Archives

Jesus’ Prayer — Part 6

Jesus: “I Pray for Them”

Jesus’ Prayer, John 17:9-19 NIV

“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 he one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 

“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.” 

It would be easy to just read these words and not comprehend Who is actually saying them.  Imagine, the very Word of God in the flesh, the Creator, Beginning and End, the One who makes intercession for us by His blood and life poured out for us on the cross, praying for His disciples–and us!

In the above verses, Jesus prays specifically for the eleven disciples with Him after the Last Supper. Later in the prayer, Jesus clearly prays for all who would believe in Him through their witness of His life (all believers).  However, the principles revealed by Jesus in how He prays here are applicable to us today as well.  This prayer provides insight into what is important to the Lord regarding His people.

Protect them by the power of your name..”

 ~~This type of protection is to keep us from evil and the attacks of the enemy (vs. 15) Recall what Jesus said elsewhere:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 NIV

~~This type of protection is also eternal!  The apostle Peter, present as Jesus prayed in John 17, later writes in one of his letters:

Praise be to the Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fadekept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”  I Peter 1:3-5 NIV

We are shielded by God until we receive the complete deliverance, body, soul, and spirit, that God has for us.  And our confidence, security, and inheritance is kept safe, and will never fade, because God has promised it!  Another example of this eternal assurance is found in Jude 24-25 NIV:

To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy–to the only God our saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore.” 

Our Lord is able and He does keep us from falling away from His love and mercy.  This assurance is forever!

 ~~This type of protection brings peace.  As Isaiah said:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusts in Thee.  Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”  Isaiah 26:3,4 KJV

God keeps us in a place of rest in Him.  This rest, this peace comes when we fix our eyes on Jesus, and focus our attention to His word. The setting of one’s mind on God results in faith to trust Him more for our needs, our strength.

~~This type of protection is guaranteed.

Because I know whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard (KJV, keep), what I have entrusted to Him for that day.”  2 Timothy 1:12-14 NIV

What have we ‘entrusted to Him?’  Our very lives, the lives of our loved ones, our cares, anxieties and concerns.  Paul is convinced that He is able to keep all he’s entrusted to God.  We, too, can be persuaded that the Lord is able to keep us in His love and protect us by His prayers.  He is able!!

We have protection from the enemy, an eternal inheritance, perfect peace as a result of His care, and the continued promise of His all-capable guarding and keeping of everything we entrust to Him.  We can rest in His love, because Jesus still prays to the Father for us. 

Jesus’ Prayer — Part 5

Jesus and the Comforter:  Revealer of God’s Word and Truth

John 17: 6-8

“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.” 

Jesus declares that He has come to reveal the Father’s words to the disciples.  For us, the only way to know the Father and His Word, is for Jesus to reveal Him to us.  While Jesus was on the earth, He revealed and taught the disciples in person, as God in the flesh (Immanuel).  After Jesus went to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to do the same in and through us as He did while with the disciples. 

Prior to this prayer, Jesus taught the disciples about the “One who would come” to fill His place in their lives.  The entirety of the this text is from John 14:16-31, but I’ve just highlighted a few points here for the sake of brevity:

“I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counselor, the Spirit of Truth, to be with you forever…

….You know Him for He lives with you and will be in you.

…I will come to you. 

…On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in YOU! 

…All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

To know the Lord intimately and live as one of His disciples, we must receive Jesus and the Comforter of whom He spoke.  It is the Spirit of Jesus who enables us to live the life God has called us to.   He goes on to say, in John 16: 5-15:

 “Now I am going to Him who sent me…It is for your good I go away,  Unless I go away the Counselor will not come, but if I go, I will send Him to you….When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it known [revealing] to you.”

The apostle Paul sheds light on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in I Corinthian 2:9-16, and begins by quoting Isaiah 64:4:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”

Then Paul goes on to say,

“but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” 

 He asks another question:

 “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?   In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God, except the Spirit of God.  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” 

 Further on Paul quotes Isaiah again (40:13) and clarifies,

“‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’  BUT we have the mind of Christ!” 

Today the Holy Spirit continues Jesus’ ministry on earth, of revealing and glorify the Father to us!  Jesus prayer is answered and His Name glorified everyday, as one by one, He is received into hearts, and lives are renewed by His life and the indwelling of His Spirit.   WE are part of the answer and the fruit of His prayer!

 “This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.”  John 15:8 

Jesus’ Prayer – Part 4

It’s been a few weeks since the last post of John’s journaling.  If you’d like to review any of his previous posts, they’re all located under “John Owen’s Journal, Jesus is Praying for You.”  This post continues the prayer of Jesus from John 17.

 

“And now, Father, glorify Me in your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began.”  John 17:5 NIV

Jesus prays for the Father to return Him to the relationship they had before time and creation began…before Adam, Moses, and prior to millenniums of God’s intervention in humanity, and the accomplishment of His sovereign plan of redemption, through the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.

A brief look at some Scriptures will reveal (1), what kind of relationship the Father and Son had, (2) how it changed on our behalf, and (3), how it will be restored!

1.  John 1:1, 2 says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”

And in I John 1:1-3 (NIV):

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.  The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.  We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”

Jesus was completely One with the Father, in His very nature, attibutes, will, and characterisitcs.

  Who, being in the very nature God…” Phil. 2:6

2.  Now, picture Jesus, the Word of God, adorned with a king’s crown representing all His mighty attributes, nature, and characteristics as God, voluntarily and gladly taking off that ruling crown and placing it at the feet of the Father.   For us.   This willful sacrifice changed their relationship entirely for our benefit.

“..made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a Cross!”  Phil. 2: 7, 8 (NIV)

As a man, Jesus relied on the Holy Spirit to reveal the love, will, power, and purpose of God on the earth. As a human, He was subject to the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, but without sin (Hebrews 4:15). 

3.  Jesus prays for God to place the crown back on His head, now wounded.  God answers— with a resounding YES!

 “Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name that is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father!” Phil. 2:9-11

Also, see Revelation 5:12,13 (NIV): 

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!”  Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:  ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, forever and ever!”‘ 

The Father heard Jesus’ prayer and answers!  This blessed response is doubly encouraging because we’ll not only see Jesus, the Lamb of God, crowned and honoured, we will also be part of the answer—we are among “every creature” who will be singing His Praises!!

Jesus’ Prayer – Part 3

John 17:4
“I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave Me to do.”

Jesus completed everything His Father sent Him to accomplish. He did this through His life, and death, on earth by revealing, manifesting, and making know to the world the very nature, character, and heart of the Father.

When Jesus was speaking with Thomas, He said,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really knew Me you would know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”   John 14:6,7 NIV

Philip asks Jesus to show them the Father and Jesus replies, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own.  Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” John 14: 9,10 NIV

Also, Jesus humbly, willfully, and perfectly, completed the work of Salvation for which He was sent–to offer His life and blood on the cross, for the salvation and reconciliation of man to the Father.  As John the Baptist declared in John 1:29,

“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

And on the cross, Jesus declared,

It is finished!”

“The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life–only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.”

 John 10:17,18 NIV

“… you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from you forefathers…with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for our sake.”  

    I Peter 1:18-20 NIV 

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it produces many seeds….Now my heart is troubled and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.” 

 John 12:23-24, 27 NIV

Jesus confirms through His prayer that by His obedience, God the Father is glorified.  Today, may we learn from and follow our Lord’s example, knowing that obedience honours and glorifies God.

Next–John 17:5 

Jesus’ Prayer – Part 2

John 17: 2,3
“For You granted Him authority over all people, that He might give eternal life to all those You have given to Him. Now this 
is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

The tender and inseparable relationship between Jesus and the Father is consistently addressed in this prayer.  Jesus was sent by the Father, the Father draws people to the Son, Jesus submits to the Father, Jesus glorifies the Father, the Father glorifies the Son.  Beyond the words, from the heart of Jesus overflows a deep and abiding love and unity in purpose between Father and Son.  We see this~~

~~in verse two:  The Father gave His Son authority over all men, because of His love for His Son and for the world.   Jesus says in John 3:35:  “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands.” (NIV)

“All things have been commited to Me by My Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” Luke 10:22 NIV

~~and in verse 3, where Jesus defines eternal life: “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes on Him, shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 NIV

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”  John 6:44 NIV

To know God and to know Jesus IS eternal life.  The Father first loved the world and sent Jesus, and Jesus’ deepest prayer is to reveal His Father to the world–to Us!

 

A glimpse of Jesus’ glory

Time has gotten away from me!  So, for a quick post this Sabbath evening, I’ll just share a verse to compliment Jesus’ prayer, “glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee.”

  “But being full of the Holy Spirit, he [Stephen] gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, ‘Behold I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.'”  Acts 7:55,56 NASB

Jesus’ Prayer-Part 1

Privileged View

Now it’s time to read, discuss, and be encouraged by Jesus’ prayer in John 17.  This isn’t what’s commonly referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer”, which Jesus taught to His disciples when they asked Him how to pray. Rather, this is Jesus’ prayer to His Father, revealed to us in John 17:1-26.

What a rare privilege and blessing to hear the Lord’s heart cry to the Father and His prayers for us.  Throughout the Gospels we read of Jesus going off alone to pray, yet we’re left only to wonder and imagine what He said, how He prayed.  John 17 parts the veil and we glimpse, hear and feel the love of Jesus for His Father, His disciples, and all those who believe in Him–US!

John 17:1
“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You.'”

“The time has come,” refers to the actual crucifiction, the time when Jesus is offered as a guilt offering as prophesied in Isaiah 53.  Jesus often spoke of the “hour yet to come”–the cross, the sacrifice, and everything it signified, accomplished, and fulfilled.

Jesus explains “glorify your Son” in verses 4 and 5: “I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And so, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began.”

According to Vine’s Dictionary, glorify means “to magnify, extol, praise, ascribe honour to God by acknowledging Him as to His being, attributes, and acts.”

What was this glory He had?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.”    John 1:1,2 NIV

Jesus was referring to the fellowship He had with the God the Father before He left heaven to become flesh and blood.   Jesus,

being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!  Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name!”
Phil. 2:6-11 NIV

Jesus is ready for the task ahead of Him.  He is ready to glorify the Father through His ultimate obedience.