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John Chapter 17:14-26

Memory verses for this week: Psa 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

 

Introduction: In our last week’s study, we saw Jesus praying what I believe to be the true Lord’s prayer. He prayed for God to glorify Jesus, that Christ might glorify Him. We continue what is perhaps the greatest prayer ever recorded in the Word of God. 

I. The Prayer of Intercession

John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

We see that Jesus prays for the disciples (and you and me), that God will not take us out of the world, but effectively protect us from the evil in the world. Jesus was in heaven with the Father from the beginning, and definitely was not of this world. You and I, when we are thinking properly, are not of this world either. God gets glory from you and I being down here on earth, and we are His ambassadors to a lost and dying world. Our hopes, our goals, our desires, should be placed on heavenly things. Just as Abraham, we should be looking upward, looking to that city whose foundations are made of God.

Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

Heb 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

Heb 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

If we are going to be strong… to be not of this world like God would have us to be, we need the power of God to accomplish it.

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

We know that sanctify means to set apart. God wants you and I to live a separated life from the world. The day has come when you have a hard time telling the Christians from the non-believers. This is not honoring to God. You and I should not frequent the same places as the lost, and we should dress in such a way that others know we are Christians. Anyone can live for the devil, but it takes a real man or woman to stand up for the right things, and to live a Godly life the glorifies the Heavenly Father. Jesus prays that we will be sanctified by the truth, and thy "word" is truth. I praise God for the Bible. Millions of books have been written, and many have helped man along the way. But no book has ever endured time like the Bible. It is still as true today as it was in the days of the apostles. The truth is still the guiding force to allow us to know what is right and what is wrong. The world’s standards change every day, and if you follow the world, you have no standards at all. But follow God’s Word, and your feet will remain sound and steady. Jesus sets us on a solid rock when we come to Him for salvation. And while we may falter, we will never ultimately fail and fall from God’s Grace.

Psa 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Psa 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Jesus died for the church. It means so much to him. As you know, the church will be the bride of

Christ one day when he comes to take his bride out of this world.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

John 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

We have read the great commission to the church almost every week since we began our study. We as the church know we are to go into all the world and to preach to the lost. While we may not ourselves be able to go, we can accomplish this goal by supporting missionaries. In my spare time this week, I’ve been reading about the missionary trips that Paul and Barnabas went on, and then later Paul and Silas were sent out as were Barnabas and John Mark. These men were called of the Lord to begin new works, and then later go and strengthen the works. We should be willing to take an active part in mission work. Everyday, we ought to name our missionaries in prayer and ask God to provide and help them. And we should support them with our pocketbook also. One day, we will be happily surprised to meet people who have come to know the Lord because we cared enough to support a missionary in some far away country. If you have time, you should write and let the missionaries know how God is blessing in your life and our church, and tell them how much we appreciate their work of love for the Lord. Jesus in verse 18 says that as God sent Christ into this world, He sends us forth to reach those who are not yet in the fold. As Christ sanctified himself, you and I should set aside ourselves and be dedicated to the work of God.

1 Cor 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

1 Cor 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1 Cor 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

1 Cor 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 Cor 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Cor 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

1 Cor 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

1 Cor 3:20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

II. Prayer that we Might be One in God

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

We see Jesus praying for you and I in this prayer. Not just those who had believed at this time, but for all those who would believe in the future. Jesus wanted us all to be one. Like Jesus and the Father are one, His desire was for us to have the mind of Christ and desire to be like Him. And when we are living for God, when our lives line up with the teachings of Christ, the world will believe in Jesus. Our lives will be different, and others will see that. And the happiness, the joy, the great love that we show one for another will draw the world to us. Jesus was not just another man.. not just another religious leader that fit in with the crowd. He was different, and He brought in a new and living way for us to live. In his book, "Exploring the Gospels", John Phillips had some interesting comments about these verses and about Jesus Christ.

"The Lord prayed also about their prospects in this world: (in verse 14) And the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world even as I am not of the world. The world likes to reduce everything to its own mediocrity. It demands conformity. It likes to reduce everything to room temperature. We are not to be too hot or too cold. We are not to rock the boat. If we do, the world will turn nasty. Jesus rocked the boat; he refused to conform. The world could not pour him into its mold. He was too good, too intelligent, too brave, too honest, too different. So the world murdered him. Now it reaches out its bloodstained hand to us. We are expected to shake hands with the world over the blood of Jesus. But we are not of the world, just as he was not of the world. Sooner or later the world will treat us as it treated him, and for the same reasons. Thus the world killed the apostles and has persecuted the saints. So Jesus prayed about the prospects of his people in a world held captive by the devil. The Lord prayed about their purity. (Verses 15-17) Despite it fair fašade, this world is a foul place. The Lord prayed about their security (verse 15-16) in a world where every path, every offer, every thing is potentially defiling. As his people in this world, our security is twofold. We are to keep in mind his almighty strength. "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." The prayers is not just that we might be kept from evil, but that we be kept from the evil one, the prince of this world, the god of this world. (1 John 5:18-19) Jesus prayed that his people might be protected from a personal and real devil. This world is his air. As the believer is ensphered in Christ, so the unbeliever is ensphered in the evil one. Our citizenship is in heaven; the unbeliever’s citizenship is on earth. "The whole world lieth in wickedness" (1 John 5:19) The Lord did not pray that his people be at once removed from the scene of danger; this world is also the scene of duty. We are left here as his ambassadors. The Lord prayed rather that the Father would make bare his almighty arm and keep us from the evil one. His strength is available to us in the hour of temptation. The evil one is no match for the holy one.

These were interesting comments. I had never heard the word ensphered before, and had to look up its meaning. It was not in the first dictionary I looked it up in, but in the second, I found this

definition.

Ensphere \En*sphere"\, v. t. [Pref. en- + sphere. Cf. Insphere.] 1. To place in a sphere; to envelop.

Effectively this means that we are surrounded or enveloped by either Satan or Christ. Oh that all men and women were enveloped in Christ.

 

John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

What an honor to have honor and glory given to us. If we know Jesus as Lord and Savior, we are joint heirs with Christ, which makes us living priests and kings. We place great honor on earthly kings, but what about the honor that God has bestowed upon his children.

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

And in verse 23, it says that we should be made perfect in love. This is the "Agape" love, not the "Eros" type love so flaunted by the world. True love, the kind from God, seeks not for itself. We do for others for their sake, not in order to receive something in return. Jesus gave His all, His life, His everything for us. We ought to so live that others might see Christ’s love flowing from us.

John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Jesus did not become created 2,000 years ago when he came to this earth as a man. We see that He was with the Father since the beginning of time. We know that it speaks of making man in "our image" in Genesis. That spoke of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Jesus prays that we might go to be with him one day. I love those promises.

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

John 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

John 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

How true were Christ’s words. The world hath not know thee. All through our study in Hebrew History, we saw God come down and work with His people. And even His own people would turn from Him and go their own ways. God in love and mercy would chastise them and bring them back again and again. If God’s own don’t follow and listen, how much more is the world away from God. They don’t hear Him when He calls out in love. Some of you may have seen the articles in the paper about the signs put up on the expressways around Dallas last week. I believe there were 17 different signs that were supposed to be saying things that God said. Some were cute, others not so cute. A couple of examples were "Don’t make me come down there." "Are you going to my house this Sunday?" They were put up to make people think on God. But God has spoke to us in these last days by His Son. If we are to hear God today, it is not off a billboard and smoke in the clouds, but through the Word of God. God has declared His truth in His Word, and man needs to seek God through the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Heb 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

Heb 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

Heb 1:7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Heb 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

e-mail at: davidparham@internetbible.net

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