Devotional Thought for Today – 01/18/2023


Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC: This chapter is a prayer, it is the Lord’s prayer, the Lord Christ’s prayer. There was one Lord’s prayer which he taught us to pray, and did not pray himself, for he needed not to pray for the forgiveness of sin; but this was properly and peculiarly his, and suited him only as a Mediator, and is a sample of his intercession, and yet is of use to us both for instruction and encouragement in prayer. Observe, I. The circumstances of the prayer (v. 1). II. The prayer itself. 1. He prays for himself (v. 1-5). 2. He prays for those that are his. And in this see, (1.) The general pleas with which he introduces his petitions for them (v. 6-10). (2.) The particular petitions he puts up for them [1.] That they might be kept (v. 11-16). [2.] That they might be sanctified (v. 17-19). [3.] That they might be united (v. 11 and 20-23). [4.] That they might be glorified (v. 24-26).

All of John Chapter 17 may well be one of the most important prayers, some have called it the Greatest Prayer ever, for all Christians to study and remember as it is filled with theological wealth. Today we are going to look at John 17:13-19 with our main text, v.17, for today landing in the middle of it. I highly recommend Alexander McLaren’s Commentary, Dr. John Gill’s Commentary, as well as Matthew Henry’s noted above. Without Going into great detail I will attempt to outline these verses for you:

v.13 Jesus prays for Joy for his followers/disciples – Note how they are to achieve this joy. Not in worldly things as it has been noted and will be repeated they are not of this world but in Christ Jesus Alone.

v.14 Jesus had given them the Father’s Word, and they are hated by the world just as Jesus – They are hated because following Jesus put makes them rebellious against the elitists (Jews and Romans) of the day. Just as today the world does not and can not understand true followers of Christ. they will always be jealous of the inner peace He brings and hate us for it.

v.15 Jesus prays they are kept from evil – There are a lot of things, Jesus the God/Man could have done here He chose to PRAY. Pray that His disciples and those that would follow would be kept from the evils of this world. Does this mean that no evil will befall a True Believer, NO!!!!! Far too many martyrs, names have been recorded for anyone to think this true. We live in a world surrounded by evil, Jesus is not speaking of the physical although that can be included and should be prayed for by us, He is speaking of the spiritual to keep us from the evil of sin.

v.16 Jesus reiterates v.14, that neither is of this world – As if anyone needed a reminder Jesus here repeats v.14, I am convinced this is used as a setup for our main text to follow.

v.17 Jesus asked they {His disciples} be Sanctified by the Word of God – Here is the answer to the question of the day, how do you overcome the fact that the whole world is against you? How can anyone find Joy in a place of such hostility? Our Lord told us there was only one way Sanctification through His Holy Written Word.

v.18 Jesus sends disciples into the world just as he was sent – Could you imagine being given a scalpel and told to operate on a loved one to save their life? Sounds crazy, no one would expect you to attempt something like that you need proper training. Here too, Jesus sent His disciples into the World with proper training. They have 3+ years at the Master’s feet, learning and absorbing all the doctrine from God Himself. Although they probably did not understand it (John 14:16, 26, 16:8) all tell us of the coming indwelling Holy Spirit.

v.19 Jesus must Sanctify Himself that His disciples may be sanctified – This has long been a contentious verse for those wishing to mock Christianity. ‘See here your god had to make himself holy.’ Jesus here is speaking of the coming time when He in the Flesh will set Himself apart (same word Sanctify) as an offering for mankind’s sin at Calvary. Because He was Holy, already Sanctified, fully God and Fully man only He was a worthy sacrifice opening the door for man’s sanctification, in the Truth of God (His Word).

Many churches today undercut the importance of scripture, they relegate it to a secondary or tertiary position in the “worship” service. Church becomes more about “worship” which equates to pumped-up music to make you feel hyped to hear a 5-minute sermon (note no expository preachin here) and closing with more pumped-up music to keep you fired up. Sorry folks the focus is wrong. It is never about us, certainly, I should have no need to be pumped up about the Word of Life, it is always about Christ. Do I think there are some churches focused on the opposite end of living in the doldrums, for sure. Yet I think the Bible and our text make it abundantly clear that God’s Holy Word has priority.

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