Jesus Intercessory Prayer - His Unanswered Prayer - Part Two - John 17:13-26
Jesus Intercessory Prayer: His Unanswered Prayer – Part Two
Psalm 133:1 – 1-3
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! 3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
Introduction: Today we are going to talk again but more specifically about Jesus unanswered prayer. What is it you might say? Well one of the unanswered prayers is that of unity. Unity among believers in local churches and a lack of unity in the universal church at large.
- According to numbers I have looked up, among Christians there are 43,000 different denominations. That is utterly inexcusable.
- I want to make sure we understand what unity is and what unity is not at the beginning of this message
- Unity is NOT peace at any cost. Sometimes conflict cannot be avoided and good things come out of it. It is not staying in your comfort zone no matter what. Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to do God’s bidding.
- Unity is not uniformity.
Quote: “There can be union without unity: tie two cats together by their tails and throw them over a clothesline. There you will have union, but certainly not unity!”- Pastor Tony DiCostanzo
- Unity is NOT when everyone walks in lockstep with one another and everyone is in 100% agreement and votes yes without discussion. That is not reality or is it healthy
- Unity is NOT meaning we are necessarily 100% united
- Unity is when we come together and come to agreements on things for the common good and benefit of the entire Body of Believers. To work in cooperation with one another. To complement one another by using our gifts together as a finely tuned machine. The church family. That means there will be give and take, compromise (except on areas of Biblical doctrine), and a commitment to support the final decision and the decisions of leaders even if you may not completely agree
- Again, we are not talking about Biblical commands and doctrine
- Often these are preferences and methods we have give and take about. I have found over the years there are multiple ways to do things and not always one right way. But there must be a way to get things done whether it is my idea or someone else’s idea. We just have to come to agreement on it.
- We as Christians get hung up on minor issues
- We need to avoid majoring on the minor issues
- The same is true when it comes to cooperating and supporting other churches and parachurch organizations.
- We can support, work with, and agree together on the essentials of the faith.
Five fundamentals of the Christian Faith
1. The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8-9).
2. The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27).
3. The Blood Atonement (Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-14).
4. The Bodily Resurrection (Luke 24:36-46; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 15:14-15).
5. The inerrancy of the scriptures themselves (Psalms 12:6-7; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20).
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;* the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic** church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Paul says in Philippians 1:12 – 18
12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Transition: Let’s review the beginning of this prayer of Jesus from the beginning of this chapter to put this section in context.
Purpose: Every Christ follower must seek unity with Christ, fellow believers and Bible believing, Spirit filled churches in order to make God famous to those around us.
May the Father be revered – John 17: 1-5
May Christ followers have an eternal place reserved for them – John 17:6-12
Key Thought: May we honor God with our lives as we rest in His eternal protection
Transition: Let’s now look at the second half of Jesus unanswered prayer that you and are called to fulfill today.
The Voice of Truth – John 17:13 – 19
- Finding joy in the truth – verses 13 – 14a
John 17:13- 14a
13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word
- Three times Jesus speaks about joy as His lasting legacy to His followers (15:11,16:20 – 24 and 17:13)
- The Father’s constant promised protection and Jesus continual prayers are the producers of yours and my joy.
- “My” joy – God’s joy based in Christ that He experienced and we can experience
- For Jesus the joy was found in His perfect obedience to the Father
- And the joy of overcoming death through His resurrection / giving of eternal life
- In verse 14, the apostles were given God’s word to bring them added joy as well.
- They heard it, they witnessed it’s working power right in front of them, and they have learned it personally in their life experience
- The Word of God should bring joy to each one of us. That is why we should get into it as often as we can. Memorize it, listen to it, memorize it because it bring us back to the unfiltered and unvarnished truth that is essential for understanding life
- Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
- Being a sojourner of the truth – verses 14b- 16
John 17:14b – 16
And the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
- Do not be surprised as Jesus reminds us that we will not be accepted or liked by the world
- Excluded from parties and invitations
- Persecuted in the workplace, maybe passed over for a promotion
- Made fun of and your values challenged
- As born again Christians, the Bible describes us as strange people, aliens, KJV pilgrims and strangers in this world. “This world is not our home we’re just a passin’ through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”
- We need to remember that. This world is temporary. This is preparation for heaven
- We are not to be taken out of this world at salvation. Why?
- Chief aim of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him
- Carry out God’s kingdom work
- Example that we are capable of overcoming the world (16:33)
- Jesus asks the Father to keep the evil one away from us. Do you pray for the covering of the blood of Christ for your protection?
- We are not to be taken out of this world at salvation. Why?
Quote; “This book will keep me from sin or sin will keep me from this book.” – D.L. Moody
- Make your mind up that you are a citizen of heaven and merely a steward of the nice things God has given into your care. Those two thoughts will bring tremendous balance and peace to your life
- Living as set apart for God by the truth – verses 17-19
17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
- Sanctify – set apart for a holy purpose / Purify
- The Word of God is the truth that purifies us for His service.
- We need the entirety of scripture to purifies us
- It is completely inspired and inerrant. Notice it says in verse 17 that your word is truth
- The Word of God is the truth that purifies us for His service.
For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished
And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
- The Son of God is truth – John 14:6
- The Holy Spirit is truth – I John 5:6
- We need all three to be made into the image of Jesus Chris
- With the mind, we learn God’s truth through the Word. With the heart, we love God’s truth, His Son. With the will, we yield to the Spirit and live God’s truth day by day. It takes all three for a balanced experience of sanctification.
- Sanctification is not for the purpose of selfish enjoyment or boasting; it is so that we might represent Christ in this world and win others to Him. Jesus set Himself apart for us, and now He has set us apart for Him
- Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 370). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Jesus gives us a preview in 17:18 of the Great Commission. We are set apart for god, transformed by His grace and to become ambassadors of that grace to all the nations.
- None of this could happen had it not been for Jesus consecrating Himself first by His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection that set Him apart for God.
- Jesus along with the apostles was setting the foundation upon which all believers could rest upon for all the ages to come
Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone
- That is why we must stay laser focused on God’s word and avoid the discouragement, distraction, the sowing of discord by Satan and our flesh.
- Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy
- He does that by dividing and conquering. Getting people to compare themselves, their churches to one another
- That is what tears apart our unity with the Father and with other believers.
Application: Can you stay laser focused on God’s words of truth?
Transition: Are you open to take God at His word and simply obey Him and not let the world conform you or idols to take root in your heart. Do not live by your feelings and just what your heart tells you to do. They can fool you? We can deceive ourselves and lie to our hearts.
The Voice of Unity – John 17:20 – 26
- Jesus stresses the details and importance of unity among all believers in the closing verses of this great chapter
- Jesus hones in with specifics of what He is praying for
- He is not praying for the unbelieving world – 17:9
- He is not asking the disciples to be rescued from the world system around them. – 17:15
- In verse 20, Jesus is not just praying for His disciples alone but for all who would believe in Him in the future.
- Unity points to and glorifies the Trinity – John 17:20-24
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word
- Jesus knows the names of each and every believer
8 And all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
- The assurance here to us and the disciples is that the Gospel will always prevail and the institution of the church
- Despite the apostles weaknesses
- Despite Satan’s opposition
- With the Holy Spirit’s power
- By passing the faith along to every succeeding generation.
2 Timothy 2:2
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
- What does this look like in practical terms?
- Fathers and Mothers discipling their kids first and foremost
- Grandparents assisting their sons and daughters in the investment of eternal things into the lives of their grandkids.
- Legacy Conference
- Mentoring / Discipleship through our Connect Groups
- Use of the TTI materials / Planting places of spiritual growth and worship outside of our church
- All of the church’s evangelistic success is wrapped up in verse 20.
- The Father as stated in this chapter has given believers to Jesus as a gift
- The church is the one who is to share the Gospel. We are put out the net and God fills the net.
- Unity of the believers – verse 20
“We must look beyond the elements of our first birth—race, color, abilities, etc.—and build our fellowship on the essentials of our new birth.” - Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 371). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Unity in Christ – verse 21
21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
- United in mission. They want to see the lost redeemed in order to grant them eternal life – John 17:2-4; 6; 23
- They are united, the Trinity is in the truth of carrying out God’s Word
- They are united in holiness – 17; 11, 25. By living holy lives, it will draw unbelieves to faith in Christ. That is why the church cannot and must not tolerate public sin. We are to do our best to protect our church from being a bad example to the community around us.
- Unity in the Holy Spirit – verse 22
22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them that they may be one even as we are one
- United in motive as the Trinity is. All three members of the Trinity are equally committed to the same purpose, to bring glory to God in all they do.
- Unity in the Gospel – verse 23
23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me
- Love people into the kingdom as a unified group of believers.
- They will see Jesus in you and me by our attitudes toward others
- Do you see two kinds of people saved / unsaved
- Do you see everyone as a potential believers in Christ
- Do you respect every human being because they were made in the image of god?
- Do you respect those God has placed in authority over you. Respect the office if not also the individual.
- Family Leader – March 14th – Pray with our legislators
- As we are one, people will see and sense the deep love of the believers for one another
I Peter 1:22
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart
- If not, if we allow factions in the church to divide us, allow carnal living to go unaccounted for, gossip, arguing, fighting, stirring up strife, backbiting, complaining, carrying grudges, this all will drive unbelievers away.
- Unity in heaven – verse 24
24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
- The ultimate unity will be when time has surrendered and death is no more and we will be all in the presence of Jesus, the very Lamb of God.
Illustration: Persecuted Church vs. the Attitude of Heaven in the Western World
- Jesus says I desire in verse 24. He is saying, my heartfelt wish and desire is that those whom the Father has given to me as a gift will be with me for all of eternity
- This will be our supreme joy, to eternally be with Jesus
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also
Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
- Jesus is praying that you and I will see His glory and share in it
- Here on earth and in heaven.
- Unity displays the unconditionallove of the Father – John 17:25 – 26
- Jesus made known God’s name – verse 25
25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.
- Call God the Righteous Father
- He is righteous in His working, in keeping and communicating His Word and executing perfect justice and judgment
- We are called to make God’s name famous until the whole world knows who Jesus is!!
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
I Thessalonians 1:8
8 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything
- Jesus revealed God’s abiding love – verse 26
26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
- Notice three things that Jesus is praying for here on earth but that will be perfectly accomplished in heaven
- 1. Salvation in 26 a
- 2. Sanctification 26 b
- 3. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit (26c) to fill us with agape love for the Father and others in perfect harmony.
“It has well been said that truth without love is brutality, but love without truth is hypocrisy. The mind grows by taking in truth, but the heart grows by giving out in love.” -Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 372). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Application: Do you understand the value and depth of importance for unity among believers and churches?
- As we finish this chapter, Jesus High Priestly Prayer or The Lord’s Prayer, notice the focus of His communication with the Father.
- The glory of God
- The sanctification or the setting apart of His people to be like Jesus for His glory and service
- The unity of His believers and the church universal
- The mission to share the Gospel
- If we make John 17:4 our goal, Jesus prayer is certain to be answered and we would see some of heaven and God’s glory on earth.
I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.
Key Thought: Love and unity for one another should be the distinguishing marks of a Christ follower
- Will you help answer Jesus prayer for unity?
- With fellow believers this week by working together in harmony even if you have a disagreement with that person
- With cooperation with other churches? By supporting those who faithfully preach Christ and the Gospel but you would disagree with some of the doctrines they teach and / or the methods they use.
“To a true child of God, the invisible bond that unites all believers to Christ is far more tender, and lasting, and precious; and, as we come to recognize and realize that we are all dwelling in one sphere of life in Him, we learn to look on every believer as our brother, in a sense that is infinitely higher than all human relationships. This is the one and only way to bring disciples permanently together. All other plans for promoting the unity of the Church have failed.”
- A. T. Pierson
“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:10 – 12
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” – Psalm 133:1