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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 promised that His disciples would soon have the privilege of talking with Father God just as He did.

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, but had not asked Him. 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 God understood them in an intimate way.

Safe In Trouble

John 16:32-33

Jesus said the disciples would be scattered and leave Him alone. But He was not angry with them; because even if they all fled away from Him (and they did), the Father would be with Him and so He would not really be alone or lonely. In the same way, Jesus said that even though they would suffer the hatred of the world, they would have peace because they would be ‘in Jesus’.

Suffering Seen In The Perspective Of Glory

John 17:1-5

At the end of the Passover Supper, Jesus prayed. Although His suffering was just hours away, Jesus 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. Despite its shame, that cross 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.

Relationship Demands Revealing, Giving and Receiving

John 17:6-8

Jesus’ prayer shows the nature of a true intimate relationship. It involves revealing, giving and receiving. The Father chose to reveal Himself to people through Jesus, giving whatever was necessary to bless them. The Father gave the disciples to Jesus, so that they could see the Father (John 14:7). Jesus gave them the words the Father had given Him: the disciples received those words and obeyed them.

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? But how would they 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. 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. Heaven is where God lives without any sin or corruption. The people who belong to earth and heaven are marked out by whether or not they honour and desire to obey God’s Word. Those who belong to heaven love God’s Word; but those who belong to the world, and whose destination is hell, hate what God says. They also hate those who belong to heaven.

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. 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.

Praying For Unknown Millions

John 17:20-23

This prayer is for us! Jesus was praying for the people who would come to believe in Him as a result of the apostolic gospel. We never met Jesus face to face, but we have believed in Jesus because of what the apostles wrote about Him. Jesus designed His church to be united around one gospel, empowered by one Spirit, having one hope of eternal life (Ephesians 4:4-6).