This sermon was delivered on Easter Sunday
Title: Jesus Prays
Text: John 17
Easter, one of the most highly celebrated seasons of the year. The Philippines have lots of traditional activity every Easter. Many people involve themselves in “Alay Lakad”, some in “Penitensya”, some in “Pasyon”, etc. For many Filipinos, it is a time when God is dead and losses his power over evil, thus, evil creatures usually comes out during this season.
Evangelical Christian communities on the other hand believe that Jesus is now alive and does not die every year. They usually celebrate Easter Sunday by having a “Sunrise Service”.
Today however, we will concentrate on the prayer of Jesus, just right before he was seized by the soldiers. We will be learning what to pray, how to pray, and why pray.
Jesus Prays For Himself
Jesus to be glorified by the Father (v.1) “The time has come…” The time has now come that the Son has to be seized and crucified to the cross of Calvary to fulfill the Scriptures. The Father has granted him all authority over all people that he might give eternal life. It is then the time for the Son to be glorified.
Here we can actually see that the Son glorifies the Father, and the Father will have to give glory to the Son. As Jesus repeatedly emphasized here, that they are one.
Another thing that we can see here is the possession of that glory before the beginning of time. In verse 5, Jesus made mention that that glory was already his before the beginning of time.
Jesus to give eternal life (v.2) “…that he might give eternal life.” The main purpose of Jesus being sent to humanity is to redeem humanity from the pit of darkness and give hope to those who believes in Him for if one believes in Him, he also believes in the Father who sent Jesus.
A good thing to note here is that Jesus though He knows that the time has come, He did not look for a way to escape from the soldiers. He accepted this to be the will of the Father as written in the Scriptures. That he is to give eternal life to those who believe in Him.
Jesus pre-existed with the Father (v.5) “…glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” Jesus was with the Father in the beginning. John 1:1 says; “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God.” This statement of Jesus authenticates what John was saying that the Word was with God and the Word was God.
Things Learned – What we can actually learn from this point is that Jesus, even if He pre-existed with the Father, having the glory with the Father before the beginning of time, even if He completely has the will and authority to escape the sure punishment of sin, He freely gave that up to glorify the Father. Here we see that Jesus is extremely concern on how he can glorify the Father.
Jesus Prays For His Disciples (v.9)
The Disciples obey the Father and Jesus (v.6) “…and they have obeyed your word.” We have to note here that Jesus was actually praying for those who obeyed God’s words. And because of that obedience, His disciples were considered to be God’s and not of the world.
A disciple therefore is the one who follows the words of God. They are the one who obeys His commands keeping a good standard of Christianity.
The Disciples to be protected by the name of the Father (v.11) “…Father, protect them by the power of your name-the name you gave me – so that they may be one as we are one.” – The disciples being God’s, Jesus now is asking for the Father’s protection. This is very interesting because Jesus was asking that the Father protect in His name, the name He gave to Jesus. A powerful name to whom we ask for blessings, to whom we ask for guidance, to whom we ask for protection. There is no other name higher than the name given by the Father to his only begotten Son.
The Disciples are hated by the world (v.14) “…I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world.” Once we become a disciple of Jesus Christ, we are no longer of the world. The world will hate us because we are different from them. We are different in deeds, in belief, and thinking. The world will hate us because we hate evil things yet the world love to do the evil things.
Principalities, rulers, and even ordinary people will hate us for not becoming like them. This is one of the reasons that Jesus is praying for the protection of His disciples.
Things Learned. While a disciple of Christ follows his ways and words, it is important for a Christian to be able to withstand the attacks of the enemy. It is important that we Christians put our trust in the Lord in the midst of persecutions. The world hates us, nonetheless, the name of the Lord our God is protecting us. Lest no one should be dismayed.
Jesus Prays For Those Who Will Believe
All Believers are to be with the Father and Jesus (v.21) “…that all of them may be one…” Christ’s ultimate goal is to unite us in Him, and Him with the Father. Jesus is praying for those who “will” believe. He is referring to those who are yet to hear the message that will be preached by Jesus’ disciples.
To be one in Christ, and Christ with the Father, this is the heart of the Bible (John 3:16). Becoming one with them means becoming holy for they are holy, becoming perfect as they are perfect.
All Believers are to be brought in complete unity (v.23) “May they be brought into complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Christians has to share the same testimony of exemplifying our life in the love of Christ.
One friend said, “Christians usually multiply by diversity.” In some sense this is true, but strictly speaking this should not be the case since we need to become one in testimony of Christ. We may have different cultures, denominational practices, church traditions, but the love of Christ should be evident to all. That people will understand that all these differences can be overcome by a common love of Christ.
Complete unity means, lacking nothing. It is not complete even if there is one lacking. It is not complete if only a part of the body of Christ was brought to unity. It is not complete if there are only few who have received that kind of love.
All Believers are to continue to make Jesus known (v. 26) “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known…” The driving force of Jesus in His ministry is to make the Father known continuously to all people. Thus, He utilizes people, those who believe to continually bring the message to others (v.20) by being with His people at the same time (Matthew 28:20).
But there are times that we ourselves suppress this idea. We refuse to be used by the Lord to make the word known. We neglect our Christian duty to share the love of God to those who needs it. There are mainly four areas in our spiritual life that has to be aligned with God, Bible reading, prayer life, ministerial life and testimony.
Bible reading refers to our daily Bible reading and meditations. Prayer life refers to our prayer habit and our participation in a corporate prayer. Ministerial life refers to our involvement in the ministry. And the testimony refers to how we live our life pleasing to God as witnessed by other people.
Things Learned. While Jesus is already waiting for the soldiers to come to seize Him, He used His remaining time in praying not only for himself and his disciples, but also for those who will be hearing the message of the disciples to which part of it was us. The ultimate goal is to bring those who believe in Christ in complete unity that together, the world will know about Christ’s love.
Thus, it is also very important for each one of us to take heed of words intended for us. To be a catalyst for the continuity of his work.