Easter 7
May 27, 2001
John 17:20-26
"Jesus' prayer for you"

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INTRODUCTION:  In our text Jesus goes to the Father to pray for you! Jesus prays: "My prayer is not for the disciples alone…I pray for those who will believe through their message…" So what is Jesus' request for you? Consider His prayer on your behalf.  Jesus' prayer for you…

I. Is a request for unity and faith. Jesus prays to the Father: "may they be brought to complete unity to let the world know You sent me and have loved them"

A.     He prays: "May they be brought to complete unity…"

1.      Unity comes with a common faith; there is in Christ "one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all"

2.      Because there is differences of doctrine in our world today the question must be raised: "can there be true unity?"  As long as there are differences there will be matters of doctrine. May we pray for a perfect unity, which comes in a complete unity of faith.

B.     The Savior continues to pray: "To let the world know You sent Me and have loved them"

1.      The true united doctrine is the doctrine of Christ, in which we have a complete understanding not only of who Jesus is but what He has done for us.

2.      By this we know of the Father's love. When we know Jesus, we know of the Father's great love for us. When we know of Jesus, we have a complete and perfect unity of faith.

II.  Jesus' prayer for you is a request for us to be with Jesus in glory. Jesus prays to the Father: "I want those you've give to me to be with me where I am and see my glory"

A.     His desire is for us to be where He is.

1.      Our goal is to be with Christ in glory. To leave this "veil of tears to our home with Christ in glory.

2.      Remember the hymn verse "I'm but a stranger here, heaven is my home" A question; "how strange is the world to us?" Are we familiar with this world, or do we look for another home, a more perfect and complete home where we will be with Christ in glory?

B.     Jesus has a desire to receive believers in glory.

1.      This was Jesus' ultimate mission to come to draw sinners to

Himself. He drew you in you baptism and continues through Word and Sacrament to draw you to Himself, so that where He is you shall be also,

2.      Our "finest hour" is the hour of our death. When we close our eyes in death we leave this world only to enter into that world which has no end. When our eyes close in death we take a walk from one end of the kingdom to the other…we cross over from the kingdom of grace into the kingdom of glory.

III. Jesus' prayer for you is a request to know God's love. Jesus prays to the Father: "I will make You known to them and continue to make you known in order that t he love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them"

A.     Jesus will continue to make the Father known to us.

1.      Through the message of the Gospel - that we may grow in Christ. That's why we are always connected to His Word and Sacraments; that we may grow in grace.

2.      As we grow in Christ we know more and more about Jesus. Remember the salute of faith; the mind, the lips, the heart… ascent, confession, trust.

B.     So that the love the Father has may be in us.

1.      God the Father loves you. That's why He sent Christ in the first place! To know and understand God and His great love for you.

2.      Having experienced this love it is now a part of us. It is now ours not only to experience but also to live each day in a daring and confident manner and to express it with those with whom we meet.

CONCLUSION:  In the midst of His busy ministry; His healing, preaching, teaching and serving Jesu took the time to pray for you!  His prayer is answered in your hearing this day!  May you continue to draw close to Christ as you grow in unity of faith, in knowing God, in being received into His glory!

+ Soli Deo Gloria +