Three Things Jesus Desires for You
Jesus’ Prayer for You Personally (20). Because of the expression, “believe,” John 17:20 correlates with John 17:3 (those who know God genuinely, and by virtue of this, have eternal life); John 17:6-10, a description of the original disciples.
- Jesus redefines FOLLOWER – we don’t give Jesus our preferences, we follow HIM.
- Jesus redefines BELIEF – to be one with Christ and one with the church.
- Jesus redefines ETERNAL LIFE – it is not just living forever but knowing the Son and the Father.
- Jesus redefines KNOWING GOD – to be one with the Father, don’t forsake soul care.
Jesus’ Prayer for Your Place in the Church (21-22). The key here is unity, or togetherness for all believers, as manifested in the church. This correlates with John 17:11-17. Oneness and sanctification identify the redeemed community (the church). Diversity and factions leave when we unite in our mission.
- The greatest of human relationships.
- The highest of divine calling – pointing glory to the Father.
- The ultimate purpose – the world will see Christ in us and believe.
Jesus’ Prayer for Your Church’s Witness in the World (23). The correlation here is with John 17:18-19, as the redeemed community; then (the disciples) and now (the church) are sent out into the world. This forms the ongoing missional identity of God’s people. This is proof from the very beginning that the church is only her true self when existing for others.
- Our purpose is clear – to be united in love as a witness to the world.
- Our position is crucial – get out into the water to rescue those who are perishing. The key to the chain is that it must be anchored to be effective.
- Our potential is critical – contagious community should ooze from us toward others, missional proximity puts us close to those on the outside.
Questions for Further Study:
- How do most people describe or explain the meaning of “eternal life” to an unbeliever?
- What do you like and dislike about living in this country? Explain.
- What do you think is most challenging for a Christian living in today’s society?
- In what way might you say the world is a dangerous place for a Christian to live? Explain.
- Describe a time when you longed for unity in your family, church, or community.
- Name a few ways that Christians are divided today
- For what purpose did the Father grant Jesus authority over all people? (John 17:2)
- To whom was given eternal life? (John 17:3) How is eternal life redefined in this verse?
- How do you explain John 17:4? Had Jesus healed everyone? Was everyone saved? What is the work that Jesus accomplished?
- Name one specific thing for which Jesus prayed for his disciples? (John 17:11) What does it mean to be one? What are some things that can build and or destroy unity?
- If Jesus is our authority and we follow HIM, what are a few of our personal preferences that we need to give to Jesus? How can personal preferences be used to destroy unity?
- What is the main reason that the world hates Christians? (John 17:14) Explain.
- What is the only way that we can be used by Jesus? (John 17:17) What does it mean to be sanctified?
- For whom did Jesus also pray? (John 17:20) Who are the people you are praying for, those who might believe because of your words?
- How did Jesus want his followers to be unified? (John 17:22) How do believers reflect God’s glory? In what ways are Christians one? Why is unity so difficult in the church?
- How long has the Father loved the Son? (John 17:24) How reassuring is the fact that the Father has planned for our redemption from the foundation of the world?
- When do you generally turn to God in prayer? About what things do you usually pray?
- In what ways in this passage an example of how believers should pray? How can we look at Jesus praying for us personally as a model for our behavior?
- How much time do we spend talking about something important to us compared to time spent praying about something important?
- What does it mean to know the Father? In what ways is knowing the Father more about serving God in his kingdom rather than personal sin management/self-improvement?
- In what ways do people feel they are in church to receive ministry rather than to become equipped to minister to others? What are a few reasons people fail to see themselves as part of God’s royal priesthood? (1 Perter 2:9)
- As believers, what is our primary relationship to the world? When we come to faith in Christ, how and why does our relationship with the world change from fellowship to mission?
- How does your life-style indicate your relationship with the world? Why do you think believers are often still connected to the world around them?
- When and from what has God protected you? While divine protection is wonderful, in what ways do we generally wander off the path God desires for his church?
- Ken asked a question, “What keeps us from getting into water?” What hinders our involvement in serving Christ? What hinders us from getting into the water to rescue the perishing and save a soul for Christ?
- Name a few ways that you can bring glory to God this week.
- Name a few ways that you can help others to know and experience eternal life.
- What change in your life-style do you need to make to distinguish your identity from that of the world? What can you do today to set yourself apart for God’s use?
- When was the last time you updated your personal testimony? Do you need help with your story, to make it concise and applicable? How can your life be a testimony of God’s love for the world?
- What can you do to promote unity in our church, especially when someone might be trying to disrupt and create factions in the church? How will this unity be a witness to the lost world?