John 17.6-19

Title: The Real Lord’s Prayer: A Solid Foundation for Petition

Text: John 17.6-19

CIT: As Jesus begins praying for his disciples, he lays down a foundation of God’s faithfulness.

CIS: Our prayers can be strengthened with a foundation of God’s faithfulness.

Introduction: We’re in Jn 17.6; A couple of days ago I was at the hospital at the front desk. I wanted to confirm that Carol was still in the SICU before I headed back there. The lady before me said she was looking for someone whose last name is Killough. That caught my attention because of the Killough massacre. You know the monument just south of here near Mt. Selman. 18 people were killed. Well, there are many descendants of the Killough family still in this area. I heard the name and wanted to talk to the lady. I didn’t. That would be rude. But, here’s my point. There is a lot to be said about a name. You hear it and you think. I say Adolf and you say? If I said Tiger 5 years ago, you’d think one thing. I say Tiger today and you think another. But, nonetheless, I say a name and you think something.

Read the 1st sentence; Your Name; The Name of the LORD; manifested means lit.: to carry; DA Carson says: God’s name embodies his character; to reveal God’s name is to make God’s character known. The Name of the LORD takes on great significance in identifying the people of God. Time and time again we read about this solid foundation for God’s people in Scripture.

ill.: Gen 4.26: people begin to call upon the name of the LORD; Abraham called upon the name of the LORD many times (Gen 12.8; 13.4; 21.33; ) so did Hagar (16); Isaac did in Gen. 26.25; It’s in the 10 commandments: you shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain…; Yahweh himself proclaims the name of the LORD in Ex 34.5; Lev 24.16 reiterates the commandment: Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death; Deut. 5: repeats the 10 commandments; in Deut. 18 God chose the Levites to minister in the name of the LORD. In Deut 28.10 Moses preaches to the people: And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. Etc. etc. etc.

In the NT: Acts 2:21: And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.Acts 9:28: So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. Acts 19:5: On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Acts 21:13: Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Rom 10:13: For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 1 Cor 5:4: When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus… 1 Cor 6:11: And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Col 3:17: And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 2 Tim 2:19: But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” James 5:14: Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. The list goes on 106 times in Scripture.

app.: Names were so important to the Jewish people. That’s why they said: rd Ps 20.7: Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Because there is power in the name! There is safety in the name. Proverbs 18.10: The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. The Name of the LORD takes on great significance in identifying the people of God: they bear his name. Christian: We bear his name.

Focus: Our prayers can be strengthened with a solid foundation.

Transition: As we look at the prayer of Jesus this morning, I’ve outlined it in the following manner after the way Jesus prayed:

  1. His prayer comes from solid foundation.
  2. His prayer is for their protection.
  3. His prayer is for their distinction.
  4. His prayer is for their sanctification.

I.          His Prayer comes from a Solid Foundation (6-10)

exp.: Jesus builds a strong foundation for his prayer requests – that foundation is God’s faithfulness; rd v 6a; Look at all that the Father has ‘given’;

  1. He has given the task: I have manifested; Jesus was sent to accomplish this and Now it has been accomplished
  2. He has given the disciples: rd v 6a-b; you gave them to me; Now they know your Name – it’s been manifested to them.
  3. He has given the words: rd v 8a; not just ideas being taught, but Jesus actually says what the Father says.
  • Now they know all things are given from God
  • Now they know that Jesus was sent from the Father
  • They believe!

app.: Christ lays a foundation for the requests he about to present. Here’s the foundation – God’s faithfulness. Don’t miss this! God’s Name represents His Character and He is faithful. When you hear God, our Father, you should think: Faithfulness. Boom! There is your foundation. He has accomplished and fulfilled what He has set out to do. And because of that: He can be trusted! When you hear His name – you think of his faithfulness. He has never failed you. Look at v 9-10;

Transition: With that in mind, let’s look at the petitions presented by our Lord. First,

II.      His Prayer is for their Protection (11-13)

exp.: rd v 11; Note the two comments he’s making. 1st, he gives the reason.

  1. Reason: he’s leaving! This is nothing they haven’t already heard; John 14.1-6; He will no longer be with them, thus he’s promised to send the Holy Spirit; but this is why he’s praying for their protection; 2nd, he offers his petition to the Lord…
  2. Request: Holy Father, Keep them in your name, which you have given me; Exodus 23.21: “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. 21 Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him. He’s leaving to return to his rightful throne. He will no longer be with them in the flesh to intercede in their affairs (think: let one of them sit on your right and one on your left.) So, how will they be kept? Rd 11c: that they may be one, even as we are one. He’s praying for their unity

i.     Unity: have you ever thought that God’s protection means your unity? That or in order that they may be one.

ill.: In Hughes’ commentary he quotes the Puritan Thomas Brookes who wrote: For wolves to worry the lambs is no wonder, but for one lamb to worry another, this is unnatural and monstrous. Phil 1.27: Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. Rd v 12-13;

ill.: R Kent Hughes says in commentary on John: Jesus built the disciples’ oneness and a sense of security and unity by showing both in his own life and in his teaching the personality and character of the Father. The more the disciples understood the attributes and character of God, the more they experienced unity. He then quotes A. W. Tozer who wrote:

Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. His prayer is that God would keep them and that they would be in unity, which by the way, results in Joy.

ii.     Joy: my joy, Jesus says, not happiness, like you find temporarily in the world. But Joy – His Joy! Being Happy is a fleeting thing – joy abides in all things. You can be sick and have joy. You can be poor and have joy. When a body of believers is in Unity – there is real Joy.

Transition: Christ prayed for unity and joy for his disciples. He’ll pray the same prayer over you and me in v 21; Built on a strong foundation of God’s faithfulness, Christ prays for their protection. 2ndly, he prays for their distinction.

III.    His Prayer is for their Distinction (14-16)

exp.: rd v 14; given them your word; (6, 8, 14, 17); v 6 says they have kept it; v 8 says they believed it; v 14 says the world hated them because of it; v 17 says it is what sets them apart from the world. Verse 15 clarifies for us what this separation means: rd v 15; Hear me now: He’s not praying that we’ll be monks!

ill.: The point here isn’t withdrawal from the world. Here is where Christians fail. The Christians of the last couple of decades have created Christian marketing to take us away from the world. Christian megachurches have restaurants, diners and even McDonald’s so you can go there and not have to worry about anything secular. You can exercise in the gym, too.

We’ve taken our kids out of the world and homeschooled them so that they don’t have any secular influence. I read a fictional story in relation to this sometime this past week. I looked, but couldn’t find it again. Basically, the story begins with a Christian college student who wakes up and makes it through their day without having to encounter a single unbeliever. He eats with believers at all meals, he exercises at his church, he sits with believers in his classes and his intramural teams are made up of fellow believers. He hurries back that evening to his dorm room where his roommate is a believer, too. He crawls into bed, safe, never having to have encountered the world.

app.: we’ve failed because we’ve misunderstood what it means to be in the world but not of the world. Jesus continues; rd v 16;

We need Christian teachers in the public school system. We need Christians who’ll step up and be leaders in the world: Doctors, Lawyers, Professors and even, swallow hard now, in public service! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who held to our Christian principles! Wouldn’t be even more wonderful if we had a legislative branch of Govt that was filled with believers! Maybe, just maybe, we’re in the mess we’re in because we’ve removed our influence.

It almost seems to negate Christ’s first request: protection. Why would we need protection if we’re never in harm’s way? Christ doesn’t say that we’re not supposed to be a part of this world. He says we’re supposed to be different and not just different – we’re supposed to be distinct! That’s always been the call of God’s people. Exodus 33.16: For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” There is to be a distinction between the clean and the unclean, the holy and the common, the righteous and the wicked, God’s people and those who blatantly reject and rebel against him. Jesus clarifies this in the very next couple of verses.

Transition: So Christ lays a solid foundation of God’s faithfulness to pray for their distinction and their protection and finally,

IV.    His Prayer is for their Sanctification (17-19)

exp.: rd v 17-19; this word means to make them holy or set apart; that’s what makes them distinct – to be holy as He is holy; Holiness comes through the truth of God’s Word. Then, as holy, set apart, consecrated believers, we’re sent into the world with the Great Commission.

app.: Note: we’re made holy by God, not by what we do. But, we’ve been called to live in holiness. 1 Peter 3.14-16 says: As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” Consecrate yourselves appears 23x’s in the OT.

Transition: So as we view Christ’s prayer for his disciples, we learn more of how we should pray and what we should pray for:

Observations & Implications:

  1. Gain a proper perspective of Christ. – From last week.
  2. Our prayers should be based on God’s faithfulness. To say like David: I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. It’s good to keep a journal of God’s faithfulness – then you can recall his wonderful deeds.
  3. We need God’s protection. What we fail to realize is that our enemy the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion. He wants to divide us and conquer us.
  4. Our lives should communicate our distinctiveness. We should live holy lives, as he is holy. We should live in unity. Relationships, Relationships, Relationships.
  5. Continue work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
  6. Do you bear the Name of Jesus?
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