Summary: A 4 part series of sermons from Jesus' final Prayer in John 17. Part 4 of 4.
The Real Lord’s Prayer
March 24, 2013
They say no 2 snowflakes are alike. They’re all unique. So, just think about it, with all of the snow we’re supposed to get, 6"-10"worth — — all of the snowflakes beautifully falling to the ground, will all be unique. That’s great news for the first Sunday of Spring.
And I’m sure you know that those delicate swirls, ridges, and patterns that lie at the tips of our fingers are also unique. Which is why they have long been recognized as a form of personal identification.
As far back as the reign of the great Babylonian King Hammurabi (1792-1750 BCE), those arrested for crimes were fingerprinted. In China as early as 246 BCE, fingerprints were used to “sign” legal contracts. In 1788 a German anatomist, Johann Christoph Andreas Mayer, proved and published that fingerprints are unique to each individual. And by the middle of the 19th century, data banks of fingerprints were being collected all over the world for identification purposes.
Ever watch CSI? Or any crime show, and you know we have super computers which can run at breakneck speed through millions of fingerprints in order to catch the bad guys or exonerate the good guys.
Science has revealed other ways we are unique. Our DNA is our own. Each cell in our body is genetically coded just for us. High tech gadgetry has made it possible for us to now open doors just by looking at them. Okay, more accurately just by looking through a retinal scanner, because the shape, diameter, and surface bumps of your eyes are totally unique to you.
God made us in so many ways totally different from one another. Yet as Jesus prays to the Father, He closes by praying for “oneness” among all those who follow Him as His disciples. Does this mean Jesus prays for us all to be the same? To be a body of “same believers?” Is this a call for “cloned Christians with the same faith, looks and mannerisms?” Is every follower of Jesus expected to keep the same pace, have the same stride, move to the same rhythm?
This week we’re ending our 4 week journey through what we are calling The Real Lord’s Prayer. Jesus has prayed for Himself, the disciples and in this final section, He’s praying for those who were yet to come, that’s you and me. So, let’s take a look at the final 7 verses of Jesus’ prayer ~
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent me.
22 I have given them the glory that You gave me, that they may be one as we are one —
23 I in them and You in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent me and have loved them even as You have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those You have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory You have given me because You loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You, and they know that You have sent me.
26 I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
When Jesus prayed for “oneness” He wasn’t just looking at 11 individuals, but He was talking to 11 men who had come together. A group of men who had struggles, but were called to be one body. But this prayer wasn’t just for them, it was for those who would come to faith because of the words and witness of those first disciples. And Jesus was praying for future Christ followers — until the end of time.
Jesus had already prayed for the unity of the disciples. He prayed ~ 11 Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name, the name You gave me, so that they may be ONE as we are ONE. This was no easy task, and Jesus knew it!
We sometimes forget the disciples had their issues. In that original group there were incredible tensions. For example, in Matthew 20:20, with James and John at her side, their mother fell to her knees and asked Jesus to place her boys at His right and left hand in heaven. This led the disciples to become very angry which created tension, with James and John, and probably their mother.