JOHN 17, THE REAL LORD’S PRAYER

JOHN 17, THE REAL LORD’S PRAYER

December 31, 2017

L. John Bost

Introduction
We usually refer to the prayer given by Jesus in Matthew 6:9-13, and repeated with some variations in Luke 11:1-4, as “The Lord’s Prayer.” This prayer is not intended to be a prayer for the Lord’s disciples to repeat verbatim. It is, rather, a model prayer.
Though that prayer is usually considered, “The Lord’s prayer,” because it was given by Him, there is another prayer found in the New Testament that I believe should be referred to as “The Lord’s prayer,” rather than that one. That is the prayer recorded by John in John 17. In this article, I will explain my position on that point, and take a close look at the prayer in John.
The Traditional “Lord’s Prayer”
In Matthew 6:9, Jesus says, “After this manner therefore pray ye.” The prayer in Luke is given in response to a disciple’s request, “Lord, teach us to pray.” The two prayers are not exactly the same. For example, the prayer in Matthew contains the request, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). The request in Luke, slightly less specific, reads, “Give us day by dayour daily bread” (Luke 11:3). Also, Matthew’s prayer reads, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matt. 6:12), whereas Luke’s prayer reads, “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us” (Luke 11:4). and the prayer in Luke omits the statement, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever” (Matt. 6:13). These variations show that the intent of our Lord was to teach His disciples how to pray and what to pray for in a general sense. Most importantly, we are to pray acknowledging the hallowed (holy) name of God, and that God’s will must be done on earth as it is in heaven.(Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2).
John 17, the Real Lord’s Prayer
John writes, “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.” (John 17:1). This prayer was prayed by our Lord just before He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray before he was betrayed by Judas Matthew 26:36-49; Mark 14:32-45; 18:1-2). He has spent some time after announcing that He would be betrayed (Matt. 26:21-26; John 13:18-27) comforting them. Now He prays for them. The needed their Master’s prayer since He would shortly be crucified, rise, and ascend back into heaven. The work of telling the world of His sacrifice for our sins would then be theirs (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47.
Jesus first asks God to glorify Him so that He, the Son, might glorify Him (John 17:1). He would be glorified by his death and resurrection which fulfilled His mission on earth, bringing salvation to the world (John 17:4). He prefaces this request with the statement, “The hour is come,” that is, the hour of His crucifixion, literally only hours away. He gives as the reason for His request that the Father had given Him “power over all flesh” to give eternal life to as many as God had given Him(John 17:2). He was given the world and would offer eternal life to all (John3:16). He mentions that power as His authority to commission the apostles to “teach all nations” (Matt. 28:18-20).

The Savior reaffirms the truth that salvation comes through the knowledge God as the only true God, and Jesus Christ. Know, here, means, “to keep on knowing,” (Robertson). It does not mean to simply know in the sense of being acquainted with, or knowing that He exists. There is much more involved. (For a discussion of this, see What Bible Says and Salvation in Romans.
The Lord affirms what John had written in John 1:1-3, that He was in the beginning, and with the Father, created all things (John 17:5).
In John 17:6, Jesus gave the highest commendation possible. The Son says to the Father, “…thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Paul would later write, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). The apostles pleased God! The pleased God and Jesus because they knew that the words of Jesus, as He, had come from the God (John 17:6-8).
Jesus specifically prayed for the disciples, and not the world of unbelievers, because they belonged to Him and to God (John 17:9-10).
Jesus would be with the Father, but they would still in the world, so He prayed that the Holy Father would keep through His own name “that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11). That oneness of the disciples is important. Jesus prayed for that unity four times in John 17 (John 17:11, 21, 22, 23). Nor was it a prayer merely for the eleven apostles. The Lord prayed in John 17:20, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” That would be us, as well as all of His people who have come before us, and will come after! He continues, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:20-21). Notice an important reason for this unity that our Lord sets forth in John 17:21, “…that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” We must be unified so that the world will believe that the Father sent the Son! (See also 1 Corinthians 1:10; Eph. 4:1-6).
In John 17:12, Jesus again mentions Judas, referring to him as, “The son of perdition. He was the only one of the twelve to be lost.
Jesus said that He said these things while in the world that the apostles would have His joy fulfilled in themselves (John 17:13) They must remain in the world and endure much for Him while He is with the Father (John 17:14). They need to know that they would be hated by the world, but would be loved by Him and the Father, and would later be with Him.
Jesus did not pray that God would take the believers out of the world, but to keep them from the evil (one). They were in the world, but not of the world (John 17:15-16). His prayer was that that would continue while they were in the world. He prayed that God would sanctify them (set them apart from the world for holy service) by His word, as He had sanctified Himself (John 17:15-19). Notice the affirmation by our Lord, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). This is the answer to Pilate’s question in John 18:37-38 when Jesus said, “I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth”. It is the answer to your question, “What is truth?” And it affirms that there is such thing as truth.”
After praying for the Eleven while they are on the earth, He turns, in John 17:24, to their place in Eternity. He prays that they “be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me.” He continues, “For thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” God loved the Son the beginning, while He was in Heaven, while He was on the earth, where He took the form of man (Phil. 2:5-11), and He will love Him in Heaven throughout Eternity. Now He prays that His followers be with Him there.
In John 17:25, He mentions that the world had not known the righteous Father, but He had known Him, and the Twelve had known Him. Now He prays “that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26).
Conclusion
I believe that the prayer in John 17 is really “The Lord’s Prayer,” because it was actually prayed by the Lord Himself. It was a heartfelt prayer for the future of his disciples, throughout the future, that we would remain faithful to Him, though the world hates us. It was a prayer born out of the Lord’s love for God and those given Him by God.
It may be that the prayer was given in the apostles’ presence so that they would be reminded of the truths that He recounts, and be better prepared to continue His work as He was crucified, rose, and left the world, leaving them in the world that hated them to do the work that He had begun and made possible by His death – the work saving the world from its sins.
John recorded this prayer so that we might learn these truths and allow them to motivate us as we go about the work of preaching the Gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world.

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JESUS’ BIRTH IN PROPHECY

Introduction

The opening chapters of Matthew and Luke describe the birth of Jesus Christ. The coming birth of Christ should not have been an unknown event in the minds of the Jews of that day. There are numerous prophecies of the Messiah throughout the Old Testament. In this article I want us to look into some of these Old Testament prophecies.

Prophecies of the Messiah

The Jews would come to know Him in New Testament times as the Messias and the Christos {khris-tos’}, Christ. Both words mean, anointed (one). But the Jews of the Old Testament knew Him as mashiyach {maw-shee’-akh}, the Hebrew word for the Messiah, the anointed one.

Because Man sinned in the garden, disobeying God’s commandment not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-18), the punishment of death came into effect (Gen.3:1-24). But even as Creator pronounced the deadly punishment on man, He gave the first promise of a solution to man’s self-inflicted sin problem. He told the tempter in Genesis 3:15; Also see Gal. 4:3-5), “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This was the first of many promises of a messiah, a savior, that would reconcile man to God and take away his sins.

Luke 3:23-37

We began with a New Testament passage, Luke’s account of the genealogy of Jesus. Luke begins with Adam, the first man, and traces the genealogy through Adam’s son, Seth, Noah, Noah’s son, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jacob’s son, Judah, David, David’s son, Nathan, Heli, Heli’s son, Joseph (the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus), and Jesus (Genealogy abbreviated by me, LJB).

Genesis 12:1-3

In Genesis 12:1-3, God called Abraham from his country to go to another land, promising him that he would make of him a great nation. He also promised him, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). Keep this promise of blessing to all the families of the earth in mind. This covenant was reaffirmed in Genesis 17:4-7. It would be through Abraham’s son, Isaac (Gen. 17:19 and 21:12) and his son, Jacob (Genesis 25:22-23 and 28:13-14).

Genesis 49:10

On his deathbed, Jacob told his twelve sons, “that which shall befall you in the last days” (Gen. 49:1). He told Judah, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Gen. 49:10). Shiloh is from a Hebrew word meaning, “He whose it is, that which belongs to him,” according to Brown-Driver-Briggs. Shiloh is an epithet of the Messiah. The NET translates the verse, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; the nations will obey him.” The line of kings of Israel would ascend through the tribe of Judah until Jesus Christ, the ruler of all nations would come!

1 Samuel 16:1; Isaiah 11:1, 10

Saul, the first king of Israel, had been killed himself after being dealt a mortal wound in a battle with the Philistines. God tells Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:1:

How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

Later, Isaiah would write (Is. 11:1, 10):
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots…And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

So far we have seen that the coming Messiah would bruise the head of the serpent (Satan), bless all nations, and become the ruler of all nations. Now we see that all of the Gentiles would seek Him, and He would provide a glorious rest.

2 Samuel 7:12-16; Isaiah 9:6-7

Please read 2 Samuel 7:12-16. God told David in 2 Samuel 7:13, “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” Isaiah writes in Isaiah 9:6-7.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.

The fulfillment of these passages is found in Luke 1:32-33; 3:23-38, Matthew 1:1, 6-7. Matthew affirms that Jesus Christ was descendant of Abraham – the blessing that would come from Abraham’s seed (Gen. 12:3; 17:4-7)!

Isaiah 7:13-14

Isaiah writes in Isaiah 7:13-14:

And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Virgin, in Isaiah 7:14, is from a Hebrew word meaning, according to Strong, “A lass (as veiled or private):—damsel, maid, virgin.” Brown-Driver-Briggs define the word, “Virgin, young woman.” They add a comment from Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament: “There is no instance where it can be proved that this word designates a young woman who is not a virgin.” Although the word can be translated, “young woman” (As translated in NET), Matthew and Luke, in presenting the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14, give us the inspired translation. They use a Greek word which means, according to both Strong and Thayer, virgin (See Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27).

Robertson writes:

“Virgin-birth” is the correct and only correct designation of the birth statement contained in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke…The only statement which is sufficiently specific is “virgin-birth,” inasmuch as according to the New Testament statement Mary was at the time of this birth virgo intacta.
Isaiah also prophesied that the son born of the virgin would be named Immanuel. The word in the Hebrew means, “‘God with us’ or ‘with us is God'”(Brown-Driver-Briggs; See Matt. 1:23).

Read Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-35 for the full description of the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.

Micah 5:2-3

Micah tells us where the Messiah would be born:
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Luke 2:1-7 and Matthew 2:1-6 give the fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy. According to Luke, Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem to be taxed, or registered for taxation, obeying the decree of Caesar Augustus. According to Matthew, the wise men from the East were told by the scholars of Judea that the king would be born in Bethlehem, as Micah had said.

Luke writes:

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Numbers 24:30

As Balaam blessed Israel, he said, “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

Balaam spoke of a “Star out of Jacob.” Matthew 2:1-2 provides the fulfillment of this one:

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

These “wise men” had seen star in the east and had interpreted it to be the star of King of the Jews. They may have been familiar with the star Balaam had referred to. Perhaps the star was more than a sign and guide to these wise men. It may be that this is another way of identifying Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah.

Strong defines a “wise men,” “A Magian, that is, Oriental scientist; by implication a magician:—sorcerer, wise man.” We are not told how many of them. The tradition that they were “three kings, named Gaspar, Melchior, and Belthazar” (Smith), is without foundation. The tradition is likely based on the fact they brought three gifts, gold, and frankincense and myrrh (Matt. 2:11). But three gifts could have been brought by any number of wise men. We simply do not know.

When Was Jesus Born?

Please read Daniel 9:24-27. Adam Clarke describes how Daniel’s seventy weeks equals 490 years from the rebuilding of the temple (c. 516 BC) destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 B.C. until the Messiah, by the sacrifice of himself, caused all other sacrifices and oblations to cease. The Messiah would come 483 years after the rebuilding of the temple, if you take away the “one week” (7 years), which would include the ministry of John the Baptist plus the ministry of Jesus. Michael Scheifler writes, “It can be demonstrated from the 70 week prophecy of Daniel 9 that the baptism of Jesus occurred in 27 A.D., which would place His birth about or before 3 B.C.” See his explanation of how this year is determined here.

It is not certain when the taxation, or census mentioned in Luke 2:1-6 took place. So that is not much help in establishing the when of Jesus’ birth. But it gives us a general idea. See Clarke for a discussion of the difficulties in determining when this census took place.

We cannot be sure what time of year Jesus’ birth took place. The idea that it was on “a cold winters night,” etc. is only tradition, probably arising from the establishment of the Date of December 25. That date can not be confirmed by anything in the scriptures.

We simply do not know when Jesus was born. What is more important that when He was born is that He was born, and why He was born. Paul explains in Galatians 4:3-5:

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Conclusion

Paul writes in 1 Timothy 3:16:
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
And one day the baby born in a manger in Bethlehem who became a prophet, and high priest who sacrificed Himself for our sins, and King of Kings will come back for us. Are you ready?

THOSE HYPOCRITES WILL SEND YOU TO HELL!

Introduction

I do not like to worship with hypocrites, do you? They are such, well hypocrites! I like to worship where everyone is sincere, always practicing what they preach, don’t you? I have never liked to worship with sinners. It is so much more pleasant when everyone is always friendly and considerate and makes me feel at home, know what I mean? And it is always great when every worshiper is as pure at work, play, school, at the restaurant, at the bar (bar?), or wherever, as they are at church, isn’t it? Sure. Then we agree. I wonder where that might be? Well, nowhere! Oh! Well, I guess we will just stay home, right? We might as well. Christians are no better than non-Christians.
If you agree with the statements above, stay with me. Let us think about that for awhile.

What Is a Hypocrite, Anyway?

Like you and me, Jesus did not much like hypocrites, either. In Matthew 6:2, He said:

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men…

Hypocrite is from a Greek word which means, “An actor under an assumed character (stage player), that is, (figuratively) a dissembler (‘hypocrite’),” according to Strong. Jesus gives us a picture of hypocrisy in Mathew 23:27 where he tells the hypocritical Pharisees that they are “are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” (See also Acts 23:3).

The hypocrites that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 6:2 pretended to be godly men by doing alms, but they were really seeking the “glory of men,” rather than sincerely helping the needy out of compassion, which is the meaning of the word, alms. (See also Matt. 6:5, 16).

Please read Matthew 15:7-9. Here, Jesus addresses another hypocritical act that the Pharisees were guilty of. They taught the “commandments of men” as if they were the commandments of God. He had already rebuked them for transgressing the commandments of God by their traditions (Matt. 15:1-6). He did not condemn them for practicing tradition per se, but practicing traditions, as if they were commandments, instead of obeying the commandments of God. Now our Lord illustrates their hypocrisy by using an Old Testament prophecy (Is. 29:13) and applying it to them. They showed their hypocrisy by honoring God with their mouths while teaching false doctrine. They pretended to be honoring God while at the same time setting aside His commandments and replacing them with men’s traditions. Hypocrisy!

So hypocrisy is pretending to be one thing but teaching and/or doing things that are contrary to what you pretend to be.
Often Christians are accused of hypocrisy when they fail to live up to God’s commandments. While this can be evidence of hypocrisy, it is not always such. There is a difference between committing a sin out of weakness, ignorance or forgetfulness, and habitually teaching one thing and doing another. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes.

Are There Hypocrites in the Church?

Are there hypocrites in the church? Certainly, there are! The church is an organization that is made up of people. As such it has people in it that are not what they pretend to be. There were hypocrites in the church to whom Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:1-2.

The church is designed to be a place where sinners who are saved from their sins help each other to grow to be as God would have them to be. Peter urged his readers, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever” (2 Pet. 3:18). Paul writes about this in Ephesians 4:10-24, and church members are urged to “grow” (Eph. 2:21; 2 Th. 1:3; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18). So the church is made of growing Christians, not perfect Christians! So there are going to be people in the church who are not in every respect what they ought to be.

Hypocrites Will Go to Hell

Hypocrisy is a sin. Jesus warned the Pharisees in Matthew 23:15:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

The Lord pronounces woe on these hypocrites twelve times in Matthew chapter 23. In 1 Timothy 4:1-3, Paul warns of those who will “…depart from the faith…speaking lies in hypocrisy…” According to Revelation 21:8, “…all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

So there will be no hypocrites in heaven! That is why Peter urged his reders in 1 Peter 2:1 to “lay aside…all hypocrisies.”

The Hypocrisy of Staying out of Church Because There Are Hypocrites in It
Should you refrain from attending worship services to avoid worshiping with hypocrites?

Remember, hypocrisy is pretending to be one thing but teaching and/or doing things that are contrary to what you pretend to be. If you are a Christian and refuse to attend worship services because there are hypocrites in it, are you doing God’s will?

Christians are God’s children. As such, we strive to do his will as perfectly as we can. We are not perfect, we make mistakes. But when we do make mistakes, we repent and work on doing better (See 2 Cor. 7:9-10; Acts 8:18-22; Rom. 2:1-4; Rev. 2:5). We are commanded to be faithful (1 Th. 5:21; 1 Timothy 1:13; Heb. 10:23; Rev. 2:10). That includes faithfulness in assembling with the saints (Heb. 10:25). If we profess to be Christians while forsaking the assembling with Christians, are we not hypocrites!?

Each person is responsible for his own salvation. Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). No one can believe for us! No one can be saved for us. No one can cause us to be saved or lost but ourselves. We are not responsible for the hypocrites in the church. They are responsible for themselves! We cannot blame them for our unfaithfulness. Each of us must decide for ourselves if we are going to be faithful or unfaithful.
We cannot blame our own hypocrisy on the hypocrisy of others!

Conclusion

We will not be lost or saved based on whether or not there were hypocrites in the local church. Our eternal salvation depends on our own sincere obedience and worship to God. In the day of judgment, the King will not ask us, “How many hypocrites were in the local church where you lived?” (See John 5:28-29; 12:48-50; Matt. 25:31-46). Rather, He will ask, “Have you obeyed the gospel? Have you attended to the needs of your fellow man? Have you faithfully served and worshiped God? If your answer is, “Yes,” then the Lord will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matt. 25:21, 23).

By-the-way, there may be a few hypocrites in the church, but the world is filled with them!

Will those hypocrites in the church cause you to go to hell? Only if you allow them to! Why not be faithful in your attendance and worship, and help hypocrites become sincere Christians? Why not help the hypocrites become former hypocrites and go to heaven, rather than allowing the hypocrites cause you to go to hell? After all, if you allow the hypocrite in the church to cause you to go to hell, they will be with you in eternity! Would it not be better to spend a short time on earth with a few hypocrites and eternity in heaven where there will be none?