Summary: Discover being involved in community is actually an answer to Jesus’ prayer.

Building Authentic Biblical Community: Community: Answering Christ’s Prayer

John 17:6-24

28 September 2003

SUBJECT: Jesus’ Prayer for Community

RESPONSE: Discover being involved in community is actually an answer to Jesus’ prayer.

HOW TO/HOW LONG: Sign up for a life group during this series.

We started our discussion on authentic biblical community with the fact that God exists in community—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is the first community, the first small group, the first team. When we participate in community, we are reflecting the image of God.

Last week we saw that being part of a small group was important and primary in Jesus’ life and ministry. He called a number to come to him, walk with him, talk with him, learn from him, and carry on his kingdom work. Jesus did speak to large crowds. He probably taught in the synagogue weekly, but most of his time was spent with his Small Group.

This morning, as we encourage you to be involved in community as we begin our Small Groups, I want you to discover that as you and I are involved in community we are actually an answer to Christ’s prayer.

We are always asking the Lord to answering our prayers. We have an opportunity to actually be involved in answering Christ’s prayer as we are involved in community.

Listen to some of Jesus’ prayer:

“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. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 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. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 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. 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. “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. 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. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

--John 17:6-24, NIV

This prayer of Jesus is one of the most magnificent passages in the entire Bible. This prayer has been called “The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus.”

We could spend weeks and weeks on this prayer (perhaps one of these days we’ll come back to it). Jesus is praying to his Father in heaven as he begins the prayer. He asks the Father to glorify him as he glorifies the Father. Jesus is about do glorify his Father by accomplishing his will on the cross. As New Testament scholar F. F. Bruce wrote, the cross is “the vehicle of that glory.” Jesus is also glorified through the vehicle of the cross as this is where he establishes his kingdom and finishes the work of redemption.

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