There are three different sermons on this page
Year B Easter 7 John 17:6-19
JN 17:6 "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
Jesus prays for his disciples then, because they would need it after his crucifixion, resurrection & ascension.
This comes from their relationship with God the Father through Jesus. Being children of God. Knowing God's love, protection, provision, forgiveness, acceptance. Knowing answered prayer.
Jesus offers us this joy today, too. It is one of the fruit of the spirit, Gal. 5:22. A natural consequence of God living in us. It is not to be confused with happiness. It is much deeper and more profound than this. Rooted in our eternal relationship with God as our Father including our salvation and the promise of future glory. Involving knowing and serving him.
Reminds us the world is hostile to Christianity. Jesus and his followers live in the world, but are not to be governed by it's standards. This will lead to people and institutions being threatened and opposing Christians and what they stand for.
We need to realise that we cannot expect to follow the ways of Jesus and be popular with everyone. Standing with him and for his ways will lead us to be rejected, too. But the rewards in heaven far outweigh what we have to go through while we are on earth.
We need to pray for protection and for God's Holy Spirit to lead us, strengthen us, and give us the right words to say when sharing our faith.
We should pray for ourselves in this country, but also pray for believers throughout the world. Many of them face exclusion, imprisonment, even death because of their trust in Jesus. But Jesus has defeated sin and death and offers eternal life to those who follow him.
This means to make us holy, living for God, more like Jesus.
How do we do this?
1) 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
We can become more holy by knowing the truth of God which is revealed in the Bible. That is why it is important that we read, understand and know the scriptures.
2) However, we cannot do this in our own strength. The good news is that we do not need to! God has given the Holy Spirit to give us the knowledge and the power that we need to live for God, and the gifts we need to serve him.
We can be a purifying influence in the world, too. Jesus compared his followers to light in a dark world, and salt in a decaying, tasteless world. Matthew 5:13-15.
We are to receive the joy and the other fruit of God's Spirit working within us.
Pray for one another for protection for ourselves and for believers throughout the world.
Live for God by knowing his word and relying on the Holy Spirit.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
We are in the world, verse 11, not of the world, verse 16.
In the world. What does this mean?
We are foreigners/aliens, citizens of heaven ( Ephesians 2:19; 1 Peter 2:9; Colossians 3:2 ) Our proper place is with God.
In the meantime we are ambassadors of God. 2 Cor. 5:20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
Opposition, night before crucified.
"Hated" by the world, verse 14. Word can include indifference as well as outright opposition.
Not of the world, verse 16.
Trust that Jesus is from God, verse 8.
Trust in Jesus words, verse 8.
Sanctified, holy, set apart by God and for God.
To obey the words of Jesus, verse 6. To follow his example.
This leads to :
Bringing glory to Jesus, verse 10.
A full measure of joy, verse 13b.
Get congregation to compile a list of influences that are "Of the world" in one column and "Of God" in the other. Discuss the results, here are some suggestions:
Of the world
Other people Advertising
The Holy Spirit
God first, others second.
In the light of the world we live in we need, like Jesus, need to pray for protection. For God to defend us from spiritual and physical attacks. See Lord's prayer, "Deliver us from evil..."
We also need to pray for the Holy Spirit. The gift from God that we celebrate next Sunday. That the holy Spirit will give us the power that we need to live for God and to tell people about Jesus.
The Last Supper is over; soon Jesus will be arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. In prayer he looks up to heaven and prays to the Father. He has come to earth to provide eternal life to all who believe. Now he prays for the disciples.
Verses 1-26: Jesus' high priestly prayer. It falls naturally into three parts:
Within this prayer there is so much that is foundational to our understanding of Christianity. Like foundation all end in ation !
Revelation. 6"I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word The Greek verb 'revealed' ( ephanerosa ) is used of the manifestation of Jesus, or his glory, or God's works. All of these are seen in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Here the revelation is to those given to Jesus by the Father. Jesus, by his words and deeds, shows us more about God, i.e. his character and person.
We can rejoice in gratitude that God has chosen to reveal himself to us.
Remember at school in P.E. being chosen by a 'captain' from a line to play for their side. Often the choices were inspired by the relationships of the Captain to those he picked, rather than the ability of the players. God has chosen us not because we are good or loveable, but because he is love and has chosen some people to follow Jesus.
Predestination. 'whom you gave me out of the world' This is the choosing of all disciples before time began. Jesus has made the Father known to those who would believe. In contrast ( for John ) the "world" is notable for its unbelief and hatred.
The disciples have been faithful to "your word", to truth, to God, to Jesus' teaching. Why ? Not because they are any better than other people, but because God in His sovereignty has chosen them and helped them to live for Him. This applies to us, his disciples today. This leads to an incredible security because our salvation is not earned or deserved but a free, undeserved gift.
7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. This is referring to the entire ministry of Jesus with all that this involves. The disciples have come to realise the relationship of Jesus, God the Son to God the Father (v. 7);
Verse 8: "8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me." The disciples are beginning to discover and , in the light of Jesus' resurrection and ascension, will come to fully know Jesus' origin and mission (v. 8).
Incarnation. Jesus does not merely mean that he is Messiah, far less that he is a superman, one of the divine heroes of the ancient world, but that his claims to pre-existence (see v.5 ) are justified. God became a man in Jesus. 100% man and 100% God. I can't fully understand how this can be. I can fully understand the significance of this. That God loved sinful humankind so much he left the splendour of heaven to reveal himself to us, and to reconcile us to him. This leads to wonder and thanksgiving that God has done such a thing for us.
Jesus' words are the Father's words: see also 14:10,24. This is an arrogant, even ridiculous claim if it were not true. Yet when we look at the life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus we have to come to the conclusion that this man was also God. When we read the words of Jesus we read the words of God. That is why the Bible is so important to us. That is why everything and everyone must be subject to it.
Supplication. Verse 9, 'I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.' We have the importance of prayer. Here Jesus is praying for the disciples, later he will pray for those who will become disciples.
"I am not asking for the world": People are not capable, unless they come to faith in Jesus (see v20. ), of sharing in what the Father gives.
Last week we saw how we have a responsibility to love other believers sacrificially. This week we see that we have a responsibility to pray for fellow believers. This does not, of course mean that we should not pray for those who do not yet believe.
We can also be encouraged by the knowledge that Jesus continues to pray for us. Hebrews 7:24f., 'because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Glorification. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.
Belonging to the Son implies belonging to God the Father. Jesus' power and authority have been shown to the disciples who will bring glory to Jesus. Glory is referring to the visible self-disclosure of God. So the glory, or self-disclosure of God was seen when Jesus died on the cross. He reveals his love, mercy and forgiveness as he dies for the sins of the world. As he forgave the soldiers who hammered the nails into his limbs. As he pardoned the criminal who turned to him for help.
The glory of God is also seen when Christians display the love of Jesus to one another and to the world. As they live lives in the power of the Spirit rejecting the ways of the world and following the way of God.
The church was given to display the glory of God. Ephesians 3: 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
( 11I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 13"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. )
In verses 11- 15 we read about preservation from the influence of evil to enable the disciples to fulfil Jesus' mission in the world. Jesus asks the Father to "protect them by the power of your name" that is to say by his authority and as his representatives. Like an ambassador who is protected by the power of the government he/she represents. The Father has given Jesus this authority that he uses to protect his followers.
This does not, however, man that they will never face problems. In 16:1-5 he warned them that they would face opposition and, even, death. But Jesus has also told the disciples that they would have the Holy Spirit to help them. 14;25 ff., 16:6 ff.
Jesus also promises them, the full measure of my joy within them. A joy that comes from the assurance that God loves us, has chosen us, and has defeated death. A joy that will spring from this life into eternity.
Earlier I mentioned predestination, meaning that God has chosen those who will be his followers through Jesus. Double-predestination is the doctrine that God has also chosen who will spend eternity separated from God.
Verse 12: None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
Jesus has protected all of them, except for one: Judas. In fulfilment of "the scripture" means this was God's will expressed in the Bible. That "scripture" is in the singular implies that John has a particular passage in mind. It may be Psalm 41:9 , quoted in 13:18 by Jesus . 9 Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
Judas was "destined to be lost", damned. Judas betrayed Jesus for money because he was following Jesus' for what he could get out of it. We know this from 12:6 when Judas was upset at Mary anointing Jesus' feet with expensive perfume, when, as treasurer he would have sold it and pocketed the money.
The disciples were "hated", as Judas was, because they are unlike others. However, they (unlike him) continue "in the world" (v. 11). This reminds us that salvation involves keeping going for, and with Jesus. Not giving up when things don't go our own way, or where there is a financial cost in following Jesus.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Sanctification. Means set apart for the service of God, and to live a morally upright life according to God's revealed will.
"your word is truth": God's "word" (Greek: logos) is the means of sanctification. The Father's "word" is found in the incarnate "Word", Jesus, who is "full of grace and truth". The "truth" sets free those who persevere in Jesus' word. We find out about Jesus' example and teaching through reading and studying the Bible in the power of the Holy Spirit.
As Christians we should be 'in the world but not of it'. The world here represents a way of living that is contrary to God's perfect will. We may find ourselves surrounded by filth, but this does not mean that we have to enjoy it, get used to it, or not wash ourselves from it.
18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
Evangelisation. God has made the first move in sending Jesus. The incarnation. We are to imitate Jesus and go out into the world showing the love of God in Jesus inspired by the Holy Spirit. Christianity is a faith that reaches out. Every Christian is called to be an intermediary between the world and God. We may not all be called to be evangelists, but we are all called to share the good news, 'euangelion'.
19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
Sanctification, again. We saw earlier that 'sanctify' means set apart for the service of God, and to live a morally upright life according to God's revealed will.
Christ sanctified himself by offering himself up for the service of God by voluntarily coming to earth and going to the cross.
Christ's perfect self-offering is the means by which the disciples, whom he is sending into the world, are dedicated in obedience to God.
So the disciples, including ourselves are sanctified through Jesus. He makes us morally upright in God's eyes. Something the Bible calls, justification. He sets us apart to serve God.
This leads us back to our response to God's love for us in Jesus.
Of adoration, praise and thanksgiving for who God is and what he has done for us. Of supplication, praying for the lives of those who know Jesus and for those who do not yet know him.
Of sanctification, living lives devoted to God.
Of evangelisation, sharing his good news in word and deed to a world that is separated from him.