Summary: Jesus looked far into the future and prayed for us, that we would be unified as believers. In a world of thousands of denominations we must do what we can to promote this unity.

Who Is This Jesus?

16. He Prays for our Unity

John 17

Don Jaques

March 5/6, 2005


Jesus looked far into the future and prayed for us, that we would be unified as believers. In a world of thousands of denominations we must do what we can to promote this unity.


The audience will know what Jesus prayed about for his disciples.

Audience members will evaluate whether they are helping or hindering Jesus’ prayers, and make appropriate changes.


If you have children you’ve probably got some big hopes and dreams for them. You want them to find a good husband or wife. You want them to have a strong self-image to deal with the troubles of the world. You want them to experience the American Dream. But what is the BIGGEST dream you have for them.

If there was only ONE thing you could see happen in the lives of your children, what would that one thing be?

This week as we continue through the Gospel of John we’ll get a chance to listen in as Jesus prays for his followers. And we’ll get a chance to hear his main request for us who would come after the original disciples. He doesn’t pray for success, or health, or wealth, or anything else you might think he would pray for. His most fervent prayer for the church that bears his name? Unity.

Let’s listen in as Jesus prays, first of all for himself, then for the 12, and then for people like us.

John 17

Jesus Prays for Himself

1After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

6“I have revealed you[a] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8For 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. 9I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11I 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. 12While 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. 13“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. 14I 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. 15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17Sanctify[b] them by the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that 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. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I 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. 24“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. 25“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

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