1. What practical lessons for your own prayer life can you take from this chapter?
2. Name some ways your congregation reflects the unity Jesus prayed for in this chapter.
3. How does the modern world see the love of God in Christian believers?
Post your responses below. Let's grow together! See you next Monday at 8:00 pm EST.
~ Apostle Shelby Frederick
Download study sheet: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5o70ztnji51um4k/John%2017%20Study%20Sheet.pdf?dl=0
The Believer’s Responsibilities
Here we have what is emphatically “The Lord’s Prayer” offered at the close of that solemn meeting with His disciples, before He went out to face the last great storm of human and diabolical hatred. The words are simple, but the thoughts are perhaps the most profound in all Scripture. They reveal many high and holy privileges belonging to His own loved ones. But we wish to point out some of the responsibilities that are ours in consequence of our privileges. We have responsibilities—
I. As Those to Whom His Name has been Revealed.
“I have manifested Thy Name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world” (v. 6). Or as it might be read: “I have revealed the perfections of Thy character to those which Thou hast given Me.” The character of that great and holy Name is seen in Exodus 34:5–7. Through the grace of Christ that Name has become the practical experience of every true believer. “My name is in Him” (Exod. 23:21). What manner of persons, then, ought we to be with such a possession?
II. As Custodians of His Words.
“I have given unto them the words which Thou hast given Me” (v. 8). The truths which the Father committed to the Son, the Son has committed to us, who are His own. What a treasure this is, and what a responsibility rests on us to pass on to others what we by faith have received. How many are burying this treasure in the grave of their own personal interests. This Word of the Gospel never gets beyond their own need. His words are the words of “eternal life.” Let your light so shine that others may see, and believe, and glorify your Father.
III. As God-given Ones, for the Glory of His Son.
“I pray for them which Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them” (vv. 9, 10). If Christ is to be fully glorified in His people, surely His redeemed ones must glorify Him while here as witnesses for Him. As Paul said: “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death” (Phil. 1:20). Ye see your calling, brethren, let us walk worthily of it, for the glory of His Name.
IV. As Separated Ones.
“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world; keep them from the evil one; sanctify them through Thy truth” (vv. 14–17). The Lord further adds: “And for their sakes I consecrate Myself, in order that they may become perfectly consecrated in truth” (v. 19). The Lord set Himself apart for our salvation, and expects us to set ourselves apart for His service in the truth. Ye are not your own, therefore glorify God in your body and spirit, which are His.
V. As Sent Ones.
“As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (v. 18). This commission was repeated after He rose from the dead (John 20:21). For what purpose did the Father send Him? Briefly, it was this: “I came down from Heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me” (John 6:38). “As the Father sent Me, so have I sent you.” Not to do your own will, but the will of Him that sent you. Herein lies our God-given privilege and our God-given responsibility. Surely our motto should be: “Thy will be done.”
VI. As Brethren.
Christ prayed “for them also which shall believe on Him through their word. That they all may be one, as the Father and the Son are, and that they may be made perfect in one, that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me” (vv. 21–23). This union is not limited to any ecclesiastical system, nor to any religious creed or nation. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile; neither bond nor free, neither male nor female; but ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28). All given by the same Father to the Son. All redeemed by the same price. All quickened by the same Spirit. All obedient to the same Word. All heirs of the same inheritance, and their names all written in the same “Book of Life.” It is ours to keep this unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Gal. 4:3).
VII. As His Eternal Companions.
“Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory” (v. 24). What grace is this. “Where I am there shall also My servant be” (John 12:26). Servants sharing their Master’s honour. “So shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17). By faith we company with Him now. He says: “I have called you friends” (John 15:15). Let nothing mar your fellowship with Him. Remember, this is to be for ever and ever. Amen.