Passage: John 17:1-10
Speaker: Mitch Kim
Series: Together, We…
Together, We…Are Transformed As We Follow Jesus
This season has robbed us of so many of the pleasures of this world — physical health, celebrations with friends and friends, large church gatherings, sporting events, and travel. Some can get discouraged by all that has been lost; others may seize back those pleasures despite increased risks. I wonder though — instead of longing for the pleasures of this world that we have lost, what if we drew strength from the pleasures of another world?What if the church unleashed an army of people as a force of good in this world because they had strength from another? In John 17, Jesus prays for exactly that — a people who are in but not of the world. How did he grow those types of people? How might we do that? As we look at our core value of discipleship this week, we seek to unleash disciples live from their relationship with God through his Word and prayer.
First disciples live from their relationship with God (John 17:1–6). In Jesus’ final recorded prayer before he goes to the cross, he prays to glorify the Father. This is the work that we are all created to do. But how do we glorify God? Do we just sing songs at church? Jesus glorified God by having accomplished the work that you gave me to do (17:4). What was that work? Did he tell the whole world about himself? No. He manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world (17:6). Even Jesus, the Son of God, had to focus on a few. But these few had received the gift of eternal life. This is more than going to heaven when we die, for “this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (17:3). True life is not simply to be found after the grave; true life is to be found now as we live from a deepening relationship with the Father. And today, no matter our circumstance, we can live from the power of the life through a deepening relationship with our Father. How do we live from that relationship?
We live from a deepening relationship with God through his Word (John 17:7–8). The key for people to knowing God is knowing his Word. When Jesus came, he said, “I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you” (17:8). It is only through the power of God’s Word that people can come to personal relationship with the living God. Similarly only as we share God’s Word with people will they know the greatness of our God. Our example is not enough. Our good works are not enough. People will only come to a personal relationship with God by knowing his Word.
Sometimes though people don’t seem to receive that word, and so we must not only help people to know God through his word but also through prayer (John 17:9–10). Jesus not only gave them his word, but he says, “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me” (17:9). The scope of Jesus’ prayer is important. Sometimes we try to pray for all the problems of the world and get discouraged. Even Jesus did not do that. He prayed for those whom God had given him. Similarly there are those whom God has given us, and we should adopt them and love them and care for them in prayer.
So what? What the world needs today are disciples who live out their deepening relationship with God through His Word and prayer. May we be a church who grows those types of disciples by speaking God’s Word and in prayer.