In a discussion this morning there was a comment shared regarding it being the “collective responsibility” of a “body of believers” to build the “church” …. and the words of Paul from the pages of the bible were cited. (The question of why quote Paul on “building the church” Jesus refers to in the writings is another topic for another time)
What I’d like to share is what Jesus says on this point in the pages of the same collection of writings ….
When we carefully examine the writings we see that the ones that Jesus is speaking of in this passage (John 17) are those that the Father has given him that He is to bring…. that had been chosen out of the world, that came to follow Jesus when they heard His voice, and did not follow another…. becoming disciples of Jesus first…. before they were sent out by Jesus… and that is shown to have all taken place before this prayer is recorded.
So the “collective responsibility” was given to Jesus in “collecting” out of the world those that the Father has given him… that He says will hear His voice and come follow him… that will keep His sayings and not follow another… that He will manifest Himself to and He and the Father will come to and make their abode with.
As John also shares it is God that so loved the world …. it is God that is the one that sent Jesus.. it the Father that gave those to Jesus that Jesus said would hear His voice and come follow Him.
It is also Jesus in the writings that state He will build His church…. so it seems that the “collective responsibility” according to the writings was given by the Father to Jesus to bring those that were given to Him by the Father… and build His church as the Father has given Him to do.
“And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”- Jesus
“And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day.”- Jesus
“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”- Jesus
““All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”- Jesus
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.”- Jesus
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice. Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them.” -Jesus
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,…”- Jesus
So again it seems that unless we’re going to discount/reject/refuse to consider the words of Jesus in those writings in the bible that are available to be read by “whosoever will”……
The “collective responsibility” was given to Jesus by the Father to bring His own sheep .. to call them out of the world… to lead them…. and keep them… and build His church Himself.
The Father gave him the sayings/ commandments that He spoke. The Father gave Him those that were to come to Him when He called them.. that would hear His voice and come follow Him… not following another…. those that did so years ago have shared in those writings HIS SAYINGS now available to “whosoever will” …. as He said.. those that have His sayings and keep them He will manifest Himself to them… call them out Himself… ONE Shepherd and ONE flock …and build His church Himself! ♥