Sunday, February 05, 2012

John 17 1 to 6

1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
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.

Key Observation:
Jesus has power over all flesh; He willing gave Himself for us.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I like John 6:37: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” It is a key verse to understanding John for I see the election from the Father and involving the keeping power of the Son, but also involving the choice to come. All three are involved in salvation; Chafer lists a number (20?) things that happen before, during, and upon salvation. Here in John 6, I find three things: 1) The Father gives us to the Son, 2) The Son keeps us, and 3) we come to Jesus. Never ever has anyone been elected without also choosing to come. Thus the rope of choice and election are intertwined so tightly that to try to separate and understand the strands separately is to destroy the rope itself. It is enough to know that God draws and elects us, and that we freely choose to follow Him. As to how it works together God only knows, and in the Word, He has not explained it, but rather left it as a mystery.

Here today I see a verse reminding me of that key verse. The Father and Son relationship brings mutual glory, a glory that I can see, and that glory is to bring salvation to many. Other places it is made evident that the Father does electing; here it is plain that Jesus works with the Father, giving eternal life to as many as the Father has given to him.

Prophetic vision here is freely used. Remember that Jesus is praying here before the cross, yet He looks to the work on the cross as already finished, something that can only be seen through the eyes of God. Jesus sees ahead, and already claims that He has finished the work which God has given Him to do. Because Jesus is as we are, yet in all points perfect, before the foundation of the world, God could look on the work of the cross to be perfectly completed, though it was yet thousands of years in the future.

This is the beginning of the real Lord’s Prayer. Sometimes men have misnamed the prayer modeled after what John the Baptist taught his disciples, “The Lord’s Prayer.” I find it abhorrent that we in the church today vainly repeat that prayer, for it occurs in a section where our Lord specifically forbids the vain repetition of prayers. Can we not at least get this right? We should not vainly repeat prayers, imagining that we are earning points of favor from God. Rather when I come to God, I need to know He is there, that He listens to my prayer, and that I need to work hard at communicating to Him my specific petition.

Says McGee: “We come now to one of the most remarkable chapters in the Bible. It is the longest prayer in the Bible, although it would take you only three minutes to read it. I think that is a good indication of the length of public prayers. If you can’t say all you’ve got to say in three minutes, then you’ve got too much to say. I’ll be very frank with you. I think brief prayers, thought out right to the point, are more effective than these long, rambling ones we hear. No wonder prayer meetings are as dead as a dodo bird!” I think I agree with McGee; many leaders in today’s church feel that spirituality is measured by lengthy prayers. I believe that when we come to God, I ought to say plainly that which I want to ask Him, and finish, expecting my Lord and my God to hear me. As discussed yesterday, the very Triune God is involved in answering our prayer, and I do think that making people suffer through your long prayers can be a way of measuring the shortness of your stature as a prayer warrior. I think our God hears us based upon our need, our trust, and His own promise, not to mention His great love towards us. I like the prayer of Nehemiah, who coming before the king, the king asked Nehemiah what he wanted, and instantly Nehemiah “prayed to the God of heaven” and answered the king. Remember that Jesus does teach us that our Father has knowledge of our needs before we ask Him.

Of this great prayer McGee quotes many of the declarations of the early church fathers, and then says, “This is a great portion of Scripture. I feel wholly and totally inadequate to deal with this prayer. It is His high priestly intercession for us. It is a revelation to us of the communication which, I think, constantly passes between the Lord Jesus and the Father in heaven. His entire life was a life of prayer. He began His ministry by going into a solitary place to pray. Often He went up into a mountain to pray and spent the night in prayer. He is our great Intercessor. He prays for you and for me. If you forgot to pray this morning, He didn’t.” I have much to learn from this prayer, and a lifetime to do it.

In today’s passage the Lord begins praying for Himself. He directly gets to the point and asks God to glorify the Son, in order that He might also glorify the Father. I find it interesting that Jesus prays for Himself before He prays for us, in what is the most beautiful prayer of the Bible. I need to pray for myself before praying for others; the need for me to right myself before God is paramount, and only then can I pray effectively for others.

McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 103495-103498). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.

McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 103482-103485). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford

Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for—Others.


Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.

Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true
And know that all I’d do for You
Must needs be done for—Others.


Let “Self” be crucified and slain
And buried deep: and all in vain
May efforts be to rise again,
Unless to live for—Others.


And when my work on earth is done,
And my new work in Heav’n’s begun,
May I forget the crown I’ve won,
While thinking still of—Others.

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