Jesus Prays for His People
Truth Taught- Because our Lord has prayed for us, we are kept by the power of God
In verses 1-5 Jesus has prayed that the Father would receive glory through His life. He only prayed that God would glorify Him so that He could bring more glory to the Father.
We saw that through Jesus’ perfect life and sacrificial death He had brought His Father glory. Now He is going to bring God even more glory infinite glory. Jesus will show the Father to His disciples. When His disciples see God through the Word they too will glorify Him. So now, because of the Church being saved God receives more and more glory. In this passage Jesus will offer up a prayer for all of His followers.
Because Jesus has prayed for all His followers we can have confidence that His promises are true. We can live our lives in light of answered prayer and fulfilled promises.
Father, You have Gathered Your people that You may let us hear Your words, so that we may learn to fear You all the days that we live on the earth, and that we may also teach our children…amen
John 17:6–10 (ESV)
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.
Jesus begins to pray for His followers. In His prayer He speaks to the Father telling Him that through His sinless life He has been manifesting God’s name to His followers. God’s name is His divine character. When Jesus began His ministry on earth He was displaying the Father to the people. The word means literally to show God or display God. The Father is invisible so if people were going to see Him then He had to be made visible. This, in a very big way, was what Jesus did while on earth.
Why did Jesus display God’s character to us? If someone truly sees the character of God they will turn to Him and be saved. When I say see, I mean really see and perceive His goodness.
Psalm 9:7–14 (ESV)
7 But the Lord sits enthroned forever;
he has established his throne for justice,
8 and he judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with uprightness.
9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
11 Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion!
Tell among the peoples his deeds!
12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
13 Be gracious to me, O Lord!
See my affliction from those who hate me,
O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may recount all your praises,
that in the gates of the daughter of Zion
I may rejoice in your salvation.
To whom was God’s character displayed?
Here in this passage, we see three times who the recipients of Jesus’ prayer are…
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me.
9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
Because God gave us to the Son we belong to Jesus.
It is this group that alone receives the answer to Jesus’ High Priestly prayer. I pray you see the sweet fellowship and special love our Lord has for those the Father gave Him. Listen Church, our Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior is also our Prayer warrior. He has prayed for us.
Do we understand today that everything Jesus asks the Father for He gets?
John 17:11 (ESV)
11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
The reason we have the wonderful doctrine of eternal security is because Jesus prayed that the Father would forever keep us.
The reason we can be unified in the truth is because Jesus prayed that we would be.
The reason we have the doctrine of sanctification is because Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified…
John 17:17–19 (ESV)
17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
The reason we go to heaven to be with Jesus when we die…
John 17:24 (ESV)
24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Oh, beloved what a prayer that has been prayed for you and me.
How can we love others like Jesus loves us?
John 17:26 (ESV)
26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Our Lord’s Prayer for us is of infinite value.
Jesus prays for those whom the Father has called out of the world…the ecclesia.
Those whom the Son called out of the world belong to Him.
John 15:19 (ESV)
19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Now I want to venture into the tension of the text. We have seen from the passage that Jesus is speaking about a group of people that were chosen by the Father and given to the Son as a gift. These are the people whom the Son has manifested the Father to. Now that’s from heaven’s perspective. In other words, God knows exactly who these people are.
Here’s the tension, while God knows who these are from the fact that the Father gave them to the Son, from that alone, we don’t know. But Jesus tells us another way we know who they are or whether or not we are included in this number…
and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
While on one hand God has chosen us and on the other hand we must keep His Word. It is in the keeping of His Word that we can know we are among the chosen. Who are God’s people? Those who keep His Word. Jesus introduces obedience which is essential for salvation.
Philippians 2:12–13 (ESV)
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
This obedience is not meritorious (earning salvation) but is rather proof of real and eternal salvation.
When Jesus uses the phrase, they have kept your word He is speaking that their faith was genuine. The Bible connects faith and obedience together so often that they can be used often times almost interchangeably, faith drives obedience. They kept God’s Word; their faith was real. We know they were not sinless so Jesus doesn’t mean that they kept God’s Word perfectly but what He does mean here is that they were genuinely believing and that belief manifested itself through works of obedience.
Notice with me what they specifically believed…
7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.
Here’s how your inclusion into Jesus’ people is proven.
-Do you believe that all Jesus said in the Bible is God’s Words? Do you believe Jesus spoke God’s Words? 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me and they have received them.
-Do you believe that Jesus is who He claims to be? The Messiah, the Son of God.
-Do you believe that Jesus is divine and that He is God the Son? Come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. Do you believe that Jesus has divine eternal origin? In the beginning was the Word…
Do you believe Jesus’ Words and that they came from God and do you believe that Jesus also came from God?
To all who receive Jesus and His Word prove that they are His people. These are the ones He prays for here in our text for today…
2. Jesus Prays God’s Will for God’s People
9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
Because these have shown that their faith is genuine by their belief in Christ and His Word and because these are the ones God has chosen our Lord prays for them. We, the church have been prayed for by Jesus, Himself.
There is a type of benevolent love God shows to all humans. Many call this general love for people common grace. Common Grace is shown even to those who reject the Gospel.
Mark 10:20–22 (ESV)
20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
God pleads with sinners to repent…
Acts 17:30–31 (ESV)
30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
Psalm 145:9 (ESV)
9 The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.
Matthew 5:45 (ESV)
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
However, Christ’s intercessory work as High Priest is only for those who belong to eternally to Him.
Ultimately, Jesus shows His eternal and unending intercessory love to those whom the Father gave Him.
In this last verse for today, there is one thing we shouldn’t overlook.
10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
Do you see here how the Father and the Son have all things in common? We could see how the Father can give to the Son and all who are given to the Son are His. Now lets not overlook the fact that the Trinity shares everything alike. All that belong to the Father are the Son’s and all that belong to the Son are the Father’s. Both have everything in common. This too exalts and shows the deity of the Son.
Here too we see that Jesus is glorified through His people.
Isaiah 42:8 (ESV)
8 I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
God is jealous for His glory and will not share it. Here, however Jesus tells us that His people glorify Him and God is fine with that. If Jesus were not God the Son then God would never give Jesus a people to glorify Him because that would be sharing His glory with another.
I want to end today with God’s grace shown to us in Christ Jesus…
You see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ because you have been given to him.
You keep his word because you have been given to him.
You are convinced of the authority of the word of Christ because you have been given to him.
You are convinced of the divine origin and mission of Christ because you have been given to him.
You glorify him because you have been given to him.
Everything good that you are and do is caused by the fact that you are the personal property of the Father and the Son. So God doesn’t ask his children to become something they are not, God is just telling you to be who you are; you are his.
May the grace of God displayed in his choosing, giving, calling, cleansing, adopting, and equipping of you empower you to act like you belong to him.
We act like we belong to Him as we obey His Word.
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
TT- Because our Lord has prayed for us, we are kept by the power of God