Summary: This is a verse by verse interpretation of the prayer of Christ in John 17. Many issues are addressed in this sermon. What Christ expects of His church, what Christ expects of His Pastors, etc...
Christ’s Prayer For His Church
There was a little boy in a church service in Kentucky who was crying and interrupting the church service. After a period of time his dad took all he could stand. The dad picks him up and puts him underneath his arm. While heading out the back door, no one even acknowledged the little boy until he let’s out a loud shout. “Ya’ll pray for me now!”
This is not the kind of prayer we will be talking about today. After prayer and 10 hours of studying, I only had the title for this message. This is the hardest message God has ever given me to preach!
Before beginning in chapter 17, we must first review chapter 16 of John to further understand what Christ is praying. In chapter 16 Christ is warning his disciples of the sufferings they must endure for His name’s sake. John 16:5 “But now I go my way to him that sent me.” Christ foretells His departure, but His disciples are now sorrowful in their hearts over the things He had spoken before. Christ assures them in the proceeding verses He will not leave them comfortless. He proclaims the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost are equal., the same person. The Holy Spirit will reprove the world of sin, verse 8. In verse 13, Christ calls Him the “Spirit of Truth.” He will guide you into all truth and show you things to come. You see this is why we need and must let the Holy Spirit lead and guide our lives. We shouldn’t do anything without the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had affirmed this in chapter 15:5 of John when He told His disciples “without me ye can do nothing.” Without the help of God we can do absolutely, positively nothing. Man was not created in the flesh to make spiritual decisions. Every Christian should memorize and live by this scripture. The beginning of a beautiful relationship with Christ is humbleness. We must be fully dependent on Christ with every witness, lesson, teaching, preaching, etc… The church has dropped it’s standard because of a lack of humility. Many preachers and teachers are preparing messages their own way. With their thoughts instead of praying and agonizing for the message God has for His Church! Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Dear friends, it’s time we relinquish pride in the Church and be the humble people God desires us to be and let the Holy Spirit have His way.
Now we will look at Chapter 17 of John. Christ starts out His prayer saying in John 17:1 “Father, the hour is come; glorify thee.” It is very important we realize the hour of Christ’s trial has come. The time when Judas, one of His beloved disciples, whom He had spent much of His life with and taught the truth, and took care of, is going to betray Him.
17:2 “Thou hast given him power over all flesh.”
Just like Christ was give “power over all flesh,” so has the Christian been given the same power. Christ gives us life eternal! Verse 2 “That He should give eternal life to as many as though hast given him.”
Verse 3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” This is Christ’s desire for His bride, that we not only know about Him, but we known Him personally. Like a wife knows her husband.
Verse 4 “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Christ can say here with confidence His Holy chores are finished, but oh how we as Christians fail to do the work God has given us to do. How we waste our time on things that have no importance. For example: we waste our energy worrying over things that never come to past, instead of “living by faith” like the Word of God commands us to do. We read fiction books instead of reading the Holy Bible. We spend more time complaining than rejoicing, we focus more on Hollywood than our hero, Jesus Christ. We spend more time beautifying the flesh than the soul, we clean our automobiles and homes, while our hearts are spotted with filth. We empty the wastebasket, but fill our minds full of garbage. We feed our physical bodies while our soul is dying of starvation and we love animals but hate people. We spend our time on everything but what God has called us to do.
Power for Service
A good deal of power is gained for service by being continually at it. The magnet increases rather than diminishes its force by constant activity. It gradually loses its power when hung up and doing nothing. Magnetic power may be imparted and developed. So with spiritual power, it is imparted by the Holy Spirit and may be developed by active work for the Lord. Those who have most power for God are usually those who are most devoted to the Master’s cause.