In our last post from the book of John we looked at Jesus’ definition of eternal life. If you’re interested, you can check out any of the last four posts on John 17 here:
- The Most Amazing Prayer Ever Prayed (and 1 thing we can take from it)
- How Jesus asked God to Glorify Jesus (and what that meant for Jesus, and what that means for you and for me)
- The 9 Items from Jesus’ To-Do List
- The Soldier Who Felt God’s Hand: John 17:1-3
You’ll notice one of the previous posts was titled The 9 Items from Jesus’ To-Do List. This post examined the nine “I have” statements Jesus made to God during his prayer in John 17. Jesus was reporting in to God at the end of his life and sharing 9 lifetime accomplishments.
Today we’ll look at the same prayer from the same chapter, but today we’ll examine 7 “I wants,” Jesus prayed in John 17. But before we do, let’s set the scene by recognizing exactly who it is who is doing the wanting. In verse five Jesus says,
“And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (v. 5)
Jesus was present with and was in communion with God The Father before planet earth ever existed. That’s who wants these seven things. This is what the eternal Son of God, the Alpha and the Omega, the Maker of all things wants. (John 1:1-5)
Here’s the list:
1. Jesus wants us to be one with each other.
“And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” (v. 11)
Reminds me of this joke I read today by Emo Philips:
Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump.
I said, “Don’t do it!”
He said, “Nobody loves me.”
I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”
He said, “Yes.”
I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?”
He said, “A Christian.”
I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?”
He said, “Protestant.”
I said, “Me, too! What franchise?”
He said, “Baptist.”
I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”
He said, “Northern Baptist.”
I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”
He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.”
I said, “Die, heretic!”
And I pushed him over.
So, Jesus doesn’t want us to be that guy. Jesus wants us, all of us, all of us who believe in Jesus, to be one with each other, even as Jesus and the Father are one.
2. Jesus wants us to be filled with joy.
“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” (v. 13)
Jesus desires to fill each of us with his joy. The words he spoke to his disciples, the words he shared with the world, what he speaks to you and to me, he shares that our joy may be full. (John 15:11)
3. Jesus wants us to remain in the world.
“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” (v. 14-15)
Jesus wants us to remain in the world so we can share Christ with the world in the context of love, but he doesn’t want us to be of the world. We’re to be set apart. There should be something different about a Christ follower, and that difference should be a great love for God, and a remarkable love for people. Our love is what should make us stand out from the world around us.
4. Jesus wants us protected from the evil one.
“. . . that you keep them from the evil one.” (v. 15)
Jesus, our Shepherd, wants us protected from the evil one.
5. Jesus wants us to be sanctified in the truth.
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (v. 16-17)
Jesus wants us to be sanctified. Sanctification means we’re to be set apart from the world. We’re to be lovers of God, lovers of people, and holy. And the way to be sanctified is by soaking in the truth, God’s truth, found in God’s word.
Number 1 stated again and emphasized in Jesus’ prayer: Jesus wants us to be one, perfectly one.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (v. 20-23)
Jesus doesn’t just want all of his followers to be one, he wants all of his followers to be “perfectly one” with Jesus in each of us, and perfectly one with each other in Christ. Just as Jesus and our Father are perfectly one: the Father in Jesus, and Jesus in the Father. The purpose of this is so the world will know God sent Jesus, and so the world will know that God loves us. Our unity and love for one another is a witness to the world of God’s love. It’s worth noting Jesus mentions this twice. As you already know, repetition in the Bible indicates importance.
6. Jesus wants us with him.
“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (v. 24)
Jesus wants us to be with him, and see his glory, in heaven, forever. That’s amazing great news. That’s how much Jesus loves us. He wants us with him, for eternity.
7. Jesus wants God to put His love inside each of us.
“O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (v. 25-26)
Jesus wants God to put inside of every believer the same love He loved Jesus with. So if you pray for that love. You’re praying in unity with, in alignment with, in agreement with Jesus’ great prayer from John 17.
Seven wants of Jesus expressed to his Father in this great prayer. Probably the greatest recorded prayer ever prayed by anyone anywhere.
Praying with scripture is a great habit. Like you, I pray along as I read the Psalms sometimes. And I pray along as I read other parts of scripture sometimes. This prayer of Jesus in John 17 is a great prayer to pray along with.
Agreeing with Jesus in prayer might be one of the most powerful things you can do.
Wanting what Jesus wants is one of the most powerful ways you can live.
In Jesus’ name.
Emo Philips, The best God joke ever, TheGuardian, September 29, 2005 (The version shared in today’s God Running blog post is an abbreviated version.)
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Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.
Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:
- Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
- How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
- The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
- How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
- How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
- How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
- How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
- How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
- How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.
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