Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 25 - John 17

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In many Bibles the heading for this chapter is "Jesus Prayer" or the ESV "The High Priestly Prayer" as I read this passage I get very excited.

In May 2011 I graduated from the Haggard School of Theology of Azusa Pacific University with a Master of Arts in Worship Leadership. Have the program was music classes the other half Bible/theology classes. One of my classes I had to write a paper on this passage. I had to do the exegesis on it. If you don't know what an exegesis is don't feel bad I didn't either until I started doing Bible classes! But basically you take a passage and drill down to it's meaning. Looking at the passage in light of what it would have meant to the original audience. 

My "sermon" paper ended up being a Model of Prayer.  I don't know about your church background, but sometimes I've been made to feel almost guilty for praying for myself. Yet Jesus opens up His prayer praying for Himself. HELLO??? If the Son of God needs to pray for Himself, I think it's ok for us. Then He moves on and prays for His disciples, and then He prays for us.

I looked at it in light of praying for myself that my actions bring glory to God. Then to pray for my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, and then pray for the future brothers and sisters in Christ.

Forgive the longer rant, but having studied this passage it came to mean a great deal to me. Are there any parts in the passage that just make you want to SHOUT!


  1. 22“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me."

    I love this part of the prayer because Jesus is praying for all of us here. He wants us all to be united in love. I can't help but notice how off track we get from that unity when we argue about petty differences - things that just don't matter.

    As for your comments about being able to pray for ourselves, I know we can hesitate to do so, thinking it is somehow self-serving. I notice pastors tend to shy away from this the most. We always end in prayer at our women's Bible studies at my church. Often, the Pastor puts out prayer for everyone EXCEPT herself. Last night, after praying for everyone else, she prayed for guidance for herself in a tough family situation she is currently in. It felt like such a tender moment for me because she so rarely opens up like that in prayer in the presence of other people.

  2. John 17
    20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.

    That is me! That is you! That is unto all generations who will believe on His Name! Jesus praying for us before we took our first breath. Oh how He loves us from before the foundations of the earth.

  3. My first reaction to your observation, Holly, was that OF COURSE we need to pray for ourselves--but as I considered it, for me the distinction is "before others." I pray for myself a lot in private. But before others? That's the tough part. On the one hand, it does seem like crying for THEIR attention (and that may occasionally be the case, but not for many, nor often). But in the case of a pastor, it's more about finding that difficult balance between humility and leadership. I experience that with my kids--I want to show them that we can and should take our problems before the Lord, but I also want to show them that their parents are strong and can be depended on. How much more do pastors feel that?

    But you're right--Jesus's example here is clear. He humbled himself before His disciples, yet in so doing demonstrated his exaltation. Another beautiful illustration showing us that vulnerability before the Lord is where true strength is found!