Monday, November 12, 2012

Nov 12: John 17

Today's reading in our daily plan is John 17. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • In today’s reading, we get to listen to Jesus pray. First, he prays for himself and then for his followers, both presently and those that will follow because of the disciples' preaching. Up to this point, Jesus hasn’t really explained eternal life. But in verse three he gives us the definition: knowing the only true God and Jesus whom he sent. In other places, Jesus talks about "abundant life," or life to the full. They all simply refer to a relationship with God.
  • When Jesus prays for his disciples he asks God to protect and unify them. Then, when he prays for the people who believe his disciples' message (which includes us), he asks God that they also would be unified. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • This may not seem like such a big thing to those of us who have heard it a lot. But to the Jews, who were used to making animal sacrifices to God and fearing him, this must have seemed scandalous. And it is! The very God who created the universe and can crush it in an instant sacrificed himself so that we, tiny feeble creatures that he loves for some reason, can know him personally?! Scandalous AND awesome!
  • Apparently, it is important to Jesus that his followers are unified. I’m sure he doesn’t mean this in a geographical sense. Instead, he wants his followers to love each other just like he loves them (as he mentions in John 13:34-35).

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • What did you expect Jesus’ prayers to be like? Was this chapter different? Why do you think Jesus focused so much on the unity of his followers? What did you learn about prayer from this chapter?