SanLo Community, an update for May 19, 2019…
Pastor Eric – John 17:1-26 – The Prayer that Changed Everything
What does Jesus desire of His church? Do we have the same desires that Jesus has for the church? Do we desire His glory or your own? Do we desire Jesus’ Words or our own words? Do we desire to be loved by the church or to love the church? Sadly, we all can become self-consumed. We are all silly and selfish human beings at times. That’s why we need Jesus’ Words and His prayer.
God desires the church to seek His greatness. God wants every believer to see, to know, and to experience the wonder of God. We ought to be wow’d by God. It is in the nature of God to want His own splendor to be felt and to be heard by His own people. (John 17:1-5)
Jesus lifts up His eyes to Heaven and prays to the Father. He recognizes the gravity of His last words. Jesus’ prayer is filled with a desire for His own glory and His Father’s glory. This glory carries this image of someone being clothed in splendor. Jesus asks for all eyes to behold Him both on the cross and for an eternity for He only is the one true God.
As humans, we love to watch and to be mesmerized by the feats of man. If you watch sports, you cheer and scream for your favorite player and that same feeling inside of you is the same desire put there by God. You were created to give praise and glory, not to man, but to God. God has placed in every human the longing for greatness, the greatness of God. Thus, seeking His glory is what will change everything for our good and His glory.
God desires the church to be transformed by His Word. God desires His people to be changed not by their own power or effort, but by the transforming power of His Word. Jesus prays that we all come to grow in and out of His absolute truth. (John 17:6-19)
Jesus prays for protection for His disciples both in His work and in His Word. They are saved by the power of God through His work on the cross, and they will be kept by the power of His Word. It is the truth that will be the anchor of their souls for eternity.
In verse 12, Jesus knows His disciples will face much trouble ahead of them as many of them will be martyred for their faith all except the son of destruction, Judas. Jesus uses Judas as a negative example, and one who strayed from the truth. His life is a mirror for many in the church today.
People and even churches have fallen to the lies of relevance and tolerance instead of truth. Truth has been minimized in our world today to only what matters to me and for me. Thus, the individual becomes the definer and determiner of truth rather than God.
So, what must we do? Jesus prays that His disciples might be filled with joy in the truth. The Word ought to bring us delight. The Word is not a killjoy. It’s not meant to rain on our party or our parade. It’s not just a list of do’s and dont’s. The Word helps us to understand how life is truly meant to be. It sets us apart and free from sin and into a whole new world of being with God. You and I were made for so much more than we can ever imagine. Thus, the Word is never a restriction but it’s a freedom. The Word frees to change everything for our good and His glory. This is the type of church God desires for us to be; centered and transformed on His Word.
God desires the church to be unified in His love. Out of His glory and His Word springs an everlasting love for Christ. This is what the church must be unified in; the love of Jesus. This is the testimony and the witness of the church; it’s affection and love for Christ above all else. (John 17:20-26)
Jesus’ prayer ends with unity. This unity is centered on everything Jesus just prayed for; His glory and His Word. If we are to be unified, then we must be committed to His glory and His Word. This unity is found in the perfect community of the Godhead where there is no selfish ambition, no maneuvering for power, and no jockeying for a higher position. It’s perfect oneness.
This perfect oneness is grounded in a perfect love. The Father perfectly loves His Son. The Son lovingly submits to His Father. The Spirit loves the Father and the Son through His interworking with them. From eternity, Jesus chose the cross and He chose to die for you and me. Jesus willingly gave up of Himself to His Father’s will so that you might know what true love is. This is the gospel and the centerpiece of the church.
Jesus prays that this perfect love might be the unifying factor for the church. We all are brought together by a love from the Savior and of the Savior. Jesus’ point here is that this unifying love comes neither by the willpower of man nor even by the love of mankind for each other. It comes by a radical and deep love of Jesus.
This is profound because if I love Jesus, then there is no way I won’t love my brother or my sister in Christ. If I love Jesus, then there is no way I won’t love my fellow church member, family member, or neighbor.
Thus, Jesus’ prayer can be one to change everything in the world that He would say, I desire for you, My church, to seek My glory and My Word in order that you might be unified in My love.
Let us respond to Jesus’ prayer with a resounding Amen! Amen, to seek His Glory, not our own! Amen, to daily live in the Word, not the world! Amen to loving Jesus every day!
When we do, we might begin to see what Jesus prayed for. We might begin to see a church radically in love with Christ and each other so much so it will change the world around us both now and forever.
Praise Songs: This is Amazing Love; Speak O Lord; We Fall Down; Jesus Paid it All; Doxology