THE LORD'S HIGH PRIESTLY PRAYER
This is truly The Lord's Prayer, prayed by Jesus, as The Great High Priest on the night just prior to His betrayal. He consecrated Himself and interceded for His Church and the mission work He has commissioned to His disciples to be carried out amongst the nations.
Jesus knew He had completed His work and mission on earth, His affirmation of The Cross and of His return to the fellowship and glory that He possessed together with The Father before the world began. Before Christ came into the world, He dwelt in Heaven in the presence of The Father. The angels knew of His glory of His Deity.
While on earth His Deity was veiled in a human body. Jesus speaks of His own pre-existence as God. He came in obedience to do The Father's Will and He had represented The Father to mankind, and He prayed on behalf of believers before The Throne of God.
The final hour had come, He asked that He may glorify The Father in the completion of the work The Father had sent Him to do. Christ, as High Priest prayed that His disciples be granted eternal life, and a totality of oneness given to each individual.
The prayer Jesus prayed was for Himself and is not selfish for it is to glorify The Father, for His disciples and for future believers in subsequent generations. He offered Himself for the sanctification of all believers. He, at this time was about to be presented to The Father, offered up to Him as a perfect sacrifice for their redemption as the firstborn of a new creation, so believers could enter in life more abundantly.
This prayer was not for the world but for His own, in whom He would be glorified, by The Holy Spirit in whom would be the joy of Christ Himself.
Jesus prepared to re-enter The Holy of Holies in the presence of The Father.
Jesus was confident that during His teaching His followers received His words, and that they believed He had been sent by The Father, and that He had kept His sincere disciples from apostasy.
He prayed that all in The Church would know that The Father had sent Him that The Father loved them as Christ had loved them. He did not pray for the world for the world does not know The Father, but that The Father would be known by The Church, and that the character of believers would have mutual joy, faith, hope, love, and prayer in their possession. Jesus prayed that The Church would continue to stand, restored by grace and grow together in holiness, reconciled to God.
To know The Father is not intellectual comprehension but moral trust, and to believe with a certainty that Christ did not come to the world by His own initiative, but with the command of The Godhead.
Jesus addressed God The Father as being holy and righteous, while He prayed for unity in holiness and of nature that would then produce an outward unity in the Church, for His disciples to be of one spiritual character inwardly.
He sought The Father's blessings upon those who were to be left in a world of sin, a world which would oppose and hate them, for they were not of the world. Christ did not pray that they be taken from the world but that The Father would keep and preserve them from the Evil One. This preservation which He sought for them was for their souls.
This intercessory Prayer of Jesus focused on the work and fruit His disciples would produce for future believers. As The Father had sent Him, The Son, into the world bearing The Truth of The Father's Word, Jesus Himself sent His disciples into the world, in the same manner and for the same mission. Jesus prayed that they be protected in a hostile world, and for their perseverance as well as for maturity of their knowledge of God.
Jesus acknowledged that all who would be given to Him were given by The Father. He prayed for the eternal security of all who would believe, their security to be held by God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Spirit. He affirmed that they have protection from wicked forces, and prayed that all believers would hate what God hated, be set apart by The Truth that He taught, and that they all share in His life as one body. This is by the indwelling of The Holy Spirit, that they be brought together in the same spiritual life, and share His glory.
Christians are not of the world, and Christ has set believers apart to represent God to the world through each generation. For in this High Priestly prayer, Jesus prayed for the generations of believers yet not born. Each believer Jesus has individually held up before The Father. Christians must follow Jesus' example to obediently do the work that God The Father has appointed each believer to do.
Jesus dedicated Himself for all those who would believe because of His disciple's commission, in order that they all also may be one, through spiritual interaction with The Father and with The Son. Christ prayed for those whose names would be written in The Lamb's Book of Life.
The Great High Priest of all those in God's Kingdom is The Father's Son, who has been given authority over mankind and of all things. Jesus has been given the authority to give eternal life to believers. There is no one who cannot be saved by believing and trusting The Son of God.
In this High Priestly Prayer Jesus called Himself The Messiah, whom God had sent for the redemption of mankind.
As all the priesthood of the Old Testament Law was under Aaron, The Father has given every believing generation to Christ, under His Headship, for they were The Father's to give.
Christ, as The Great High Priest prayed for all believers, the great and important, the lowest and the weakest. His prayer included all future believers, both Jew and Gentile who would become His disciples, because of the testimony of the early saints to whom He sent into the world to spread the Gospel of His works. He prayed that the purpose of the Church be all one with The Father and The Son, in one body, by one Spirit, joined to the Lord, to be of one heart and attitude, having the same spirit of adoption, having love for each other.
Jesus prayed that the disciples be devoted and set apart for service to God, and that their unity for the truth take place through sanctification.
The unity of The Church that Christ prayed for was not of the outward Church union but of individual believers being in unity with the character of God and of Christ. The Body in fellowship is the unity of witness-bearing of The Truth of Christ, spiritual maturity, of their oneness with Christ and The Father and of the time when all saints together receive their glorified bodies. This has been given to believers but it will be received at Christ's return, at which time the world will realise that Jesus was the One whom The Father sent as their Saviour.
Jesus desires that believers will be with Him, for a believer who dies, is to go to be with Christ and behold His glory.
Many in the world fail to see God The Father revealed in Jesus, and fail to believe that He had sent Jesus into the world, but this is not due to believers themselves but to the illumination of The Holy Spirit. Since The Holy Spirit indwells believers, God The Father looks upon them as He does His Only Son. It is because of Christ that God The Father loves believers. The power Jesus Christ has, is from God, and is directed to undertake the great work of the guaranteed alliance to be between God and mankind. Christ, as the Only Mediator is the King of all nations. Jesus is The Son of God, the image of The invisible God, this is the foundational unity of Christian doctrine.
Christ's mission was not self-centred, He emphasised the Supreme role of The Father. Only through the works of Christ can people gain a proper concept of God. Jesus prayed that those in the world believe and receive the word of The Father so that they would be led into further revelation of The Truth. Jesus set Himself apart to do God's will and prays that His body of believers will do the same so that others may believe Jesus makes known The Father's love for the people of His creation.
To recognise God in Christ's mission and work is far greater than anything the world has to offer people.
After Jesus' victory on the Cross, His resurrection and ascension back to The Father the disciples would have a new union with both Father and The Son, through the indwelling of The Holy Spirit.
Only true believers bear fruit of a life demonstrated of God's love. Jesus desired that future believers would also behold His glory, for His full revelation to be unveiled to them, and that the love of God be reflected by them to the world, so that believers would come out from the world to The Love of God, to The Truth of God.
The Lord's High Priestly prayer is an example of intercessory prayer, for instruction and encouragement. Jesus teaches believers to aim to glorify God in prayers, and in desires.
Throughout Jesus' High Priestly Prayer are
principle themes for intercessory prayer. 1]
Obedience to the Father. 2]
The glorification of The Father. 3]
The revelation of God The Father. 4] The mission of
believers to the world. 5]
The unity of each believer with God. 6] Disciples
from out of the world.
7] The final destiny of all believers.
Jesus is The Great High Priest forever, of the earliest disciple to the latest. His prayer is effectual of worldwide evangelism that the world might learn of who He is, The Word, who brought the love and knowledge of God's truth. In His exaltation Jesus continues to protect His own.
This prayer of The Great High Priest will be answered and complete when all believers are with Him in Heaven.
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 17:1-26
After Jesus said this, he looked
toward heaven and prayed:
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. 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. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
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. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
|SCRIPTURES John 17: 1-26.
QUESTIONS 1] Who did Jesus pray for? 2] What were the aims of the disciple's commission to future believers that was the same as Christ's mission? 3] What did Jesus desire? 4 Who sent Christ and His power?
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