This Sunday, at Grace Church, we’re continuing our series on John 17 and looking particularly at the sending aspect of his prayer – “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” John 17:18 (also see 20:21). Here’s great excerpt from Salvation to the Ends of the Earth where the authors encapsulate the sending theme found in the Gospel of John.
“In John’s sending christology, the sent one is to know the sender intimately (7:29; cf. 15:21; 17:8, 25); live in a close relationship with the sender (8:16, 18, 29; 16:32); bring glory and honour to the sender (5:23; 7:18); do the sender’s will (4:34; 5:30, 38; 6:38-39) and works (5:23; 9:4)); speak the senders’ words (3:34; 7:16; 12:49; 14:10b, 24); follow the sender’s example (13:16); be accountable to the sender (passim; cf. esp. ch. 17); bear witness to the sender (12:44-45; 13:20; 15:18-25); and exercise delegated authority (5:21-22, 27; 13:3; 17:2; 20:23).
John goes to great lengths to show that Jesus fulfilled all the functions of a sent one perfectly. He does so in part for the purpose of presenting Jesus as a model for his disciples to follow. When Jesus commissions his followers (20:21), he functions, for the first time in the Fourth Gospel, not as the sent one, but as one who sends others. Like Jesus, his disciples are to fulfill the manifold functions of one sent as outlined above.”