Jesus’ Prayer in John 17 – Part Two

Eyewitness p. 232
Eyewitness Stories: John 17: 6-10
NLT: John 17: 6-10
In Your Bible: John 17: 6-10

As Jesus prays he discusses with his Father the aspects of his task on earth. His heartfelt communication shows us what we need to grasp. Jesus illuminates the concern he has for every believer.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

In John 3:16 Jesus declared God sent him for all who would believe. Now in John 17 he prays for those whom the Father has given to him. Not all people of the world believe in God’s Son, Jesus.

Many heard Jesus’ teaching, saw miraculous works of healing and received provision in their time of need. They witnessed his crucifixion, death and resurrection. Jesus tells the Father, “I have told these men about you. They were in the world, but you gave them to me. . . Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the words you gave to me” (John 17:6-8 NLT).

Eugene Peterson says it this way, “I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me . . .” (John 17:6 Message).

Character and Relationship

Jesus came to reveal God’s character and our relationship to him. The Master encouraged the humble to know what God is like and to be on intimate terms with him. Jesus said we can address God as Father. Yes, everyone who receives Christ’s word and believes in him, is taken into a covenant relationship with the Father. Christ has redeemed us to God.

Let us continue to dissect this wonderful, gracious and amazing prayer. Jesus illuminates the concern he has for the believer.

Prayer: Father, what a joy to slowly take in this prayer. As a believer I dwell in the richness and flavor of your love for me.

Questions: What is your impression as you see Jesus describe his work on earth in this manner. What more do you know about the character and nature of God?

Jesus’ Prayer In John 17 – Part One

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Eyewitness: John 17:4
Amplified: John 17:3
In Your Bible: John 17: 1-5

One Bible commentator, Henrietta Mears,* calls John 17 the “Holy of Holies of Scriptures” because it is so rich. Imagine an entire chapter of Jesus’ prayer to the Father for his followers. None of his prayers are as well documented as this one.** Every believer needs to understand these powerful words.

Jesus Begins His Prayer

Jesus turned, lifted up his eyes, and prayed to the Father. He talked to the Father about his time on earth, teaching, working miracles and showing God’s love for the people. Then he prayed for those who the Father gave to him. They believed. This includes everyone who receives the message of Jesus today. Glory!

Eternal Life

Jesus defined eternal life: . . . this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true [supreme and sovereign] God, and [in the same manner know] Jesus [as the] Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3 Amplified).

He went on to say, . . .”I have glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father restore to me the glory I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:4 Eyewitness).

These verses are the keys to understanding Jesus’ intimate communication with the Father. Take time to ponder them again. Every believer needs to understand these powerful words.

Prayer: Father, thank you for eternal life. I do want to know you better, hear you better, and grow in my love for you.

Questions: Does Jesus’ statement clarify eternal life for you? Had you heard it in this context before? After reading all of John 17, how does knowing God and making him known apply today?

* What The Bible Is All About, Henrietta C. Mears, Regal Books a Division of G/L Publications, Glendale, California, USA, 1974, p. 147.

** Matthew Henry’s Commentary In One Volume, Matthew Henry, Regency Reference Library, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1960, p. 1603.

The Holy Spirit Guides Believers

Eyewitness: pp. 229, 230
Eyewitness Stories: John 16: 7-11
Message: John 16: 7-11
In Your Bible: John 16: 7-11

John Chapter 16 is part of the most intimate teaching Jesus gave his disciples. Here he explains many key events, including why he must go away, how believers will be treated when he leaves, and the purpose of the Holy Spirit who will come. The disciples get it! They understand the Holy Spirit will guide believers.

The Spirit’s Task

When Jesus again reveals he must leave, his disciples are not only afraid but bewildered. He said, “ . . . I tell you the truth. I must go, or the Guide will not come. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7 Eyewitness Stories). He continues to explain why he will depart and why this is God’s best for them.

Jesus said, . . .”When he [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will reveal to the world the truth about sin, righteousness, and judgment. About sin because they do not believe in me. About righteousness because I go to my Father, and you no longer see me. About judgment because the prince of this world is condemned (John 16:8-11 Eyewitness).

He Will Guide

Jesus’ explanation calms his disciples. “He will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you” (John 16:13-14 Message). Yes, the Holy Spirit will guide believers.

Prayer: Father, I need your guidance daily. I depend on you and welcome your help in each step I take in my walk with you.

Questions: Can you describe the responsibilities of each person of the Trinity? Does the third person of the Trinity make you uncomfortable or more comfortable? Why?

“My Words Direct Your Life”

Eyewitness Stories: John 15:7
Message: John 15:4
NASB: John 15: 4-11; Deut 7: 8,9
In Your Bible: John 15: 4-11; Deut 7: 8,9

The words in John Chapters 14 and 15 are deep and potent. Nearly every phrase could be considered a gem to be examined by itself, starting with “abide in me”. Jesus’ teaching takes more than reading slowly. Yes, that too, but take to heart what the Master says to his disciples, “ . . . My words direct your life” (John 15:7 Eyewitness Stories).

The Vine and the Branches

Jesus compares the relationship of the vine, the vinedresser, and the branch. “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me” (John 15:4 Message).

In the Message Eugene Peterson describes this relationship between the vine, the vinedresser and the branch as an organic one—meaningful to us today and very accurate indeed.

God’s Words

When Jesus says abide in me, live in me, or remain in me he speaks at a level of intimacy we need to grasp. The man God/Jesus offers a life with a purpose.

Read and ponder what God want of you:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full (John 15:4-11 NASB).

How can this be so difficult to receive? Why do we resist Jesus’ teachings? YES, let Jesus words direct your life.

Prayer: Father, your continuing appeal to my heart is received. Yes, I’ll seek to live by your words.

Questions: Why do you think it is so difficult for believers (and non-believers) to live by God’s words? What is the most difficult part of John 14 and 15 for you to live by? Why?

Because I Live, You Shall Live Also

Eyewitness: pp.226, 227
Eyewitness Stories: John 14:17, 19, 26
John 14: 17, 19, 26 NASB
Romans 8:2, 6 NASB
In Your Bible: John 14:26; Romans 8:2 and 8:6

Jesus abruptly told his disciples he must go away and counseled them with encouraging words. These words would empower them to tell everyone they encountered about the Son of God. He said, “Because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19b NASB).

Life in Christ

Paul writes. . . For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. That was for a purpose . . . In order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us [believers], who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Romans 8: 2,4 NASB).

Other versions of Scripture, use a picture to embrace sin as a yoke or a burden we’re attached to or actually binding us. And that is precisely what life can be if we allow sin to run in our life. Jesus came to set us free . . . . the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6 NASB). Selah.

The Holy Spirit

John writes what Jesus promised . . . “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26 NASB).

This should bolster confidence that God, the Father continues to help, guide, counsel and encourage the believer in his daily walk. Thank you Jesus for saying, “Because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19b NASB).

Prayer: Father, Your Spirit within helps me remember what Jesus taught all the disciples, as I am one with them.

Questions: When did you realize that sin is a burden we carry but can be obliterated by faith in Jesus? How has that become powerful for you?

Power In Jesus’ Name

Eyewitness: p. 227
Eyewitness Stories: John 14:13
Message: John 14:11-15
In your Bible: John 14:11-15

This promise in John 14 may confuse us. But the Eyewitness and The Message make it poignantly clear, the believer can ask God for anything along the lines of who Jesus is and what he does. What gives us that privilege? The Apostle Paul explains it wonderfully – we are in Christ – Jesus. Power in Jesus’ name is a God thing.

Asking of God Through Jesus

  • Frank Ball in the Eyewitness, says the “in My Name” phrase is best described as “under my direction and authority” (Eyewitness John 14:13,14).
  • Eugene Peterson’s interpretation shows the magnitude of what Jesus says about asking of God. “From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I AM and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who you are in the Son” (John 14:15a Message).
  • These interpretations should bring a new understanding of God’s view of asking of him (as a believer, you already have the authority).

Meaning for the Believer

    • Jesus sent out the 12 and 70 more of his followers – giving specific direction and authority for what they should do. To heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out evil spirits, and raise the dead.
    • At the great commission Jesus expanded this charge: Go and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the name the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Instruct them to practice of all I commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this.

Wait for God’s Instructions

This direction includes believers today! Be listening for times when God moves you, speaks to you, whispers to you by the Spirit. Then move on God’s direction to you – He’s already given you the authority as a believer. Yes! It’s the reason the believer can be assured of using Jesus name and authority correctly. Embrace this. We should be doers of the Word and not only hearers as James writes. Power in Jesus’ name is a God thing.

Prayer: Father, I want to keep in communication with you all the time. I need your direction in all I do. I know I have authority by being in Jesus. Thank you.

Questions Does this expand you understanding the authority of the believer? Now what do you think when you say what “In Jesus Name” really means?

Jesus IS the Life

John 8:12 Amplified AMP
NASB: John 11:23,25
Message: John 14:10b, 11
In Your Bible: John 8:12; 11:23,25; 14:10b, 11

From the beginning God created everything. . . everything and gave mankind the breath of life (Gen 2:6).  Now in the New Testament we see Jesus address a the crowd, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life” (John 8:12 Amplified). Yes, Jesus IS the Life also.

The Father Crafts Jesus’ Words

Jesus offers life everlasting to those who believe, abide, and trust in him. Jesus is God. In the New Testament Jesus says, “The words that I speak aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act” (John 14:10b,11 Message).The disciples were learning about the Father by watching Jesus!

Lazarus Raised to Life

Lazarus died four days before Jesus arrived. He Jesus calmed Martha and Mary before he raised his friend Lazarus. Then, Jesus said to her [Martha], “Your brother shall rise again” (John 11:23 NASB). She said she knew he would do so on the last day. Then Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies” (John 11:25 NASB).

Jesus is the life giver and the Life.

Prayer: Father, Thank you for giving us Jesus, he is more than I can comprehend with my mind alone. I have to use my heart.

Questions: Why do you think that Jesus puts I am the Way, the Truth and the Life with no one comes to the Father except by me?