Summary: A 4 part series looking at Jesus' final prayer with the disciples in John 17. Part 2 of 4
Believing in Jesus
March 10, 2013
Last week we began looking at the real Lord’s Prayer. It’s Jesus’ prayer on the night He was arrested. It’s found in John 17 and we looked at the first 5 verses, Jesus’ prayer to the God, the Father.
During that prayer, Jesus basically said, “the meaning of life is this: that you have a relationship with God, and me his Son, Jesus Christ.” And that’s the long and short of it! But, Jesus understood just how difficult it was going to be not only for his disciples but for all of us to come to this very simple realization in life.
We looked at just how simple this sounds on paper, yet how difficult it is when we try to put it into practice. Ultimately, it’s believing in Jesus, and seeking to live the life He offers us, a life filled with abundant living.
Today we’re going to start to look at the next section of His prayer. It’s the longest section. It’s 13 verses and it’s a prayer for Jesus’ disciples. I read over those verses a number of times in the past two weeks, and have broken them into 2 parts, one leading to the other. I want to read John 17:6-10, and we’ll take a look at what that means in our lives. As Jesus prayed to the Father, He said ~~
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.
I believe there is a common denominator in this passage. Let me ask you this ~ Have you ever wished you had more faith? Or maybe you’ve wondered if you even really have faith? Life hasn’t gone the way you think it should, and you start questioning your own belief in God. Maybe your prayers haven’t been answered the way you think they should. Your prayers, your wishes, your desires are good and noble and God honoring, but nothing, zippo, no answers the way you expect God to answer.
To one degree or another, we’ve all been down that path. The disciples had their issues, they struggled at understanding who Jesus was, what He was supposed to accomplish, how it would look, where they would fit in, and more.
So, Jesus prays for them. He prays in a way in which He affirms their faith. When you saw the screen, you saw certain words were in all CAPS. I believe those are the key words in this section. Look at these words Jesus used to describe the disciples ~
KNEW WITH CERTAINTY
Those are key words to describe the disciples and hopefully to describe us as well. Now, I want to look at a problem I think we’re having in our faith relationship with Christ, and a thought about how to possibly move us closer to Christ.
Let me share a short story by Edward Hays from his book, In Pursuit of the Great White Rabbit.
One day, a young disciple of Christ who wants to grow in his relationship with Jesus, visits a holy older Christian. The young man heard that this old man had never lost his first love for Christ over all the years.
The elderly man was sitting on the porch with his dog, relaxing as the sun was setting. The young man explained his problem ~
"Why is it, sir that most Christians eagerly chase after God during the first year or two after their conversion, but then fall into a complacent ritual of church once or twice a week and they end up not looking any different than the rest of the world who don’t believe? I have heard you are not like that. You are always striving to know Christ in deeper ways.
The old man smiled and replied, “Let me tell you a story: One day I was sitting here quietly in the sun with my dog. Suddenly a large white rabbit ran across in front of us. Well, my dog jumped up, and took off after that big rabbit. He chased the rabbit over the hills with a passion.
Soon, other dogs joined him, attracted by his barking. What a sight it was, as the pack of dogs ran barking across the creeks, up stony embankments and through thickets and thorns!