“…those You have given Me…” John 17:24
A few months ago I did what I was dreading for years, I moved house. I had lived in the same house for 28 years and packrat that I am had accumulated an amazing lot of really “great” stuff. Great at least in my own mind!
But, the fact was, I was downsizing to a home half the size and simply could not take it all with me. I vividly recall purging a 5 drawer lateral filing cabinet. I had documents there from 40 years earlier that had to go to the shredder for disposition. There were all kinds of things I had not seen in decades.
But there were a hand full of files that I simply could not trash. Had anyone other than myself seen the contents lying around or blowing down the street they would have immediately trashed the papers without another thought. They were simply garbage to anyone but myself and to me they were priceless treasures that I would keep no matter how small the house to which I moved.
What was in the files you ask? Well, I will tell you. There were amateurish drawings by little children, there were home made father’s day cards created and signed by my children addressed to me, report cards of theirs from their youngest days in school, etc. So, you see, if you had found these things they would mean absolutely nothing to you. But because of who gave them to me they were priceless, irreplaceable gifts that came from loving little hearts to their “Daddy”.
I go back through the decades to when little voices demanded my attention, told me they loved me, and listened attentively as I read them bedtime stories. Those little ones now with teenagers of their own are the most important people I have ever known. Some day each of them will possess a file each of their creations for me. Until then I have them as reminders of several people who love me dearly and are mine.
If you are a believer in Jesus, then you are a gift from the Father to the Son. Five times Jesus, speaking to the Father, refers to His people in the prayer of John 17 as “those whom You have given Me”. So Jesus clearly wishes us to understand that if we have confessed Jesus as the Resurrected One and our Lord and Saviour, then we have been given by the Father to Him. We are the Father’s gift to the Son. We can grasp the concept of what we are called by Jesus even if we do not understand why this is so.
Now, we must recognize that the Son loves the Father more than anyone else who ever existed. Jesus was the Beloved Son John 3:35. Jesus always did those things that pleased the Father, John 8:29 and love is shown in obedience, John 14:21; Exodus 20:6. So Jesus received His people as a gift from the Father.
So the only conclusion we can draw from this reality is that if the Father gave believers to Jesus as a gift, believers must be extremely precious to Jesus simply as a result of them being the gift from His beloved Father. It does not matter if we are marred by sin, often failing our Father in heaven, despised and forsaken by the world, we are precious to Jesus and so should value ourselves for this reason.
If you follow Jesus you are His particular treasure and He is going to go on loving and treasuring you for time and eternity. Just as I have saved those gifts from my children all these years and would never part with them, just so and much more Jesus looks on you in love and thankfulness. He will never leave you nor forsake you.
“Lov’d of my God for him again, With love intense I burn;
Chosen of him ere time began, I chose him in return.”