Summary: What does Jesus ask for us in his last prayer?
John 17:6-26 – Jesus’ Last Prayer
What would you like written on your grave stone? – some say it’s a good exercise:
In memory of Anna Hopewell
Here lies the body of our Anna
Done to death by a banana
It wasn’t the fruit that laid her low
But the skin of the thing that made her go.
Winterborn Steepleton Cemetery, Dorsetshire, England
Here lies the body
Of Margaret Bent
She kicked up her heels
And away she went.
Here lies a man named Zeke.
Second fastest draw in Cripple Creek.
Boot Hill Cemetery, Tombstone, Arizona
Here lays Butch.
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger
But slow on the draw.
For not rising.
Ruidoso, New Mexico
In a Georgia cemetery:
"I told you I was sick!"
On Margaret Daniels grave at Hollywood Cemetery Richmond, Virginia:
She always said her feet were killing her
but nobody believed her.
Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:
Born 1903 - Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if
the car was on the way down.
On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:
Here lies Ezekial Aikle
The Good Die Young.
Okay, so that is some fun, but how would you really want people to remember you?
What would you like your last words to be?
What would your last prayer be?
What we have in John 17 is Jesus’ final (long) prayer for his disciples and for us. It is amazing to hear what His last prayer for us is.
Read John 17:6-26
I want to talk about the three main things that Jesus prays for us.
1) don’t take them out of the world, but protect them – verse 15
Against escapist theology – email prophesy about banks – main jist is that countries are going to default on their loans, the banks are going to fail and your money will be inaccessible – therefore Christians should get your money out now.
Even if the prophecy is true, the application is against Jesus’ prayer
We are in the world in the same way Jesus was – to redeem, to serve and to save
Prophets in the Old Testament were not escapist – they had a stake in the lives of the people they prophesied to.
Isaiah says “woe is me! For I and a man of unclean lips and I come from a people of unclean lips.
Daniel is horrified by the prophecy that God gives him for the king – he doesn’t start gathering all his gold, knowing that the kingdom is going down.
Jeremiah 29 – many people’s favourite verse is 11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But it is in the context of God telling them that they will be in exile 70 years! This is what he says to the exiles in 5-9 “"Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them," declares the LORD.”
They are not encouraged to escape, but to enter in, settle down and live where God has placed them.
The Bible doesn’t give Christians a “Get out of Jail Free” card, instead we are called to buy in and serve the people around us, even in the midst of Pain – lead Chistians to bury the dead in plagues, go to Bagdad, Gaza when the bombs are dropping, sit by a dying friend’s bedside, visit prisoners…
Staying in the world that God is redeeming
God’s protection – Erwin McManus Story – “I’ll pray that you be dangerous – the Gates of Hell will not stand against us.
2) Sanctify them by the Word – Sanctification is a type of protection.
What does sanctified by the word mean? Justified verses sanctified – Justified means that God regards us as pure: sanctified means that he is shaping us to be pure.
The armour of God in Ephesians 6:11-17 Speaks to Sanctification:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.