Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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EASTER 7 – June 2, 2019 – John 17:20-16 “Jesus’ Prayer For Us”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Gospel Lesson just read, from John 17.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • At the beginning of this chapter of Holy Scripture we read: “When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify You,’”  The rest of this chapter records this prayer of Jesus.  It is referred to by the scholars as “Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer.”  This, because the prayer is for God’s people, and that means that this prayer is also “FOR US.”
  • It provides great insights for us into the very mind of Jesus, on the night of His betrayal, the eve of His crucifixion. These things that He prays for are of the utmost concern and importance to Him.  And it is remarkable that He was thinking of – US! 
  • I am certain that the disciples appreciated this prayer much more once they understood the full context of that evening, that weekend. It must have been among the dearest of the Words of Jesus spoken in their presence.
  • For us, these Words of Jesus, this prayer, should also be among the dearest Words that He spoke. They express poignantly and clearly the good and blessedness that He wills for all of us, for all believers in Jesus! 
  • The first verse in our lesson makes this clear, for:

I.  Jesus Prays For All Who Will Come To Believe In Him

 

Text:  “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their Word.”

 

A.  Note That We Come To Faith In Jesus Through The Apostolic Word, The Holy Scriptures

 

Text:  “I ask for those who will believe in Me through their Word.”

 

Rom. 10:17  “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

 

2 Tim. 3:15  “From childhood you have been acquainted with the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

 

B.  We Believers In Christ Are United With God

 

Text:  “That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”

C.  We Believers In Christ Are Also United With One Another As Christ’s Church, His Body

 

Text:  “The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are One, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one”

 

Eph. 1:22,23  “And God put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

 

Statement:  Jesus gives His disciples a hint at the important work they would be doing.  He had earlier told them that He would make them “fishers of men.”  This is what He meant, that these men would convey to the world the very Word of God by which people come to faith in Jesus, and to the gift of eternal life.  To this day this same Word, the Holy Scriptures, have been building the church of Jesus Christ.  And incredibly, this fellowship of the church is Oneness in God and Oneness with each other!  We are the body of Christ, members of His body!

 

Application:  Obviously what Jesus prays for Jesus gets – especially when it come to the blessedness of God’s people!  So we should contemplate these blessings that have come to us because of Jesus’ prayer for us!  And we should contemplate deeply these realities – that we are united with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  What an incredible and stupendous reality!  And we dare not forget that our fellow believers are one with us and also one with God.  This should inform the kind of love and respect that we have for one another – for all believers in Christ.  And this is also our joy in Christ and in one another!  In addition:

 

II.  Jesus Prays That We May Experience God’s Great Glory, And See His Glory When We Get To Heaven

 

Text:  “The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are One, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.  Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” 

 

Statement:  Again, this is an astounding prayer for us – and we shall surely have what Jesus prays for us!  To see Christ’s primordial glory!  This must surely give human beings the most delightful elation possible for us!  It is all the glory of perfect love, perfect unity, perfect harmony, perfect bliss.

 

Application:  These are blessings that Jesus wants us to have, to experience!  And again, once He prays this for us it is inevitable.  So this again is something to contemplate, something to look into – “through their Word,” through the Holy Scriptures.  To do so is to “set our mind on heavenly things, where our life is hidden with Christ in God.” [Col.3:1-3]  As we do so we receive what is promised:  “Then when Christ Who is your life appears, you will appear with Him in glory.”  [Col. 3:4]  This Jesus has prayed for, for each of us!  And finally:

 

III.  As God’s Children We Also Manifest And Witness To The Unbelieving World The Nature Of God And His Love

 

Text:  “O righteous Father, even though the world does not know You, I know You, and these know that You have sent Me.  I made known to them Your Name, and I will continue to make It known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

   

Statement:  Yes, we not only know that the Father sent Jesus, His beloved Son, into human flesh, but also why He came – to be the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”  He came to save His people from their sins. [Jn. 1:29; Matt. 1:21]  The dynamic is explained in Holy Scripture:  “We love because He first loved us.” [1 Jn. 4:19]  Indeed, all who have born of God, who have come to know and believe God’s great love for us in Christ Jesus, are born to love.  God’s love, the Father’s love for the Son, is now “in us.”

 

Application:  This is also something for us to meditate upon.  Remember, this is the prayer of Jesus, and so it is certain that these blessings have been granted to us.  We should be in touch with the reality – and thankful to God for this wondrous gift.  And we should let the gift shine forth – that as Jesus instructed, “others will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matt. 5:16]  For the good deeds that Christians do cannot come from our sinful nature, but “God works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” [Phil. 2:13]  It is God’s gracious gift to us that we be privileged to live this way and to participate in His love and in His work in the world.

 

Conclusion:  I think we could spend a lifetime just meditating on this one beautiful chapter in John’s Gospel.  It certainly would do us a great deal of good. 

 

Jesus makes clear what blessedness He wills for us.  He makes clear what realities now govern our being and existence, here in this world, and also in heaven, when we go. 

 

The Scripture assures us that Christ still intercedes for us [Rom. 8:34] as does the Holy Spirit [Rom. 8:26].  These blessings are still in full force – thanks and praise be to God.  Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.