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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

Read John 17:1-8.

The Men You Gave Me

John chapter 17 is the prayer that Jesus prayed for His followers just before He was arrested.  He had finished His work of teaching and preaching.  Through Him His followers had gotten acquainted with God.  He had given them eternal life.

“And eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent” (John 17:3).

The time had come for Jesus to die for the sins of the world.  He presented to His Father the men that God had given Him out of the world.  They still lived in the world but were no longer a part of its wicked, ungodly system.  They lived for God instead of for worldly pleasure, power, or fame.

Keep Them Safe

Read John 17:9-20.

Jesus spoke of the men God had given Him out of the world.  The disciples of Jesus were not born as saints, or holy men. They were sinners just the same as other men.  But they turned from their sins to believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him.  And so they were saved.

Jesus knew that He would leave His followers that very night.  He prayed for God to keep them safe.  One of the disciples, Judas, was lost even while Jesus was with them.  Jesus knew that after He left the disciples, they would all be tempted to give up what He had taught them and to go back to their old life.

Satan can’t take us away from God, but he does try to get us to turn away from God and go back to sin.  After you decide to live for Christ, Satan will tempt you to go back.  Remember that Jesus has prayed for you and is praying for you now.  Read verse 20.

“And so he is able, now and always, to save those who come to God through him, because he lives forever to plead with God for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Jesus doesn’t ask the Father to take us out of the world so that we won’t have to suffer.  We have work to do.  He has sent us into the world with the message of salvation.

Several times in this chapter, Jesus taught that He gave His followers the true Word of God: verses 8, 14, 17.  In verse 17 we are told that we are to be God’s own by means of His Word.

Jesus said also that He sent His followers into the world just as God had sent Him.  Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.  So we as Christians should try to win other people to the Lord.  We must keep on giving them the Word of God in churches, schools, literature, radio, and personal witnessing.  And we must live a true Christian life before them to show them the way of life.

May They Be One

Read John 17:20-23.

Jesus was praying not only for His disciples who lived at the time but for all who would believe in Him.  That means you.  Jesus prayed that all His followers would be one. This means that He wanted them to live and work together in unity.  It is not good for Christians to be divided and work against one another.

There are many different churches, but the members can live in peace if they are willing to put Christ first.  Some people today say that all churches should become one church, but this can never be done as long as the different churches believe different things.

We cannot join with a church that does not believe what Jesus taught.  We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, and that His death for us is the only thing that can save us from sin.  We must agree on these important things if we are to “be one.”

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3, KJV)

Jesus prayed that we might be one in Him and in the Father. Being in Christ is basic to Christian unity.  If you want Christian fellowship and spiritual help, join a church that believes, teaches, and obeys the Bible – a church where Christ’s presence is real.

To Be with Me

Read John 17:24-26.

Jesus closed His prayer by saying that he wanted His followers to be with Him wherever He was.  One day we will go to be with Him.  The book of Revelation (the last book in the Bible) tells of all the saved ones standing before the throne of God singing praise to Jesus, the Lamb that was slain.

We do not know when we will be called to go to be with the Lord.  Until then we must live every day in a way to please God.  Then we will not fear death, for we will know that death is only a door through which we will enter into God’s presence.

Jesus will take only saved people to be with Him.  Unsaved people will never have a place with Him.  Don’t you want to be with Jesus forever?

“There will be the shout of command, the archangel’s voice, the sound of God’s trumpet, and the Lord himself will come down from heaven! Those who have died believing in Christ will be raised to life first; then we who are living at that time will all be gathered up along with hem in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will always be with the Lord.  So then, encourage one another with these words” (1Thessalonians 4:16-18).

Take the quiz

Quiz Instructions

Test your knowledge by taking this short quiz.

1. Read John 17:3 and fill in the blank. "And this is the way to have __________—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.

a) love

b) peace

c) eternal life

2. How does Satan treat Christians?

a) He leaves them alone.

b) He tries to get them to leave God and return to sin.

c) He takes them away from God.

3. How should we act toward the world?

a) We should pray to leave it.

b) We should live in it and enjoy its pleasure.

c) We should give God’s Word to the world.

4. How are Jesus’ followers to be sent into the world?

a) As sheep without a shepherd because Jesus has gone.

b) As God sent Jesus: to look for the lost and win them for the Lord.

c) As church members to ask people to join their church.

5. For whom was Jesus praying?

a) For the twelve disciples.

b) For all church members that they would join the same church.

c) For all those who believe in Him, even those who believe today.

6. When Jesus prayed for His followers to be one, did He mean that all Christians should belong to one church today?

a) Yes, there should not be different churches.

b) No, Christians should not belong to a church.

c) No, for some churches do not believe the very things that Jesus taught.

7. How did Jesus close His prayer?

a) By saying that He wanted His followers to be with Him wherever He was.

b) By saying He might give people a chance to be saved after they die.

c) By saying that the world knew God.

8. If you should die today, would you go to be with the Lord?

a) I am not sure.

b) No, for I am not saved.

c) Yes, for I have believed in Jesus as my own Savior.

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