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How does Jesus pray for Tony?

June 16, 2013

Erik stepped up to as substitute ‘batter’ for Jay who has absconded to the left coast, continuing our journey through John, today mainly in the 17th chapter. As the verse above indicates (as well as in vss. 11, 21, and 22), the focus of Jesus’ prayer (the true Lord’s Prayer) was upon the unity of His disciples then and future within the church and with Him and the Father. He prayed this knowing that all too soon the disciples would be scattered across the then known world by persecution.
• Tribulation or trials are part of life in general, but as believers in Christ we should expect more as we no longer ‘fit’ in a world that just doesn’t ‘get it’ regarding Jesus
• These trials are, as Erik put it, conduits through which our enemy attacks us, seeking to get us off track and away from our focus upon Messiah
• How then are we to respond in face of this tribulation
o We must increase our power, that is our reliance upon the Holy Spirit in our everyday; a quote from Paul Tripp seems apropos here:
“If God doesn’t rule your mundane, then he doesn’t rule you. Because that’s where you live.”
o Know that Jesus is praying for us as He did for those disciples long ago and recognize that He ‘has our back’
So then, as this section of the Gospel of Jesus recorded by John opens we see Jesus praying, but what is He praying for and about?
Jesus prays for Himself that He would be glorified (vss. 1-5)
On the surface this seems somewhat self-serving, but there is a reason for this that is actually self-sacrificing rather than self-serving
• His hour has come
o The most demeaning, shameful death imaginable and Jesus calls it glorious
o This horrific death involved so much more than the physical suffering pictured by Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ
 He became sin for us; he wore our sin on the cross, all sin for all time past, present and future in order to become the propitiation for all sin
 By becoming sin He paid the debt we never could and opened the Way Home for all who believe
 His glory on the cross is the magnet that draws us to Him initially and what will draw us back when (not if) we wander from Him
• Eternal life is a relationship
o We are relational beings; in this is one of the ways we demonstrate that we are made in God’s image
o The current time will pass into obscurity along with all that seems important to us now including all our friends and enemies
o Only those relationships in Christ and through Christ will remain forever and these connections begin with our relationship with Jesus and the Father; the way that Jesus defines eternal life is through this relationship with Him and the Father (vs. 3)
• In the cross He completes the work the Father sent Him to do
o Jesus is glorified not only by the Word that He shared, the miracles He accomplished or the fact of His resurrection, He is also glorified by His death upon the cross
o Humiliation preceded Jesus’ exultation, should we expect anything less?
Jesus prays for the restoration of His eternal Glory (vss. 4, 5)
• As Jesus prays to the Father, He states that He has accomplished all the Father sent Him to do
o Teaching that pointed the Way Home
o Miracles that demonstrated His Deity and authority to make the claims He did in His teaching
• The final act of obedience to the Father’s will is the one that will separate the relationship that has existed since eternity past, that between Jesus and the Father, yet “…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)
• Jesus asks the Father to restore that Glory that was His since eternity past that has been veiled since His invasion of the world began once this last task is accomplished
Jesus prays for His disciples then and future (vss. 6-19)
Think of that, the Son of God, Immanuel praying for Kathy, Vince, Mei, David, Charles, Sherry, Kristine, Jennifer, Lisa, Melinda, Grace and so many more; how can we be fearful in the face of that fact?

• Why did Jesus pray for us?
o Think of the most precious, unforgettable gift you’ve ever received from your closest, most intimate friend; that is one reason Jesus prayed for us as we are the gift from the Father to Him, a treasured possession lifted from the world by His infinite grace and mercy
o A people who are alive through being given to Jesus by the Father out of the world
 We have “…kept His Word…”
 His ownership of us through being given by the Father is at the core of His intercessory prayer for us
o He is about to leave the world, so will no longer be physically present (Hallelu-Yah!)
• The world and its’ allurements and temptations are a very real and persistent threat to our ‘one-ness’
o Nothing in the world is truthful; all truth in any form (science, philosophy, etc.) is from God
o When confronted with Jesus’ statements about His Kingdom, Pilate’s answer was a question that he sadly did not linger to hear Jesus’ response
… “’So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’ After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews…” (John 18:37, 38 ESV)
Why Jesus stated, “…I do not ask on behalf of the world…”
o “He was in the world, and the world did was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.” John 1:10
o Rebellion against all that is represented by God epitomizes the world; the god of this world has blinded most that they would not see their need, hear the Word and open their heart to Jesus
o It would be blasphemous (as Erik put it) for Jesus to pray for those whose every breath and action is contrary to the Way, the Truth and the Life

• What did Jesus specifically pray for us?
o That the Father would keep us (protection)
o That we would be united in purpose and love as He and the Father are
o That we would be sanctified (set apart) to the work of the Kingdom
 Set apart (sanctification, holiness) is something we seem to forget in our daily lives; we can bring our daily offerings in our ‘mundane’ activity to Him as a sacrifice of praise
 We should also recognize that as His possession, we are called to be different from the world that surrounds us, from which we were called to be set apart
 Erik used the example of his being able to take his family into Kenan Stadium yesterday as it was not ‘Game Day’; if it were, only those on the teams and their staff would be allowed down on the field and only those with tickets would be allowed into the stand
 Every day is ‘Game Day’ for the disciple of Jesus and we are always to be aware that we are set apart for His purposes, especially those who are not called to the pastorate
o He also prays to the Father that we will all behold the Glory He had from eternity past and we will when we get Home

Questions for Kimberly

1. Do we find glory in following Jesus only when things are going well or even when you travel through tribulation?
2. Do you thank God as much for the failures we all experience or just for the successes we can stumble into?
3. What is the difference between the ‘sacred’ and ‘profane’ in the Kingdom, or to put it another way, can a ditch digger make as big an impact for Jesus as a pastor?
4. What is the role of an ambassador and how are we as disciples of Messiah likened to that?
5. What does every day being a “Game Day” mean to you as a believer?
6. What is truth?

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