Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sermon by Rich Richardson on John 17:20-26

“I do not   ask for these only, but also for those   who will believe in me through their word,  that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.  Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.  I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:20-26 (ESV)

Jesus is praying for us. Not the disciples, but Christians "who will believe in me through their word."
What does he pray for? Unity. Not uniformity, but harmony around the gospel.
Unity is togetherness like the Trinity.

Seven ways to foment division (what to NOT do):
1. Talk about people, not to them.
2. Draw conclusions quickly without hearing both sides.
3. Expect perfection from others and remember your pain for a long time.
4. Let secondary matters put a wedge between you and others.
5. Think that no one really understands you.
6. When you have a side, send out a mass email or facebook post, to try to get others to join your side.
7. When you have issues with someone, deal with them quickly and publicly.

Jesus prayed and prays for unity. This is not only the last minute request of a dying man. It is the ongoing prayer of a risen King. There is hope.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Sermon by Jason Hansen on John 17:11-16

"And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.  While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.  But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." John 17:11-16 (ESV)

Jesus is making sure that his people are taken care of, like a parent leaving their child with someone.

He asks the Father to keep us IN and keep us FROM.
I. Keep us IN His Name
Is Jesus concerned that we would leave the faith? No. He has complete trust in the Father.
  We were given to Jesus by the Father. Our adoption was part of His sovereign plan.
  So the Father will be faithful to keep us. Jesus' prayer will be answered.
Why then does He pray this? Because He loves us. We are overhearing a cosmic conversation between two loving caregivers (who are really One).
We are being kept so that we may be one. This doesn't mean we never disagree. There is unity around the Gospel.

II. Keep us FROM the evil one
We are protected by the Father from the enemy in the world. But...
   - We are not to be completely separate. Wise, but still in the world.
   - We will experience suffering.

So what?
Since Jesus finds joy and comfort knowing that the Father is keeping and protecting us, let us also find joy and comfort in this truth.
We should also find joy and comfort in a loving Savior. Jesus prayed these things for our hope and our joy. He assures us by praying for us. This is mere hours before the crucifixion. And He's thinking about us.