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John 17 is a wonderful prayer that Jesus prays for his disciples. Beginning in verse 20 he also prays for believers. Not just the ones at that present time but for those in the future. His prayer is that those who believe might also, by their unity, show the world that God sent Jesus because He loved the world (John 17:23, 3:16).
In verses 1-5 the glory of the Father and the Son is foremost. Jesus has completed his work on earth and is ready to return to the Father. The verses in Acts 4:21 and 11:18 show that glorifying the Father and the Son are essential as a testimony for believers.
The second part Jesus is praying for the welfare of the ones given him that he is sending to witness, but also for the ones given him in the future. He prays for unity, joy), protection and sanctification. A great and glorious Saviour is interceding on behalf of believers everywhere. In Acts 2:41-47 and 4:31-35 are examples of the power of believers who care for one another’s welfare through the love of Jesus.
And finally the rest of the prayer is summed up in verse 21 when Jesus prays “that the world may believe…” The hope in the prayer is that the ones being sent to witness will be able to finish the work begun by the Saviour while he was here in the flesh.
Acts is an excellent book to study for witnessing. In it are some of the great examples of witnesses of Christ on record. Our church begins with the study of the book of Acts this Thursday night at 7 p.m. Of course, anyone who wants to attend is welcome.
Copies of the sermon are always available and we would love to send you a CD of it. They are free. Call (4l7) 543-6219 to get a copy. Have a God-blessed, God-inspired, and God-filled week.