Summary: Jesus is worthy of God's glory: 1. Because of His purity (vs. 1). 2. Because of His power (vs. 1-3). 3. Because of His performance (vs. 4-5).
How Our Savior Prayed in the Shadow of the Cross
Part 1: Jesus Is Worthy of the Glory of God
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church – February 28, 2018
(Revised April 28, 2020)
*Please open your Bibles to John 17. Tonight's Scripture continues John's remarkable focus on the night before Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, John has been focused on that night ever since John 13:1.
*Here in John 17, Jesus and His disciples have almost arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane. And before they crossed over the Brook Kidron, the Lord paused, looked up to Heaven, and began to speak to His Heavenly Father.
*That makes perfect sense, because no one has ever had a stronger prayer life than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Except for a brief time on the cross, the Son of God was in constant communion with His Heavenly Father.
*God's Word shows the Lord in prayer many different times. Jesus prayed early in the morning and all-night long. He prayed before He chose His disciples. He prayed with praise and thanksgiving. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. And even on the cross, Jesus prayed.
*Our Lord's life was filled with prayer, but God tells us very little about what Jesus actually said in His prayers. Outside of John 17, here are the only prayers of our Lord recorded in the New Testament:
25. . . "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.
26. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight."
-From John 11:41-42:
41. . . "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
42. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.''
-From John 12:28: "Father, glorify Your name.''
*Then Jesus prayed 3 times in the Garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26 records two of those prayers. In vs. 39, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.'' And in Matthew 26:42, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.''
*The Bible also reports 3 of Jesus' prayers on the cross:
-In Luke 23:34, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.''
-In Matthew 27:46, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?'' that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?''
-And in Luke 23:46, "Father, 'into Your hands I commend My spirit.''' And having said this, He breathed His last.
*Other than here in John 17, these are the only prayers of Jesus recorded in the whole New Testament! It only takes a minute to read them all. And it's amazing to me that God gives us such a tiny sample of the Lord's conversations with His Heavenly Father. (1)
*But when we get to John 17, God gives us a much longer look at the Lord in prayer. This is a very important prayer.
*God wants us to see how our Savior prayed in the shadow of the cross. First, Jesus prayed for Himself, and when He did, He asked the Heavenly Father to glorify His Son. Please think about the glory of God as we read vs. 1-5.
*God wants us to see how Jesus prayed in the shadow of the cross, and first, He prayed for Himself. Jesus asked the Heavenly Father to glorify His Son.
*In vs. 1, Jesus "lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, 'Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.'" Then in vs. 5, Jesus prayed, "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."
*The Lord asked His Father to restore the glory Jesus had before He humbled Himself to be born as a man. He prayed for the glory of God. But what is the glory of God?
*It helps us to know that God's Word speaks of His glory around 300 times. About half of those are in the Old Testament, and half are in the New. The first time we see God's glory is in Exodus, the second book if the Bible. And the last time we see His glory is in Revelation 21:23, where the new city of Jerusalem was described. There the Bible tells us that "the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light."