Title: LIVE TO GLORIFY GOD
Text: John 17:1-26
Our setting for tonight’s text is the end of the last evening Jesus has with His disciples. He is about to leave them. He’s told them what it’s going to mean and what it’s going to cost on their part for Him to leave them. With this, He concludes His teaching ministry. It is now time to put on the robe and fulfill His role as our High Priest and to offer Himself as the final sacrifice of the old sacrificial system. It begins with a prayer. He lifts His eyes toward Heaven and prays. This is the longest recorded prayer of Jesus. In it He prays for Himself (vs. 1-5), for His disciples (vs. 6-19), and then for all believers (vs. 20-26).
You and I are to live for the glory of God. Jesus saw that purpose too. In the first few verses of this prayer, Jesus uses a word frequently. Repetitions of a word in Scripture usually signify importance. Such is the case here. I want to teach you a Greek word and encourage you to practice using it. The word is “doxa” (it literally means glory.) It indicates the high opinion of a person by others. The word is to be said with enthusiasm, a warm countenance, and with your arms raised up (indicating you lift them up in your estimation). When you come up to a fellow believer in Christ whom you have a high opinion of, greet them with this Greek greeting and embrace them.
Let’s see what we can learn to live our lives to the glory of God. Read Text.
1. From verse 1, what do you see that would indicate the only way Jesus could glorify the Father in these last hours? (For the Father to pour His glory into Jesus first.)
Insight: Isn’t that the case for us also? If we are to love others the way Christ would love them, we must first request that the Father pour His love into us? For Jesus it was natural for Him to turn to the Father first, but for us it’s not so natural. If you haven’t got what it takes to love others, then ask for it so you can give it.
2. According to verse 2, who has the authority to grant eternal life? Rev. 20:15 According to verse 3, what is part of the requirement to have eternal life?
Insight: By the way Jesus walked and carried out His ministry, He brought glory to the Father (V.4). But it is not until He reigns from the cross as the victor that He reigns as King of all and thus distribute His royal bounty: eternal life to all those who know Jesus is the Son of God. In this way, the glory He received when He returned to Heaven was greater than the glory before He came to earth – He accomplished His mission.
3. When did Jesus’ existence begin? Jn. 15:5; 17:24; Jn. 1:1-3; 1 Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8 What conclusion then do you have of Christ? (He is GOD; He is eternal.)
4. According to verses 7 & 8, what were the signs Jesus saw that His disciples really accepted Him for who He was? (That Jesus’ words and powers came from the Father; they received His words in their heart; and they believed that He came from God.) What are the signs of someone who is riding the fence of believing?
5. What did you think Jesus is requesting of the Father when He says, “Keep them (those You have given Me) in Thy name”? (The Father worked in their heart to have them believe in Jesus and follow Him. He is now leaving them. So He asks the Father to keep them faithful…don’t lose a single one of them to the enemy.) Jn. 10:27-29; Ps. 17:8-9; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; Jude 1:24
6. What’s it going to take to be 1) one with the Father as Jesus is one with the Father, 2) one with each other as Jesus is one with us? (We are going to have to lay down ALL of our own agendas and our self-will, and accept that of the Father’s. If He is a jealous God and will have no one before Him, we must sacrifice all; if His will is a perfect will, then we need to lay down our will in any matter. Don’t make an important move unless you are at peace that it’s the Lord’s will in a matter.)
7. Jesus stated that he lost no one under His guard except the son of perdition. Who is that and what does that mean? (Judas. Perdition = apoleia, one who is destined to be lost.) Jn. 6:70-71
8. In verse 13 Jesus states two things had to take place before His joy could be made complete in us. Explain what you think He means by that. (Our sins had to be taken care of before we could have a clean heart & conscience; second, all that He spoke explains how we are to live and how to get to the Father. If we don’t accept the first, and if we don’t believe the second…we will never have the joy of Christ!) Jn. 15:11; Acts 13:52
9. Why doesn’t God take us from the world when things get intense? (Because we are on a mission here, we are aliens; He does not remove us from danger, but protects us in the midst of it.) Jn. 16:33; Matt. 24:9, 19-22
10. According to verse 17, what is part of our shield and protection in this world? How does this protect and sanctify us? (When we know and stand on the truth, we have God fully on our side. It is the truth of all matters that will stand up to Judgment on the final day.) Jn. 8:32; 2 Thess. 2:13
11. Do you truly have a sense of being sent by God into this world as His agent of reconciliation? Jn. 17:18; 2 Cor. 5:17-20
12. Who is represented in 17:20? (The original 12, and US!)
13. According to verse 21 & 23, how critical is our unity with one another? On what issues should we take a stand, even if it risks our unity? (On issues of the essentials and the character of Christ; moral issues; divisive issues.) How do we display our oneness with Christ and each other? (By being responsive to the Father’s will.) Jn. 5:19-20; 6:38; 8:28-29
14. What glory do you think Jesus has given us (17:22)? Jn. 20:21-22; Acts 5:41; 2 Cor. 3:18
15. What do you gain personally from verse 24 about what Jesus desires for you?
Our text ends: "O righteous Father, although the world has not known Thee, yet I have known Thee; and these have known that Thou didst send Me; and I have made Thy name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I in them."
Jesus’ final words in the upper room are a confirmation that His disciples have come to truly believe Jesus is the Son of God. His love now abides in them. This is the very reason John was fueled with a fire to write to this very end: :Jesus said to him, ‘Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.’ Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” (Jn. 20:29-30)
Now it’s your turn! Do you believe Him? Does His love burn in your heart? Do you feel burdened with His commission to be in the world representing Him? That’s why John wrote his gospel…so that you would believe. Jesus prayed that you would believe. To the extent that you do believe it…live it!