I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; 10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. 12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
What is intercessory prayer?
It is a prayer to the Lord by a person(s) in support of others.
Colossians 4:2-4 is a good example of Paul asking for intercessory prayer.
- Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude ofthanksgiving; 3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; 4 that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.
Another example is 2 Corinthians 1:11.
- You also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks maybe given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:25, Paul makes this simple request…
- Brethren pray for us.
Again, in 2 Thessalonians 3:1 he writes, “Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you.”
Intercessory prayer is a very important work of the church.
And today’s passage contains our Lord’s intercessory prayer for the disciples during the final Passover meal they shared.
But that wasn’t the end of His interceding ministry for followers.
Romans 8:33-34 reads, Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
Look at 1 John 2:1-2, My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
So, the fact that Jesus did and does intercede for His own is our cue to do likewise for one another.
Verses 6-8 tell why the Lord does this.
In a word…it is because of revelation.
It was revealed to the disciples that Jesus is God the Father’s Son…
And they believed this revelation.
I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.
Let’s look at this…
- Verse 6
- Manifest…means to show or demonstrate
- Your name…who You are…that You are…the Father’s character
So, Jesus demonstrated to His disciples that His Father is God the Father.
- Out of the world…out from among those who do not believe
- They were Yours and You gave them to Me…
- During His earthly ministry, Jesus always deferred to the Father’s initiatives…His will
- As the Father He had the authority to offer them to Jesus
- Kept Your word…the word kept means to guard…to treasure
The result of the disciple’s keeping His word led to a clear understanding and belief that Jesus is the Christ…the Messiah.
Because it had been revealed to them.
Another way to explain why Jesus is interceding for them…they are saved.
They heard God’s word and believed it.
This is the same pattern for all true believers.
God initiates the Divine-human exchange through His word…the recipient understands they’re sin separates them from Him…
And Jesus is available to reconcile them to the Father…
They believe and are saved.
Verses 6 through 8 give us the gospel.
Do you know how important sharing the Gospel is for the lost?
Verse 9 says Jesus does not intercede for those who lack belief.
I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours.
- I do not ask on behalf of the world….
- The world represents all those who are not believers
- Jesus does not intercede for them
Verses 10-19 teach what Jesus asks in His prayer for disciples.
And all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.
Jesus recognizes two parts of reality before asking the Father that they may be one even as We are.
First, He says what’s Mine is Yours and what’s Yours is Mine.
- (10) And all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.
- Specifically, Jesus is referring to the disciples
Jesus claims equality with the Father.
Second part of reality is that He’s soon leaving the disciples in the world.
- Prophesying His crucifixion
His absence will increase the probability of disunity among them.
Because disunity is the natural order of human endeavors.
What does the world show us?
Disagreement and dissent are easy, and unity is hard…very hard.
Sustained unity within the church is so difficult to achieve that it requires an act of God.
- Especially when the Body of Christ is under pressure
One church member in a room alone will lead to internal conflict.
Two…and it’s virtually guaranteed.
A congregation that doesn’t routinely pray for unity will most certainly experience division.
And division is the evidence of the church’s lack of prayer for unity.
We need to pray for unity in our church.
There are always forces at work to divide us.
We must stop assuming that Christian union is the natural condition of God’s people.
Christian union is a miracle of God through people who earnestly seek it in prayer.
It’s awfully hard to stand against someone who you’ve just knelt with in prayer for unity.
- Someone you’ve just interceded for through prayer
When was the last time we as a church came together before the throne of God to plead for His favor to fall on us?
God’s people can be united in Christ and divided among themselves.
Jesus prayed that the Father make His disciples one…
This should be our prayer as well.
Maybe fewer Christian families would be divided if more congregations gathered to prayerfully intercede for them.
Would less communities experience dissension if more congregations prayed over them?
- We saw wonderful success when we prayer-walked surrounding communities
We have not because we ask not.
And our need will continue if we don’t seek God-given unity.
God-given unity cannot be broken by anyone or anything.
What does Jesus pray?
- …that they may be one even as We are.
- …as We are.
What can divide the Father from the Son or the Son and the Holy Spirit?
Disunity is easy…and authentic unity is a work of God.
While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.
Okay, let’s deal with an obvious question from this portion of the text.
Remember Judas was just identified as the one to turn on Jesus.
Was it predetermined by God that Judas would betray Jesus so that the Scripture would be fulfilled?
Well, the answer is yes…and no.
Yes…Scripture must be fulfilled.
No because God doesn’t predetermine man’s sin.
He doesn’t make us sin.
If He did it would be a miscarriage of holy justice to hold us responsible for transgressions, He makes us do.
If He caused us to sin…even Judas…it would contradict His proclamation of universal love.
Even in our fallen state we know that causing someone to sin…is a sin.
God is not the Author of sin.
God predestined that the Son would be betrayed…
Ps.41:9, Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
Also Psalm 109:6-8, Appoint a wicked man over him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand. 7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty, and let his prayer become sin. 8 Let his days be few; let another take his office.
Judas chose to be that betrayer.
He was a conscientious objector of Jesus.
Judas wasn’t a victim.
This said, the focus of these two verses is Jesus’ desire for His disciples to be guarded by the Father in His absence.
The Greek word for guarded is interesting.
According to Strong’s Concordance it means to detain…to withhold.
Picture a mom holding back her child from running across a busy street.
It is protection by preservation which is different than protection by defense against external attacks.
Jesus isn’t picturing Himself coming between them and the temptations or hostilities of the world.
How were they preserved…protected?
Verse 14, I have given them Your word….
The word of God protected and preserved them.
As they received it, believed it and obeyed His word…they were detained, hindered, from giving in to temptation…restrained.
They gave into God’s word rather than the temptations of the world.
When we give into the word of God it acts like a protective coating around our heart that enables us not to give into the world.
When the world tells you it’s okay to look but don’t touch…
Job 31:1 comes to mind…I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze (stare with intent) at a virgin?
As your anger toward someone at work starts to influence how you treat them…
Recalling Hebrews 12:15 tempers you.
- See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.
When your prayer-life weakens because of the busyness of the word…
You remember how Jesus intercedes on your behalf and recommit to praying for others.
Jesus prayed for the disciple’s protection because the world hated them.
And the world hates…rejects…everyone who truly loves and applies God’s word.
Why does the world hate Jesus…and by association…His followers?
Jesus is so offensive to the world because of His claim to be God.
No other founder of a world religion made such a claim.
- They declared themselves to be teachers or messengers of God
Jesus is so offensive to the world because of what He said about salvation.
Every other religion asserts that followers bear the responsibility for their salvation.
- People must earn it
- Many Christian churches teach some form of this too
Jesus said you can’t do anything to merit your salvation.
It’s all on Him…an act of grace animated by faith.
So, the world hates believers because they can’t conform to His word and the world’s standards at the same time.
The world doesn’t believe Jesus is God…who offers unmerited salvation.
The contrast between the two…believers and the world is so radical…
Because it forces His followers to make an extreme choice.
Verse 15 shows that we’re supposed to live among them…but not live like them.
If you fully identify with Jesus…you will offend some even without being offensive.
And while we struggle…as we wrestle against the temptations to compromise His word…
The preservative…protective activity of God’s word remains present.
But make sure the world hates you because of Jesus.
This brings us to the last point.
Jesus interceded for their…our sanctification.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
The word sanctify here means “to separate” or “set apart.”
- For a special purpose or use
Jesus asks the Father to separate…to sanctify…them from the world His disciples must be part of…for the vocation of His word…the truth.
I remember striking scene from the movie Schindler’s List…
- Shot in black-and-white
When the little girl in a rose-colored coat walks down a war-torn street.
She’s in the scene, but the color of her coast sets her in stark contrast to the black-and-white world around her.
That’s how I think about being sanctified by the truth.
Disciples of Christ are sent by Him to bring the truth of God to this world…
Not by force…but by contrast…as they journey through the rubble of a morally broken world.
You and I are sent by our Lord to practice the vocation of His word.
You may get paid to be a teacher…nurse…or plumber…
But your called vocation is to take God’s word…the truth…into the world.
Many of you are on Social Security…
- Retired from your secular work
You’re still in the vocation of His word.
That doesn’t stop until your heart stops.
This is what we’re meant to do…it’s what we’re called to.
The Lord has equipped you for this.
Everything about you uniquely qualifies you for your vocation of God’s truth.
Your race, gender, age, social and economic status.
Too often we think this divine assignment is just for the “professionals.”
It was never meant to be that way.
You have a God-story to tell somebody who can relate to you far better than to me.
If our church relies on me and couple others to bring God’s word to the lost…we are on a trajectory of failure.
There are people who’ve never heard the gospel you know…people that I’ll never meet.
It’s your responsibility to reach them…not anyone else’s.
Jesus sent you to them and uniquely equipped you to speak His truth.
Jesus interceded because being sent with the truth is hard.