Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: John's Gospel Studies|
Chapter: John 17
Passage: John 17:1-5
A. Find Out:
1. What did Jesus do next? v.1a
2. What was Jesus asking for and why? v.1b
3. Where and how did he ask for it? v.5
4. What had he done? v.4
5. What had the Father given him and for what purpose? v.2
6. How had that been realised? v.3
From talking to the disciples, Jesus now turns to talking to the Father. He first of all prays for the big issue, an “overall prayer”, not a small detail one, and one that affects him. Above all else Jesus wanted his Father to be glorified by his life, so he asks in order to achieve that, that the Father would glorify his life through what was about to happen and into eternity.
What does “glorify” mean? It means to exalt and honour. So Jesus was saying that he wanted his Father's name to be exalted and honoured. God had done that already in one sense by giving him the means (authority) to bring eternal life to whoever will come, and that eternal life was experienced by knowing God Himself, in whom is all life. When any one does truly know and encounter God then they WILL honour and exalt Him, for they will see Him as He truly is and will respond accordingly.
But yet there is (from Jesus' perspective) a future exalting and honouring to come, the honour that God will get when men see and realize the wonder of the plan of salvation. For that to happen Jesus would have to go through the Cross and fulfil that plan. He would need to be seen to be the redeeming Son of God, who came from heaven and who will return there. His glory means God's glory.
1. The Son glorifies the Father. His glory is all important.
2. His glory means He is seen as He truly is.
A. Find Out:
1. How does Jesus first describe the disciples? v.6
2. What had they come to know? v.7,8
3. Who is he praying for and why? v.9
4. What has come to the godhead through them? v.10
5. What did Jesus know was to happen so what did he ask? v.11
6. What was he able to further say about them? v.12
As Jesus talks to his Father about what he has done and is going to do, having asked to be glorified that the Father might be glorified, he moves on to talk about the disciples that he has raised up who are to be the ongoing means of the Father being glorified.
First of all he recognises that all he has achieved has been because it was the Father's will and the Father's working. There is a submissive humility in this prayer first of all. This comes out again and again in these few verses. These disciples belong to the Father, not Jesus; all he does is for the Father. The members of the godhead may be co-equal but the Son always submits himself to the Father.
Next he notes the way that they have been identified as disciples: they have received what he has said, they have become believers and he has kept them all safe, with the exception of Judas, up until now. That leads him on to make his request of the Father on their behalf. He simply asks the Father to PROTECT them. Now it appears not so much a physical protection but a spiritual protection that he asks for, as he asks that the result of that protection will be unity. The protection he is therefore asking for is against being lead away from the truth into wrong divisive belief systems.
1. The Son is an example of submission for us. We must follow him.
2. We need the Father's protection against wrong beliefs.
A. Find Out:
1. Why was Jesus praying these things? v.13
2. What had he given his disciples, with what result? v.14
3. What did he ask for them? v.15
4. Why? v.16,18
5. What did he further ask? v.17
6. What was Jesus doing and for what purpose? v.19
Yesterday we saw that Jesus was asking the Father to protect the disciples from deception or falling into error. In these verses he continues that prayer. He recognises that he will be leaving them soon and that they are aliens in the world, and that Satan will seek to attack them and lead them astray. His word had come to them and they had responded to that. They were now citizens of heaven rather than of the godless, self-centred world. They were living on this world but they had an entirely different outlook.
They were therefore, in the midst of this godless, self-centred-thinking, they were “ in the world” but there not of it. The enemy would seek to make them think his way again.
Very well, prays Jesus, protect them from him Father, and set them apart and keep them apart by the truth. May they hold to the truth and be a separate distinct people. How we need to be seen to be that today! Jesus noted that he separated himself off (to the Cross) so that the work of salvation could proceed, and the disciples be truly set apart as a result (when eventually the Spirit would come on and in them and make them even more distinct).
We are today a distinct people, separated to God by word and Spirit. May we not be afraid of being seen as distinct.
1. God's word has separated us to be a righteous people.
2. God's Spirit has separated us to be a holy people.
A. Find Out:
1. Who does Jesus now pray for? v.20
2. What did he want for them, demonstrated by what? v.21
3. What had he given them for what purpose? v.22
4. What, again, did he want, to what end? v.23
5. What did Jesus want for his followers? v.24
6. What would Jesus continue to do and for what purpose? v.26
Having prayed for his present disciples, Jesus moves on in prayer to pray for his future church. His primary request is for unity.
Within that request let us note first of all the MODEL OF UNITY that Jesus uses: that of Himself and his Father. There was clearly a distinction between them, for one can talk to the other, but there was also a unity of harmony and purpose. But more than that, some how in a way that defies our understanding, they were one in essence as well. Thus the church to come was to be one in purpose but more importantly, one in essence. That would come about as He put His Holy Spirit in each believer. Thus there IS a unity between every believer. We simply need to believe it and act like it!
Next, note the FRUIT OF UNITY that Jesus speaks about: the world will realise that what is spoken is true, that Jesus DID come and STILL lives. Twice he says that the world might believe or know. The biggest hindrance to the Gospel today is the division of the church. The Father has done His part and given us His Holy Spirit, so the means or reality of unity is there, but we have not played our part and ensured that division does not come. It has come again and again (for a variety of reasons) and we need to repent.
1. The sinfulness of man (Christians) brings division.
2. Jesus desires one Holy Spirit-empowered and directed church.
In this second group of 4 studies we have seen Jesus praying :
Next to the Matthew 6 “Lord's prayer”, this is the divine example of what to pray for. First there is desire for God to be glorified, then there is recognition of our need. That makes a good basis for all praying: first God glorified, then my need and the needs of others brought to the Father.
1. The Son glorifies the Father
2. We need protection from the enemy
3. God has made us one by the presence of His Spirit within
4. God wants us to work out a practical unity in His church
5. That unity is to help others believe
Thank the Lord for His love, care and protection. Ask for your own life to bring glory to God, ask for others close to you, for their blessing and protection.
PART 3 : "Arrest & Trial"
In this next Part we move into what is probably the most inglorious episode of human history where mankind turns against its Maker and rejects and schemes against the most glorious person who has ever walked the earth. Remember when you read these verses, if we had been there, we would have been doing the same things!