20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
VERSION ®. NIV®. COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- Who is it that the Lord is praying for here? Why is this important for us today?
- What does it mean when the Lord says that he is praying that we might come to complete unity?
- How is it that unity can become a persuasive thing to the watching world?
- Do your current relationships with others at church make the gospel more persuasive? Explain. Are there any changes you need to make?
- How does this text explain the love God has for followers of Jesus? Does it surprise you?
- How can the love of God change you?
- What does “being with Christ” have to do with Christianity?
Putting it into Practice
- Look for God-given opportunities to put your sermon-takeaways into practice.
- How did those opportunities help you to grow spiritually?
The Prayers of Christ
*This transcript is generated from the sermon audio. This document has not been edited for spelling, grammar, or exactness.
All right, if you can find a Bible—and I hope you can—get with me to John chapter 17, there are Bibles here in the book racks. [We’ll] will be on page 930. This is John chapter 17. I’m going to read verses 20 to 26, and I’ll pray and we’ll get to work. John chapter 17, starting in verse 20, reads like this – This is the Lord praying:
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message that all of them may be one. Father, just as you are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me that they may be one, as we are one. I in them and you and me, so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as You’ve loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because You’ve loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known in order that the love that you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
Let’s pray. Lord, as we’ve opened Your word together, we’re praying that by Your Spirit, through Your Word, you would speak to us today. We’re praying, God, that you would help us to know Your heart, as these are the prayer requests that You’ve offered up on our behalf. So, Lord, help us to discern the sort of things that you are praying that we could be as a church family, and then would you give us obedience of faith to walk in this way? So Lord, we’re asking for Your help and we pray this in Jesus name, amen. Amen.
Well, let me just let you know, ordinarily when I’m preaching, I try to give you an organizing outline that is helpful, that you can track with. And you guys maybe have noticed this, but I try to give you three different things and allow you to track along in that way. And I try to do that because it’s helpful. So if you’re listening and taking notes, you can follow along and those sorts of things. This was a stubborn passage, so I wasn’t able to get it there. And if you’re a notetaker, my encouragement is best of luck and Godspeed. This will be a little bit messier than normal, but let’s go ahead and just notice some of the things that are going on here. I’ve got some questions and we’ll allow the text to answer the questions for us.
Who is Jesus Praying For?
The first thing that we should ask is who is it that Jesus is praying for? So he’s praying and he says, my prayer is not for them alone. And then he clarifies that he’s praying for specific people. Who is it that he’s praying for? And what we find is that he’s praying for all the future followers of his. Look at verse 20. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message. He’s saying, I am praying for all believers who will come after this. It’s incredible. I mean, what I’m able to do this morning is quite a privilege because if you can imagine getting your hands on the prayer notebook of the Lord Himself for you, that’s what we’re dealing with. If you just think to yourself, I wonder what Jesus prays about when he thinks about me, when he’s interceding on My behalf. I wonder what he’s thinking about? We have that here. He shows us. He goes, these are the things that I am praying on their behalf. He’s praying not just for the disciples that are right in front of Him. This is called the Farewell Discourse and the Final Prayer. We’ve titled this series final Lessons. It’s the end of his earthly ministry before he’s arrested and executed. And here we’re coming to the close and he’s wrapping up his prayer and he’s showing us his heart. And what he says here is, my prayer is not just for these guys. The eleven that are here, there were twelve of them, one of them has departed. But it’s not just for the eleven here. This isn’t the end. This isn’t where the Gospel is going to terminate. He says, I am going to pray not just for them, which he has been doing, but for all those who will hear their message and come to faith. He’s praying for the people who heard the message from the apostles who then proclaimed the message and the people who heard that and on and on and on all the way down to us today so that thousands of years later, we can be in a church like this and we can hear the good news of the gospel. And we can hear the voice of the Lord through his written word. I am praying for them and here’s what I’m praying. But I note too, not only that he’s praying for us, but he reminds us of the nature of the Gospel. It’s a message that needs to advance. It’s a message that comes to people, but it doesn’t end there. We don’t become a cul de sac that receives it. We become a channel or a conduit through which that message could transfer on and pass along to the next group as well. He wants his disciples to be a group of people who take that message and make it known to others. So you could read the Book of Acts. And that’s actually the document that explains the activities of these people. And I’m bringing this up to share with you. The message is a missionary message that God wants us to be co-opted into, and he wants us to make this message known. We don’t like to do that. And in fact, even the apostles didn’t like to do that. If you read the Book of Acts, what you find is the Lord telling them an outline. I want you to be my witnesses. This is acts one eight. He says, I want you to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, your home base, and then Judea and Samaria, the neighbors, I want you to go there too, and then to the ends of the earth. And that’s the outline for the Book of Acts. The Gospel in Jerusalem, then the Gospel in Judea and Samaria. And then at the end, 13 to 20, what is it? 28 is the Gospel to the ends of the earth. But what happens at the front end of the Book of Acts? They don’t want to leave. So he says, I want you to go. They’re like, we like it here. We’re very comfortable here. These are our people. So anyways, I bring that out to say what Jesus is praying for us is not something we easily, readily bring on board. This is a difficult thing, it always has been, but he’s praying that we would be willing to participate in the mission that he has. It’s a message that goes forth and people hear it and respond and also become believers. So he prays for us to join Him in this work.
What does He Pray For?
He prays specifically, let’s notice what he requests. He makes a request that the future followers of his would be unified. Look at verse 21. I’m praying that all of them may be one. Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. Then look at verses 22 and 23. It says, I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one, as we are one, I and them and you and me, so that they may be brought to complete unity. So he’s praying. And here’s his request let them experience unity. Now, normally when we use that word and we define it, what we mean is we want to be in relationships with each other and we want to be on the same page. Let them experience unity so that way we can come together and not hate each other’s guts. That’s a pretty good baseline for unity, right? We’re together. We’ve agreed to be together. And he’s praying, let us be one. Let us be of one mind and one accord and those sorts of things. But I want you to notice here, Jesus isn’t simply talking about interpersonal relationships as important as that is, and as critical as that is, to be unified in the way that he’s talking about, what he’s actually talking about here is oneness with God. He’s describing something that he shares with the Father, and then he’s praying that we would experience that also. And he actually uses the phrase in verse 21, in us, may they also be in us. He’s praying that our unity would be a unity with God. I don’t even know how to explain these things, guys, but it’s saying that if you become a follower of Christ and you are in Him, your relationship becomes in Him and you actually participate in God. This is wild, but a believer in Him, and this is what Jesus prays for. Let them experience God so profoundly that their life is in God. He’s praying that for us. And when it happens, it is quite a beautiful thing. In fact, I’ve got an illustration of it. There was a guy named Robert Chapman. I’ve talked about him a few times, but he’s relatively unknown. He was a contemporary of Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon went to a sermon once where Chapman was preaching. And you guys might know Spurgeon because he’s famous, and we quote him all the time and had a very successful ministry in London. But he went to a service where Chapman was leading, and he just said, I feel like an infant because this man is a spiritual giant. Most of us have never even heard of him. But Robert Chapman, I pulled out his biography last night to make sure I was going to get this right. And so good. It’s so good. Here’s what happened. Robert Chapman was on a stage coach in Spain, and he’s just traveling. He’s just going around, he’s going to other churches and doing his thing. And what happened was there was a couple that started fighting. It was a couple that they were fighting in a different language, and they were upset with each other. And the guy was blaming the woman of doing something, and she’d say, I didn’t do that. And they were getting into this scuffle. And this contemporary of Robert Chapman’s was writing this letter, and he’s describing this event, and he’s talking about the character of Robert Chapman was so incredible. Just the kind of person he was, the strength of his character, and how people observed this whenever they came into contact with him. He says, Let me tell you this story. He’s on the stagecoach. There’s a couple that’s fighting in front of him. The man is accusing the woman of doing something. And then she says, I am as innocent of doing this as that guy sitting there in the corner, that holy man of God, who all of us can tell is on his way straight to heaven. They had never talked to him before from the evidence that we have. They didn’t know who he was. He’s just quietly sitting there, keeping to himself. They’re fighting in front of him. And then she looks at him and he goes, I’m as innocent as that guy is, this holy man of God who’s on his way to heaven. He’s like, Why are you dragging me into this? Right? But there was something about him, even though he didn’t even say anything, where the people observed him and they said, this is a person of God. That’s the kind of thing that Jesus is praying for here. May they be unified in us so that when people see us, we don’t even have to talk, but they get the vibe. They know this is a person of God. This person is exuding the glory of God. That’s what Jesus is praying for us, that we would become otherworldly in our ordinary dealings, so that even as we’re going around doing the stuff that we do, we’re grocery shopping or going to a box store, whatever is that we’re doing, people would come, they would see us, and they would experience something of God. That’s the kind of thing that the Lord is praying for us. May they experience participation in God. Not just at that individual level, though. It also needs to come home to the way that we interact with each other, the way that we are as a church.
We need to become a church where the life of God invades everything that we do so that people could come in here into a service or into an experience with a small group or an experience with some of us hanging out together, and they get that vibe. They go, God is here, god is among them. And that’s what Jesus is praying for. That the reality of God would become so profound that the world could not help but observe that God is real and he sent his Son. Now, if this is what the Lord is praying for us, it involves unity with God, but then obviously unity with each other too. You can’t say, oh, I’ve got a great relationship with God, but I hate all of his followers. That’s a disconnect. So if you’re unified with God, you’re also supposed to be unified with one another. And if that’s what the Lord is praying for, that ought to be a high priority for us. If we think through, how could we create an environment where we come in here with the differences that we have, but we actually love each other and serve each other and relate to each other in a way that is beautiful? How could we do that? Now, that is what the Lord is praying for. That’s his prerogative. That’s what he wants from us. So I’m suggesting that should become a high priority for Park City Church, that the quality of the relationships that we have becomes profoundly God centered, and then they become obvious places where people can see the glory of God. But I’m going to say this. I was thinking about it this week. And there are two things you need to be aware of. Number one, there is an enemy who wants the exact opposite. There is an enemy Satan. And he looks at the local church and he says, that’s the last thing I would want to happen, for people to love each other, for people to be unified in the way that they deal with one another. Absolutely not. He’ll do everything he can to sabotage that. So that’s something you need to be aware of. There is an enemy. He hates our guts. He doesn’t want the church to be healthy. He’ll do everything he can to spoil that. The other thing that I want you to know is you’ve got sinfulness in you that will also contribute to it. And in fact, if you think about Galatians, chapter eight, it’s part in the Bible where it describes the two different ways of life. On the one hand, you’ve got the fruit of the Spirit of God and it shows up. And Paul describes it in Galatians five as all of these beautiful characteristics that you can notice are interpersonal. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, those sorts of things. That’s what it looks like to be walking in the Spirit. And then he says, but then there’s the flesh, the works of the flesh. And he describes it. And it’s interpersonal stuff. It’s character stuff that manifests in our interpersonal relationships. Anger, hatred, malice, bitterness, rage, envy, slander, division, hostility, and those sorts of things. So if the Lord is praying, the Lord is praying. I want Park City Church to be a place where they are one in us and one with each other. And then we have to be willing to say that’s what we want too. But there is an enemy who’s against us and we’ve got our own sinfulness that we bring to the table. So we also need to be praying this prayer. Lord, help us. Help us be one as you are one.
What Can We Expect if this Prayer is Answered?
Well, what can we expect if this prayer is being answered? Look at verse 23. What we can expect is that we would experience the love of God. Verse 23 then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. I was wrestling with it this morning. I am not a good enough preacher to communicate the beauty of this verse. What this is describing is so profound, I don’t know how to describe it in a way that’s helpful. In fact, Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones, a famous preacher, when he did a series on this, he got to this verse and he said, most Christians will never understand the significance of what this is. We’ll read it and we’ll comprehend something of it, but it won’t land on us like it should. Notice what he’s saying here. Jesus is saying, I’m praying for them. And if this prayer is answered, and I believe it can be for sure if we experience the unity of God, then the world will see that God has sent His Son Jesus Christ. And here’s what the world will see that God loves us even as he has loved His Son. The way in which the Father loves Jesus is the way he loves us. The way that he loves His Son is the experience that we would have as followers of Jesus Christ. This is insane. It’s saying that if you follow Jesus Christ and believe in what he has said, you become the object of God’s affection. He loves you even as he loved his son. Now, just do a thought experiment with me. How much do you think the Father loves the Son? How profound do you think that love is? Because he says that’s what my followers can experience the love of God even as you have loved me. If you get this, it really will change your life. The father loves the son. We get a preview of it in the Bible. When Jesus gets baptized, what happens is the Holy Spirit comes down and lands on him like a dove. And the voice from heaven, the Father says of him, this is my beloved in whom I’m well pleased. God affirms his son in that moment. I love him. And then now we, because of our belief in Christ and what he’s done, we get that experience too. Can you imagine the voice from heaven saying to you, this is my beloved in whom I love and in whom I am well pleased? What would that do to you? I told you a few weeks ago about a study that was done tracking kids that grew up in healthy households into adulthood. There’s a correlation. Kids that experienced love and affirmation this is all very intuitive, by the way. You don’t need a study to prove this. But kids who grow up in households where they experience love and affection in adulthood later on are much healthier. It’s like they get a superpower. If they experience love at home, it allows them to flourish in all kinds of different ways. Think about it. They can try things and fail. A kid who knows, I’m loved by mom and dad, I’m loved at home, they can do things, and their identity isn’t bound up with that thing. So if they fail at it, who gives a whoop, right? Like, I can do this, I can try this, but if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay because I’m loved. And they can go through life without all the anxiety of, I don’t know if I’m okay. I don’t know if I’m good enough. I don’t know if I measure up. I don’t know if I’m ever going to make it. And the reason why they don’t have that anxiety is because if they grow up in a household where there’s love and affirmation of who they are, like a superpower, they have a confidence about them. The relationships that they have. They don’t have to manipulate relationships to try to get people to give them what they want or need. They don’t have to use people to try to accomplish their purposes. They can engage with other people in a way that’s healthy. Now, if that is intuitively, true and statistically observable in ordinary relationships, ordinary people apply that to Christianity. What happens to people who believe in God through Jesus Christ? And they get to hear the God say of them, this is my beloved. What does it do to them? It changes them. It changes them. It allows us to become a people who can go through life. And our identity is never at stake where we’re thinking, I got to perform here or I don’t matter. We have a confidence in our relationship with God. We have little to prove because God loves us. And so obviously we want to honor Him in everything that we do. But we’re not striving and we don’t have to be anxious. We can engage in healthy relationships because we know God loves us and this is what we need. If this lands on your heart today, it’ll change you, right? There’s a told you about this before. Ash has asked me when I first got into ministry, she said, how do people change? And it was the hardest question I’ve ever been asked, right? Because you think, well, you just choose to do something different. But then you watch people and you go, no. People don’t change very easily. And so one of the things that I’m aware of now is I can stand up here and give pep talks that say, here are five things that you guys need to do to be better human beings. Go do these things. And I could give you a list and you might say, that sounds good. I’m going to go try that. But that’ll wear off. If you’re really going to change. It happens at the level of the heart. It happens when you are moved at the level of your affections, where you come to see what God has done for you in the sending of His Son. That proves to you God loves you even as he loves the Son. And if that lands on you, that’s a game changer that’ll change everything about you permanently.
Why This Prayer Matters So Much
Well, here’s why it matters. It matters for the sake of mission. Verse 21. May they also be in us so the world may believe that you have sent me. Then look at verse 23 I and them and you and me so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. He’s praying for us. He wants us to experience that unity with God and with each other. He’s praying that we would experience the love of God. But that is not an end of itself. He’s actually saying, I want you to have this for the sake of other people. I want you to experience this so that other people too might experience it. May they be enough so that the world may believe. May the world be persuaded by this reality. In verse 23, he’s saying, then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you’ve loved me. So what Jesus is saying is, I’m praying for those who will come to believe in me, and I’m praying that they would experience something of God in a profound way, not just for themselves, but for the sake of the world. Because if they experience this, then the world will be persuaded by the reality of God. The world will come to a knowledge of Christ being sent into the world and being the expression of the love of God. So we as a church, we recognize this is what Jesus wants from us. We want to be conduits of his blessing. We don’t want to be a cul de sac that says it’s all about us. We can organize so we can experience the benefits, but we don’t give a rip about the world around us. We just want it to be about us, make us comfortable, make us happy, or we can organize like Jesus is calling us to do here, where we can say we get to experience the blessings of God, but it’s for the sake of other people. We’ve been blessed to be a blessing. The Lord persuade the world through us. Bruce Milne when he wrote his commentary, he talks about this and he says, we really, really need to live this thing out because the world is waiting, right? The world watches, is watching the church. And there’s a lot of skepticism about the local church these days. It just seems like a joke to most people in the world, and so they’re watching us. And what we need to be able to do then is to tell people the news of Christ. We need to be able to verbalize it and say, this is what God has done. He sent his Son, and whoever believes in him could experience eternal life, forgiveness and the hope of glory. But we also need to live out our faith. We need to live in a way that actually makes that message persuasive to them, where they see the way that we deal with each other and they come to the conclusion, it’s real, it worked. These people actually love each other. Bruce Mill let’s read this quote from him. It says, the gospel proclaimed from the pulpit is either confirmed and then enhanced, or it’s contradicted and then weakened by the quality of the relationships that we have with each other. He says, in this sense, every one of us, every Christian that believes in Christ, every one of us is a witness. Every time we gather together, we either strengthen or weaken the evangelistic appeal of the church by the quality of the relationships that we have with our fellow members. Do you know what that means? I totally agree with Bruce Milne on this one. We have to have the kind of relationships that embody the good news of the gospel. We cannot simply come to church and all sit forward and listen to one dude talk because he’s got the microphone and think, that’s it, we did it. Now we can go back and get our life on with our lives. No, we have to have relationships with each other that actually reveals the beauty of the gospel. And if we do that, then the world could be persuaded. But we have to care for each other. We have to love each other. We have to actually be willing to do these things. We have to organize in this way. That’s one of the reasons why we emphasize small groups and community activities together. But Jesus is praying that we would embrace the mission that he has for us, and that’s the kind of church we want to be. I was talking to one of our elders this last week, and we were just being real, and we said, we always talk about mission. We got a long way to go. It’s an aspiration, right? I deploy you every week. Go out there and make Jesus known. You’re not dismissed, you’re sent. I say that almost every week. We’re like, yes, I love that. And then you get to your car, where are we going to lunch? Right? Like, what are we going to do now? What football game are we going to watch? We get deployed. But we’re resistant to engaging in the mission of God. And Jesus is saying, I’m praying for you so that you would embrace this high and holy calling. John Stott, he put it like this, and I thought it was very appropriate. He said, we have the means of evangelizing our entire country. Stott was a friend of Billy Graham. They started the Lausanne movement. They are big on world evangelization. And Stott says, we have the ability to do this. We have the means to do this. Here’s the problem. They’re sleeping in the pews. They’re slumbering in the church chairs. We’ve got all the resources that we need to effectively go out and make Christ known. The problem is, we’ve not deployed them yet. We’ve not activated the local church to do what it’s supposed to do. I want to activate you. I want you to feel that high and holy calling that the Lord is praying for you, that you would experience his life in you and relationships with other believers, and you would go away from here and make Him known everywhere that you go.
THE PRAYER’S AIM
Look at the purpose in verse 24. Father, I want those you’ve given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you’ve given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. He’s praying. And he says, and all of this is to this end that they might be with me. That’s a beautiful concept. It travels through the entire scriptures. If you think about it like this, in the very beginning of the Bible, you’ve got humanity with God. They’re in the garden, they have a relationship with God. It describes it as walking with God in the cool of the day. They have this friendship with God. And because of sin, it’s forfeited, and they have to leave that garden. But then the longing of the human heart is, we want that back. We want that. That’s how we were made. That’s what we were made for. And so there’s a tremendous longing for it. And Jesus comes and what he has done through his life, death, burial and resurrection is he’s saying, I’ve made a way to get that back, to be with Me forever. His calling of the disciples is for this purpose. It’s to be with him. Mark three, verses 13 to 15, when he says, hey, guys, I want you to follow me, want you to be my disciples. Here’s what that means. You’re going to be with me. And then in a few moments, even if you look at chapter 18, he’s arrested and then executed. But the purpose of his ministry was so that he could draw people into a relationship with Him that will last for all of eternity. That’s what it’s about, that he is making a way for us to be with Him for forever. So he prays. Father, that’s what I want. I want those that you’ve given me to be with Me, where I Am forever. John Piper. He said this in God is the Gospel. He asks a really great batch of questions. He said it like this, and I’m paraphrasing: ‘If you could have heaven, if you could have all of the benefits of heaven, no sickness, no death, no pain, if you could have all the stuff that you love and enjoy, you could have all of that, but Jesus weren’t there, would you be satisfied?’ And a Christian is meant to say, ‘no way. No way, Jose. Like, I am not. That is not enough, because Jesus is everything to me.’ All of the benefits, as great as that would be, they pale in comparison to having Him. So he prays. May they be with me where I am. And that’s what eternity is all about. It is with Him, apprehending his glory, seeing what he has done for us, and reveling in that for all the age to come.
Well, in conclusion, look at verses 25 to 26. It’s fitting that at the end of his prayer, at the end of this series, he gives us some summarizing thoughts. He’s concluding this prayer. It’s the very end of this series, and he gives us some summarizing thoughts. In closing, verses 25 and 26 righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know you. And they know that you have sent me. I’ve made you known to them and will continue to make them known, continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them. We’ll work our way quite quickly through this, but here it’s summarizing the entire series. He’s describing the reality of who God is and the condition of humanity and what Christ has come to do and what that accomplishes. And he does that in two short verses. First off, who God is he’s the righteous Father. Righteous Father. He is the God who is perfect. He is right. Another word you could assign there is holy. He’s the Holy God. And here’s the problem we are an unholy people. How are an unholy people supposed to have a relationship with a holy God? Those don’t go together. He says, Righteous Father, that’s who you are. We need to have a relationship with this righteous Father. But here’s the problem we do not know Him as we ought. Verse 25 the world does not know you. Though we have been made by God, though he is our Creator, creation has rejected Him. Most people walk through the world with an ignorance to the things of God, an unawareness of who God is and what he’s done, and ultimately an ignorance of their purpose in life, of knowing that’s what you were made for, to be in a relationship with God. The world does not know you, but there is small group of people who are coming to believe in who God is and what he’s done. And that’s what Jesus says in verse 25. He now is able to identify his followers. He says, the world doesn’t know you, but there is a group that is growing in their knowledge of who you are. He says I know you, and they, my followers, know that you have sent me. They’re beginning to apprehend something of God and something of how to relate to God. Verse 26 I have made you known to them. Jesus is saying the message of Jesus is making the Father known to his followers. I made you known to them through his life and his ministry and his message. These people have come to believe in Jesus Christ as the One. He says he is the son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. And his followers are apprehending that. So they’re coming into a relationship with the God who is the righteous Father. And they have something of this knowledge, but it’s incomplete. Look at verse 26 and I will continue to make you known so we know something. If you believe in Jesus, you know something. You don’t know everything. You know something, but you don’t have the full picture. Yet, even those of us that have been at it for a very, very long time. Our understanding of God is very minimal compared to what it one day will be. So he says, they know something. It’s enough to know God in a saving way. But he says, But I will continue to make you known to them. That ministry will carry forward because we have the beginnings of a knowledge of God. But by His Holy Spirit, he’s going to continue to teach us and lead us. You could put it like this we get the start and we’re awaiting the finish. It’s inaugurated, but it’s not yet consummated. We’ve got the start of a knowledge of God, but one day we’ll see Him as he really is. In the meantime, we anticipate that. But the Holy Spirit continues to teach us. So Jesus says, there’s a group of people that have the starting point of knowledge of God and I’m going to continue with them along this journey of life. Here’s what he says in verse 26 I will continue to make you known in order that the love that you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them. As he concludes this prayer he’s showing us, here’s what I want. I want my followers to experience knowledge of God so that they could experience the love of God because they are in a saving relationship with Him. He wants us to experience the reality of the good news of the gospel. That’s why we exist as a church, because we want people to hear the message of Christ crucified and risen for us. We can be forgiven and set free. We can come to know God in a saving way. That’s what Jesus is offering us today. And I hope and pray that all of us in here would receive that gladly. Receive the invitation that Jesus is making to us to hear his message and respond with faith and obedience. And then I pray that we would become the kind of people who are experiencing life of God that would make the world persuaded that God is real. He sent His Son, and that Son offers us a way to experience the love of God.
Let’s pray. Lord, would you help us? As Your people, we want to be so full of the reality of God that it becomes obvious to a watching world. Would you please persuade the world of Your reality through us? We pray for the unity of being one in you and one with each other. Help us, Lord, knowing that there is an enemy and that we have sin within us that would prevent us from fully embracing this high calling. And, Lord, if there is reconciling work that needs to happen today, would you give us the courage and the faith to step forward in that direction, knowing that that will ultimately be pleasing to you? That will be our act of worship to draw near to other brothers and sisters in Christ and to ask forgiveness and extend forgiveness. Help us to do that, Lord, so that the mission wouldn’t be hindered by our sinfulness. Lord, we pray that you would help each and every one of us to believe in the love that you have for us, that you love us even as you love the Son. And let the truth of that reality so profoundly shape us that we have gospel confidence. Help us, Lord, to live beautifully for your sake. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.