JESUS PRAYING FOR HIS DISCIPLES John 17:6-10
February 26, 2012
INTRODUCTION: These disciples who are with Jesus are undoubtedly drawn into His prayer. They
will be affirmed and blessed as a people in whom Jesus is glorified. They are the people that bear His name. The Father has called them “out of the world” and given them to His Son. As Jesus has received and kept them, He has given them the Father’s Name and revealed to them the nature of God. It is through these disciples that the Father has chosen to reveal His glory. And it is for this circle of believers, this cleansed and believing “church” that Jesus the Lord now prays.
Jesus will show this small group of disciples that the very nature of God is proof enough that He is everything they need.
We sing, “Lord, listen to your children praying.” In John 17, it’s, “Children, listen to your Lord
As we listen to Jesus praying, note:
I. IT REVEALS THE FATHER’S CHARACTER. 6-8
A. HIS NAME. 6
“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world” – to
reveal, to make known, or to show.
John 1:18. “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.”
“declared” – to exegete
John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 17:6, “manifested” is aorist tense, an accomplished fact, one that Jesus Christ had
perfectly finished according to the Father’s plan.
“Your name” – encompasses all that He is: His character, nature, and attributes. Psalms 9:10
“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalms 22:22
“I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.”
Note Heb 2:10-13
“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying:
"I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You." And again: "I will put My trust in Him."
And again: "Here am I and the children whom God has given Me."
The supreme manifestation of the Son of God was the Lord Jesus Christ, God in human flesh. So perfectly and completely did Jesus reveal God’s nature and character that he could boldly proclaim these statements:
John 10:30, “I and My Father are one."
John 12:45, “And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.”
John 14:9, “Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?”
Note Paul’s Claim:
Colossians 1:15, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Colossians 2:9, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”
Hebrews 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 at the right hand of the Majesty on high”
Jesus Christ not only manifested and declared His name, He took it for Himself
John 8:24, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’”
Note in v.6 Jesus refers to the gift the Father had given Him; namely us!
“To the one whom You have given Me out of the world” – we were His (the Father’s)
through creation, we became His (Jesus) by re-creation.
Col 1:16, “All things were created through Him and for Him”
Paul spoke of this truth:
Colossians1:12-14, “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
“they were Yours, You gave them to Me” – think about this - what a word for His disciples to
hear, what words to treasure, talk about being blessed. The wonder of wonders, the mystery of mysteries, that when God decided to give a gift to His Son, He gave Him us!
On Christmas Eve I spoke of the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus at His birth. These were not just gifts for a king but for God. I felt the Lord spoke to me and showed me that the gifts really spoke of what we needed; He has no needs. Matt 1:11 describes the gifts:
1. Myrrh - We Needed A Savior
2. Frankincense - We Needed An Intercessor
3. Gold - We Needed A King to Lead Us, Direct Us, Rule Our Hearts Then Note v.6 “they have kept Your Word”
This reminds us of the element of obedience essential to salvation. Obedience is the inevitable result of genuine saving faith; their faith was genuine.
As the word was revealed to them (6), exposing God’s character/nature, from the heart they had responded in genuine faith to the truth they had received.
Philippians 2:12-13, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
J. Allen Blair, Gospel of John made an interesting and inspiring note on this last phrase in v.6 “Our Lord made a most gracious remark regarding the disciples, ‘they have kept Your Word.’ Consider how they failed in this respect and even worse, how they would fail after Christ’s crucifixion. But our Lord is so loving and kind. He overlooked their many weaknesses as He said, ‘…they have kept Your Word.’”
When Jesus saw Simon, Andrew’s brother, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah (John).
You shall be called Cephas (Peter) which is translated, a Stone.” (John 1:42)
When Jesus first saw Peter, He saw him not for who he was, but for who he could become. When Jesus sees us for who we can become, He also sees us for who we will ultimately be.
1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
B. HE’S THE SOURCE. 7
“Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You.” - the
disciples are beginning to realize the mission His Father has given Him. This passage highlights His intimacy with and dependence on His Father. He worked by the power of God and did everything according to His will.
John 9:4, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”
John 4:34, “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.’”
John 5:19-23, “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.’”
John 5:36, “But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish — the very works that I do — bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.”
Note A Promise:
John 14:12, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
Indeed, as the Father was the Source for the Son, the Son is the Source for the Saint. What we possess, we have as a result of the Son.
C. HIS WORD. 8
Deuteronomy 18:15, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear”
Deuteronomy 18:18, “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.”
The disciples believed that the words which the Father gave to Jesus were true. “In the vast desert of this world’s barren unbelief, the belief of these men in His words, as coming directly from God, and in His ultimate origin as coming out from the Father, was a glorious oasis where the thirsty soul of the Savior could rejoice and stoop and drink.”
These disciples affirmed God’s words and acted upon them. When God’s word is given,
received, and believed, Jesus said in v.8 “and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.” Here is the Son testifying to the genuineness of
the disciples’ faith.
The word “sent” is the word for apostle; Jesus was sent on a divine mission into this world (18,
21, 23, 25)
They came to realize Who He was, and as a result, they suffered severe persecution and martyrdom for they would not abandon what they knew to be true.
James Montgomery Boice posed the question:
“How does one tell who are the elect of God? How do we judge who are Christians and who are not? There is only one answer, the answer given by the Lord Jesus Christ (speaking) of those who were truly His disciples (John 17:6-8). According to these verses, the only way to tell whether one is a Christian or not is to see whether he or she believes and continues in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
II. IT REVEALS THE SON’S COMPASSION. 9-10
A. THE POWER OF PRAYER. 9 1. Those Included.
“I pray for them” – this reminds me of Jesus’ prayer for Simon Peter.
Luke 22:31-32, “And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.’"
To be sifted like wheat suggests that such trials, though unsettling and undesirable, have a necessary refining affect.
Jesus assures Peter of His prayers and of Peter’s ultimate victory, even encouraging Peter to be an encourager to the others. Peter failed miserably, but his faith was never overthrown. Remember, it’s how you finish that matters. In John 21:17-19, Peter ultimately displays a perseverance that brought praise to His Savior. The unpredictable Peter was sustained through all of his temptations by Christ’s intercession.
Note Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:24-25. 2. Those Excluded. 9
“I do not pray for the world” – this does not mean that Jesus never prayed for the world.
On the cross He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they do.”
In John 17, He is praying for those who will take the message to the world; this is His focus.
B. THE POWER OF PROMISE. 9-10
The disciples belonged to God, yet He had given them to His Son. They are Yours and Mine. The power of their promise is one of security. We speak about the perseverance of the saints but is it not rather the perseverance of the Father and the Son in keeping us, that the Son might be glorified through us.
J. Allen Blair said that before a redeemed soul can be lost, 5 things have to happen:
1. He must be plucked out of God’s hand.
John 10:28-30, “And I give them eternal life, and shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one."
2. The Seal of Ownership which made us God’s purchased possession must be broken. Ephesians 1:13-14, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
3. The indwelling Holy Spirit must be cast out.
John 14:16, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever”
4. We must be separated from the love of God.
Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
5. Our names must be erased from the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Luke 10:20, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
Salvation is not dependent upon us, but upon the provision of Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.
When Jesus prayed this prayer, He was only a day away from the cross. Remember how all the disciples fled and forsook Him, however, He says, “I am glorified in them”
1 Peter 1:3-9, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls.”
Jesus’ confidence was not in the disciple’s steadfastness, but in the love and power of His Father. He knew that what the Father had promised in eternity past, He would certainly accomplish and ensure in the present.