Finishing the Work
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And, now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (John 17: 1b – 5 NIV)
One of my basic beliefs, or tenants of faith, is that we are to become like Jesus and follow in His footsteps. We are called to do the very things that Jesus did. I express this in terms of the fruit and gifts of the Spirit:
The fruit of the Spirit represent for me the character of Jesus. Love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience or longsuffering), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (temperance) are all characteristics that Jesus displayed when He walked among us. I have put in parenthesis some alternative meanings from various translations to give a broader range of meaning of the original text.
The gifts of the Spirit represent for me the power that Jesus walked in when He was with us. He demonstrated a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom, discernment of spirits, faith, healings, miracles, and prophecy as He taught among us and interacted with us.
The language I use may seem a little strange; but I consider the study of Scripture and the work of the Holy Spirit to interact in our lives today so that it would appear that Jesus is actually still walking among us. The scriptural basis for this is two-fold:
- “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16: 21 – 24 NIV) This refers to His appearance after the resurrection but also refers to our intimate connection with Father empowering us to be and act as Jesus.
- “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you. (John 16: 12 – 15 NIV) Instruction, guidance, prophetic intervention, ideas, concepts, purpose, direction, and inspiration are all what the Holy Spirit brings constantly into our lives. Jesus is showing here that the presence of the Holy Spirit among us is equivalent to Jesus being among us.
I entitled this article “Finishing the Work” because I believe that Jesus has assigned specific tasks for us to complete. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in the world today. We are the physical continuation of the incarnation of Christ. We have been told by the Holy Spirit to accomplish certain things. What Jesus prayed as recorded in John 17 included the statement, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” It is our job, as representatives of Jesus, to finish the work we have been given to do so that we will bring glory to God. Bringing glory to the Father was the goal and purpose of the life of Jesus. We are to continue that work!