“Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, ‘
Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the
Son may glorify You.’” (John 17:1)
It must have been a surreal moment. We lose the suspense of it because we may have read it before and we know how the story ends. The Lord Jesus Christ had just finished eating “The Last Supper” with His disciples in the Upper Room. Then, Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come.” The disciples may have wondered what hour had come. Was it coffee hour? Was it time for dessert? One can only guess what was going through their minds.
Yet Jesus specified that the hour had come to glorify the Son. Again, the statement seemed ridiculous on some level, pitiable on another level. Judas had recently left the room to betray the Lord. Jesus had just prophesied that headstrong Peter would deny him. Peter, James, and John would soon fall asleep during their “sweet hour of prayer.”
Nevertheless, Jesus Christ was right. The hour had come to glorify the Son. Jesus would go to Calvary, but He would rise from the dead. Jesus’ statement settled it. Jesus said the hour had come. The hour had come. Period.
The Hour Has Come to Glorify the Son in the Muslim World
As we observe God’s mighty doings in the world today, we see that “the hour has come” to glorify the Son in the Muslim world. The Lord Jesus, whom Muslims believe to be only a prophet, has been exalted. Many Muslims are coming to faith in Christ. Many have labored, preached, and prayed to bring this about.
Mostly, we must credit this to a move of God’s Spirit. Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:8. “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Today, the Holy Spirit is blowing throughout the Muslim world and causing Muslims to be born again.
The Hour Has Come for Discipleship of Muslim Background Believers (MBBs)
With Muslims coming to Christ in greater numbers, a big need has emerged to disciple new converts. Having just looked at the beginning of Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer” in John 17, we can draw additional lessons from that entire Upper Room experience. Indeed, that was Jesus’ last “quality time” with the disciples before the Cross. So, here are some of Jesus’ examples, which we can apply to MBB discipleship:
Serve them. In John 13, Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, notably washed the disciples’ feet. Since people walked on dusty and dirty paths in those days, washing feet was no fun. It was a servant’s task and required a lot of scrubbing. Yet, Jesus did it for the disciples and said they should do likewise for each other. MBB discipleship demands patient service, mixed with faith. Though MBBs, like myself, may stumble or fall in the mud, dedicated Christian disciplers have washed our feet. Recently, a pastor, who had served in Iran and discipled me upon his return to the USA, died and went to be with the Lord. This man of God was an example of steadfast prayer and witnessing for Christ. Most of all, he was an encourager of MBBs.
Eat with them. The Body of Christ was not meant to be solely a one-hour gathering on Sunday mornings. Rather, the Body was intended to be a spiritual family for shared living. Jesus modeled this as He traveled and lived with His disciples for three years. MBBs need and crave that shared living and fellowship with other Christians. In eastern cultures, shared living also includes a shared table. Jesus ate with His disciples continually. During the Last Supper, Jesus introduced the Lord’s Supper.
Teach them. The Upper Room Discourse is perhaps my favorite teaching from the Lord. The Sermon on the Mount also ranks near the top. Yet, John 14-16 contains so much teaching about the Holy Spirit, Jesus as the Vine, and the disciples overcoming persecution. When you are around your MBB friends, make sure to teach them the Word of God. Read it together. Break that bread also. Help them dive into reading and applying the Bible.
Pray for them. Ending where we began in John 17, we return to Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer. There, He prayed for the disciples—for their love and unity. He prayed for those who would come to faith in Him through their word. Indirectly, that includes us.
Please pray for MBBs. Jumaa Prayer Fellowship includes weekly prayer requests for MBBs. Sign up to receive them each week or access them on the Jumaa Prayer Fellowship app. Click sign-up links on this page: https://www.reachingmuslimpeoples.com/get-involved
We are thankful for your prayers. Jesus’ great keeping power is realized in the unity of the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the Body of Christ. No one can snatch MBBs out of the hand of Jesus. The hour has come to glorify the Son among Muslims!