Sermon: Jesus Prays

Jesus Prays
John 17:20-26
January 3, 2021

Few things reveal the nature and condition of our hearts like prayer (when we are genuine and truthful).

That is true as well of the heart of Christ, which makes the Lord’s prayer in John 17 a particularly rich and stimulating passage of Scripture.  Of this passage, Melanchthon wrote, “There is no voice which has ever been heard, either in heaven or in earth, more exalted, more holy, more fruitful, more sublime, than the prayer offered up by the Son of God himself.”  As another also noted, “We have before us one of the most intimate glimpses anywhere in Scripture of the mind and heart of the Lord…” [Pentecost]

Believers have long been drawn to this passage:  John Knox had it read to him every day during his final illness, and it was read to him as he entered glory upon his earthly death.  James Montgomery Boice’s preached 17 sermons on this passage — a short series compared to Thomas Manton’s 45!

We are attracted to it because unlike too many of our prayers, this prayer is no shallow sentiment.  It is Christ revealing His eternal desires for His eternal people.  And remember this, since Christ has prayed it, by definition it must be fully attainable and He must have made all the resources that at are at His disposal available for the believer to realize these truths and “requests.”  The requests are not mere wishes.  They are in a real sense Christ’s directives and provisions.

The prayer is divided into 3 primary movements:   1) Christ’s prayer for Himself (vv. 1-5); 2) Christ’s prayer for the disciples (vv. 6-19); and 3) Christ’s prayer for the disciples to come (vv. 20-26).  That last portion is what we will examine today, with an emphasis on how to learn to pray from Christ’s prayer:

Jesus’ prayer for us is our pattern for praying — and living.

Jesus’ requests to His Father for us guide how we should pray and live.

  1. Christ Prays for Us (v. 20)
  • Christ prays for us as He prays for the 12
  • Because Christ prays for us…
  1. Christ Prays for Our Union with One Another (vv. 21-23)
  • Christ prays that we would be one (unified)
  • Christ prays that we would be one as an expression of the Trinity’s oneness
  • Christ prays for our oneness as a gospel testimony to the world
  • Because Christ prays for our oneness…
  1. Christ’s Prays for Our Union with Him in Eternity (vv. 24-26)
  • Christ’s desire is for our union with Him
  • Christ’s desire is for our union with Him to complete His sending
  • Because Christ prays for our fellowship…

Download the rest of this sermon on John 17:20-26.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.

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