Chief cornerstone

 

Cornerstone – Hillsong Worship

 

I ran across these verses in Zechariah and cannot say I fully understand what they mean but there is a stone, seemingly an important one. There would seem to be an allusion in these words to the chief cornerstone of the temple.

For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes,[f] I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree. – Zechariah 3:9-10  ESV

In verse eight, Jesus is clearly identified as the Branch, the rod out of the stem of Jesse and right away in verse nine the stone is cleary Jesus as well.

It’s the eyes that mess me up a bit. I think of the Father’s eyes as key – taking care and protecting Him. I think of the prophets and the Old Testament faithful, like Abraham. I think of myself and other followers of Jesus who put their eyes on Him as they follow, similar to the brazen serpent in the desert when all of Israel looked upon it and were saved. I also think of the eyes on the wheels in Ezekiel’s vision. Maybe it signifies knowledge and wisdom found in Jesus and His ever watchful eye over us. I could even go as far as the various gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, something out of Revelation involving the seven spirits of God, as well as the seven stars. Revelation talks about His eyes piercing through my fakeness, searching my heart. Jesus is the searcher of hearts.

One thing is for certain, only the Messiah prophesied from the prophets like Zechariah, could die on the cross and have God remove the iniquity of the land in one day. Only God could create that peace which extended to every neighbour in the land.

While the invitation is there, Jesus’ words still need to be addressed. His words create crisis for us because we find them hard to follow.

When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” – John 6:60-69  ESV

Who else can be the foundation of my life – only Jesus – the one I have believed and have come to know, the Holy One of God.

 

 

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Jesus’ prayer

 

Jesus’ prayer in John 17 presents, extremely well, what my life in the Trinity is supposed to be like. It allows me to understand better the relationship the Trinity has with one another – they do not care anything about their status. There’s no subordination in the Trinity because the members of the Trinity will not put up with it – simply will not have it.

As I look at Jesus as the ultimate of disciple makers, I can draw a conclusion from this prayer of what my relationship looks like between a disciple and disciple maker, what characterizes the heart of a disciple maker and what my ultimate purpose is as a disciple maker. I believe they are all found in one verse.

 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. – John 17:4  ESV

What I am glad to hear in His prayer is that He prays for me to keep my faith firm.

And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. – John 17:11  ESV

By that I mean – “keep them in your name” or “keep them in loyalty to You” or “keep them in full adherence to Your character.”

Why? Because I am supposed to be different than the world. So many times in His prayer Jesus outlined the differences between disciples of Jesus and the people of the world.

This prayer has so much – even the great commission shows up here.

As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.  – John 17:18  ESV

As a disciple of Jesus, I am on mission. It means in the broadest sense possible that I am a missionary. I am envisioned and empowered to step into this world (not of it, but sent into it) as His witness.

Here are some things I did and questions I asked as I looked at this prayer:

  • Marked the words – disciple
  • Where was Jesus going and where will the disciples be?
  • How did Jesus get His disciples?
  • What does Jesus pray for His disciples and list them?
  • What did I learn about the world and what is my relationship, as a disciple, to the world?
  • If “sanctify” means to be separated from profane things and dedicate myself to God – what will sanctify me from the world?
  • At the end of the prayer, what does Jesus state that He has and will do for His disciple?

 

 

 

 

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