TEXT: John 17:5-8
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 187 messages in this series.
This is message #188 titled, The Profound Prayer that Jesus Prayed, Part 4
As we read this prayer of Jesus in John 17, it is easy to consider Jesus’ words in a vacuum. We forget that Jesus was in the upper room with His disciples. They had just finished their Passover meal. Jesus had spent some time teaching and trying to comfort His disciples in light of His departure. Judas had been dismissed, and he was on his way to carry out the betrayal. The remaining disciples were with Jesus, listening to him pray.
As Jesus is about to relinquish His hold on this life, He sets about to relinquish His disciples to God the Father. In this part of His prayer, we also see some important principles on facing death as a Christian.
First, Jesus recalls work which He had accomplished with the disciples. He says, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world…” We covered this in detail last week. Jesus spent His time on this earth doing what God the Father had sent Him to do — to show the world who God is and to make a way for people to be restored to a relationship with Him. He “manifested” God’s name — He showed us what it means to call God “God.” Thus, when His time came to die, Jesus was able to move toward death without any regrets.
Then, Jesus acknowledges that what He has on this earth belongs to God in the first place. He refers to the disciples as “the men which thou gavest me out of the world,” and He adds, “thine they were, and thou gavest them me.” (When Jesus was facing death, the thing He valued most was not success, accomplishment, miracles He had performed, or all the times He made the headlines. It was people that He valued, specifically the people whom He had touched with the work God had called Him to do. You may not think so now, but when you are lying on your deathbed, you will find that the people whose lives you touched will be of more value to you than any material or social gains you may have achieved.)
Jesus acknowledges that His disciples belong to God. God had given them to Jesus out of the world. Not only were the disciples called by Jesus, but they were called by God. Just as God had chosen a path for Jesus, God had chosen a path for the twelve men who would follow Him. Jesus realizes that His work with them, in a physical sense, is complete. They had only been given to Him for a season; now, it is time to turn them back over to God.
Parents, pastors, teachers, and ministry leaders can learn a lesson from this. Your “children” (in a familial sense or in a spiritual sense) don’t belong to you. They belong to God. God has just given them to you for a time in order for you to train them just as Jesus trained the disciples. If you do your job as Jesus did His, you will not have a problem turning them back over to God when your time to pass of the scene comes or when God says it is time for one of your “children” — one of the people whom you are responsible for training — is ready to move out on his or her own and move into the next phase of what God has planned for them.
Finally, Jesus points out that His work with His disciples is successful. He says, “they have kept thy word.” The disciples were by no means perfect. They were not yet the spiritual giants that they would become. However, unlike Judas who never truly believed and unlike the religious leaders who refused to believe, they had believed that Jesus had been sent from God and that He was the Savior of the world. Because they had observed and worked with Jesus all this time, they knew more about God that the religious experts of that day who had done nothing but study Scripture since childhood.
Jesus says, “I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” Jesus’ disciples had believed Jesus’ teachings as well as that He was the Son of God. Those were the most important things they needed to do in preparation for the work they would be tasked with upon Jesus’ ascension.
As we look back on Jesus’ prayer today, we can see that what He did carries down to us. The disciples began a long line of succession that continues today, with older saints training younger saints and turning them back over for God to use. Our purpose as Christians can be found in this profound prayer that Jesus prayed.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.