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Direct Communication With The Father

John 16:25-28

The idea of talking directly with God seems, to many people, irreverent or impudent.  How can a lowly and sinful person have direct communication with the Creator of the universe?  Surely, at the very least, a priest would be needed as an intermediary.  That seems reasonable … because God cannot tolerate sin.  However, Jesus Himself has become our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16) who fully understands our weaknesses.  He promised that His disciples would soon have the privilege of talking with Father God just as He did (John 16:23-24).

Being Known

John 16:29-31

The essence of intimacy is to know that we are known.  Jesus had just answered the questions the disciples had been discussing among themselves but had not asked Him (Luke 5:22).  When they realised that He knew their private conversation, their thoughts, doubts, questions and fears, they wondered - who else could have known other than God?  The miracles had not fully convinced them, nor had the wisdom of His teaching; but when He revealed their own deep internal thoughts, they knew that He understood them in an intimate way.

Safe In Trouble

John 16:32-33

Jesus said the disciples would be scattered and leave Him alone.  That is exactly what happened (Mark 14:43-52).  But Jesus’ security would not depend on those who used to be around Him, but on Father God who would be with Him.  The example of Jesus in facing the hatred of the world, was to be their model of godly discipleship – trusting that the Lord would be with them, knowing them intimately (John 16:29-30).

Suffering Seen In The Perspective Of Glory

John 17:1-5

At the end of the Passover Supper, Jesus prayed aloud to Father God.  Although Christ’s suffering was just hours away, Jesus’ mind and heart were not dominated by the shame and pain to come.  He was consumed by the glorious prospect of fulfilling the Father’s commission and then being reunited with Him.  The work of salvation could only be completed by His death which would prove to be the most glorious proof of God’s love to the world.  It would enable sinful people to have eternal life, and share fellowship with God for ever in His glory.

Relationship Demands Revealing, Giving and Receiving

John 17:6-8

Jesus’ prayer to Father God shows the nature of a true intimate relationship. Every real personal bond is created and sustained by revealing, giving and receiving.  The Father chose to reveal Himself to people through Jesus.  He had previously spoken to His people through prophets (Hebrews 1:1-2), but when Jesus came people could see the glorious character of God in a human body (John 1:14).

Praying For The Church Not The World

John 17:9

It may seem strange that Jesus did not pray for the world, and even wanted to make that clear to the disciples who listened to His prayer.  But why?  Surely Jesus came because God loved the world so much that those who believe in Him would have eternal life (John 3:16).  Would Jesus not want to pray that the world would believe in Him?  

Protecting The Church

John 17:10-12

Although many followed Jesus for a while, most of them fell away (John 6:66).  However, the twelve disciples stayed with Jesus, but finally, Judas was sent from the Last Supper to betray his Master (John 13:21-27). All the time they had been with Jesus, He had protected them.  They were under the shadow of the Name of the Saviour and had been kept safe.  

The Word Which Separates Two Places

John 17:13-14

The world we live in is radically different from heaven.  The world, although made perfectly by God, has been polluted by sin, and is now inhabited by morally corrupt human beings who naturally resist God’s authority and contribute to their own and the world’s ongoing corruption.  Heaven is the Bible’s word for God’s dwelling where everything is perfect and holy and pure and right (Psalm 123:1).

Protected By God's Holy Truth

John 17:15-19

The disciples would be left behind in a hostile world when Jesus went back to heaven.  It was all part of the plan.  Instead of taking them with Him, Jesus deliberately put the disciples into ‘enemy territory’ so that they could tell the world about Him.  Jesus could not pray that the Father would take them out of the world – they were there for His divine reason to continue the work of Jesus.  As more people believed in Jesus, so the church would grow.  However, Jesus was fully aware of the dangers and so prayed that Father God would protect them from the Evil One.

Jesus Prayed for Us

John 17:20-23

This prayer is for us!  During His prayer to Father God, Jesus interceded firstly for His trainee apostles (John 17:6-19).  Then, He prayed for all the people who would come to believe in Him (John 17:20-26).  We in the 21stC have never met Jesus face to face, but we have believed in Him because somebody told us what the apostles wrote about Him (Acts 8:12).  The gospel message is literally life-changing, and Jesus prayed for people like us whose lives have been transformed by the message of God’s grace with forgiveness of sin, adoption as children and eternal life.