Summary: Easter 7 (B) - Jesus prays for his disciples: Holy Father protect them from this world. Holy Father make them holy in this world.
JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS DISCIPLES (Outline)
May 4, 2008 –
EASTER 7 -
INTRO: We have here the last words of Jesus’ comfort and encouragement for his disciples immediately before his betrayal by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane. The disciples were about to face the most difficult time in their lives. Their friend, teacher, and Savior Jesus would violently be taken away from them. Jesus knows this and prays for his disciples. This prayer of Jesus was for his disciples at that time and moment in history. But Jesus’ prayer is also for us, his disciples today in this moment of time and history. We have celebrated Jesus’ return (ascension) to his heavenly Father. Jesus is now seated at God’s right hand. This brings us great joy and comfort. "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them"(HEBREWS 7:25). Today we study and are reminded of Jesus’ great love for us.
JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS DISCIPLES.
I. Holy Father, protect them from this world.
II. Holy Father, make them holy in this world.
I. HOLY FATHER, PROTECT THEM FROM THIS WORLD
A. The second half of verse 11 begins with a very important prayer address by Jesus: “Holy Father”.
1. This is the only place Jesus uses this title. Jesus’ asks for protection for his disciples, v. 11b.
2. Jesus would soon go the way of the cross. The disciples would be alone.
3. Verse 12. While with them Jesus protected them. Jesus kept evil from them.
a. Judas chose evil, greed for himself. b. Judas rejected faith, salvation. c. Psalm 41:9.
B. Jesus had prepared the disciples for what was to come, verse 14. Jesus taught them his word.
1. The disciples were filled with knowledge but not always understanding. Jesus prays for them.
2. Those of the world do not always accept those standing in the truth of God’s word.
3. Matthew was called out of the world from being a tax collector to be a soul collector.
4. Other disciples were called out of the world as fishermen to become fishers of men.
C. Jesus prayed for their protection not removal from this life, verse 15. They still had much to do.
D. How was God going to protect his disciples? How does God protect us today? Jesus prayed: “Holy Father, protect by…the power of your name”. We are quite familiar with the name of Jesus. At times, we might forget about the importance of that name Jesus. We might even forget about the power that that name Jesus has for every believer. The angel appeared to Joseph and Mary and told them the name of their son. That name was to be Jesus because he would save people from their sins. Jesus is the only name under heaven given to men by which we are saved. Scripture reminds us that this Jesus, our Savior, humbled himself unto death, even death on a cross! Beyond that humility lays the power of the very name of Jesus. "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father"(PHILIPPIANS 2:10,11). Not every knee or every tongue does this today. All will worship Jesus on the Last Day.
E. It is the very name of Jesus that provides us with eternal life. We still need the divine protection of our heavenly Father in this wicked world. The world stands opposed to God and his word. Persecution in our nation is very subtle. We are not threatened with death because we worship God. BUT the events, activities, and schedules of this world have taken over our very times and day of worship. Some Christian freedoms have been taken away for unchristian uses. "I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand--I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ’You are my people.’"(ISAIAH 51:16). God calls us his people, a powerful name.
F. Jesus prays for our protection from this world. Jesus also prays for protection from our own worldliness. We spend more time in this world than in the church. Our daily schedule takes us into many more worldly activities than spiritual events. "You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God"(JAMES 4:4). Our selfish worldliness is God’s enemy. Jesus always intercedes on our behalf.
JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS DISCIPLES:
Protect them from this world and their own worldliness.
II. HOLY FATHER, MAKE THEM HOLY IN THIS WORLD.