JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS DISCIPLES (Outline)
May 4, 2008 –
EASTER 7 -
INTRO: We have here the last words of Jesus’ comfort and encouragement for his disciples immediately before his betrayal by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane. The disciples were about to face the most difficult time in their lives. Their friend, teacher, and Savior Jesus would violently be taken away from them. Jesus knows this and prays for his disciples. This prayer of Jesus was for his disciples at that time and moment in history. But Jesus’ prayer is also for us, his disciples today in this moment of time and history. We have celebrated Jesus’ return (ascension) to his heavenly Father. Jesus is now seated at God’s right hand. This brings us great joy and comfort. "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them"(HEBREWS 7:25). Today we study and are reminded of Jesus’ great love for us.
JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS DISCIPLES.
I. Holy Father, protect them from this world.
II. Holy Father, make them holy in this world.
I. HOLY FATHER, PROTECT THEM FROM THIS WORLD
A. The second half of verse 11 begins with a very important prayer address by Jesus: “Holy Father”.
1. This is the only place Jesus uses this title. Jesus’ asks for protection for his disciples, v. 11b.
2. Jesus would soon go the way of the cross. The disciples would be alone.
3. Verse 12. While with them Jesus protected them. Jesus kept evil from them.
a. Judas chose evil, greed for himself. b. Judas rejected faith, salvation. c. Psalm 41:9.
B. Jesus had prepared the disciples for what was to come, verse 14. Jesus taught them his word.
1. The disciples were filled with knowledge but not always understanding. Jesus prays for them.
2. Those of the world do not always accept those standing in the truth of God’s word.
3. Matthew was called out of the world from being a tax collector to be a soul collector.
4. Other disciples were called out of the world as fishermen to become fishers of men.
C. Jesus prayed for their protection not removal from this life, verse 15. They still had much to do.
D. How was God going to protect his disciples? How does God protect us today? Jesus prayed: “Holy Father, protect by…the power of your name”. We are quite familiar with the name of Jesus. At times, we might forget about the importance of that name Jesus. We might even forget about the power that that name Jesus has for every believer. The angel appeared to Joseph and Mary and told them the name of their son. That name was to be Jesus because he would save people from their sins. Jesus is the only name under heaven given to men by which we are saved. Scripture reminds us that this Jesus, our Savior, humbled himself unto death, even death on a cross! Beyond that humility lays the power of the very name of Jesus. "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father"(PHILIPPIANS 2:10,11). Not every knee or every tongue does this today. All will worship Jesus on the Last Day.
E. It is the very name of Jesus that provides us with eternal life. We still need the divine protection of our heavenly Father in this wicked world. The world stands opposed to God and his word. Persecution in our nation is very subtle. We are not threatened with death because we worship God. BUT the events, activities, and schedules of this world have taken over our very times and day of worship. Some Christian freedoms have been taken away for unchristian uses. "I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand--I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ’You are my people.’"(ISAIAH 51:16). God calls us his people, a powerful name.
F. Jesus prays for our protection from this world. Jesus also prays for protection from our own worldliness. We spend more time in this world than in the church. Our daily schedule takes us into many more worldly activities than spiritual events. "You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God"(JAMES 4:4). Our selfish worldliness is God’s enemy. Jesus always intercedes on our behalf.
JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS DISCIPLES:
Protect them from this world and their own worldliness.
II. HOLY FATHER, MAKE THEM HOLY IN THIS WORLD.
A. For almost 3 years Jesus taught his disciples. They heard his words and saw his actions.
1. All of this was to prepare the disciples for this very night of betrayal, rejection, and denial.
2. Jesus prays verse 13. Jesus wanted his disciples to remain joyful in the midst of sadness.
B. Verse 16. The disciples knew Jesus came from above. Jesus was not of this world, neither were they.
1. Jesus’ word was their strength, verse 17. Sanctify means to make holy or set apart as holy.
2. See now the importance of “Holy Father”. Jesus wanted this same holiness for his disciples.
3. Jesus would provide that holiness for the disciples (and all mankind), verse 19.
C. Jesus was sent to make the world holy through his sacrifice, verse 18. The disciples would now go.
D. On our own and by ourselves we are anything but holy. Jesus prays for us. Even more Jesus also always provides for us. Jesus’ death on the cross is the holy act of an obedient Son of God for the disobedient children of man. Jesus’ death was innocent. Jesus’ blood is holy and precious. This blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness. "Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers"(HEBREWS 2:11). Jesus does this all for us because we cannot do a single thing to earn salvation. Jesus calls us brothers, a powerful name.
E. Jesus prays for us to be holy in this unholy world. Jesus prays for us because evil is alive and well and is constantly on the attack. Without the powerful prayer of Jesus we could and would be lost now and forever. Peter promised faithfulness even to the point of death. Peter denied. Jesus prayed. "But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers"(LUKE 22:32). Our faith may stumble and fall but it does not fail. Jesus prays for us. We turn away from sin. Jesus prays for us and we are strengthened. Learning from past mistakes and leaning on God for future strength we are called to strengthen others. Thank God for tests that make us stronger.
F. By faith through grace we are saved. Jesus saves us in spite of ourselves. Jesus makes us holy by his innocent sufferings and death and his holy precious blood. Jesus sends us out into this wicked world darkened by sin and wickedness and evil. Our lives of faith are to be holy, shining lights of hope for those still sitting in the dark. "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven"(MATTHEW 5:16). The world is to look at us, at our lives and praise our “Father in heaven”. Jesus prays that we would be holy in this world of ungodliness.
CONC.: You, I, every believer know the importance of prayer. We also believe in the power of prayer. What an amazing and profound blessing to know that Jesus prays for us. This is Jesus – our Good Shepherd, the true Vine, the Way, the Truth, the Life, and our Brother – at the right hand of God always interceding for us. Jesus is constantly pleading our case before our heavenly Father. JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS DISCIPLES -- for us! Holy Father, protect them/us from this world and their/our own selfish worldliness. Holy Father, send them/us out and make them/us holy in this world. As Jesus stands up for us and prays for us be assured that nothing can stand against us. "The Lord Jesus Christ…gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen"(GALATIANS 1:4,5). Yes, we agree. Amen. Pastor Timm O. Meyer
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EASTER 7 readings:
1 PETER 4:12-17; 5:6-11;