Andrew Fountain - The Great Prayer of Jesus

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Sermon notes - The Great Prayer of Jesus

The Great Prayer of Jesus

The Great Prayer of Jesus

Image source: Aneun_9

  • Just before Jesus went to the cross, we read the last prayer of Jesus recorded in John’s gospel.
    • It is also the longest and most intimate of all his prayers
    • (The other gospels contain a few words spoken by Jesus in the Garden and on the cross, but this is the last full prayer).


  1. What Jesus is most passionate about
  2. The reason for this
  3. How we get there
  • Goal: To make Jesus’ passion what we are passionate about

1. What Jesus is most passionate about

John 17:18-26

  1. Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.
  2. And I dedicate myself on their behalf, so that they too may be totally dedicated
  3. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
  4. that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you.
    I ask that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
  5. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,
  6. 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.
  7. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
  8. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you sent me.
  9. I made known your name to them, and I will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them.

John 13

  1. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
  2. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

based on NET Bible

Jesus’s desire

  • The whole world should see love
  • A love that can only be explained by the supernatural
  • Unity: “that they may become perfectly one”

2. The reason for this

  • But something cosmic is going on here
    • Before mankind sinned, there was no shame

Shame in Eden: Gen 3

And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. —Gen 2:25

  1. Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.…
  2. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
  3. And Adam said, “…I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
  • What is going on here? Why are they ashamed?
    • They are married to each other! and if anyone had perfect bodies it was them
    • So why shame?
  • Something bigger is going on
    • Not merely wanting to cover themselves physically
  • What if all your deepest thoughts were easily visible to everyone?
  • Here is the foundation of my message today:

Jesus is re-creating
a perfect humanity
with no shame

  • He is then going to hold out this new-creation to the world and say
    • “See, this is what is coming. You can be part of it!”
  • Similar passage in 1 John that makes the connection with the New Creation

1 John 4:7-13

  1. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
  2. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
  3. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
  4. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
  5. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
  6. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
  7. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
  8. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

based on NET Bible

  • Example of early church archeology comparing Christian meeting place with that of other religions of the time.
  • It’s interesting to follow the theme of shame through the Bible
    • Jesus did this by taking our shame on himself

Hebrews 12

  1. looking to Jesus …who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
    despising the shame,
    and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

No shame now

  • 1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
  • Rom 5:5 …and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
  • How Jesus has taken our shame
    • Has he taken yours?
  • Notice reference to the Holy Spirit—this brings us to the third point:
  • But are we only to love other Christians?
    • Of course we are to love all, as Jesus loved all
    • But we cannot have the deep and intimate love that comes from the unity of the Holy Spirit if they don’t share in the Spirit

3. How we get there: The Spirit


  1. What Jesus is most passionate about: Our love and unity as a demonstration to the world
  2. The reason for this: To preach a new hope of a world where sin is no more
  3. How we get there: The Spirit
  • Goal: To make Jesus’ passion what we are passionate about
  • Not time to look at all the verses but Jesus’s promise of the Spirit is closely connected with the new commandment—to love one another

Ephesians 4

  1. -[gifts of the Spirit] …until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God — a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christ’s full stature.
  2. So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes.
  3. But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head.
  4. From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love.
  • In Galatians this is very practical:

Galatians 4&5

  1. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
  2. gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
  3. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
  4. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
  5. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
  6. Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too.
  7. Carry one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

based on NET Bible

  • Example: My family effectively homeless 30 yrs ago
  • Example: J.G. Machen bearing the burden of the alchoholic
  • You can read a great article on these verses by Don Garlington
  • Is Christianity known for unity and close-knit love
    • Does this grieve you?
    • I believe God is doing a work in these days
    • Before he returns, we will see maturity, through the Spirit
  • Why has this not happened?
    • One of the reasons is that it is not preached. It is not given high prominence
      • We need to see it as #1 on Jesus’ agenda!
    • A second reason is that it’s not very ‘sexy’
      • But Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow him?
      • The Old Testament said “love your neighbour as yourself”
        • But Jesus said “love like I have loved”
    • None of us naturally want to devote our lives to dying to ourselves and lifting others up
      • We want an exciting call to be powerful men and women of valour!

1 John 3

  1. We have come to know love by this: that Jesus laid down his life for us;
    thus we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians.
  • You can’t do it, but the power within you can!
    • Ask God that you might walk in his Spirit!
    • Ask what you can do to build unity

Updated on 2017-08-01 by Andrew Fountain