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John 17:20-23

He Prayed for You

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

There is nothing more comforting or exciting than to know that Jesus included you and me, if you are a Christian, in His prayers for the disciples. He did not pray for the world (v.9) and He did not pray for only His disciples. Jesus prayed for everyone who would come to believe in Him through the word of His disciples, which could only be the word of God, because the disciples were only God's messengers commissioned and sent by Jesus. (v.18) It is their word, the New Testament scriptures, which they and their disciples have given us, that you and I have come to believe and trust.

"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:14-17)

Then, we are all brought into the Good Shepherd's fold by the same gospel message and sanctified unto the same God by the same Spirit. Jesus prayed that we would be one with each other as He was one with the Father and that we would be one in them. Jesus is our Mediator who represents us before God the Father but He also conveys to us all of the blessings of the Father. He is one with the Father and one with us, giving us access to every blessing of heaven.

This, He says, is so the world will believe that the Father had sent Him. However, the word "believe" is not used in its usual sense, for the world cannot believe except in an intellectual sense. They are in bondage to sin and can believe the facts but cannot surrender and trust their lives to Him. In verse 23 Jesus uses the word "know" to say the same thing.

Then, Jesus literally says, "And I the glory which thou gavest me..." With the emphasis on the "I", He is not referring to the divine glory, which He had already possessed since eternity past, but to the incarnate glory, the glory that He had as a man. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) This glory is defined as magnificence, excellence, pre-eminence, dignity, and grace. These things He gave to all of His followers so that we might be able to work together for one purpose, with one passion, with one mind, and with one Spirit.

It was Jesus' prayer that we should be made perfect as a body, able to stand before the throne of God united in perfect holiness and righteousness. This we can only do if we are one with Him as He is one with the Father; for perfection can only be transmitted to us from the Father and through the Son.

Finally, Jesus prayed that the world would be able to see that God loves His people. It means that God wants to shower us with blessings and advantages that will make the world envious. They will see that the Creator loves us as much as He loves His only begotten Son. They will see the astounding joy and privilege that comes with being a servant and an adopted son in the house of the Lord.

How then should we live our lives? If God wants to shower us with so many blessings, if we have been given the dignity and grace of Jesus Christ, if we have been given the righteousness and holiness of Jesus, and if we are to live in unity and harmony with one another and with God, how should we behave? Every day should be lived for God's glory. It is our purpose to glorify Christ and the Father by displaying all of the above qualities, which Jesus prayed for us to have. Being so richly blessed, shouldn't we try a little harder to live like Jesus?

Before The Throne:

Pray that the glory given to you by Christ would be evident to those around you. Pray that they would experience God's gracious character through you. Pray for the unity and perfection of your church. Perfect holiness in the body of Christ must begin with you. Ask God to help you attain to His righteousness. Praise Him for loving you, for the blessings He has given you, and for allowing you to be one with Him. Pray for those who are not experiencing the joy of Christ. Ask God to save them.

For Further Study:

** pray. Eph 4:11; ** for them. Act 2:41; 4:4; Rom 15:18,19; 16:26; 2Tim 1:2;

(v.21) ** they all. John 10:16; Jer 32:39; Ezek 37:16-19,22-25; Zeph 3:9; Zech 14:9; Act 2:46; 4:32; Rom 12:5; 1Cor 1:10; 12:12,25-27; Gal 3:28; Eph 4:3-6; Phil 1:27; 2:1-5; Col 3:11-14; 1Pet 3:8,9; ** as. John 5:23; 10:30,38; 14:9-11; Phil 2:6; 1John 5:7; ** that the. John 13:35;

(v.22) ** the glory. John 1:16; 15:18,19; 20:21-23; Mr 6:7; 16:17-20; Luk 22:30; Act 5:41; Rom 15:15-20; 2Cor 3:18; 5:20; 6:1; Eph 2:20; Phil 1:29; Col 1:24; 2Thes 1:5-10; Rev 21:14; ** that. John 14:20; 1John 1:3; 3:24;

(v.23) ** I. John 6:56; 14:10,23; Rom 8:10,11; 1Cor 1:30; 2Cor 5:21; Gal 3:28; 1John 1:3; 4:12-16; ** made. Eph 4:12-16; Phil 3:15; Col 1:28; 2:2,9,10; 3:14; 1Pet 5:10; ** the. John 13:35; ** and hast. Eph 1:6-14; 1John 3:1; 4:19;


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