This is the sermon for Wednesday February 17th, 2010.

John part 76

Jesus prayer for all believers.

John 17:20-26.

John 17:20-26 ESV – 20“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

INTRODUCTION

We are finishing up Christ’s High Priestly prayer in John 17 tonight.  In this prayer Jesus is interceding for three types of people:

  • Himself. (verses 1-5)
  • The Eleven (verses 6-19)
  • All Disciples throughout history (verses 20-26)

It is this last group that we will be dealing with this evening.  Let’s begin.

A prayer for unity.

John 17:20-23 ESV – 20“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Jesus now switches subjects in His prayer.  In verse 20 He states, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.”

After Jesus ascended, the Holy Spirit came and filled the Eleven and other followers.  They began to preach the message of the Gospel:  Christ Jesus came to save sinners, and many were saved.  Then some of the Eleven, their disciples, and Paul began to write down the revelation of Christ.  All believers throughout history were saved through the dynamic message they presented: Christ crucified for our sins and raised for our justification.

It is a great, comforting thought that Jesus was thinking of us and interceding for us during this prayer.

Three requests from verse 21:

  • That they may be one. This is the prayer of unity.  It doesn’t mean exactly one in every word, thought, or deed, but we are one in the sense that we’ve been called out of the world’s kingdom and now belong to Christ’s kingdom.
  • That they also may be in us. Our unity is based on being in Christ and the Father.  We are unified if we live in unity with God.  This unity is only possible through Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins He offers.  Without God it is only false unity.
  • That the world may believe that you have sent me. Our true unity is expressed in our message:  A Gospel centered, Christ exalting message.  This is the only message that brings salvation to the lost.  If we don’t proclaim it, they will not know and therefore believe.

Romans 10:14-17 ESV – 14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

What is the glory that Jesus is referring too in verse 22?  Good question.  I think the answer can be found in John 17:4-6.

John 17:4-6 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. 6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.

It is the glory of Sonship.  Jesus came to earth as the Son to fulfill what God have given Him to do.  Now He will impart this glory to all His disciples after His ascension.  We who were lost in our sins and children of the devil have been made sons and daughters of God through Jesus.

John 1:12 ESV – But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

1 John 3:1a ESV – See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

Romans 8:14-16 ESV – 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

Galatians 4:4-7 ESV – 4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Verse 23 is a repeat of the prayer in verse 21.

A prayer to be with Jesus.

John 17:24 ESV – Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

The purpose of Jesus coming to earth was not to grant us temporary peace, prosperity, and harmony; but to raise up a family of believers that would spend eternity with Him.

John 14:1-3 ESV – 1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Presently our life is hidden in Christ but we will be with Him in His glory.

Colossians 3:3-4 ESV – 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

We are His children now and suffer trials on this earth, but when He comes in glory, we shall be like Him.

1 John 3:2 ESV – Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

A prayer for the Father’s love to remain with Christ’s followers.

John 17:25-26 ESV – 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

The three knows of verse 25:

  • The world does not know: The world is blinded by the devil and apart from a revelation of Christ through the Holy Spirit and the Gospel message, they do not truly know God.  That is why there are so many false religions and ideas concerning God.
  • I know you: Jesus knows the Father because He has always been with Him.

John 1:1 ESV – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:18 ESV – No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

  • These know that you have sent me: Who are these?  The Eleven…yes; but also all who have received Christ and believed in His name.  If Christ is not the center of our message, then we preach our message in vain, no matter how large the crowds.

In verse 26 Christ has revealed the Father to His followers so that His love may remain in us.  Notice Jesus says, “I will continue to make it known.”

The Gospel message about Christ is the revelation of the Father’s love for those He justifies.  His love remains and we cannot be separated from it.

CONCLUSION

Summary truths:

  • In Christ we are one.
  • We are adopted sons and daughters of God through the glory of Jesus Christ.
  • His love will always remain with those He has redeemed from the world.
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