John 17 1-11
Todays readings are perfectly set at a pivotal, moment in the story,
It’s Midnight just before he is arrested, he knows what’s coming, he knows the symbolism of this happening at this moment.. It’s the Jewish day of atonement,.Every year on this day (Leviticus 16), the high priest of Israel would enter the holiest part of the temple and offer three prayers: for himself, his fellow priests and all the people of God.
Then would bring out the sacrificial lamb and declare it the object that carried all their sin. Then the lamb would be killed be killed, making them right with god.
As the high priest jesus says three prayer
By praying these three prayers today, Jesus has become the priest that’s entering the holiest place, and by his sacrifice he has also made himself the sacrificial lamb on atonement day, for all of us.
In The first prayer. He asks for glory, so he can glorify god.
Stating the gift his sacrifice brings, confirming his role in that gift, and how long the world had waited for this moment.
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
This is Jesus saying, he knows he has the power to do what he needs to, and he is determined to finish the task God gave him, long before the world began
Then he does something akin to what we may have done in his place if we had to leave our children in another’s care. He prays for his them , and then Asks the person that’s caring for them, to do certain things.
I remember once my mother was really ill, and my dad had to work as we didn’t have much money in those days. We knew how many dinners were left that week in those days, so dad had to work. I was around 9 , my younger, brother was 6, and my elder brother 12, too young to look after us both, feed us, get us to school etc while dad did long hours to feed us.
So aunties and grandparents stepped in and looked after us until she returned.
My mum left them a note asking them to do certain things for us while she was away,.
This is Jesus asking God to do the same, praying for the people he is about to leave. His disciples
He is praying for his disciples, which means US.
Asking God to look after us.
All of us.
We here today, all the disciples before and all those that come after us.
This and what
He asks for tells us a lot about us, and how we got here today.
6 “I have revealed you[a] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.
I love that so much don’t you?
God gave all of to jesus, each of us today are gifts to jesus from god.
We got here today, by being given to jesus by god. And then in turn Jesus revealed the glory of god to us.
I think that’s lovely don’t you, we didn’t happen into this, we were gifts by god and given, to jesus , we are chosen , wanted, loved, children of God.
This process this deliberate act of god I think imbues us with knowledge programmed into our dna, and that gives us the next thing he says about us
something I think we all know here today
7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
So god chose us, gave us to jesus and Jesus revealed god to us and we know where the love that Jesus shows comes from.
Then he really makes it clear this prayer is for us
. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you.
Then he comes to the ask.
Then he prays a prayer often prayed by priests for their flock and it’s a powerful prayer.
Holy Father, protect them by the power of[b] your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
So now we know…
So we are gifts to jesus, which gave us the knowledge of who he is, and where his words and actions come from, and he know then that he has the power to become our sacrificial lamb and take our sin.
This makes us one, with Jesus , Jesus
He wants god to look after us, and he wants us to stick together to be one
Then just after our lectionary today, he prays something so lovely I just wanted to share it with you.
Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
So that’s where we are headed ,and what Jesus wants ,the thing he desired just before his arrest, that one day we are with him , to see his glory
I hope and pray that comes to pass for all of us
I thought it might be nice to finish on that prayer t hat Jesus prayed, and if I may pray for us all.
Just with the tense changes from third to first person so that I can pray for us all
Jesus you are longer in the world, but we are in the world, and we know that you are alive and with God who gave us to you.
Holy Father, , please protect in your name those that you gave to jesus your son, so that we may be one with you , and with each other
Forever and ever
In Jesus name