July 16, 2017
Stetson Memorial UMC
Part 2 of 2
John 17:20-26 NIV
“Jesus’ Prayer (Part 1) …”
The Lord be with you…
Let us pray… (Pray for the sermon to be God’s word to His people)
I would ask that you please stand for the reading of the Gospel according to St. John, chapter 17, verses 20-26. Listen to and for the Word of God to you and I, His ambassadors to and in the world…Read the Gospel of John..
The disciples sat in the upper room with Jesus. It was just before He was to be betrayed by Judas. But they didn’t know how horrific the night would be or that they would all run away in fear.
They sat and had listened to all that Jesus had to say that evening. He talked about His betrayal and that even Peter was going to betray Him. He continued to teach to them. They listened intently while the Master taught them about how to treat others and who would be the greatest. He taught them about staying in Him…staying to His teachings and being rooted and grounded in Him. Jesus even gave them an example of how to think of yourself as the lesser of those whom you serve.
Jesus had prayed for this night and for those who were present there with Him. But then He began to pray about those in the future. He prayed about how others would believe in Him through the message about Him that the disciples would share. Jesus was praying for those who were not even born yet. Jesus wanted the future to be protected, blessed and called to share the same message that the men and women in that upper room would share. It is through those very disciples and those to come that His name would be glorified to the ends of the earth. But it all began as his disciples shared and it is a legacy for all who would come…
Good morning. Last week I had talked about how we had just finished our journey of and with Hope and we have now decided it is time hope comes in…that Hope enters our presence. And I have challenged us to go out and share that Hope… Then I asked the question…where does our authority come from. What gives us the ability and the right to share the gospel?
I think the answers lie within the Gospel of John chapter 17. If I had to choose a Gospel that was my favorite it would have to be the Gospel of John. The other Gospels give you the information but John gives you the feeling behind the words. In this chapter, we hear Jesus praying from His heart to the Father.
Last week we looked at how He prayed for Himself, for Himself to be glorified and back where He had been since the dawn of time up until the night love was born in a stable. Then He prayed for His disciples. We talked about how even though He was praying for the ones with Him…we too are included in His prayer because we are His disciples as well. This is the first part that he began to pray for us. We, who are His disciples are promised the same things that His first disciples were promised. Does this truth make you want to share this hope we are now given within this prayer? Give time to answer.
We talked about some of the benefits to the first part of this prayer?
We will give glory through Jesus. We who obey Jesus and God’s word. We who have accepted Him as sent from heaven.
The power of Heaven protects us.
We have the joy of Jesus within us
We are protected from the evil one.
We are sanctified in and through Jesus, and are sent forth in Jesus’ name.
And now…Jesus prays for the disciples to come. Why do you think Jesus prayed for the disciples yet to come…for you and I? Give time to answer. OK…Jesus talks about the unity of the disciples…of all of the disciples. Do you think that his Name will be known throughout the world if we are not in unity with each other? Give time to answer.
Jesus also prays that we would be with Him. Think about that for a moment. Jesus prayed we would be with Him. He was praying us into heaven. He shared the knowledge of His Father with His disciples…past present and future…so that we could be one with them. Those who profess His name…all those who profess His name…unfortunately we have forgotten this part of the pray all too many times…
“26 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.”
Through the Holy Spirit…Jesus continues to make God known to us. I think that if Jesus gave us all the information at once our heads would explode…we would not be able to take it all in. We are continually taught about God…God is revealed to us…within His word through the Holy Spirit… It is within this revelation…it is within this growing closer to God and Jesus that our testimony is. It is within this knowledge that we are emboldened to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Church, we have been prayed over…we have had Holy hands placed upon us and anointed…by our Lord Jesus because we are disciples. We are sent forth with this hope. We are given the ability through and in our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ. This our authority. This is the Legacy we are given. This is a calling that cannot be ignored…humanity is counting on us…God is counting on us and we shall not fail.
We are not of this world but sent into the world to preach the gospel of Hope. We will be asked by whose authority do we speak so boldly. And we have the answer and the authority…it is in and through the One who has paved the way…Jesus Christ…in whose Name we proclaim and profess.
Church the field is ripe for the harvest. What will you and I do? You know I love being here with you in this sanctuary. It is a beautiful place to be…with it’s stained glass and tin walls and roof. But did you know that there is a commission within our walls? As many of you know, my husband Ray has an eye for detail. And the detail he talked with me about is mind boggling…and the fact that this church was built where there was a sheep barn…in fact that is where this church first began to come together….
“Look at the walls. There are vertical stalks in the tin work. The tinsmiths must have put them there as a reminder to us of who we are to the wheat ripe for harvest, ready to be gathered in by God. Look toward the ceilings, the heads of the wheat are ready. There are also sections of the wall and ceiling where we see the shape of vines as we are connected to the Vine. There are places on the ceiling that have the number 7 for perfection, 12 for the 12 tribes of Israel and the number 40 for forty days…years…etc.. There are the shapes of shepherd staffs on either side of the Good Shepherd stained glass. There is and arch like the shape of the dome leading us into the chancel.”
We are the future of the Christ’s church…His body. Being a disciple means we are living in the legacy that was given us by the first disciples. To preach the gospel of love, grace, and hope…it is a birthright given to us as children of the King of kings… from here in Patten…to the surrounding community…and beyond. Maybe…just maybe…
I would lie to end my sermon with a poem that Ray wrote about us…here…in this sanctuary…it is within this poem…I hear God calling us to not be mediocre but to be bold as we are called out of our building and into the streets or Christ…
Read Ray’s poem…