No Longer Underdogs
Look at the comfort and the confidence Jesus gives us in John 17: “ Holy Father, protect them in your name.” Jesus was praying that the Father would use his power to keep the disciples safe. “ While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me.” Jesus had protected his disciples from earthly danger as well as from spiritual attacks, and from the world.
Later Jesus said, “ I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.” So, how did God the Father answer this prayer? When you read the book of Acts, you can see the many times God rescued the disciples from prison and from harm.
But in the end, most of them eventually died a martyr’s death. So, did God forget to protect them? No, he took care of their souls. Even as they experienced physical hardship, he kept them in the one true faith through his Word. And these underdogs are now victorious and safe with God the Father.
God has answered this prayer of Jesus throughout the history of the church. There’s no way the followers of Jesus should have succeeded in spreading Christianity otherwise. They were less educated, less powerful, and far less influential than those who were in charge at the time. And yet, 2000 years later, Christianity has spread to the ends of the earth. How is that possible? Easy. God was with the underdogs. He answered Jesus’ prayer.
Do you realize that Jesus still doing that today? He still talks to his Heavenly Father, about you. About the underdogs. The Bible makes this clear for example in Romans 8:34. “Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Hebrews 7 says, “He always lives to intercede” for us.
Even though you can’t do it on your own, God will keep you in the faith. And He’ll do that through his Word. “Sanctify them by the truth, Jesus says, your Word is truth.” No matter what the world throws at you, God is faithful. He won’t let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. And when you are tempted, he’ll provide a way out. He does all that, through his Word.
So, are you really an underdog? Not with Jesus interceding for you at the right hand of God. Not with the Word of God in your hand and in your heart and in your mind and mouth.
You’re not an underdog because God the Father is protecting you with his power and might. God is with you and for you, and because of that, the world doesn’t stand a chance against you.
Good Shepherd Lutheran
No Longer Underdogs