I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (John 17:14-18)
I Am Not Of The World
Jesus is the Son of God. There can be no doubt of His divinity. Paramount to the acceptance of God’s scheme of redemption is the acknowledgment that He who was God left His place with the Father and became a man to die for the sins of humanity. Jesus was born in the natural process, but His conception was divine. He walked among men with the same burdens of the physical flesh when He hungered, thirst for water, grew weary and had to sleep. Everything about the visage of Jesus was as common as all those around Him. Many people of His day had trouble distinguishing Him as divine because He was so much like other men. His teaching was powerful and astonished the people, but this did not make Him as God. The Jews accused Him of blasphemy when He said that He was God and He knew the Father – and on the surface the Jews were correct. However, what the leaders refused to accept was that no man could do the miracles of Jesus unless He was God. They killed Jesus for envy and calling Himself God failing to believe the man from Nazareth was the Son of the living God.
In the final hours of Jesus’ life on earth, He spoke to the eleven apostles about something they had no idea was going to happen. As the eleven walked with Jesus to Gethsemane, Jesus poured out His heart to His Father and tried to explain to the disciples the impact His death would have on their lives. They could not imagine that in a short time Jesus would be arrested, tried, and convicted sentenced to death on a Roman cross. The garden was drawing near and the soul of Jesus was troubled. As He prayed to the Father, He acknowledged the will of the Father had been done through the Son to deliver the gospel of good news for them to carry to the whole world. Because they were followers of Jesus, these men would become marked opponents of the world. Judas had given into the wiles of Satan and was preparing to deliver Jesus to His executioners. The remaining apostles would take the gospel into the world in a little over fifty days when Pentecost came. Their lives would be in contrast to the world as they lived separate and holy lives preaching the gospel of salvation to the Jew and Gentile alike. This would make them hated by the world. Jesus knew they would accomplish the will of the Father because they were not of the world.
The truth of God is what sanctified Jesus from the world. His word conflicted with the wisdom of men. Jesus had never committed a wrong in His life and yet the world hated Him. He went about doing good and teaching a gospel of peace with a message of judgment. The world despised Him. He was not of the world as something more than being divine. His life contrasted with the carnal wisdom of men who sought to please themselves. Jesus left an example of holiness, purity, and dedication to the will of the Father. He was not of the world because He was of the Father. His example is what God desires of His children to be in the world but not of the world. The truth of the gospel sanctifies or sets apart the heart of those who abide by His will. No man can serve God and be like the world. Jesus was not of the world because He kept the word of God. The Christian cannot be of the world when he keeps the word of God.
Jesus came into the world to not become like the world but to die for the world. Every Christian must be in the world but not be like the world. This is found in obedience and servitude to the kingdom of God. The cross is the defining moment when a man chooses to not be of the world. His life, goals, desires, and plans become the will of the Father. While he walks an earthly pilgrimage, his soul is heavenward bound. Jesus lived with His eyes on the Father. The Christian must know this world is not their home and they are walking toward the Father. Everything about the life of a child of God is measured by the word of God. This will make them enemies of the world, but they are not of the world as Jesus was not of the world. To be a follower of Jesus is to walk the same path as he did. Jesus was not of this world. Are you?