A great sermon again this morning, Dave this time. He spoke on John 17, the “Priestly prayer” of Jesus, but David called it “The Parting Prayer of the King”. We like this title, since on Palm Sunday (today), the crowd proclaimed him king; even though they really didn’t know what they were talking about, as our bulletin-cover artist noted–Jesus accepted their praise, and we too need to praise Him in simplicity.
OK, lets see if we can get Dave’s 5 points right:
- (vs 1-3): Jesus prays about being glorified… which for Him, means the Cross. He is not just being passive about this, but going willingly to the cross–so that the Father can be glorified, which in this case means the granting of eternal life.. eternal life means knowing God, which is possible through knowing Jesus (and accepting what He did for us).
- (vs 4): Jesus says that He has “completed” His work, meaning: the disciples now believe that He is from the Father; they know Jesus and thereby know the Father… even if their knowledge/belief is not yet mature.
- (vs 9): He is praying for the disciples, NOT for the world–in other words, for believers; but later He says that they are to bring the gospel TO the world (so really, “the world” is not neglected)… and the disciples DO bring the message to the world.
- (vs 17): Jesus talks about keeping them in His Name, not a physical protection, but in all the suffering that is to come for them–keeping them spiritually. He asks the Father to “sanctify” them, and talks about sanctifying them Himself, which He does by going to the Cross (taking their punishment on Himself).
- (last several verses): the prayer for UNITY… especially for the future Church; as again was pointed out in the artist-testimony, the Church has become more complex with its huge variety of people–all the more important for it to be in unity, since this is what bears witness to the truth of Jesus (“they will know you are My disciples if you love one another”).
The ultimate goal is for us to be with God (see point 1), which is why Jesus had to die, to bridge the “gap”–and Jesus ends with the prayer (which becomes a promise for us) that the unity includes Him being one with us: “I Myself in them”–we are NOT ALONE!
Isn’t it interesting how all these points sort of co-mingle with each other?
Walk to Rivendell: (btw–remember how Gandalf encouraged Frodo not to go alone?)… We are continuing on the road, that rolls up and down.