Priorities: A Study in John Chapter 17 – January 7, 2024


John 17:9-15

Glory. Praise. Recognition. Credit. We all crave it to some degree.

Last week, Pastor David unpacked the first part of Jesus’ prayer that we’re looking at today and it was all about his glory. For his greatness to be seen. That’s the main idea of glory. But the word greatness kind of describes the quantity, like “BIG GOODNESS” but not so much the quality. We learned that the QUALITY of his glory (seen in Exodus 34) is his LOVE. AND all the things that come from his love, like self-sacrifice, mercy, grace, forgiveness, justice, compassion, and so on. That’s where his greatness lies. And we all intuitively understand this because we were created to long for this kind of greatness, especially when we’re reading books or watching movies/and someone sacrifices themselves for another.

Jesus wants his glory because when he gets his glory, people come to him, and they find eternal abundant fulfilling life, not just later, but NOW. His glory is good for everyone. That was the jist of last week’s sermon.

Now as we move on in the prayer, Jesus begins to pray for his disciples, a.k.a. Us! And he says something crazy about his glory.

Right before our main passage, he says, “And glory has come to me through them. (John 17:10) Them being his followers. Us. The church.

Now just sit with that for a second. Jesus’ greatness, the glory of God. The very essence at the center of the universe. We’re not simply observers of that glory, WE ARE THE MEANS, THE VESSEL, THE VEHICLE through which Jesus is glorified! We are to represent the essential nature of God for Jesus! What a privilege! What a dignifying and satisfying motive for life. To play volleyball and BRING GLORY TO GOD. To be a janitor, AND BRING GLORY TO GOD. To eat and BRING GLORY TO GOD. We’ve been given incredible meaning and importance to life, but since we are so important to God’s mission, we are also in danger. Those who oppose God will put a target on our backs. And so, in our passage today, Jesus prays for our protection. Let’s read.

“11b Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them in your name that[b] you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost,[c] so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.”

We’re working backwards today in our text so we can see what God is protecting us from and what he’s protecting us for and how he is protecting us!

From our passage, we see that Jesus wants us:

  1. Protected FROM the evil one. (How?)
  2. (By being) protected IN the holy one.

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