Summary: Jesus high priestly prayer is the most amazing prayer ever prayed. In it we learn his plan for the ages. It can be broken down into 3 parts… 1. What He did 2. What He does 3. What we do
Jesus’ Prayer of the Ages
March 14, 2010
Series: Final Days at Planet Earth
If I were to ask you to pray the Lord’s Prayer… how would you start it? “Our Father which art in heaven….” Right? But guess what. That’s not the “Lord’s Prayer”… it’s actually “The Disciples Prayer”. It’s the prayer that Jesus told us to pray. The true “Lord’s Prayer” is found in John 17, because this is where Jesus prayed to the Father in front of his disciples. Vs. 1 says, “When Jesus had finished saying all these things”… All what things? All the things from John chapter 13 on. In chapter 13 we learn that Jesus said these things while having his last supper with the disciples. He talks to them about his betrayal and denial, He comforts them about heaven, promises them the Holy Spirit, tells them how to remain strong in Him by comparing Himself to the Vine with them as the branches, He warns them about persecution… basically He gives them everything they need to know for living in the world after He’s gone. It’s a “Christian Survival Kit”
And when He was done telling them “all these things”… He lifts up His head to heaven and begins to pray for them. And it’s the most amazing prayer you’ve ever heard! A 1000 sermons could be (and have been) written on this prayer alone, and they don’t even begin to scratch the surface. I had always assumed that this prayer was prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, (in fact I originally entitled this message “Agony in Gethsemane Garden” but had to change it when I realized that He was still sitting at the table when He prayed it!
It was prayed just a few moments before Jesus would leave the upper room with his disciples and go out into the dark night, where He would be taken captive and later tried and crucified. But amazingly, it’s not filled with fear (like it would be if I were praying it), it’s filled with faith. You could even say it’s filled with joy as Jesus speaks calmly and intimately with His heavenly Father about his mission accomplished. Now listen…Jesus wanted his disciples to hear what He said because He prayed it out loud in their presence. And He wants YOU to hear it too because in it He lays out His plan of the ages.
He starts out with the words… “Father, the time has come”. Believe it or not, this is the moment that Jesus had been looking forward to for all of eternity. The hour when His mission would be complete and God’s plan of the ages would be fulfilled. He says in vs. 2… “Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone in all the earth. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him.” Jesus is telling us what God’s purpose of the universe is… did you catch it? Give up? It’s to glorify God! Don’t be thrown off by the religious sounding word, ‘glory’. In the bible it talks about the “essential worth, beauty and value of a person”. So to “glorify” someone means that you recognize their intrinsic worth and beauty. In otherwords, God’s plan for the ages is that everyone will know and recognize who God is in all of His awesome beauty.
So Jesus is asking God to give Him “glory” (i.e. help people recognize who He is) so that He can use it to help people recognize who God the Father is! See what a lot of people don’t understand is that the purpose of the universe and the point of the whole bible is to bring glory to God! In otherwords… to KNOW HIM! I’m sorry… you can tell me about Disneyland, and about what you’ve experienced… but in my mind, there’s nothing greater in the universe than knowing God!
So Jesus is telling us that the Father has given Him authority over everyone on earth, so that He can bring eternal life to as many people as possible…because the more people there are who know who God is… the greater His fame and glory becomes! And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to do. 5 And now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. –John 17:3,4 When some people think of eternal life they think of living and existing forever and ever, or maybe strumming a harp on Cloud 9… but according to Jesus, eternal life isn’t just a quantity…it’s a quality. It’s knowing a person!