This is the sermon for Wednesday February 3rd, 2010.
John part 74
Jesus prayer for Himself.
John 17:1-5 ESV – 1When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
This evening we are looking at the real Lord’s prayer: His High Priestly prayer found in John 17.
Jesus and the Eleven are on the way to the Garden, where He will be betrayed and arrested. Now many people, myself included, have confused this prayer with His Garden prayer; but it is actually a different prayer.
Here are a few reasons while I say this:
- Jesus prayed this after He said the other things on the way to the garden.
John 17:1a ESV – When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said…
- This is a prayer of quiet confidence, as opposed to the prayer in the Garden, which is agonizing.
Luke 22:39-46 ESV – 39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
- Evidently the Disciples are walking with Him and possibly listened to this prayer, while they are asleep in the Garden.
Now this is a High Priestly prayer because He intercedes for 3 different types of people:
- Himself (John 17:1-5).
- The Eleven (John 17:6-19).
- The future disciples (John 17:20-26).
So yes, in the prayer we have Jesus praying for us; so be encouraged this evening. Let’s begin.
The time has come.
John 17:1 ESV – When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you.
Jesus begins this prayer by praying for Himself. He is not pleading for this cup to pass from Him as He will do in the Garden; but with quiet confidence He is asking God to glorify Him so that He may glorify God.
What an important principle here for us. When asking God to meet a need and lift us up, we should ask so that we can honor and lift up the Lord. Sometimes though, when we are going through difficulties, we should pray not only for deliverance and healing, but for the grace to endure and the strength to honor and please the Lord through suffering as well. We miss the joy of bringing glory to God by our refusal to suffer.
Jesus said, “The hour has come.” He knew that His time of suffering betrayal, rejection, physical beatings, lies, and the crucifixion was upon Him. He is praying here that He would be glorified through this suffering so that He should glorify the Father through it.
- Greek word daxazo (daxad`-zo).
- To make glorious, to honor, splendor, to magnify.
- Robert’s Word Pictures says, “It is not merely a prayer for strength to meet the cross, but for the power to glorify the Father by His death, resurrection, and ascension.”
Authority has been given.
John 17:2 ESV – since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
God has given Jesus authority over all people. This authority is shown in the fact that He gives eternal life to the elect, “all whom you have given him.” This hearkens back to what Jesus said much earlier.
John 6:44 ESV – No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
In fact, the doctrine of election is strong in this entire prayer; 16 times “given” is used in verses 1-26.
Jesus defines eternal life.
John 17:3 ESV – And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
In our culture we place thoughts and keys to eternal life as some type of definition. Baptism, church membership, sinner’s prayer, etc… But these things miss it. Jesus says eternal life is, “that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Know here means much more than mental assent. Let’s look into the Greek.
- Greek word ginosko (ghin-oce`-ko).
- To perceive, to be resolved, to be persuaded, to be sure, to understand.
- “For John, this Greek word speaks of an intimate relationship that involves unconditional love that leads to obedience.” (Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words)
The knowing is based on the drawing of the Father, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, bringing an acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus, producing love which produces obedience.
Jesus has glorified God on earth; He is praying to return to the glory He had before with the Father.
John 17:4-5 ESV – 4I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
Jesus glorified the Father by fulfilling His mission. Though He hasn’t died yet I believe He is speaking here as if it has already been accomplished: that He has died, resurrected, and ascended because nothing is going to prevent that from happening.
He prays to return to the Father and the glory He had with Him. This is further proof of the pre-existence of Jesus.
As we close, what can we apply to our lives from this passage?
- Pray that God would be glorified, either through your suffering or through your deliverance from the suffering.
- Concerning sharing your faith, ask God to reveal Himself and Jesus to the lost; it is not your job to led them in some sinner’s prayer, but to simply share the good news of Christ dying for our sins and the forgiveness that is found in Him.