This past few weeks we have been journeying our way through the the Book of John and in particular the final discourse Jesus has with his disciples. A time of encouragement and promises where Jesus outlines how he is leaving, how the disciples will be when he leaves and how they will be supported when he leaves.
Jesus walks us through servant leadership with the washing of the disciples feet and starts his major theme of his glorification.
In Jesus shows us his major connection to the Father, and how Jesus Future proofs our Destiny, Ministry and our life.
Jesus encourages his disciples further with his connection to the father in that the disciples are connected to him, for he is the vine and they are the branches.
Then in chapter 16 Jesus tells them of the most encouraging part of his leaving, that even though they will be alone for a little while, the Spirit of God will come upon them.
Why do i recap all of this? Because is the culmination of all these teachings as Jesus takes what he has encouraged the disciple with to his Father in heaven and prays for them. We see elements of the last 4 chapters of Jesus’ teaching in his prayer to the Father.
can be broken into 3 distinct parts, verses 1-5 Jesus prays for himself and his glory, verses 6-19 Jesus broadens the prayer up and prays for his disciples as he is a about to leave them and then finally in verses 20-26 Jesus prays for the world of believers to come. Meaning Jesus prays for us. if you are a Christian here today then Jesus prays for you in this moment he is encouraging you, these last 6 verses of chapter 17 are where we are going to be focusing today as we explore .
Jesus when praying for the Church now asks for 3 things of his father and these are going to be my 3 points, 1st he prays for the Church to be one, he prays for the Church United, 2nd he prays that through that unity the world would see him and be persuaded of who he is. The Church united, the world persuaded and finally that his glory would be known to all. The Lord Glorified.
These 3 things cannot be taken separately but are a progression of thought, one after the other, they are building blocks required for the next step in a process.
The Church United:
The Church United:
The holy trinity, is 3 persons working perfectly together without any failures or faults perfectly in sync. We have sayings that describe this kinds of synchronization, “a well oiled machine” for example.
[Slide]The trinity perfecting interacts with each other both perfectly relating to the others. God the Father perfectly relates both to and from the Spirit, and the spirit perfect relates both to and from the Son, and the Son perfectly relates to and from the Father. This friends is amazing because it means our God in his fullness of 3 persons, is never fighting with the other persons, is never arguing with the other persons is always in total unity with in the God head. Our God is totally stable and unchanging.
[Slide] So when it comes to Jesus’ explanation in of vine and branches he uses a term, “in me” that we are brought into the God head through the Grace of the Spirit and our Faith in Jesus Christ, we are meshed into the Unity of God.
Now where am i going with this some of you might be asking, well, in , Jesus prays for the disciples
“Holy Father protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one are we are one.”
and then in Jesus prays for us that we all maybe be one just as the Father is in the son and the son is in the father, that we may be one as they are one.
[Slide]That we would be linked in with the God head just like he taught in and from that we would be one. That in and through Christ we would be unified. So as we through Grace and Faith each relate to the Father we would also relate to each other with the same unity of the trinity.
How awesome is that prayer. Jesus prays for us that we would be so linked into the Godhead, that we would be so linked into him that it would be like we are one with him and the father, that we would be one with each other in this congregation in the whole Church of Christ. That we would be unified under Christ. Despite all our differences of personality or race or culture, or preferences of services. That we would be the Church Unified under Christ, that we would be the body of Christ.
Whilst we may not be the best at being Unified because of our sin, Jesus is praying that we would put aside our differences and personal opinions and be interconnected to him, and through him have a unity that surpasses anything man can achieve on his own.
That all of them may be one just as the Father and the son are one.
Jesus prays that we would be the Church Unified under him. So that we would be a light unto the world. To persuade the world of who he is.
Whilst people have taken this to mean that we should have denominations in the past, I don’t think its talking about expressions of liturgical difference but is talking about the people inside the body of Christ being unified.
Its talking about things we should find disgusting, quarrels and Gossips, infighting and injustice.
But Jesus calls us to be united 1 body under him, so that the world would be persuaded of who he is.
The World Persuaded: ,
The World Persuaded: ,
I don’t know if you have ever stopped to ponder on the unity of the world around us. Australia is a chaotic place in terms of political history. In the past 5 years we have removed 2 prime ministers from office, had a large scandal over brides in the NSW government as well as an ousting of a premier, Wollongong counsel was thrown out for a number of years after a corruption scandal, overseas its not much better, the UK was the first to leave the EU but several countries since then have had votes as to whether they would leave. The UK itself has had internal votes of splintering with Scotland wanting to leave, Ireland has been seeking a united country for a long time.
Our world is not something that is unified and when it is, its not for very long.
The church isn't much better
Jesus’ prayer to the father is that that the church, because of its unity, would be something so different to the world, that because we are linked into the Godhead and unified in Christ, we would show the world Christ. We are something incredibly different to the world around us. Its in this unity that we will point the world to Jesus. Because it is only in and through him that we can have this unity.
Through this unity we have under Christ, we will be something incredibly different to the world around us. Its in this unity that we will point the world to Jesus. Because it is only in and through him that we can have this unity.
Jesus in says “May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
Our interconnected nature, will show the world that Jesus was sent from God. The Churches unity will persuade the world of who Jesus is. The Christ, the one sent from God.
Being interconnected to Christ and relating to people through him changes drastically the way we interact with people, in Jesus says
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
This is not something that might happen or will happen if we work harder at how we treat each other, Jesus wants to love each other, he prays to his father that we would be unified just like they are, because Jesus prays it not as a question but as a statement, as an encouraging statement that his disciples would be able to hear. That they be unified, that they love each other, when we are interconnected into Christ we will love each other, we will be unified, and because of that the world will know who Jesus is.
in verse 21 Jesus doesn't say so the world
So that world may believe that you have sent me,
Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me
Because of how the Church will act with each other, the world should come to know who Jesus is, that he was sent be the father.
If the church is unified then it would be a beacon to the world, because it would be so different to the world.
We threw out 2 prime ministers and a premier in just a couple of years. our Government is clearly not unified and it show in just how much people trust them.
Jesus prays that the father would protect his disciples and sanctify them in verses 6-19 because he is leaving, he won’t be able to look after them the way he has but asked the father would so that they may be one, and different from the world.
We are sent into a world not our but we are sent not as lone warriors but as a team unified under Christ to reach the world.
The Lord Glorified:
The Lord Glorified:
to be with me where i am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me
that the love you have for me may be in them and that i myself may be in them
Lastly Jesus prays that through all this his Glory may be known.
Jesus is primarily concerned with his Glory and his father’s glory.
This prayer in starts with Jesus’ Glory and end with Jesus’ Glory.
Jesus’ desire is that those given to him, all believers would be with him in the new creation, to see his all surpassing glory.
CS Lewis quote about giving Glory?
Are we more concerned with our glory then Christs glory, when we are we break the unity of the church and the world sees only dysfunction when it looks to the church.