John 17:13-26 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.
26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
Jesus, in love, is praying for the whole world.
--This entire chapter, John 17, is one great prayer. I...in the world, that they may have. My joy (v 13).
--Matthew Henry said, "It is the most remarkable prayer, following the most remarkable life, ever on earth." He wrote his popular Bible Commentary.
--This was the chapter John Knox turned to, in order to save his beloved Scotland and turn it to God.
--Martin Luther said, "It is so deep, so rich so wide and gracious, no one can fathom it."
--This world Jesus loves so much, needs to love Him.
This is truly the Lord's Prayer that Jesus prayed.
--Not so much for Himself, as it is for the world.
--Different from The Lord's Prayer He taught us all to pray, as a model - for it includes "forgive us our debts, or trespasses, or sins" - He had none.
The prayer is so sublime and Spirit-filled.
--The more it is read, studied, the better for us.
--The Bishop of Rochester, England, Dr. Fisher, read this prayer over and over before his martyrdom.
--Jesus who is Prophet, Priest and King, was filling the role as our Great High Priest in Gethsemane.
--The Gospels record many of Jesus' prayers - but we see this as the longest, and surely most sublime.
Out of love for a hard, hurting, wayward world, Jesus pours out His holy heart for us. We can feel it.
--Crucified, risen, ascended, Jesus still intercedes.
Some say the Bible contradicts itself, as "love not the world" (I John 2:15), then says, "God so loved the world" (John 3:16) - but that means the people in it.
--True the Bible does say, "Love not the world or the things of the world, the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes.. is not of the Father, but of the world."
--This refers to the ways or evils of the world, we are not to love or practice..
--Rightly understood, the Bible has no contradiction.
Jesus was praying, all "may know Him .. God sent" (v 5).
As you know, Jesus had just left the Upper Room, and the instituting of the Lord's Supper, so meaningful.
--The Bread, so symbolic of Jesus' life, suffering.
--The Cup, emblematic of His shed blood on a cross.
--For us to keep, "in remembrance of Me."
--That having been saved, to keep our heart in tune.
I attended a Philadelphia Orchestra Concert, when we lived there; with Eugene Ormandy, conducting.
--They made a movie or two about that great orchestra. We had some records, and heard the broadcasts.
--I was entranced as 100 musicians got their instruments of all kinds, in tune .. and warmed up.
--Then the Conductor came amid applause, and produced through all these instruments, and individuals, one heavenly harmony after another to our delight.
--Of course, you too have had such joys, you recall.
Each morning, and night, I must get my heart in tune.
--In one accord with the Lord God, as that orchestra.
--I tune it up by prayer. God's Word. Meditation.
--If I do not, the day becomes difficult and dreary.
Spiritually for all believers, communion does that.
--Puts anyone, a family, church or group, in accord.
--In accord with the will of our Heavenly Father, as revealed in His Word, and in the Lord Jesus.
--Without the Lord, people play a different tune, of their own - and a noisy, off-key, discord arises.
--We need the Master Conductor - the Living God!
The Bible says, "Let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup" (I Cor. 11:28). I need to do that, friend.
--To confess my sins of commission .. and omission.
--Without such I may "eat and drink unworthily .. not discerning the Lord's body" (v 27).
--It is so true, an honest confession is good for us.
In Jesus' prayer, He prays, "that they all be one as as we are one .. that they may be one in Us" (Jn 17:21).
--The "Us" of Jesus refers to the Holy Trinity again.
--People will say of us, "How they love one another."
--How are our relationships? Ability to get along?
Did you ever note the items, and depth, of this holy prayer of our Lord? Let's circle a few.
--He prays for those given Him "out of the world" in verse 6; and those He had to "leave in the world," in verse 11, and believers "not of the world" (14).
--And for His saints who are "hated by the world."
--For all those "kept from the world and evil one," in verse 15, all His servants "sent into the world" in verse 18. All of us! A world Jesus loves!
--Then for those He wants to save "so the world may know" (v 23), to "have My joy fulfilled in them," in verse 13. And "be with Me where I am" (v 24).
You and I must help the Lord Jesus answer all these.
How do we do that? In love for God, we work at it.
--Before we "ask, seek, and knock" we must get right with God - that is be "born again" with Jesus.
--Trying to live on praying ground with God, in Him.
--We need be specific and pray, "Thy will be done."
--We need to leave the time, and details, with Him.
I read the cutest true story, of a pastor whose kitten got stranded in a tree, and wouldn't come down.
--Kitten was afraid to - and he couldn't climb up as he was afraid to! Finally, he had an idea.
--He decided to throw a rope over the tree limb kitty was on, and tied the rope to back of his car.
--Driving slowly forward, he pulled down the limb to within reach. Got out of the car, rejoicing.
--About that time the tight rope broke, sending that small kitten flying through the air, far away!
--He searched, but it was nowhere to be found!
Next day, the pastor met a nearby neighbors so happy.
--"You'll never believe what happened, in answer for my small daughter's prayer," she exclaimed!
--"She had prayed and prayed for a kitten, but I told her she could have one only if Jesus gave it to her.
--Well, yesterday Jesus sent a kitten to her - right out of heaven! - just as she had asked Him." Wow!
--So, little girl got to keep the kitten!
Point is, praying in God's will, works-miracles.
Mark what Jesus is praying for in John 17, the "eternal life" and "oneness" of all who believe in Him.
--It causes me to analyze my prayers, what to pray for.
--What am I mostly concerned about? Worldly things?
--Or spiritual things, as the salvation of others?
--I recall the prayers of my grandparents, parents.
--Loved ones, and friends, praying for God's will.
--Are we truly glorifying God? Praying for souls?
--Praying for our wayward world's salvation, as Jesus does here, and in many other prayers? Are we?
Seems so often the ecumenical prays for environment, and for the poor - and it has a place, of course.
--And the evangelical believers pray for the lost.
--Perhaps a more Christ-like way is to pray both for "poor lost, and the lost poor." To include all.
Of course, we are to pray about everything, and everyone, giving glory and thanksgiving to God, and in His will. In repentance, seek God's forgiveness.
--This prayer of Jesus is so impressive, for our Lord is praying for everyone, and the highest goal.
--That the world may know the Lord as our Savior!
God has given His huge world His attention and love.
--Sending His only Son to show what God is like, and demonstrate His deity, by His cross and resurrection. What more consideration could God give?
--He has been so merciful. Prophets. Son. Saints. --Apostles. Preachers and all manner of witnesses.
--Don't you think we ought to give the same consideration to our Creator-God, we've received from Him?
My dear wife and I have done a little traveling, and ministry, over the world. Met some fine believers.
--I often think and pray for those dear people.
--Pray believers in Christ, in all places, will take this Bread and Cup, in remembrance of Him, on this World-wide Communion Sunday - as we did with them.
--It is as "one great fellowship of love and praise".
--In a way, this is answering part of Jesus' prayer.
May your world and mine come to Christ and His table.
--Show the world its Savior!- Dr. Wilbert D. Gough 422