(A Series on Jesus)
C.R.1/11/87p.m. John 17:1-26
PROPOSITION: Jesus profound prayer for those of us, who
have been given Him by the Father, is that; the Father may glorify the Son, that He may protect us by the power of His name that we may be one, that He may protect us from the evil one and sanctify us by the truth, that we may be in complete unity, that we may see His glory, and that He would continue revealing Himself to us so that the Father's love may be in them.
- FOLLOWING the industrial revolution great companies sprang up with the capacity to employ thousands of people and given them a good living wage.
* The advances in technology enabled them to make their products more efficiently......and therefore make more profit.
* But selfishness and greed entered into the picture....and these companies wanted to keep more and more of the profits.....and the workers were treated like dirt. Their economic and safety interests were traded for more profits.
- SO LABOR unions were formed, initially to protect the worker, and get him a reasonable living wage and good safety conditions.
* But selfishness and greed messed that up too....with labor officials in prison today more frequently than they are on the job.
- AND the two, management and labor, fight longer and harder than any war we have known on planet earth.
* In the past few weeks we have seen teacher strikes paralyze several large cities.......football strikes.....Auto worker strikes.
* And on and on it goes.
- I AM obviously not an economist, but I am told that the recent problems with Wall Street stem from greed....with speculators buying stocks in an excessive way and falsely driving up the Dow Jones index...setting it up for the crash we have just seen.
- WE live in a world that is characterized by selfishness, greed and strife.
- PEOPLE are actually shooting each other on the freeways of California....for what our girls call "budging in line".
- FAMILY violence is at an all time high.
- OUR world is more radically divided now than ever before;
* Black against white....white against black.
* Male against female...and visa versa.
* Husbands against wives.....wives against husbands.
* Children against parents....parents versus children.
* Neighbor against neighbor.
* Nation against nation.
- AND in this context, Jesus calls to Himself a church....a bride that He gave His life for.....given to Him by the Father.
- AND for this church....in a world characterized by selfishness, greed and strife......Jesus prays in John 17.
- AND the essence of His prayer is that we demonstrate the difference that our union with Him makes....in our unity one with another.
- THIS chapter ushers us into the holiest of places and conversations.....it allows us to see into the heart of Jesus in a way that few other passages do.
- THIS is Jesus' prayer.
- AND I find in it, six seperate themes. Let's take a look at them together tonight.
II.GLORIFY YOUR SON
- IN the first five verses of John 17, Jesus prays concerning His own glory.
" After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: 'Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."
- THIS is Jesus' prayer concerning His own death and coming resurrection.
- HE had been telling the people that if they believed in Him they would never die......that they would receive eternal life.
- HE had promised them that by His death and resurrection He would be the first fruits of our life and resurrection.
- SO here...on the verge of Calvary....Jesus prays that He may indeed receive the crowning seal of the Father on His life and ministry by His resurrection.
- HIS resurrection would prove that He had the authority and the power to give eternal life.
- THE Father's answer to this prayer of Jesus is your guarantee...that you have the gift of eternal life if you know the Father and the Son.
- SO we know that that part has been answered.
III.PROTECT THEM SO THEY MAY BE ONE
- THE next theme has to do with Jesus' disciples...then and now.
- IT is found in verses 6-12;
"I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled."
- THESE are Jesus' disciples.
* They have received His Word by faith.
* They posess eternal life.
* They have entered into intimate relationship with Jesus.
- FOR these disciples...and us...Jesus prays, "Protect them."
- WHY protect them?
- TWO reasons;
* They belong to the Father....and he doesn't like to lose what is rightfully His.
* Because they belong to the Father....the enemy is going to target them for destruction....to bring shame on the one supposedly responsible for their safety.
- PROTECT them so that they may be one.
- BECAUSE our unity testifies that we are not of this strife-ridden world....and that we are controlled by an authority and power higher than the powers of the prince of the air.
- IT is the prince that authors strife and greed and selfishness and division....wherever it is found.
- OUR unity testifies that we are under the power of His name.
- DISUNITY....no matter who is to blame.....shows that we are out from under the authority of His name. (Not that we have lost our salvation.)
IV.PROTECT THEM AND SANCTIFY THEM
- THIS next theme is very much like the former one...with a twist. It is found in verses 13-19;
"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified."
- THERE is the enemy of our souls again....and Jesus, who is about to physically leave His disciples prays that we may be protected.
- THE attack must be pretty real then, right? If Jesus takes time to pray about it.
- IF we allow him opportunity, satan has the ability to bring shame and mockery on the name of Jesus....in the eyes of the whole world when we fall into sin.
- PROTECT them from the evil one....and sanctify them....that means seperate them from the world.
V.THAT THEY MAY BE COMPLETELY ONE
- NOW, the theme of unity enters the heart of the Master again...in verses 20-23;
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
- THREE times Jesus addresses the subject of unity...in these 4 verses.
- TO let the world know;
* That You sent Me......You see that element of revelation concerning the deity of Jesus must be new and real in every generation. It is an on-going revelation and we are the letters written by God to men in Cedar Rapids.....and Connecticut. (Explain.)
* That You love them.....God's love is revealed in us only to the extent that we display it in our unity one with another.
- IT is complete unity that is on Jesus' ----
- YOU see it is possible...in this divided, selfish, strife-ridden world...because Jesus and the Father are one.....and we are one with Him.
- OUR unity says YES! to the reality of the power in Jesus' ----