Faithlife Sermons

HG151pt2 John 17:9-19

Harmony of the Gospels  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  21:03
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John 17:9–19 NIV
9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 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. 12 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. 13 “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. 14 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. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
Today we are looking at the prayer Jesus made for His disciples, which depending on where you start is from verse 6 or verse 9. There is not a clear delineation of the transition however we do know that this part clearly ends in verse 19.
A reason why this prayer is so important is because we can transport ourselves to Heaven to hear the kind of prayer Jesus offers on our behalf in His intercession. This part of the prayer is about how we relate to one another and toward the world at large; it is about our personal relationships.
Whilst this prayer is for His immediate eleven disciples it is one that can be extended to all who are His followers. He prays for them because they belong to God according to verse 9. He does not pray for the world, note, for it was to this world He came and by which the world can be saved, if it allows Him to, but it is also by Him it will be judged, if they reject Him.
In verse 10 Jesus speaks of being glorified. In the Old Testament God showed His glory by being with His people, in Jesus, God’s glory is displayed, then His disciples glorified Him and now in this dispensation the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus and we, as followers, are to glorify Him. And as we saw last time it is in the cross that Jesus is glorified above all.
Since the disciples would be in the world, Jesus prayed for their protection. The hostility against God which fell on Jesus would now fall on the tiny band of apostles, and subsequently on many of Jesus’ followers. Holy Father, Jesus prays, or, in other words, My Father, you who are holy, you who deserve worship, protect them with your personal protection. Drawing attention to His holiness draws a distinction from all that is not holy and sinful and not pure.
[We know we have the protection prayed for in that we know that a person’s name, in the Scriptures, stood for the person, their personality, their character.]
This part of the prayer is reminiscent of what it says in
Psalm 20:7 NKJV
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
Protection and safety is found in God alone who is able to provide the shelter we need. We could change the wording of the Psalm to be more modern; Some trust in tanks, and some trust in missiles but we, instead, will trust in the name of our God. Who God is and what He does cannot be separated. The more we know God, the more we are drawn to Him and by curious effect are drawn to one another:
Tozer said:
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking (away) to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.
The unity or oneness that Jesus prays for is between us as believers in the same way that the Godhead is One in their Three Persons. It is a unity of will and purpose which is in the desire to serve and glorify Jesus. This unity is not always evident among His people when there can be heated discussions about the colour of the carpet, the use of kitchen cupboards, eating biscuits in the parlour or some other banal thing.
Thomas Brookes wrote:
For wolves to worry the lambs is no wonder, but for one lamb to worry another, this is unnatural and monstrous.
For all the protection that God gave His disciples there was one who was always lost. Judas. He was never a sheep and his true character finally was shown. He sold Jesus and became a tool of Satan. The betrayal of Jesus fulfilled the Scripture which was originally about David’s betrayal by a friend in:
Psalm 41:9 NKJV
9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.
Judas, by his own free will and actions and though they were evil God used them in His plan:
Acts 4:28 NKJV
28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.
Judas chose to be lost. The word here for destruction is mainly used in the New Testament in the final fate of those who stay in unbelief, for example in
Matthew 7:13 NKJV
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
Judas was destined for hell.
But for those who are His we are given His joy for Jesus conquered the evil one and given them eternal life. ]
But the world will not receive what is on offer and they will hate the disciples for simply receiving and hearing the word of God. Why? Because they hate God. The Word has moulded them so that they no longer think as the people of the world think. The world hates them because they are not a part of it. Instead the disciples are now part of Jesus Christ and His world and His Kingdom. And as we go on the attractiveness of the world diminishes. And this is another reason why disciples of Jesus are hated for the world wants to be approved in what it does rather than reproved.
A case in point was last week and Phillip Schofield. He had been married for 27 years and has two daughters. If he had gone off with another woman they would have not have been clamouring to give him praise but the world could not get onboard fast enough to approve and praise him in his homosexuality. What about his family? Woe to those who call good evil and evil good. The world will not like the fact that we cannot praise such behaviour. The world will hate us for it instead and call us homophobic… I do not hate or fear Phillip Schofield… but I am saddened he is so deceived.
But that is the world. Jesus did not pray for us to be removed from the world but for us to be preserved in the midst of it. And like Daniel and his three friends in Babylon we are to be followers of God, to witness to the truth and to put our lives on the line if necessary.
And like Daniel in Babylon they were to settle down and be a blessing to the city state for we are citizens in a strange land
Jeremiah 29:4–7 NKJV
4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.
Christians are not to take themselves out of the world but remain in contact with it for we are sent to them on mission. We are sent with the protective prayer of Jesus that the ruler of this world, the evil one, will not be able harm us.
With that in mind we are not to withdraw. Jesus does not ask this for us. But it is a temptation for Christians to separate and try to keep from being contaminated by society. The Pharisees did this. 3rd Century hermits went out into the desert to do this. Monks did this in their monasteries. But is it only true of the past and not today? How much contact do we have with nonbelievers? Are any our friends? Are we so isolated that the only people we are ever around are Christians in our own little Christian subculture?
How can you reverse this isolation? How can you, or I, for that matter, put ourselves in contact with other people. It is not we who will be contaminated, it is that we will contaminate them with our light and salt just as Jesus prays for us.
We are in the world to witness to the world and plainly we are not to take the world’s values, sins and goals for our own for we have been set apart for a special use as we are told in:
Romans 12:1–2 NKJV
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
As we delve into God’s word it has a transforming effect upon us if we let it and are living in order to honour God. To be set apart by the truth here in verse 17 we should note that in John’s gospel it is Jesus who is identified as the truth and that He is the spoken Word. And we are sent into the world by Jesus just as God the Father sent Jesus into the world. Every Christian should see themselves as missionaries to share God’s truth with others and we must recognise opportunities when they come. We need to see where God is working among ourselves and in our community.
Stories abound of things happening when we are willing to jump in with both feet. It may mean that we leave the confines of the building to follow in the footsteps of Jesus to go out among the people. The Church building does not attract anyone anymore. What we do inside does not make people come in. But what makes a difference is the personal touch and God can use anyone of you to do that - it is not my job alone to see that we are open to the community but yours too for we are all called to witness.
[I heard this story that may encourage you too, it is written by another pastor but it could easily have been anyone:
Preaching the Word: John—That You May Believe Christians’ Relationship with the World (vv. 14–19)

One day a number of years ago I called home late one afternoon to see how things were going around the house. As my wife and I talked, she said, “Oh, by the way, we received a call from the Youth Soccer Association here in town. They were wondering if you might be a coach.” I said, “Well, you told them no, didn’t you?” She said, “I just didn’t have the heart to say no. You’ll have to tell them yourself.” I assured her I would be firm about that. By the time I got home, I had all my reasons laid out. I did not have time. I did not know anything about soccer. I did not want to do it. I firmly gripped the phone and dialed. As I talked to the poor woman at the other end of the line, I learned there would not be a team if I did not coach. I remember my family chuckling in the background as they heard me say, “Yes, I can do it.” The only good thing was that I would get to coach one of my sons.

The next thing I knew, I was up late reading soccer books, trying to understand what a center halfback was, the offside rule, etc. Suddenly I had a coach’s whistle, and I was occupied three days a week from 4 to 6 and half a day on Saturdays.

The season did not go very well at the beginning. You have probably heard the saying, if the bugle gives an uncertain sound, who will follow? That described my coaching, I am afraid. Fortunately I had some good players, and the team came together as the season went on. In fact, in one of the last games of the season, we beat the number one team in the last second of the game and thus made the play-offs. On the night before the play-offs, I invited the team to my church for a potluck dinner with their parents. Even both sides of divorced parents came. Toward the end of the evening I said to them, “If it is all right with you, I would like to share something from the Word of God.” The parents agreed, and I told the boys the story of David and Goliath, with practical applications. The next day we went into the play-offs. We lost in the final minutes, 1–0, but that is not where the story ends. Sunday morning when I stepped into the pulpit, I looked out at the congregation, and there were all my players wearing their orange jerseys, and their parents too—Jews, Muslims, Mormons, and several others with varying backgrounds. That began a ministry in several of those families’ lives. I did not want to coach, I did not have time to do it, but because I just did not know how to say no, I ended up coaching. And that turned out to be one of the great experiences of my life.

Despite my reluctance I experienced the truth that our lives are not to be ones of isolation or assimilation but of mission.

I remember saying in a recent prayer meeting that we are not called to be comfortable or that doing the will of God will be convenient. Hardly! Was it convenient for Jesus to suffer and die on a cross? A cross that we are told to take up. Sometimes it isn’t convenient…I have other plans… it is not convenient I don’t have time… it is not convenient because it is too much hassle… it is not convenient because I’m too old… it is not convenient its too late… I sure you have heard and can make up all the excuses that there are because it is not comfortable or convenient. If we want to be mediocre, if we want the status quo we have ceased to walk the Christian life. We have been set apart to do, set apart to serve. Jesus’ mission was dangerous and Jesus does not promise us an easy ride when we join Him and others in mission. Will we allow ourselves to fulfil the prayer of Jesus?


God prepared a work for Jesus to do and that was to be sanctified in being separated and dedicated to His death. Now this purpose has passed to us for we are, because of the death of Christ, dedicated and separated to God and His Kingdom’s work. It is our response to such great love shown to us through His sacrifice for us. We love for He first loved us. And this table is the representation of this love that loved till the end so we could be reconciled to God.
1 Corinthians 11:23–26 NKJV
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.


Ephesians 2:4–10 CSB
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, 5 made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! 6 He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.


Hughes, R. K. (1999). John: that you may believe. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
Newman, B. M., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on the Gospel of John. New York: United Bible Societies.
Tozer, A. W. (2006). The Pursuit of God. Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread.
Tozer, A. W. (2015). Tozer for the Christian Leader. Chicago: Moody Publishers.
Walvoord, J. F., & Zuck, R. B., Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Exported from Logos Bible Software, 18:48 07 February 2020.
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