“That the World May Believe”
When the world views chaotic conditions they often blame God and use the issue of suffering as a proof text for disbelief. Jesus came to save us, from darkness, from sin, from lack of belief in the Father. He did not come to reverse the fall of creation. No, He came to reconcile Man to God through His atoning sacrifice on the Cross.
John 17:20-26 Jesus prayer for all believers.
In the prayer for the disciples we noted that unity was the final key topic of that portion of this high priestly prayer. We will quickly see that unity is a significant aspect of God’s desire for His church so that we can go forth and make disciples. So let’s unpack this prayer that Jesus spoke for all of us.
Verse 20 – “those who will believe in Me” – this phrase is about you and I and all other believers in Jesus since the day of Pentecost. The mechanism for our belief is the final portion of this verse, “through their word”. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________These men heard from Jesus lips the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 So Paul (also an Apostle but via a different process), warns us later that if we are confronted by those who preach “another gospel”. What gospel might that be?
1. The prosperity gospel – ______________________________________________
2. The works gospel – __________________________________________________
3. The God doesn’t really mean it gospel – ______________________________________ These Apostles were called to declare that Jesus Christ is Lord and that we are saved by no other name under heaven or earth, saved by faith in His name and His work of redemption upon the Cross of Calvary.
Verse 21 – So this unity is at the heart of apostolic teaching and becoming people of faith. We are united, one Lord, one Spirit, One Church (Catholic = universal), one true faith. We are united together in faith with God the Father through Jesus our Lord. The key word in this verse is that. In English we have this word with about 4 meanings but in Greek they had different words that we translate “that”. This is the usage, ‘hina’, which signals purpose. It was used in verse 11 & 12 as well; “that they may be one as We are”; “that the Scripture might be fulfilled”. Purpose. We need to have purpose in the things we believe and the things we do.
Jesus is beginning to summarize His prayer drawing towards a conclusion and He raises again the topic of “glory” (vs. 22&23). Jesus knew the cross was glory for Him but I think we most often miss the point of this idea in reference to our being part of God’s glory.
Verse 22 – “the glory which You gave Me” – _______________________________________
Verse 23 – “I in them and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one”. (unity) Once again we see the purpose (that - hina) “that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved me.” ________________________________________
Verse 24 - Finally Jesus joins unity with eternity: ___________________________________
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