Listen Up! Jesus is Praying—for YOU!
|John 17 (NKJV™)|
|20||"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;|
|21||"that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.|
|22||"And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:|
|23||"I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.|
|24||"Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.|
|25||"O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.|
|26||"And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
What's God's general will for you? Look no further than this text! Now as we listen to Jesus pray for us, we also find what our priorities in life are to be. These words are the "Last Will and Testament" of Jesus Christ. So pay close attention and you'll get it right from the heart of Jesus Himself.
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" John 20:31.
Believe:879 is an epic journey through the book of John led by Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary of Albuquerque. As we explore each of the 879 verses of this gospel, we'll grow in grace and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. From His pre-incarnate existence, to His public ministry, through His death and His resurrection we'll traverse familiar territory and embark on new adventures of faith.
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Greek Terms: διὰ'; dia - through; τοῦ; tou - those; λόγου; logou - word; αὐτῶν; autōn - of them
Publications Referenced: Christianity Today; Peanuts, by Charles Schulz
Figures Referenced: Edward Kimball; D. L. Moody; F. B. Meyer; Wilbert Chapman; Billy Sunday; Mordecai Ham; Billy Graham; Walter Martin; Augustine of Hippo; Bernard of Clairvaux; John Calvin;John Wesley; George Whitfield; C. H. Spurgeon; Thomas Manton; George Beverly Shea; Cliff Barrows
Cross References: Matthew 20:21; Luke 23:34; John 3:16; John 17:9; Acts 15; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 4:3; 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Would you turn in your Bibles this morning to John Chapter 17. We've been doing a little miniseries in the midst of a larger series, the larger series the Gospel of John called Believe:879, but Chapter 17 is a prayer of Jesus to the Father. So when God prays, this little miniseries that is tucked in the midst of the larger one. Before we get started and finish off Chapter 17, let's pray together.
Father, we are yours. We place ourselves, our bodies before you as living sacrifices as Paul wrote, "Holy, acceptable which is our reasonable service of worship". And so Lord, part of our worship is to with these bodies, listen, take in, think about and then apply to our lives the truths that we hear. I thank you for each one who has come. Lord you know what each person is dealing with, struggling through, wondering about, praying for. And we entrust, I entrust their needs into your capable hands, in Jesus name, Amen.
So there was this guy who needed a job. And he reads in the Want Ads, "Help wanted, bodyguard". He thinks I can be a bodyguard, so he finds the place hiring, knocks on the door. A guy answered the door who says, "What do you want?" He goes, "I want to be a bodyguard." He's a little guy. And the man says, "You couldn't guard anyone. I certainly don't want you to be my bodyguard". He says, "Don't underestimate me, I'm tough". "Oh yeah, you're tough". "I'm really tough". "Yeah just how tough are you?" He says, "Let me tell you how tough I am. I work on a farm and when I was working one day, I was out, driving my combine, we're harvesting and some hay got stuck in the combine. So I went around the back of the combine to fix it to see what was wrong and as I was reaching in, my arm got cut off completely by the combine. I then took the arm, went inside the house and sewed it back up and then went back out and finish my job." The guy said, "Wow, you really did that?" "Yup, I really did that". "You're really that tough?" "I'm really that tough." The man said, "You got the job, you're hired." And the man who applied said, "Awesome!"
So if I were to ask you how you're doing when it comes to getting along with other people, think of all the people in your life that you're dealing with how are you doing at getting along with them, I bet you'd go, "Awesome!" Some good, some bad, because some people are easy to get along with, right? And some people are hard to get along with. And if you also discovered that some Christians are easy to get along with and some Christians are hard to get along with, Amen?
But you know what? You have to be in heaven with them all one day. Ever think about it that way? Sometimes I'll think about that. I don't get too excited about that. I go, "Really, I have to be in heaven with that person forever?" I don't want to bump into him there and go, "Oh, it's you," or they to me. But the truth is all of us have our own baggage. We have our own idiosyncrasies. We have our own ways and they rub up against the ways and idiosyncrasies of other people even in the Body of Christ.
There are some examples in prayer. See if you can relate to any of these personalities or know someone. Lord, help me to relax about insignificant details beginning tomorrow at 11:41 Eastern Standard Time. Lord, help me to consider people's feelings even if most of them are hypersensitive. God, help me to be responsible for my own actions even though it's usually not my fault. God, help me not to try to run everything. But if you need some help just ask. Lord, help me to be open-minded to other people's ideas as wrong as they maybe. Now, the truth is there are overly-sensitive, hyper-controlling, very detailed, perfectionistic, believers in the Body of Christ.
And in the prayer we're about to look at in John Chapter 17, Jesus prays for future believers and one of the things He prays for is that we would experience unity. And as Jesus is praying for this, that's when we go, "Awesome!" because sometimes it's there and sometimes it's not, but it's what He prays for. And we're going to look at Chapter 17 beginning in verse 20 down to the end of the chapter. "I do not pray for these alone," Jesus says, "but for those who will believe in Me through their word. That they all maybe one as You, Father are in Me and I in You that they also maybe one in us that the world may believe that You sent Me and the glory which You gave Me, I have given them that they maybe one just as we are one. I in them and You in Me that they maybe made perfect in one that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved Me as you have loved them," or "love them as You have loved Me".
"Father, I desire that they also whom You gave me maybe with me where I am that they may behold My glory which you have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world." "Oh, righteous Father, the world has not known You, but I have known You. And these have known that You sent Me." "And I have declared to them Your name and will declare it that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them and I in them."
We are reading what are among the final words of Jesus Christ to his followers who are with Him on the earth. No doubt in days ahead, their minds would go back to the upper room discourse. Their minds would go back to the night Jesus washed their feet. Their minds would go back to the prayer that Jesus prayed for them. That's what happens when somebody we loved dies. I know that when my father died, I remember when my mother told me, "Your father passed away this afternoon". When I got that news, my mind the rest of the day went back to the last conversation I had with my father, things that I said to him, things that he said to me and those were treasures to me. Same with my mom, I was actually at her deathbed when she died and I'll never forget and will always treasure those last few words of communication before she went into heaven.
So these disciples will always go back in their minds to the night Jesus prayed for them. And today, our minds go back as we look at the message I'm calling, "Listen up, Jesus is praying for you."
Now in this last paragraph, there are three things I want you to notice. We want to look at the scope of Jesus' prayer who He is praying for. We want to look at the substance of Jesus' prayer. What is He praying for? And then the Psalm of Jesus' prayer as we consider a couple of principles in closing.
We begin with the scope. Who is Jesus praying for? Well, let's look at it from wide to narrow, from general to specific. In general, He is praying for believers. It's a prayer for followers, for disciples. Go back with me to verse 9 for just a moment, and notice what He says there, same prayer, same time, "I pray for them, I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given me for they are Yours." Jesus says, "I'm not praying for the world". Do you know that Jesus never prayed for the world? At least that is recorded except for one time, one time. When He was on the cross, that's when He said, "Father forgive them for they don't know what they're doing". That's the only time we have recorded in Scripture where Jesus prays for the world.
And here He specifically says, "I don't pray for them, I'm praying for the followers". That doesn't mean Jesus didn't love the world. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, doesn't mean that Jesus didn't give the ultimate sacrifice. He did. He died for the sins of the world. But it seems as though He is leaving the praying part up to us. As if to say, "That's your part. That's your deal". 1 Timothy Chapter 2, Paul says, "I urge you brothers that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercession and giving of thanks be made for all men for those who are in authority that you might live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness."
So generally speaking, Jesus is praying for believers. Now let's narrow the focus. Specifically, Jesus is praying for second generation believers, third generation, fourth generation. Notice he says in verse 20, "I do not pray for these," that is the 11 alone, "but for all those who will believe in me through their work."
Here Christ puts on the lands of future evangelism and appears through histories like He's on the balcony of an eternal perspective appearing down through corridors of time of future history, future evangelism knowing that what these followers of His are seeing and hearing, they will one day preach and write and tell and others will be affected by it. When Jesus says through their word, we have to include the gospel of Matthew. Matthew was one of the followers of Christ. He wrote the gospel of Matthew.
We have to think about the gospel of John, which we're reading now. We have to think about the revelation of John. We probably have to think of the gospel of Mark because we think that Peter actually gave that account to John, Mark who wrote it down. But I am sure that these disciples had no idea just how much impact their lives, their preaching, their writings would make. Jesus anticipates it.
Now here's something, just let me help you frame that for a moment. Do you realize that there are more Christians alive on the earth today than there were people who lived on the earth 2,000 years ago? So think of the impact that those disciples would have on so many people. There were 300 million people that lived on the earth 2,000 years ago. That's the rough estimate, 300 million. Today according to Christianity today, their latest statistics, they say there are two billion Christians on the earth. Now you can argue with that and say, "Well they're not all true believers." But my point is those people who have been impacted and influenced by the testimony, the writing, the preaching of those disciples of Jesus, it's enormous. He's praying for second generation, third, fourth, fifth, hundredth, thousandth of generation believers.
Now there is a principle that's couched in what we're looking at this morning. I'm going to call it Trickle-down Evangelism. Some of you remember the Ronald Reagan Era when it was coined Trickle-down economics. And some people liked that term and some people don't like that term and that's still debated and argued among political circles. But Trickle-down Evangelism undisputedly works and it's simply this. It's one person telling another person who will tell another person who will tell another person the truth. Started with these disciples and it would go down through history, go down through history, go down through history until it gets to us. And now we have to ask ourselves, "What are we going to go with it?" Well, we also pass it down.
That's the principle. Jesus says, "Those who will believe" notice that they will believe, "through their word." Through their word, three words. Through their word, in Greek it's four words. "Dea Tu Lagu Alton", which is through the agency of their communication. Whatever they write, whatever they speak that's their communication. People will believe on that.
Now these disciples evidently pictured the truth of the gospel like holding a baton on a relay race. So here's Peter, he is running. Here's John, he's running. Here's the other disciples, they're in, they have the baton it's the truth. But they're passing it on to another runner and they're telling that runner, "You run your lap. You pass it on to somebody else and then tell that person to pass it on, etcetera."
Now that's how evangelism takes place, one person telling another person who will tell another person. It seemed that Edward Kimble was used by God that way. Let me tell you his story. Back in 1856, not that I was around to remember. In 1856, a very simple man, Godly man named Edward Kimble. He was a Sunday school teacher was pacing outside of a store in Chicago.
And he was struggling with something. He's walking back and forth and he says, "Should I go in? And tell that young shoe salesman about Jesus?" Well finally, he did. And he led that shoe salesman to Christ. That young shoe salesman was a kid by the name of Dwight Lyman Moody, DL Moody. DL Moody became a great preacher in Chicago at the Moody Memorial Church and still in existence today, quite an evangelist.
One night DL Moody was preaching and something in his audience named Fredrick B. Meyer, F.B. Meyer listened to him, was very moved, came to Christ, himself he became a preacher. One night years later when F.B. Myer was preaching, a young man was sitting in his audience named Wilbur Chapman. Wilbur Chapman was a young college student who worked for the YMCA. That's one it really was the YMCA, the Young Men's Christian Association.
And in those days, the YMCA would hire evangelist to preach the gospel. Wilbur Chapman hired an ex-baseball player named Billy Sunday to preach the gospel at the YMCA. Billy Sunday some years later went to Charlotte, North Carolina and in Charlotte, North Carolina he met with Christian Businessmen about evangelism. They were so moved by Billy Sunday. They decided to sponsor an evangelistic crusade under the leadership of a man named Mordecai Ham. It was several night crusades in Charlotte, North Carolina. And one of those nights I think it might have been the last night of the crusade. As Mordecai Ham gave the ultra call, a young blond-haired, tall, lanky Charlotte kid named Billy Graham walked forward and accepted Christ.
So what happened in 1856 in the heart of Edward Kimble and then in subsequent hearts to Dr. Billy Graham who preached the gospel to more people and anyone who's ever lived on earth. And many who've come to Christ and I'm one of them.
That's Trickle-down Evangelism that all began with those 11, who saw the truth as a baton and they were going to pass it to the next generation. So the big question we need to ask ourselves with this is, "Okay I've got this truth. I've got this baton. What am I going to do with it? Am I going to study it?" That's a good start. Am I going to analyze it? Okay good. I'm going to defend it. Good. But at some point please do this as well, give it away, pass it on. Jesus anticipates those believers including ourselves, that's His scope. That's the scope of this prayer.
Now, let's consider the substance of this prayer. What is he praying for exactly? Two things, very simply, he's praying for something now and something later. He's praying for present unity, that's now, present unity and future glory, that's later.
I want you to look back with me at verse 21 and a couple of verses after that. I want you to notice something with me in these verses. "That day all maybe one", that's His prayer, that's unity, "that they all maybe one". Now watch this, as, notice the word as, "as you Father are in me and I in You." Look at the next verse. "And the glory which you gave me, I have given them that they maybe one just as we are one."
And in verse 23, "I in them and You in me, that they maybe made perfect in one." Here's what I understand from that. Jesus is praying that the kind of unity that we will have with each other is the same kind of unity that the Father and the Son share. That our unity has to be modeled after and enabled by the God head himself, Father, Son and Spirit. Well Jesus back then could say, "Father you and I are like this. Man, we're one. We tracked. We are on track together." And just as we are like that, it's my prayer that your people in the future would be like that. Which now makes us go, "Huh! Really?" Or was that prayer being answered? Is there that kind of unity among us? I mean we're a little bit embarrassed at church history. Heck we're embarrassed with biblical church history if we think of it that way.
I mean did these apostles themselves, these disciples did they always get along with each other? As far you're reading of the Bible, they always get along? No. Did they ever argue with each other? Yeah. Did you know this very night that we're dealing with, this very night they were arguing about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom, that night, as Jesus is on the way to the cross, they're arguing.
"I'm going to be the greatest." "No dude, I'm going to be." And they just kept going back and forth. In fact, on one occasion, James and John, sons of Zebedee had their momma come and ask Jesus, and when the other guys found out, "You had your mom asked Jesus." And her request was, "Lord, I just want my two boys one to be at the right hand and one to be at the left hand forever in glory with you and your kingdom." The other guys were so just torque at that.
They didn't always get along. As we fast-forward into church history, we understand that that's not the only case. Did the first Church in Jerusalem, they did get along with each other? No, they didn't, the counsel that has spoken up in Acts Chapter 15, there was an argument about salvation by works versus salvation, by grace through faith. There was that argument. It was pretty contentious. We fast-forward a little bit. There was a disagreement between Paul and Peter according to the Book of Galatians about how Jews, who are believers, will treat Gentiles who are believers.
Fast-forward a little bit more. There was an argument, the classic argument between Paul and Barnabas about their second missionary journey and if they should take John and Mark with them or not. And it says, "They argued and their contention was so great, they had to split company with each other." And then add to that, all of the disagreements throughout church history, all of the splits, all of the divisions, all of the denominations, all of the fights and so we ask ourselves, "Is this prayer being answered?"
So here's is how we have to approach it. Please understand what Jesus means by unity and what he doesn't mean by unity. Let me tell you what he doesn't mean by unity. When Jesus says, "I pray that they will all be one as we are." And he prays for unity. He is not first of all speaking about organizational unity. He doesn't have in his mind what some of us have in our minds that if we could just get all religious groups together under one roof and make one big super spiritual organization or if we get all churches together and we could just all get together and sing Kumbaya together, just once. Boy that will be it. Not going to happen. It has never happened in church history. Not going to happen. It will happen in Heaven. But that kind of unity is in principally what Jesus is speaking about.
Let me give you a second thing Jesus is not speaking about when he talks about unity all being one, he's not speaking about uniformity. Uniformity isn't the same as unity. Uniformity is where we all agree on everything. Is that going to happen? I have Walter Martin tell me one time, if you get two people who agree on everything, one have missed in thinking. We're not going to agree on every point of doctrine, every little idea, every opinion. You will have the same that my opinion is. We will all like -- have the same version of the Bible, every song, we're all going to agree on, every policy. That's not what he's speaking but sort of like a family.
Would you say the people in your family are different? If you think so, raise your hand for a minute. How many of you have kids? How many have children? Okay, yeah. How many have more than one child? How many have more than two children? How many of you have more than four children? A few of you wow. Okay, so let me ask you a question. Are your kids different from each other? Right, you're going, "Oh, yeah." Like one is loud and one is quiet. One is a night person. One is a morning person, different personalities.
My wife and I are very different and we have different opinions about a lot of things, and it's just hard to always live with somebody who's right all the time. Let me just say that for the record. Usually, I kind of go, "Yeah, she was right." We have very different opinions but we're together on the essentials. In the Christian family, there are disagreements over nonessentials. We all agree here probably when the rapture is going to take place. We don't all agree on tribulation events. We don't probably all agree on a second coming or the gifts of the Spirit, those kinds of things. They're important but they're secondary. They're not the essentials. We don't get saved by them.
So He's not speaking about organizational unity. He's not speaking about uniformity. Let me throw this in a mix. Let's just say we could get great Christian minds together under one roof. Let's say it were possible to put in one room for a conference, let's go back to the 4th century, let's get Saint Augustine of Hippo. Let's bring him in the room.
And then let's move up to the 10th century and get Bernard of Clairvaux. Let's bring him into the mix. Let's move to the 16th century and we'll get John Calvin in the room. That will be interesting. And we'll move to the 17th century, we'll throw in John Wesley and George Whitfield together in the same room. We'll move to the 19th century, get Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the Victorian English preacher. We'll get Dwight L. Moody from Chicago. We'll move to the modern era and get Billy Graham in the room. There will be trouble in that room.
They are not going to agree on lots of things. But at the very core beneath all of the other stuff they disagree on, there's going to be a unity there. They're going to realize we're saved by the same blood of the same savior by God's grace not by our works and the very essentials of who Jesus is, who God is, etcetera. There will be an agreement on.
Now here's Jesus saying, "Father, I'm praying that the same kind of unity that we have that they would have." On one hand, this prayer has already been answered, it's done. It's done. We have that unity. On other hand, there's an element where we're part of the answer and we have to engage to be part of the answer. Now I want to show that to you because this is vital otherwise you're going to go around. Your whole life is going, "We're just never together where there is no unity in the church." Okay, get over that.
I want to help you do that. Turn to Galatians Chapter 3, Galatians Chapter 3. I cheated. I had a marker there, so I just flipped to it but it's easy to find John, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians there it is. Look at verse 26. Now before you read there. Let me just give you a little bit background, a little help.
When Paul is writing this, the world was very divided. There were divided, male and female, huge division, sociologically at that time. There was a division between slaves and those who are free. Even in Judaism, there were divisions. In the temple itself there were division between male and female, Jew and Gentile, etcetera. Then Jesus comes along and saves people who are free, people who are slaves, men, women, Jew and Gentile. So this is what Paul writes, verse 26, "For you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ." You get that. "For as many of you as we're baptized into Christ have put on Christ", here it is, "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female for you are all" -- what? Say it again. You are all what? "You are one in Christ Jesus." That's unity, whether you know it or not, whether you feel it or not, whether you feel like it or not. We're one, saved by the same person, by the same act to finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary. It's a finished work.
Unity therefore in this sense isn't something we produce, it already exist. And now there are many scriptures about this. I don't have time to turn to them. Here is just another one that's in my mind. In Ephesians Chapter 4, this is what Paul says, "For there is one body, one spirit, one faith, one Lord, one baptism." That's unity. That's unity. Now that's one hand. On hand, what Jesus prayed for is done. It's accomplished in the finished work of Christ and the establishment by the Holy Spirit of the church that came in the book of Acts.
But on the other hand, unity is something we have to be a part of and work toward because the same Scripture Ephesians 4 that says there is one spirit, one faith, one Lord and one baptism. It says this, "We should endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." So there's part of the process that we have to be engaged in and try to work towards for unity to be maintained. The fact of unity is one thing the experience of it is another thing. Is that right? You maybe one with another brother or sister but you're going to experience unity, sort of a like a married couple. When they come to the altar and they say vows they essentially, are what? One flesh. The two shall become one flesh. Done deal, you're one. You're one unit.
You're mister and misses, but there must be a commitment in that marriage toward oneness, open communication, bearing their souls, sharing their hearts, spending time together, working at the marriage. Because I've seen a lot of married couples though they are one, they would never know it nor with anyone else, that unity must therefore be maintained and worked at by the people who are involved.
Now, go back with me to John Chapter 17 and look at verse 21. This is the result of that unity. Want to see how good it is and what'll produce, verse 21, "That they may all be one as you Father are in me and I in You that they also maybe one in us" here's the part, "that the world may believe that you sent me, that the world may believe that you sent me." You know that tells me? Our unity proves the authenticity of what we preach. We live our lives before very watchful eyes. You know the world will give you a pass if you are into a lot of different things. But once you say, "I follow Jesus. I'm a Christian." "I'm a Born Again Christian," they look at you different. They treat you different. They scrutinize you differently. All eyes are on you.
And one of the things they wonder about, one of the things is can that Born Again Christian that I worked with get along with others who make the same claim. And when they see all the fights and all the divisions that are in many churches they think "Well I don't need that. I can get that at the soap opera watching television," so that the world may know that you sent me. Our unity proves the authenticity of what we preach. An old Puritan named Thomas Manton once said, "Division in the church bridge atheism in the world." It doesn't account for it all, but it certainly helps division in the church bridge atheism in the world.
I wrote a story about, it probably a story that happened 100 years ago. I didn't read it a 100 years ago o but I read it a while back and I think it happened about a 100 years ago and there were more mental institutions in our country than there are now, and this one man visited a mental institution where he noticed that his friend who was a guard, who is supervising 100 patients. He saw that there's one guard. There's a 100 patients and he got a little nervous. And he said to his friend, "Does that ever bother you?" "You're watching a 100, do you ever worry that they're going to get their heads together and like beat you up and escape, something like that?" The guy said, "No. The very reason they're here is they can't get their heads together and work cooperatively together." And I read that and I was so indicting that you might say.
In line of what I'm reading here and in line of what I just said by way of illustration, to preach the Gospel without unity is insanity. The world picks up on that quickly. But Jesus said, "The world will know that you sent me."
Now here's how to do it practically, when you have difficulty getting along with another person, keep it simple. Keep it simple, you should go try to reconcile but even more basic than that, the solution when there is this unity is for you to get close to Jesus and for that other person to get close to Jesus. If you get closer to the Lord and I get closer to the Lord, we're going to find ourselves closer to each other. And that's seen easily by an illustration and I'm going to use Jessie right appear who's on his little cellphone. Jessie, come up here for a minute. I didn't mean to catch you up guard. I know you're reading your Bible on your iPhone. I know you are. No condemnations just stand right there. Stand right there.
So I haven't Jessie all week. I've known him since he was born, but I haven't seen him all week. So here we are you can see that there's a distance between us, right? But I want to get closer to Jesus and so does Jessie. And let's just picture that the pulpit is Jesus, so I'm going to take a few steps up to get closer to Jesus. And I find myself suddenly as I'm getting closer to Jesus also getting closer to somebody else. Who's that? Jessie. So here we are. I love this guy and thanks Jessie. There's unity between us.
So in simple illustration, I don't want to make it simplistic, but it is simple that if you make it all about Jesus and I make it all about Jesus, we're going to find that's our common ground it makes it a lot easier to get along. That's a whole concept of what would Jesus do. Get close to His heart and you're going to find that a lot of those differences will melt away.
So the scope of the prayer is for believers. The substance of the prayer is for present unity. There's another part of the request thought, not just for something in the present but I mentioned something in the future, future glory look at verse 24. Verse 24, "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave me maybe with me where I am." Where is Jesus going? Heaven, to the Father's house as He called it, to the Father's right hand in glory, "that they may behold my glory which you have given me for you loved me before the foundation of the world." You know what's precious to me about what I just read? Is so often, we us Christians speak about how great heaven is going to be. You can't wait to get there especially you get older and older.
I was with the man this week, George Beverly Shea. He's 102 years old, 102 and a half. He's there. He's on the cut and he knows it and we often talks. "Soon I'm going to be in glory." We have a desire for it to happen. We have a desire to see Jesus. But do you realize Jesus has a desire to see you in heaven? That's His request. I pray that they whom you have given Me will be with Me. That's amazing to me. That's staggering to me. That's on the heart of Jesus to pray for us being with him forever.
Now, you might ask a question at this point, you say, "What is that have to do with unity?" Well, it might sound like Jesus just sort of throwing up a request. I want them all to be one. Yes I want them all to be one. Yes I want them all to be one because he elaborates on that and he goes, "Oh and by the way, I want to see him in heaven." But think of it this way, heaven has everything to do with unity. It's when Christians cease to think about their ultimate hangout. When they cease to think about heaven, that's when all the troubles happen here in earth. That's when we become very divisive with each other and very self-centered. It's all about me and my world and my needs. But when we think about it this way, we're going to be together forever in heaven. There's going to be an eternal unity between us. Maybe based upon that, we can try at least to get along now.
So I see it as something very complimentary one to another. Though we praise for future glory, and what a glorious day that will be when in the presence of God, all of the division, all of the differences will be gone because of Him.
Now let's close up the Chapter, look at the last two Verses. This is now the sum of the prayer. We've seen the scope. We've seen the substances. This is the sum of it. And Jesus says to sum it all up, here's two things, "it's what my followers know and it's what they will do." That's how we sums it up. Look at verse 25. This is what we know. "Oh, righteous Father, the world has not known You but I have known You and this have known that You sent Me." Right here and another places is Jesus insist that people in this world don't know the truth.
Do you realize that 97% of everything that is knowable is available today? Everything in history of the world that is ever been knowable, 97% of it is available now. And with all that knowledge, here's one thing the world doesn't know, Truth, God, how to get to heaven. But Jesus insists they don't know it. The world doesn't know it but my followers do.
Now, we do have time. I want you to turn to one more scripture, promise this is the last one. 1 John, Chapter 5, it's almost toward the back of the book, 1 John Chapter 5. If you don't want to turn to it, God bless you. I read it to you anyway. 1 John, Chapter 5, now this is written by the same guy, John, years later. 1 John Chapter 5, verse 19, listen to verse 19, "We know that we are of God and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one," stop right there. That is arrogant statement if it weren't true. It is true, so it's not arrogant. It is true. But if that wasn't true, well how arrogant is that? Nobody knows the truth but we do.
"The world is lying under the sway of the evil one, the wicked one but we know God." That's true. Jesus said that's true. He insisted. The world doesn't know you, but I know you and they know that you've sent me. John continues, "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding that we may know Him who is true and we are in Him who is true, and his son Jesus Christ, this is the true God, and eternal life."
So that's what we know. We know the truth. We know God. We know life. And now in summing it all up, he said this is what there to do. This is part of his prayer. Verse 26 last verse of the chapter, "and I have declared to them your name and we'll declare it that the love with which you have loved me maybe in them and I in them."
Now just as we close, think about those words, because you know truth, because you know God, because you know God's love, because God's love is in you, therefore, here's what you do, "love". You love. You show love. The Bible says, "The love of God has been shed a broad in our heart." Do you know that we have an unlimited capacity to love? Because God has shed His love in our hearts and He has given us an ability to love. So since you know truth and you know God, and God's love is in your hearts, you love. You love God. You love his truth. You love his kids. You love the world because Jesus died for them as part of the constitution that's sums up the prayer of Jesus for his church, love.
Have you discovered it's easier to love people theoretically than actually? I mean I love people. I love I love. Really I love people. It's like lioness, in the Peanuts cartoon. There's a Peanuts cartoon and lioness said, "I love the world. It's just the people I can't stand." Ever feel like that? You love people generically but specifically in their life, no, one of these kind of things. I mentioned I was with George Beverly Shea this week. He's 102 and a half and he's so gracious. I was with him in his living room and he was talking and he was -- I was asking him with all these questions about different people. Never once, did he or do I remember him ever saying anything bad about someone? He's a sweet, generous, kind man who's almost in heaven.
And as he was talking about Dr. Billy Graham, he's been with him now over sixty years. And he always saying, "I met Billy. He was 21, I was 31. I was 10 years older than Billy and I still am." And I started to remember, as he was talking, I started to remember about a covenant that Billy Graham and George Beverly Shea in Cliff Barrows made years ago called the Modesto Manifesto. Who in early in there preaching career when he was taking up and they were in Northern California they got alone. They made a covenant with each other, and part of the covenant said, "We will never part of our deal we promised to never speak ill about another brother or sister." Deal? Deal. A Modesto Manifesto. And I saw that played out in this generous kind old man's life.
So at the end of our meeting together, we said "Well Bev is there's anything that we could pray for you?" You figured the guy he's 102. There's going to be an aches and pains and yeah I got a whole list of things you can pray for. "Is there anything we can pray for?" This is what he said. He paused; he went "uh-hmm". And then he goes, "Let's just rejoice." You know no prayer request. Let's just rejoice and he was so thankful. And I thought that's how I want to go. I want that grace work in me. I want that kind of attitude toward God's people and God's work in me.
Father we pray, in the name of Jesus that just as he prayed for us, we now pray for ourselves. And we echo the same things that their might be a unity. We know it exist in fact, but there would be an experience of that as we draw closer and closer to our savior the Lord Jesus Christ. As we muse on the essentials of the historic Christian faith and what binds us together and makes us one. Lord it thrills us to think that through our unity, through a compelling life like that, the world would look and go, "Okay, I'm going to listen now." There's something to that message, because of the unity and love that sent us, In Jesus name, Amen.