Title: The Lord’s Prayer: Gaining a Proper Perspective
Text: John 17.1-5
CIT: Jesus offers his disciples final instructions before his prayer and his passion.
CIS: Jesus offers his disciples final instructions before his prayer and his passion.
Introduction: F.F. Bruce: John Knox, on his death-bed in 1572, asked his wife to read to him John 17, ‘where’, he said, ‘I cast my first anchor.’ And almost his last words show how much his mind dwelt on this chapter, with its implications for ‘the troubled church of God, the spouse of Jesus Christ, despised of the world but precious in his sight’.
In the coming weeks, I hope to paint a picture of the Master’s love for you. How, in this prayer, Christ pours out his heart for you before the suffering he must endure. Think about that: He’s getting ready to be crucified – and more. He’s going to suffer tremendously on the way to the cross and then upon the cross. And in these final hours of his life – you are on his mind! It is you he will pray for. It is for you his petitions to the Father are presented. You! You, who are the spouse of Jesus Christ; you, who are despised of the world but precious in his sight. He begins in 17.1: When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you…
As we look deeply at the real Lord’s Prayer today, we begin to see some principles that might just help us in our prayers. Maybe, like John Knox, you’ll be able to set some anchors for your prayer life. Specifically today, we’re going to focus on His glory. Pause for a moment and let that sink in. I don’t think you’re grasping with your mind what I’m saying from my heart. His Glory! We want to see his glory. Like the glory John describes back in 1.14: we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
That’s what we want, and so we pray today like Moses in Ex. 33.17: Please, show me your glory.
Pray: Father I need your help today. My words fall so short of comparing to the glory of Christ – risen in splendor, seated at your right hand. Give us a glimpse, like with Stephen who saw and proclaimed: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” We pray today like Moses: Lord, Please, please show me your glory.
Some here today are in need of that glimpse. Their hearts are ready, their souls famished and hungry. We want to see you. We want to see you, Jesus. If we can, then we know that this earthly fodder will dissipate in comparison. Like Paul we’ll proclaim that the sufferings of this present time cannot compare to the glory which shall be revealed in us.
If we can see you – even just a glimpse, we’ll be like Isaiah and John and Peter and fall at your feet crying: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.
Bless the preaching of your Word today. You have told us that your word, which comes from your mouth, does not return to you empty, but rather accomplishes the purposes you have set forth. Let your word change us. Let your word fulfill its purpose in us, today.
In Christ’s glorious, powerful name I ask this. Amen.
Premise: In our prayers, the very first step is gaining a proper perspective of who Christ is – in all of his glory. Everything else within our prayers will fall naturally into place if this one thing is accomplished.
Transition: This morning I would like to present to you three facets to Christ’s glory, which I think can aid us in our prayers. Jesus sees them clearly in this passage and he shares them with us. First, I want you to see:
I. The Power He Holds (17.2-3)
exp.: picking up in v 1 when Jesus begins to pray: rd v 1b-2a; that’s the power he holds! Authority over all flesh! Jesus has ultimate authority, ladies and gentlemen. When you bow your hearts before him and you bring your request to him, you’re petitioning the one authority over all men. No one has more power than him. No One! He’s been…
a. Given Authority: you might ask me: but what about … huh-huh.
ill.: Most of you know I have a Korean mom. Most of you know I have a biological mom that I don’t really know. But how many of you know I have a black momma? Her name is Delzie Madkins. She took me in when I was kicked out as an older teenager. I’ll never forget trying to argue with her and she would stop me by saying: What I say? I’d repeat what she said – like I really heard her. And then she’d say: alright then, because it was settled.
app.: I hear her voice when I read this verse and say that Jesus has all authority over all flesh. But then someone, maybe me in my head says: but what about… and before I can finish, I hear her voice: What I say?
Matthew 28.18 Jesus says: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me… In Ephesians 1: 16 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Transition: Do you see the power he holds? Authority over all flesh! Look what else he’s been given; rd v 2b; He’s been..
b. Given the right to grant eternal life; this is amazing! Only God’s has this right! You and I can’t do this. That is power!
ill.: Hey You (Name): I’m giving you eternal life. How valid is that? Only Christ can do this! So, what is this “Eternal Life”? Look at v 3; 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
exp.: Knowledge; not some intellectual apprehension of some religious philosophy; No! Intimate knowledge – like the Father has of the Son and the Son has of the Father; like Jesus prays over us – that unity that comes through intimate knowledge of each other – Our relationships. That intimate knowledge of the Father and of the son is eternal life.
ill.: we say things like: I came to know Christ when I was…; or, How did you come to know Christ as Lord and Savior?
Transition: It’s through this intimate knowledge of Christ and the Father that we come to have eternal life. And really, that’s the purpose for which he came. And that’s the 2nd aspect of Christ’s Glory that I want you to see this morning. I want you to see the power he has and 2ndly,
II. The Purpose He Accomplished (4)
exp.: rd v 4; What was this work? It was the eternal plan of redemption; everything we read about in Old Testament history was pointing toward this moment. Everything: That Jesus would live a perfect and blameless life; die on the cross of Calvary; be buried; raised from the dead; and ascend to be with the Father. Jesus knew he was sent by his Father for this work. He said back in 4.24: My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. In 5.36f he says: the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. He says quite simply in Lk 19.10: 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
When searching for the work of the Son, I came across this passage in Titus 3, which explains the work: 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
The work of God culminated in this moment. Jesus knew the hour had now come for this work to be accomplished – and that this work was now done. And he makes this declaration when he takes his last breath: It is finished. Peter articulates the Plan of God when he preaches his great sermon at Pentecost: “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
God’s Plan was seen by Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah and the list goes on. Peter mentions this in the first chapter of his 1st epistle: Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Yes, this was God’s plan: The plan of salvation. Set in place through centuries of work:
- God Chose a man: Abram
- Building a nation: Israel
- Leading those people.
- Giving them the Law, so that they might know their sin and their deep need for forgiveness. That they might know the perfection of God and that they could never be that way without his help.
- Setting up specific requirements to meet the demand: death as punishment, blood being shed for the forgiveness of sins.
- Year after year, this very illustration demonstrated in sacrifices – rinse, repeat. Until now, when time had run it’s course: 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Gal 4.4-5);
- This very thought caused Paul to say to the Ephesians (1.4-14):
In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Transition: Today I want you to see The Power He Has, and The Purpose He Accomplised, but I also want you to the…
III. The Position he Deserves (5)
exp.: rd v 5; It’s time to go home. Jesus asks the Father to glorify Him, together with the Father, with the glory he had shared with the Father before the world began. We see this glory in so many places:
- Jn 1.1-3 : In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
- Col 1.15f; He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
- Heb 1.3: 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
- Phil 2.5-11 – Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
app.: Jesus looked beyond the pain and suffering awaiting him in the coming hours to the hope of glory. The glory he would receive was rightfully his from the beginning. He faced the shame of the cross (i.e.: bearing all of our sin) and agony of his Father forsaking him (i.e.: turning his back to that sin) for the glory that was already his.
We’re blessed to stand on this side of history, looking back at the cross and seeing the work of Christ. Indeed, for all those who believe, we stand and sing together each Sunday and proclaim the glory of the risen Son of God. We Praise for His mighty Power and We Praise Him for His Wonderful Work which He Accomplished and We Sing Glory to His Holy Name as He take his rightful place next to the Father.
Transition: And everyday, we can begin our prayers in worship by gaining a proper perspective of who Christ is: in all of His Power, in what He has Accomplished, in who He is as God.
Calvary Cornerstone has set aside these next 120 Days of Intentionality for prayer. We want you to be intentional about prayer in everyway. So, we’re challenging you to the 7-5-2 Challenge:
- To pray 7 days a week by yourself. We want you to get alone for a few minutes and pray by yourself.
- To pray 5 days a week with your family. Yes, this can include meal times and bedtime. The goal would be involving your family in prayer.
- To pray 2 days a week with your spouse. Husbands and wives together. Cuddle at night and hold hands as you pray. Sneak into the pantry and lift up a couple of prayer requests. Men, this is on you.
We have notebooks for you to help in this process. There are calendars we’d like to give you to put on your refrigerator and starts you can put on the dates every time you pray as a family.
For the next few minutes, I’m going to ask the Kenny to play some music and give families a chance to respond. Elders will be here to pray with you. Come to the front and pick up a notebook and materials and accept the challenge. Spend some time at the altar praying as a family. Pray that God would use this in the life of your family.
Observations & Implications:
- Prayer begins with a proper perspective of the Master! Begin your prayer time with an intense, vigilant time of focus on Christ and who he is.
- Use Scripture if you need help. Psalm 90.1-2; Psalm 63.1-4;
- Use a Song of Praise or two to take you there.
- Don’t move forward from there until you get that perspective. Genesis 17; I am Almighty God (El-Shaddai)