Summary: Because we are secure, we can be satisfied with Christ, which should lead us to live a separated life, sanctified for His purposes so that we can saturate this world with His Word.
The Joy-Filled Life
Rev. Brian Bill
Some of you may know that I’m half Irish so St. Patrick’s Day has always been a pretty big deal for me. I grew up eating corned beef and cabbage on this special day and my Swedish wife Beth has humored me over the years by making this meal in mid-March every year, even though the rest of the family doesn’t really care for it. This past Wednesday when I came home from the office, I went straight to the kitchen to see what she was preparing. I was disappointed when I saw ham in the crock pot and broccoli in the microwave but I didn’t say anything.
A few minutes later I wandered into the dining room and saw a huge plate of corned beef and cabbage, complete with onions and potatoes just for me! She had stopped by a restaurant in town and picked up carry-out for me! I gave her a big hug and immediately imbibed in this Irish delicacy before anyone else sat down at the table. I thanked her for honoring my Irish heritage and then asked her why she never celebrates my Polish roots. She just shook her head and said, “I have nothing to say.”
The disciples had just finished a meal filled with memories as their minds went back to the Passover, when God had rescued Israel from bondage. Only this dinner was different because Jesus brought new meaning to the bread, saying that it represented His body and to the cup, which symbolized His blood. Shortly after the meal ended, either in the Upper Room or on the way to Gethsemane, Jesus moved from preaching in John 13-16 to prayer in John 17.
Last week we focused on the first part of this powerful prayer in verses 1-5. We discovered seven prayer principles as we listened in to Jesus praying for Himself:
1. Consider changing your prayer posture.
2. Call out to God by name.
3. Align yourself with God’s timetable.
4. Go after God’s glory.
5. Embrace eternal life.
6. Rest in His finished work.
7. Gaze into the glory to come.
The main take-home for me was this one phrase that I’ve been pondering all week: If you can’t do something for God’s glory, then you shouldn’t do it.
In our section for today, we’re going to hear why Jesus prays and what Jesus wants for His followers. One obvious observation is that the length of this section suggests that Jesus had greater concern for His disciples’ destiny than for His own.
Why Jesus Prays
Let’s listen to our Lord praying in verses 6-10: “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For 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. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.”