundays, 2/19/12 through Palm Sunday.)