About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Prayers For His Disciples (ch. 17:6-20)
verse 6 Jesus says that He has revealed the Father to all those His Father
gave Him out of the world. The
Father chose certain people and brought them out of the world and
introduced them to Jesus and the new world that He had to offer.
specific people that Jesus had in mind here were at least His close
followers. That would include
such people as Mary Magdalene, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and others like
them. Remember, there were 120
disciples in the upper room that the Holy Spirit fell on, as seen on the
Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. If
Jesus was not talking about the broader community of disciples He surely
was talking about the eleven men who were with him at this moment in time.
verse 6 Jesus said that "they were yours and you gave them to
me." In one sense of the
word, all mankind belongs to God because of creation, but not all mankind
live for God. This is yet
another verse that Calvinists used to build their doctrine of
predestination on. The text
appears to say that certain men and women belong to God while others
the group of people who belonged to the Father, the Father gave these
people to Jesus. The Eleven
were part of this group, and of course, as I've said before, there were
other men and women given to Jesus as well.
also says in verse 6 that those the Father gave Him obeyed the Father's
word. Now we've seen
throughout the book of John that Jesus disciples were more often than not
confused by what Jesus taught them. The
question could then be asked; "What word did these people obey if
they misunderstood much of what Jesus told them?"
I think the obedience spoken of here was the obedience of faith.
That is to say, these people trusted God the Father's words that
Jesus passed on to them as best they could.
verse 7 Jesus tells His Father that the disciples know that everything
that has been given Him comes from the Father.
We know this from the last chapter when the light of understanding
finally came to these eleven men. They
finally believed that Jesus was really sent by the Father.
did Jesus know the disciples knew that He came from the Father?
In verse 8 He says that everything He heard from the Father, He
passed on to them and they accepted these words and believed them.
So Jesus could then say with certainty that the disciples, or at
least the Eleven who He was with at the moment, knew He came from His
Father. Once again I refer
back to the upper room when the Eleven acknowledge that they really knew
Jesus was sent by His Father and Jesus responded by saying, "you
believe at last" (John 16:31).
verse 9 Jesus prays for those His Father gave Him.
He specifically says that He does not pray for the rest of the
world but only for those who the Father gave Him out of the world. You
might wonder why Jesus only specifies His followers in His prayer.
Was He not concerned with the rest of the world?
I think Jesus prayed for His followers because as He had already
told them, they would be kicked out of the synagogue.
That means they would be disowned as a Jew and receive no social
benefits from being a Jew. Also Jesus told them that they would die for
their association with Him. The
fact of the matter is that these men and women who Jesus was praying for
were going to experience great suffering on account of Him.
They needed His prayers.
world does not need protection from itself.
That is an illogical thought. What
the world needs is prayer to come to Jesus in true faith.
Once this comes about, then the prayer for perfection becomes a
valid prayer for them. Sometimes
we get the cart before the horse when we pray for non-Christians.
We often pray that they forsake their sinful life, but what they
need before they can do that is to repent and believe.
Forsaking their sinful life will take care of itself if they
honestly give their lives over to Jesus.
verse 10 Jesus says that "all I have is yours and all you have is
mine." We cannot separate
this sentence from the context. The
context is speaking of Jesusí followers as belonging to the Father.
With the addition of this verse Jesus is basically saying that as a
matter of fact everything I have is yours, and vise versa, and that
includes my followers.
last half of verse 10 speaks of the followers of Jesus as well.
Jesus says that glory has come to Him through these followers.
So you can see that the previous sentence should not be isolated
unto itself. Because Jesus'í
followers showed loyalty to Him and they were beginning to do as He
wished, they gave honour and glory to Jesus.
When we obey Jesus; when we represent Him as we should, we
certainly bring great glory and honour to Him and His name.
verse 11 Jesus says that
asks His Father to protect these people "by the power of His
name," that is, the "name of the Father."
As we represent the good name of Jesus so Jesus represented the
good name of His Father. We're
talking about more than a simple name.
We're talking about the one the name represents.
In this case we are talking about God the Father, the Almighty God,
who has power over all things.
then speaks of the name the Father had given Him.
This clearly points out that the Father has sent Jesus and given
Him the authority and responsibility to represent Him.
Jesus has also passed both the authority and responsibility over to
us His disciples. That is why
He prays that His followers will be as one, even as He and His Father are
one. Obviously this is what is
called a unified oneness. This
means that even though we are separate individuals, we are united by the
Holy Spirit in purpose, desire, goals, and all that pertains to our job as
representatives to the world.
oneness is hard to come by. Over
the centuries we have tried to be one based on a number of criteria.
Some have promoted submission to leadership as the basis of
oneness. Others say agreeing
on doctrinal issues is being one. Still
others say that oneness comes through the outpouring of the Spirit.
History, both current and past, clearly tells us that this oneness
has never been realized. Jesus'
prayer is yet to be answered.
verse 12 Jesus tells His Father that while He was with His followers, He
protected them by the name He was given.
Jesus protected His followers because He had the authority and
power from His Father to do so, but He was now leaving them.
He would no longer be around to protect them, but of course that
was one reason why the Holy Spirit would be given them.
the last half of verse 12 Jesus notes that He protected all of His
followers to such a degree that He lost none of them except for the one
who was doomed to destruction so that the Scriptures would be fulfilled.
Of course, Jesus is speaking of Judas.
This is one of those debatable verses.
Depending on your view of predestination, will determine how you
understand this verse. To see
my view on this subject you can read my comments on Romans 8:28 and
chose Judas in the first place. He
even chose him to be the treasurer of the group, even though He knew Judas
was a thief. Jesus knew from
the very beginning that Judas was not a true believer.
Jesus knew that Judas would betray him, but He must have given
Judas ample opportunities to turn around in the three years they were
together. It was Judasí
choice to turn Jesus in. Once
he made that choice, satan entered him and helped him carry out the plan
of betrayal. God did not
predetermine Judasí fate. He
did know in advance what would transpire in Judas' life.
verse 13 Jesus tells His Father that He is "coming to Him now." I
believe the word "now" is in reference to His return to Heaven.
I don't think Jesus is thinking of coming to His Father in prayer
at that moment. Jesus then
says that He is saying these things while still in the world so that the
disciples "will have the full measure of His joy."
Jesus did not have to pray out loud, but He did for the sake of
those with Him at that moment. Weíve
seen this before. This prayer,
and the answer to this prayer, would bring more of the joy of Jesus into
the hearts of His disciples. I
am sure at a future date the disciples would remember these words and
would be full of joy.
verse 14 Jesus says that He has given His disciples His Fatherís word.
Once again, Jesus did not speak what was on His mind.
He repeated what was on the mind of His Father.
The disciples believed what Jesus told them, even though they might
not have fully understood what they were told.
Jesus then says that the world has rejected His disciples because
they are no longer of the world. Not
being of the world means not living as those in the world live, no matter
how religious they may appear to be. It
means not to be influenced by the culture of the day.
The world in which these Jews lived was an outwardly religious
15 is very important when thinking about how Christians live and relate to
the world at large. Jesus
prays that God does not take His followers out of the world.
He wants them to be in the world but not of the world.
He wants them to represent Him to the world once He leaves, but,
what He doesnít want is that His followers to be influenced by the evil
one. The evil one is obviously
in reference to satan, the prince of this world.
So Jesus prays that God will protect His followers from the devil.
That can be a prayer of ours as well, at least for those we know
who are true Christians.
knew that His followers would be tempted by the devil.
He also knew that His Father could protect them from the devil.
While living in this world, we have all sorts of opportunities to
be influenced by the devil. If
God the Father can protect us, we should allow Him to do so.
tells me something concerning how we should live in the world.
We should not disassociate ourselves from the world, meaning, we
should not move out into the country and become a community unto
ourselves. We should live side
by side with worldly people and be a light of salvation to them.
Remember what the Great Commission of Matthew 28 says.
It tells us to go into the world and teach all nations.
verse 16 Jesus repeats Himself, as He often does, by saying that like Him,
His disciples are not of this world.
In verse 17 Jesus asks His Father to "sanctify them through the truth, your word is truth." In Biblical terms the word "sanctify" means to be set apart unto a holy lifestyle. Jesus wants God to separate His followers from worldly influence that surrounds us. There should be a visible difference between Christians and those who are not Christian. The difference should not be in how we dress, or what we look like, but how we live and what we behave. It's my opinion that we as Christians in today's world act and live more like the world than we should.
to Jesus the way we become set
apart for God is by the
What is Godís
Word? Godís Word is all the
words that He gave Jesus to speak to us.
So whatever we have heard Jesus say is Godís Word.
We find His word in our Bible.
We also believe as Christians that the rest of the Bible is
inspired by God - not dictated but inspired.
So the Bible is Godís Word and thus it should be a very important
thing in our lives. The Holy
Spirit can also speak Godís Word to us.
We know from what Jesus said earlier that the Holy Spirit will not
speak about Himself but about the things that pertain to Jesus.
So this is a good check for us who claim that the Holy Spirit does
indeed speak to us. Sometimes
we say some pretty far out things that we claim the Holy Spirit says to us
that are far from Scriptural.
I type these words western world Christianity is Biblically illiterate.
Hosea 4:6 states that God's people are destroyed because of lack of
knowledge. It is for this
reason that much of the western world church has little impact on the
world. It is being destroyed.
verse 18 Jesus tells His Father that as He was sent into the world by Him,
so He has sent His disciples into the world.
Jesus was sent by His Father to represent His Father to the world.
We have been sent by Jesus to represent Jesus to the world.
That is why we do all things in the name of Jesus.
We represent Jesus to the world because He is the one who has sent
verse 19 Jesus says that He "sanctifies Himself."
From the very beginning Jesus was sanctified or set apart to do His
Fatherís will, yet, every so often there were times of re-affirmation of
Him being sanctified. His
water baptism would be one of these times.
His prayer in the garden when He prayed "not my will but your
will be done" would be another time when Jesus re-affirmed His
sanctification. Now He is
verbally re-affirming that He has been set apart for the work of God.
These words are spoken out loud so the Eleven can hear them and
take as an example to do the same. We
all must realize that we are set apart people.
We are set apart to Jesus to live for Him and do His will here on