Jesus Praying for His Apostles, Part 2 -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.
EmJ 8:2 (Win 99) p. 181
Jesus Praying for His Apostles,
The Issue of Separation
Important ancient and contemporary issues surface in this third section of our Lord’s highpriestly prayer. For example, one of the ancient issues that the church has struggled with is the problem of the separation of the church from the world. In fact, the issue is one that was raised by the Lord Himself in His gift of the Law of Moses to God’s covenant nation, Israel. To Israel Moses wrote, “But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the Lord your God, which Have Separated You From Other People” (Lev. 20:24). Thus, the spirit of separation was written into the early history of Israel. One thinks of the words of our Lord Jesus to the early disciples:
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they Shall Separate You from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap
EmJ 8:2 (Win 99) p. 182
for joy: for, behold your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets (Luke 6:22–23).
And, further, special mention could be made of the final separation that shall characterize the nations. In His parable of the sheep and goat nations Jesus said, “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall Separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left” (Matt. 25:32–33).
And then there is Paul’s word to the church today:
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and Be Ye Separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (2 Cor. 6:16–18).
“Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned” (Hos. 7:8) is one of the prophets’ memorable utterances, and George Adam Smith’s famous comment was, “How better...
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