Summary: Jesus prays for His disciples and in so doing reveals that God has "treasure in unlikely places".
Jesus, the God-man: Gospel of John
“Treasure Hidden in Unlikely Places”
Introduction: I enjoy watching a TV show called Storage Wars. In this reality show people bid on storage units that have been abandoned after having five minutes to look at them from the doorway. I enjoy watching because many times they find some great treasures worth a lot of money buried in all the other junk.
In one episode a buyer found a safe in the unit that he had won, but when he opened the safe, it was empty. He was complaining about it and was about to toss the safe aside when another man told him that it was not what was in the safe that was valuable but the safe itself. It was worth a lot of money because it was so old. (No, this sermon is not about the value of things that are old. Although I wish it were since I am getting there).
Instead, as we listen to Jesus continue His High Priestly Prayer and begin to pray for His disciples, we will discover like in Storage Wars there is “treasure hidden in unlikely places”.
1. Jesus places His Word in His followers. (vv. 6-8)
We will see the presentation of who He is praying for this week and next week we will see the prayer itself.
“manifest” – to make visible or to display. He told it and/or lived it out.
“Your Name” – That is His nature or character. He was not wearing a “God the Father” lapel pin, sticker, or button. God’s Name is important and worthy to be on display.
“”Men…given Me” – God gave these disciples or apostles to Jesus.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. John 15:16 (NIV)
Jesus chose them/us, but in reality God gave them to Him. When?
He prayed all night before He chose them.
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Luke 6:12-13 (NIV)
“kept your Word” – Singular “Word” not plural “Words” meaning to obey and focus on the Father’s mission! “Kept” means to guard, reserve, or attend carefully.
We keep His Word and He keeps us! (More about that next week!)
What is amazing about this statement is that Jesus sees what they did not demonstrate.
No one, in short, can read the four Gospels with attention, and fail to see that never had a great master such weak servants as Jesus had in the eleven apostles. Yet these very weak servants were the men of whom the gracious Head of the Church speaks here in high and honorable terms. --J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), Expository Thoughts on John
v. 7 – “Now” – They just spoke of that although they did not know fully what was to come and how they would respond. Keeping or guarding the word is not about knowing with your head or intellect, but it means living it or putting it into practice. Whatever Jesus has came from the Father.
v. 8 – Jesus summarizes. “You gave Me the Words and I gave it to them and they have accepted a relationship with Me and they have put that knowledge into action by believing that You sent Me.” We must do the same.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:17 (NIV)
Belief is not real unless you act on it! You believe in God? Great! Act on it. There must be life change otherwise you are only as good as a demon of hell!
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead... You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that —and shudder. James 2:17, 19 (NIV)
List some things to illustrate faith: Believe alarm clock? Set it. Believe in electricity? Flip the switch. Believe in the power of prayer? Pray. Believe God will supply? Give. Believe Jesus is only way to heaven? Witness. Believe God has placed His treasure in you? Invest in people. Believe He is Lord? Worship and obey.
As you demonstrate that kind of faith, you should know Someone is praying for you.
2. Jesus prays for His own, not the world.
Jesus prays for them. Jesus prays for us. Jesus prays for you. Jesus prays for me. Let that sink in.
Keep the context. Jesus prays for His followers and not the world or the lost. He will pray for the lost on the cross as the Divine Man but not as their Mediator. He instructs us to pray for the lost, but He does not pray for them like He does us, His followers.