The 4th sermon in our series on “the greatest prayer ever prayed”. Preacher: Chris Hughes.
Having prayed for himself and his own glorification; Jesus now seamlessly transitions to praying for his disciples (apprentices.) Before petitioning for anything specific, he identifies three important aspects of genuine discipleship:-
1 – Take home truth – A disciple is someone who having received a revelation of Jesus has been taken out of the world and gifted by the Father to the Son. There are three aspects of such truth:-
A – Revelation – Jesus not only revealed the name of God, but also his character (John 14 v 9.)
B – Removal – The disciples had not been taken out of the world, but the world had been taken out of them (1 John 2 v 15 – 17.)
C – Relationship – The disciples belonged and related to the father in a number of ways – through Creation, where they had been made and were being sustained by the Father (Job 12 v 10 & Acts 17 v 28); through Covenant, in that they were Jews, members of God’s chosen people (Exodus 19 v 5 – 6); and through Christ, the Father having given them as a love gift to the Son as part of his eternal plan (Ephesians 1 v 4.)
2 – Take home truth – A disciple is someone who is certain as to the identity of Jesus.
Despite the fact that the disciples never seemed to grasp the truth that Jesus would have to suffer, die, and on the third day rise again (Matthew 16 v 21 – 23); they were never-the-less certain that he had come from God, spoke the words of God and performed the loving actions of God (John 6 v68 – 69 & Matthew 16 v 16.)
3 – Take home truth – A disciple is someone who accepts and obeys the word of God.
The reason that Jesus spent so much time in prayer was in order that he might receive and transmit the words of the Father to the disciples (John 7 v 16 & 12 v 49.) While the twelve heard the actual words of Jesus, such words now come to us through the Bible, about which these verses teach us a number of things:-
A – The Bible is God’s GIFT – Given by God to Holy Spirit inspired authors, some of whom paid the ultimate price for their faith (2 Timothy 3 v 16.)
B – The Bible GENERATES faith – When the Gospel message is faithfully proclaimed, people will believe (Romans 10 v 8 & 17.)
C – The Bible GLORIFIES Christ – It is a Christ centred book, pointing to and exalting its main character (John 5 v 39 & Luke 24 v 27.)
D – The Bible GOVERNS behaviour – It is not simply to be read and held in high esteem, but to be implemented and obeyed (James 1 v 22.)
Challenge – Are you a genuine disciple of Jesus?
Theme: “The Apprentice!”
Reading: John 17 v 6 – 19
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Brian Dickson