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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

2019.05.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 17:16-26

Questions for Littles: Who are both “not of the world” in John 17:16? Since believers are not of the world, what does Jesus pray to have happen to them in John 17:17? What does He pray would be used to sanctify them? Who sends whom in John 17:18? Who sanctifies Himself in John 17:19? For what purpose? For whom does Jesus clarify that He is praying in John 17:20? What does He ask, specifically at the beginning of John 17:21? Who is the model for “being One”? In whom should believers be One? What effect does Jesus pray that this would have? What has Jesus given them (John 17:22a)? What, specifically, is it that the world knows and sees in John 17:23? Where does Jesus ask that we would be in John 17:24a? What does He ask that we would see (verse 24b)? What prime example of this glory does He give in verse 24c? What does Jesus call His Father in John 17:25? What does He say about the world in relation to His Father? What has Jesus declared to believers (John 17:26a)? What does He pray would be in them? Whom does He pray would be in them?
This week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Confession of Sin came from John 17:16-26. Here is a wonderful, holy eavesdropping upon Christ praying for believers. He is about to go to the cross, and He is praying for the very things for which He is about to die. “I sanctify Myself so that…” What does He ask?

He asks that we would be sanctified—that we would have holier thoughts, feelings, choices, words, and actions. Why? So that we would be in our lives more and more the children of heaven, from which we have had a new birth. The believer is “not of the world.” The self that was is gone. The new one is born from above.

He asks that we would sit under preaching. “I have declared Your name to them” (John 17:26) is the same language as Hebrews 2:12. This is what He uses to sanctify us (cf. Ephesians 5:25). Jesus literally died for, and prays for, that we would sit under preaching on the Lord’s Days. And can we so easily take a pass on it?

He asks that we would be one. One in not being of the world—this is no request for careless inclusiveness! One in the truth that we hear preached—this is no request for doctrinal flexibility! One in the Father and the Son—this is no request for politely ignoring errors about Christ or personal identities in which He does not have the chief place. And it is precisely this kind of unity, that is almost the opposite of what so many today call unity, that Jesus prays would have an evangelistic effect. May they be so united in being so radically different from the world, “that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21)!

The truly uniting factor in the church can be seen in John 17:22: the glory of Christ. Those who see and value the glory of Christ above all else will not be lax about holiness or truth or hearing preaching or devoted living. Christ’s glory is simply too reality-shaping for those things. Rather, as believers more and more realize the glory of Christ—that He indeed is the living God, in an eternal Unity of infinite love with the Father and the Spirit (John 17:24)—the more we will realize that the love with which we are loved is the very infinite love that God has in Himself and for Himself (John 17:23)!!

When believers are careless about holiness, truth, hearing preaching, or devoted living, they willingly relinquish what Jesus died for and prays for: fuller knowledge of Christ’s glory and infinite, divine love.

After all, the Father is a righteous Father, which means that the world cannot possibly know Him (John 17:25). When Jesus makes Himself and His Father known to a believer, then the love of Jesus and even Jesus Himself come to be in that believer, and the believer comes to treasure righteousness and his righteous Father (John 17:26).
If we are to be united in the way that Jesus prays in this passage, then what things need to become the most important things in your life? How can that happen?
Suggested songs: ARP110B “The Lord Has Spoken to My Lord” or TPH270 “At the Name of Jesus”

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