The Other Lord’s Prayer

Christ Covenant Church
Jon Marq Toombs
27 November 2016 / Advent
John 17

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INTRO

Here, on the longest night of human history, Jesus prays for himself and others. Including you and me. He speaks openly and freely with his Father in the presence of his disciples.

Throughout the Upper Room discourse Jesus has encouraged his disciples to ask the Father for whatever we desire. He models that kind of prayer for us here.

This prayer of Jesus is worthy of far more attention and devotion than we are able to give it in one sermon.

I just want to give you an overview of the prayer. But in a few months we will come back to it and explore it more deeply, in an up-close and personal way.

This evening, we will look at three petitions, three prayer requests, that Jesus offers in prayer.

Jesus asks the Father to glorify him, to sanctify his disciples, and to unify all believers.

Our sermon text for today is John 17. The word of God reads:

[1] 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, [2] since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. [3] And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. [4] I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. [5] And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. [6] “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. [7] Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. [8] For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. [9] I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. [10] All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. [11] And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. [12] While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. [13] But now I am coming 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 ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. [16] They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. [18] As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. [19] And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. [20] “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, [21] 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. [22] The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, [23] 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. [24] 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. [25] O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. [26] 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.” (John 17 ESV)

The word of the Lord. May God add his blessings to the reading, the hearing, the preaching, and the praying of his word.

Prayer is an act of defiance against naturalism and materialism. Prayer is a declaration of war against secularism.

Prayer is an act of faith and doubt: faith that “God is there and he is not silent”; doubt that “the Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be”.

Jesus models a true prayer life for us in this prayer.

GLORIFY YOUR SON

[1] 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, [2] since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. [3] And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. [4] I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. [5] And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

JUSTIFY/ VERIFY OUR PEOPLE

[6] I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. [7] Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. [8] For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. [9] I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. [10] All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.

SANCTIFY OUR PEOPLE

[11] And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. [12] While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. [13] But now I am coming 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 ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. [16] They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. [18] As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. [19] And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

UNIFY MY FOLLOWERS

[20] I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, [21] 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. [22] The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, [23] 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. [24] 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.

To be clear: Jesus did not pray for the unity of Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants. Nor for the unity of Anglicans, Baptists, Lutherans, et al. He prayed that all believers would become Presbyterians. Not! He prayed that *all who believe in him on the basis of the apostles’ testimony* would be one with him and each other — he prayed for our union and communion.

The Father has answered, is answering, and will continue to answer his prayer. True believers (whoever they are and wherever they are) are already one in Christ spiritually even if they are not yet one with each other existentially. We who believe in Jesus must pursue and practice that for which Jesus prayed. 

Again, just as Jesus did not pray for the world but for the disciples whom the Father gave him, so Jesus did not pray for the reunion of Roman Catholic and Protestant evangelicals per se but for the union and communion of all people who put their trust in him on the basis of apostolic testimony.Some of those believers-in-Christ happen to be Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox, Presbyterian, whatever. Those who believe in Christ on the basis of the apostles’ word are Christians.

In Christ all the colors bleed into One.

Jesus asked the Father to make all who believe in him on the basis of the apostles’ word One with the Triune God and with each other. Thus far in John’s Gospel the Father has given his Son everything else he has asked for. Why would his response to this request be any different?

The Father has granted, is granting, and will grant Jesus’ request: All believers are already/not yet One in Christ by the Spirit.

To misquote U2, “We’re one, but we’re not the same.”

Already: “We get to carry each other, carry each other…one.”

Not Yet: “Well, we hurt each other, then we do it again.”

MAGNIFY YOUR NAME

[25] O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. [26] 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.” (John 17 ESV)

CONCLUSION

Jesus prayed for us because he is our Advocate with the Father.

Jesus is our intercessor–one who seeks our best interests as he speaks to Father in our behalf.

Jesus intercedes for us as

the true and better high priest who stands between the living and the dead

the true and better prophet who seeks the glory of God’s mercy and justice

the true and better king who spreads out his hands at the altar of the cross

Jesus is the Lord and Christ who lays down his life for his friends and followers.

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercessionfor them. (Hebrews 7:25)

because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:10-12)

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (Romans 8:34)

What a comfort to know that on the night he was betrayed, arrested, and crucified–with the weight of the world crushing his heart–Jesus Christ the Son of God was praying for us.

What a comfort to know that with the world is falling apart around us he is seated at the right hand of God and still praying for you and for me!

On the basis of God’s word, we can rest assured that the Father is granting his Son’s wish and giving him exactly what he asked for.

By his grace, for his glory,
for our good, and for the good of the world.


For Further Study

https://theopolisinstitute.com/god-in-man-man-in-god/

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