“When Jesus Prayed for You”
March 1, 2020
WHEN JESUS PRAYED FOR YOU
Matthew 26:30 tells us when Jesus and the Disciples had finished the “Last Supper” they sang a hymn and then headed for the Mount of Olives. Can you imagine singing in worship with Jesus leading the singing? When they left, they walked out across the Kidron valley toward the Garden of Gethsemane. As you cross that valley there is a ditch, or trench, that leads out of the city of Jerusalem into the outer valley. In this trench flows most of the blood from all the sacrifices that were being made in the city. Remember, this is Passover and great crowds gather in the city for the annual sacrifices. Did seeing all the blood of the sacrifices remind Jesus of the coming events? Did He think of the fact that He would be the final sacrifice needed?
For Jesus it must have been a very somber evening, with the betrayal, then the reminder of the blood, the anticipation, and the Dread of the coming event.
As they reached the Garden, Jesus entered to pray, taking Peter, James and John deeper into the Garden with Him. Jesus prayed often. To some that may seem odd; God praying? Jesus talked often to His Father, and on this night, above all others, He prayed what we see as the most earnest prayer of His life.
How much do you pray? Jesus prayed on many different occasions: Giving thanks before feeding the 5000; raising Lazarus from death; giving thanks at the Lord’s Supper. Now Jesus prays in the few hours left before his crucifixion.
In John 17:1-5 He prays for Himself. After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (NIV) He prays a prayer centering Himself for the task before Him. He prays that God the Father will be glorified in all He does. He prays that through what He is about to do the world will come to know God the Father as Jesus knows Him.
Matthew 26:39 – Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (NIV)
Then in Matthew 26:42 – He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (NIV)
Max Lucado has said: “The Cup equaled Jesus’ worst-case scenario; to be the recipient of God’s wrath. He had never felt God’s fury; didn’t deserve to. He’d never experienced isolation from His Father; the two had been one for eternity. He’d never known physical death; He was an immortal being. Yet within a few short hours, Jesus would face them all. God would unleash His sin-hating wrath on the sin-covered Son. And Jesus was afraid. Deathly afraid. And what He did with His fear shows us what to do with ours. He prayed.”—Max Lucado¹
In John 17:6-19 Jesus prayed for His closest friends, the Disciples. “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name — the name you gave me — so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” (NIV) He knows that they will come under attack after He is gone and He is praying for their faithfulness; a prayer that is answered to the fullest. And He prays for their joy, knowing the world will hate them.
Then in John 17:20-26 Jesus prays for us – “I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message.” All of us have come to believe in Jesus through the message of the Disciples. It has been passed down from generation to generation to us through the Word of God for us and for us to spread abroad.
First, He prayed for our Unity. He prayed that we would be of one mind as He and the Father are of one mind. Beyond just unity He wants a deep connection among us. Our beliefs are what bind us together. We have a familial connection, as the family of God; but it goes beyond that. We also have a connection of conviction. Our conviction in our beliefs is what binds us together through all the storms. If a storm arises in your life, after you call a close relative someone in the church is probably the next person you call. Our connections are deep and eternal.
Jesus also asked God the Father to secure our destiny. John 17:24 says: “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
Our security, our salvation, rests in the knowledge of, and belief in Resurrection of our Lord and Savior and His destruction of sin and death. And it is sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14) insuring us a doubtless knowing that our salvation is secure. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of his glory. (NIV)
Knowing that we have this salvation, knowing that we are secure, knowing that we will one day sit in Glory with Jesus is what His prayer is all about. One last time He was just making sure that we understand His heart and His love for us. Jesus prayed for you so that you can know you will be with Him again in Glory. 1 John 5:13 – I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (NIV)
¹ Lucado, Max, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear (p. 83). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition, Location 1176
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