John – God Speaks!
As believers, we pray for each other often. We pray for good health, for cures to illnesses, for emotional and spiritual help when life gets the best of us. We pray for those who are lost and those who are broken by what others have done. We pray for those who mourn loved ones who have passed from this life to the next. We ALL experience all of these needs in some way and at different times.
How does it feel when someone we love and trust prays for us out loud for all to hear? It is uplifting, isn’t it? Somehow, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are infused with greater hope and strength for our present troubles when a dear friend, spouse or family member prays for us.
NOW, imagine the Son of God praying for us! Jesus, who was about to go the cross because of our sin, prayed for us! What kind of love is this?
This is Jesus’ prayer for his disciples now and those who will follow…us!
John 17, New Living Translation
The Prayer of Jesus
After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
6 “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.
9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. 11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. 12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
WHAT MUST WE GRASP IN JESUS’ PRAYER?
–Jesus loves us deeply and compassionately.
–Jesus prays that He will give glory back to God!
–WE were on His mind as he prepares to go to the cross to pay our debt of sin.
–Jesus was at the beginning of Creation with God. “Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.”
–Jesus prays for believers who will pass on to others what He gave to them. “Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me.”
–Jesus prayers for all believers. “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.”
–Jesus prays for our protection in the world who will hate The Message. He also prays for protection from the evil one who will consistently be on the offensive.
–THEN Jesus prayers for unity with God and other believers. “…protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.” STOP and realize the depth of this request…UNITED as believers just as God and Jesus are united as Father and Son.
–Jesus gives all of Himself for it is the ONLY way we can be made holy before God. “I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.”
—“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me…” Now Jesus is praying specifically for us, YOU and I!
—“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one..” AGAIN, realize the compassion plea for all believers to be in unity with God and each other! WHY? “…so that the world will believe you sent me.” It’s all about God who so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son to save us.
–The root of unity with God and others is knowing God’s Love. “May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” God loves us as much as He loves His Son! It is this selfless, sacrificial Jesus kind of love that unifies believers. It is realizing how how much God really loves each one of us. The more we realize the depth of God’s great love for us the more deeply and freely we love others!
—“I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
God loves you the way you are right now. There is nothing you have to do to earn His love. There is nothing you will do to diminish His love or take His love away from you. He knows what you have been through and He still loves you. He knows about those wrong turns in your life and He forgave you immediately and completely a nanosecond after you called out to Him.
So stop revisiting the past. You don’t live there anymore. He loves you enough to challenge you to grow in Him because of all He has in store for You that will knock your socks off! He loves you enough to not leave you where you are but to take you on the ride of a lifetime! He loved you as you were forming in your mother’s womb. He loves you today.
Jesus prayed for you and I on His way to the cross. He stands ready to come and abide with you today. Listen to Him. Follow where His Holy Spirit leads. His love, mercy, and grace will produce more joy than your heart can hold!
“I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so.” –Jesus
Thank you, dear Jesus, for praying for me.