Monday, August 29, 2016

THE LORD'S PRAYER

The High-Priestly Prayer of Jesus


Prayer was very much a part 

of Jesus' ministry while on 

earth.



And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. (Mar 6:46)
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (Luk 6:12)
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, (Luk 22:41)
We don’t know too much about what He prayed during those times. The passage in Luke 6 suggests that He prayed about His choice of the apostles; and in the other Lucan passage, it was His prayer of agony before the crucifixion, which is also recorded in Matt. 26:39ff and Mk. 14:35ff.

In John’s Gospel, The Gospel of Love, we have recorded what is sometimes known as the High-Priestly Prayer of Jesus. I usually refer to it as the Lord’s Prayer, because this is a lengthy recording of Jesus’ prayer for us. And, yes, it is a prayer of intercession by our High Priest on our behalf.
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. [Jhn 17:1-3 ESV]
"When Jesus had spoken these words…"

What words? The preceding words recorded in John 16:19-33.

After He spoke those words, He then turned His attention toward the Father and began praying for those to whom He had just preached.

This transition reveals His ministry as both prophet and priest (Lk. 13:33; Heb. 3:1).

If we are to follow in His steps, then it is necessary that we not be content with simply telling others the good news, but we must also pray for those to whom we preach.

When He had spoken to them FROM God, He then turns and speaks TO God for them. We should be satisfied with no less.

“…(S)ince you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.”

Notice that Jesus says the Father has given Him authority over ALL flesh, but He only gives eternal life to those whom the Father has given Him.

Who are the “all” that the Father has given to the Son?

Some would limit this to just the disciples who walked this physical earth with the physical Jesus. They base that on verses 6 and 9—
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. ... I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. (Jhn 17:6, 9)

However, Jesus made it clear that He was also praying for us:
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (Jhn 17:20)

If we are part of those who have been given to the Son, then that should cause our hearts to soar with gratitude and adoration. You are a gift. I am a gift. We are gifts given to Jesus.

He cherishes and shows appreciation for that gift by giving us eternal life.

Think about that for a moment.

The Father loves you enough to have called you out of the way you were going and bring you into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col. 1:13 NASB footnote).

You did not “choose Jesus.” He chose you. (John 15:16)

Now we come to one of the most fascinating verses of scripture. I say “fascinating” because of the various concepts that we have been given concerning this particular phrase—
ETERNAL LIFE
What does that phrase mean to you? Is the first thing that comes to mind is that you will live forever?

If so, then you are among the majority, for that is what most folks believe. And, why shouldn’t they believe that? “Eternal” means forever, and “life” means to live. Therefore, it means to “live forever.”

While living forever is certainly an aspect of eternal life, it is not in itself eternal life.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (Jhn 17:3)

Eternal life, as defined and explained by Jesus, means to know God, and Jesus Christ who was sent by God.

The word “know” translates the word that means to know by experience, to know intimately. It is not the mere perception of something or someone, but the full knowledge that comes from being in their presence.

So, more than a “quantity of existence,” eternal life means a “quality of existence.”

That quality of life began the day you were born again and will continue beyond time.

We are blest indeed!

You are growing in your knowledge, grace and experience of the Lord, aren’t you? (2 Pet. 3:18) It is not something that hasn’t changed for you in the past few years, I hope.

Eternal life is a quality of existence that makes getting up every morning worthwhile.


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