John 17.1-4, 9 – Predestination
Posted: 27 January 2011 in John

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

The first and fourth verses in the passage quoted above identify the purpose of the Incarnation to be the glorification of God. The second verse says, in words of more or less one syllable, that Jesus came to give eternal life to as many as God had chosen to give him – with the implication that eternal life is given only to those whom God has given ears to hear. The last verse quoted reiterates the point when Jesus says that he prays only for those who have been given him by the Father.

That we human beings feel uncomfortable with the picture of God thereby presented to us is perhaps not surprising, but it is not for us to reject the testimony of scripture, and come up with a god who is more to our own liking. To do so is idolatry – a refusal to give God, as he reveals himself in scripture, the worship and glory which is rightfully his.

The Old Testament prophets make it very clear that idolatry is the one thing which the Lord of all Creation does not tolerate.

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