The Expository Files


 
 
 If Jesus Were to Pray for Me
Intercessor: "To confer with and to make entreaty in behalf of another"
 

John 17:11-24



There are many passages that speak of Jesus and me. Have you read them? Well, we're going to notice a few of them in a moment. There is so much involved in this relationship that He has with each one of His disciples - not just with me but with you too, if you belong to Him. But I would like to focus in on just one aspect of the relationship which all who are His faithful disciples need, and have, in His grace.

This aspect of our relationship is sometimes described as His being our intercessor (Romans 8:34). To intercede means "to confer with and to make entreaty in behalf of another". Jesus is "going to bat" for me, and as one who had fallen far, far short, I need that!

Another way the Scriptures describe this aspect of Jesus' relationship with all His disciples is that of being our advocate (1 John 2:1). To be our advocate means that Jesus is "standing beside us to intercede for us".

And then, there is the description of Jesus as being our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:25; 9:24). Here, in addition to advocating and intercession verbally in our behalf, there is also the concept of making sacrifice for us.

So, what exactly would Jesus say to God in our behalf? What is it that He wants for us? In John 17 we have what might be the greatest intercessory prayer in the Bible, offered by Jesus, and part of it is about us!

He's Talking About Me!
Certainly, a part of this prayer has to do with the apostles and not with you and me. For example, there is mention of those who accompanied Jesus during His ministry. All of them remained loyal except for the one who betrayed Him (John 17:12).

He also mentions having given the apostles God's word, and the world's reaction to this preaching (John 17:8,9; 14).

But much of this prayer, if not most is also about me, or you, or any child of God. Jesus Himself says so (John 17:20). That would be us! He's praying for us! We are the ones who have believed on Him through their (the apostles') word! Certainly the hopes of Jesus in our behalf are not any different than what they were then. So, I know what my intercessor; my advocate, my High Priest would say, or is saying, about me. And, you can know it too! So, what is He saying about us?

He Is Praying For Our Security

He desires that we who are redeemed stay saved (John 17:11). He is asking God to keep me in His name. He is not asking that I be kept arbitrarily, or against my will, but by my faith. Peter, who walked with Jesus as He prayed this prayer, elaborates on this (1 Peter 1:3-5).

God's answer is that He will provide power to protect me from losing my salvation if I will live by faith. If I choose not to continue in the faith, I will also forfeit this security (Colossians 1:22,23). So, be careful as you deal with life; things which can hurt our faith can also move us away from our secure salvation (neglect; immorality; worldliness and false teaching).

We must gain a real victory over sin and the devil (John 17:15). That is what faith does. It overcomes the world (1 John 5:4,5). God will not allow me to be overwhelmed by temptation, but life in the world will allow me many opportunities to make the choice between faith and sin. God's power and my faith will secure my salvation. A loss of faith will cost me my salvation. Jesus prays that my salvation remain secure, and it will be if I continue in the faith.

He Is Praying For Our Sanctification
Our sanctification comes through the truth of God's word (John 17:17) Our lives as disciples need to be dedicated to applying the word of God to our daily living. This means that there will be differences in the way I act and react to daily situations and typical reactions that people usually have. Note how some of the Corinthians had fallen short in this aspect of their faith (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

When we get angry, we must seek to control ourselves in the spirit of God's word. Anger does not become an excuse to do and say things everyone else in the world would do or say (Ephesians 4:25-27). Our goals are to be the kind of people the Word directs us to be! Without sanctification, I may well lose my salvation (Hebrews 12:14). Jesus prays that I will continue to pursue sanctification so as not to place my salvation in jeopardy.

He Is Praying For Our Unity

Our unity is to be as His is with the Father (John 17:21). Satan uses disunity among believers to persuade the world that faith, discipleship and the Lordship of Jesus Christ is less than genuine. What they fail to recognize is that Jesus is Who He is regardless of what I am! Whether I am genuine in my faith does not change the fact of His Deity or role of Redeemer; nor does a lack of love on my part mean He is unloving. It is simply Satan's "slight of hand" that leads people to such an illogical conclusion!

But, be that as it may, Jesus wants me and you to be one in Him.
1. Doctrinally (1 Corinthians 1:10)
2. Attitudinally (Romans 12:16)
3. In our spiritual work and worship (Romans 15:5-7)
Jesus prays that I will love, esteem and seek Scriptural unity with my brethren in Christ

He Is Praying For Our Glorification

He desires that we one day witness, and share in, His glory (John 17:24). From the beginning of time, this has been God's purpose (2 Thessalonians 2:13,14). Jesus is looking so forward to this eternal outcome. He means for His glory to be shared! Jesus prays that I will one everlasting day share with Him His glory forever (John 17:22).

Jesus intercedes:

"Father, will you permit me to share our glory with My disciples today and then one day forever?"

The Father answers: "Yes."

 

By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 17.12; December 2010

 

 

 

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