Jesus’ Prayer In John 17 – Part Three

Eyewitness p. 232
NASB: John 14:10; 17:11-19
NLT: John 17:13,14
In Your Bible: John 17:11-19

Jesus continues the conversation with his Father. He recounts that he protected the disciples from the hazards of the world, showed them how to resist the devil, taught them how to heal infirmities, and comforted those in need. Then he released them into his Fathers’ hands. The disciples remained behind to fulfill the purpose of God.

Filled with Joy

Jesus earnestly desired his disciples to have God’s joy in the trial they would pass through as he leaves them. He verifies his task is complete, “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.  I have given them your word” (John 17:13,14 NLT).

Holy and Sanctified by the Truth

Jesus appeals to the Father . . . “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.  Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.  And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth” (John 17:17-19 NLT).

Remember, Jesus told the disciples . . . “The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (John 14:10 NASB).

After the disciples were prepared and sanctified by the Father’s truth, Jesus readies for his departure. The disciples remain behind to fulfill the purpose of God.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the Word which sanctifies and sets me apart to do your good works.

Questions: We know God sanctifies believers. Have you considered the simplicity of His Word completing that task?

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?