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This is the Life: Into and Out of This World
John 17:1-19 (NIV)
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”
Life in Jesus (joy) is found by remaining in love...
Life in Jesus is...
1. Out of this world. (v.1-10)
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:11-13 (NIV)
2. As modeled by Jesus. (v. 12-15)
...to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16–19 (NIV)
Small Group Questions
- If you were able, where would you go to escape and find respite from current realities?
- What is something so great, that you would describe it as being “out of this world”?
Pray: Lord God, give us ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to us through your word. Guide us in everything we do with one another, we want to glorify you in our words and thoughts. Amen
Prepare: Read John 17:1-19 aloud. Now write your name in the blanks of each sentence.
Individual Reflection: Silently read Jesus’ prayer, using your name. Journal your responses.
1. “I have revealed you to _______________ whom you gave me” (v. 6)
Reflect: Where did you see the presence (glory) of God revealed to you in simple or surprising ways today?
2. “_______________ knew with certainty that I came from you, and believes you sent me.” (v. 8)
Reflect: Are you able to make this statement for yourself? Why or why not?
3. “I pray for _______________ …for _______________ is yours” (v. 9)
Reflect: What would you want Jesus to ask God on your behalf today (not for someone else – for you)?
4. “Father, the hour has come…I am coming to you now…so that _______________ may have the full measure of my joy.” (v. 1,13)
Reflect: In what area of your life are you longing to experience true oneness with Christ, so you can receive true joy?
5. “My prayer is not that you take _______________ out of the world but that you protect _______________ from the evil one.” (v.15)
Reflect: What do you think Jesus sees, that you need protection from?
Prayer: Which aspect of Jesus’ prayer means the most to you today? In response, write a short prayer, sharing whatever is on your heart.
Group Debrief: What was it like for you to personalize Jesus' words with your own name? In what way does reading it this way open you to a deeper experience of God’s truth? How does it motivate you to live or think differently about your relationship with Jesus? With God?
- Reflecting on John 17 and this week’s message, how is it stimulating your thoughts?
- How does Jesus pray for himself? What is his desire for his disciples then and now (see vs 20-21)?
- How does the content of Jesus’ prayer line up with your own prayer requests? What is significant about that for you?
- How would you describe the kind of oneness that exists between Jesus and God? In what way does Jesus bridge the gap between the divine and human, God and humanity?
- From Jesus' perspective, what is eternal life? How is eternal life more than just “living forever”?
- How are the disciples to live in the tension between being “in the world” but not “of the world”? How do the disciples glorify Jesus like Jesus is glorying the Father?
- For what purpose was Jesus sent into the world? For what purpose does Jesus send his disciples (including us) into the world?
- In what ways can we become God’s answer to Jesus’ prayer?
PRAYER AND BENEDICTION
Prayer Requests: Considering the week ahead, how can we pray for you?
Closing Benediction (I John 5:11-13):
“And this is our testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen!
DAILY PRACTICE: Continue to spend time with God daily in Solitude, Scripture, and Prayer (see Reading Plan & Playlist). Reflect on your relationship with Jesus, knowing that his desire is for the world to know him. What is your prayer for yourself? The church? The world?