Why Jesus Said, “I’m Praying For All Who Will Believe!”

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17: 20,21 NIV)

In order to really get the gist of this prayer, we have to understand just how much God loves us.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” John 1:1,2) The explanation of who Jesus is.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). How we know just how much God loves us.

He came down from heaven, in the likeness of sinful flesh, born of a woman who had known no man–but by the incorruptible seed–the spirit of the living God, who knew know sin and was not subject to sin as man was. He knew that man would not keep His Law regarding the atonement of sin, so He made it for all who believe–that they would have eternal life.

And now, while Jesus is in the Garden praying, once more, He demonstrates His love for all who will believe as He prayed for us.

In the sixteenth chapter of John, Jesus warned His disciples that in “this world” you will have trouble, but that He had overcome the world. And right after telling them that, He looked toward Heaven and prayed.

Though many think the model prayer He gave His disciples was His prayer, it is not. The model prayer found in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 is the “model or guide” to prayer: acknowledging who God is and what He represents in our lives, acknowledging our dependence on Him, repentance of sin, and seeking forgiveness, and securing His direction for our lives. We know that He did not intend for people to simply “repeat” the model as a prayer because the model does not do what He later tells us to do in John 14, to ask “in His name.”

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be gloried in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14: 13,14 NIV

Notice, that He does not say that in the model prayer because He never intended for people to just repeat those words. And many people wonder why they do not see prayers answered; it is because they have not believed in the power of asking in His name, aligned with The Word.

But back to His Prayer–the one He prayed. He acknowledged who His Father is and acknowledged the purpose for His journey to earth. He acknowledges His obedience in doing all that was required of Him while here, and then He asks the Father to protect those who have believed Him and those who will believe in Him because of the message they would teach.

John 17:15-19

v. 15 MY PRAYER is not that you take them out of the world that you protect them from the evil one.

v.16 They are not OF THE WORLD, even as I am not of it.

v.17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is Truth.

v.18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

v.19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

And we know from our focus scripture that we who believe today, were included in that prayer, asked of the Father, over 2000 years ago. Now, that’s love! He thought about us before we were ever born–before our parents and grandparents and their grandparents–were ever born. He wanted for us–what those with Him would have–access to eternal life through belief in Him and the work on the cross. He wanted us to be one–in purpose and intent–as He and the Father were one–in purpose and intent–the share the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ–repentance of sin and salvation through Him.

If there is no repentance–turning away of sin–there can be no salvation, no access to heaven.

Though there are many groups who have REWRITTEN God’s Word to support their own agendas–to continue in sin or to control others, God’s Word is revealed in us with the experience we have with Him, when He reveals Himself to us through that experience, cementing our relationship with Him for all times. 

For those who think “changing His Word” will benefit them, they are in for a rude awakening. When God says that judgment will begin at the household of faith, He meant it. Those of who proclaim to Believe God and yet will not live according to His Word, will stand to be judged first and the consequence–the lake of fire–is already prepared; along with His pronouncement, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you.” (Luke 13:7) Notice that He does not say, “I don’t know you” in the present tense as we stand before Him; He uses the past tense–never knew you. In other words, nothing you have ever done was done to glorify me. These are not the words I plan to hear from Him.

Although I don’t always understand why God speaks to my heart and has me share what He’s given me, I won’t worry about it. I know that I don’t have to understand the whys of what He does, but just obey and I will see the blessing of obedience in my life. Living a life based upon The Word has its challenges, but the rewards are so great, that I choose to continue to live my life according to His Word and encourage others to do the same.

It was through this passage of Scripture–that I finally understood just how much I was loved and I pray, in Jesus’ name,  you will understand it, too and choose to live in obedience to His Word.

Why Jesus Said, “Keeping His Commands Shows Our Love For Him!”

“If you keep my commands, you remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love.” (John 15:10 NIV)

This entire segment in the 15th chapter of John is Jesus talking, most of the 16th chapter and all of the 17th chapter which is His prayer (I’ll expound on that later). The point I’m making here is that Jesus had a great deal to say and the only way ANYONE can know that is by reading “all of His Word” and not just selected phrases that appear to justify a person’s behavior. If I was to take the time to expound on every verse noted of Jesus speaking, I’d have more to write than time to write since I probably won’t live that long.  I have chosen the selections used to make a point–to refute what groups of people are saying that Jesus just said, “love” and “don’t judge.” I know when they say such things, they have no clue as to who He is or His purpose in our lives. 

But getting back to His teaching–using the analogy of the vine and branches, something the disciples walking with Him, understood and so would most gardeners. It’s about relationships that grow, with correction and instruction.

John 15:1-9

v.1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

v.2 He CUTS OFF every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he PRUNES so that it will be even more fruitful,

v.3 You are already clean because of the WORD I have spoken to you.

v.4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit UNLESS you remain in me.

v.5 I am the vine; you are the branches, If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; APART from me you can do nothing.

v.6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers, such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and BURNED.

v.7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

v.8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, SHOWING yourselves to be my disciples.

v.9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

Walking with Jesus–in the spirit–since He is no longer physically here walking with us–means that we demonstrate our love for Him, by keeping His commands (obeying His Word) to love God and love one another. Of course, in order for anyone to understand this, they must be in relationship with Him–accepting His love and knowing who He is and how He wants us to live.

It’s not enough to accept God’s unconditional love–if we truly love–we know that love is reciprocal–we must love Him. If we love Him, we must be willing to accept the occasional pruning, His correction, so we’ll become more like Him. If we reject His correction and instruction, we reject His love and risk missing spending eternity with Him.

I’m not a gardener, but I have rose bush in my back yard that for some reason, has a mind of its own. The branches dry out and break off and when I have the time, I cut them back to a spot where I can tell there is still life (green on the outside and pulpy on the inside). No matter how much of the branch I end up cutting off, they grow back and roses blossom. As long as I prune off the “dead” part, this rose bush will live.

When God uses His messengers–then and now–to correct people about their behavior, He’s trying to cut off the DEAD part (the rebellious part) so we can have life and blossom under His guidance. Teaching His Word in truth, not selectively distorting it, is about a love relationship–not judgment as some believe. Actually, I don’t believe they think we’re judging them, they just need something to say in an attempt to justify their opposition to living according to God’s Word. Deep down, they know–that sin is killing them on a daily basis and if they will not heed righteous instruction, they will die off and nothing will be left of them in the earth.

When people know they are wrong–they are quick to justify their actions–as we can see with lawsuits, false claims of discrimination against those who will not support a celebration of sin. And now, the great oxymoron of them all is the production of the “Queen James Bible” which removes any reference to homosexuality as a sin. If they didn’t know they were in sin, they would have had no need to “re-write” the bible. The very production of the book demonstrates they KNOW they live in sin, but they want to “feel” better about it.

People have been “adjusting” The Word for generations–so much so that not many even know which translation is right. I can tell which translation is right–THE ONE IN WHICH GOD HAS REVEALED THE TRUTH OF HIS WORD TO EVERYONE IN RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. An experience with God, reveals who He is and how we are to live. We don’t need a book to validate us–we need to know truth to grow and bear much fruit. For the Believer, the experience with Him, leads us to insight and revelation and He’ll show us which Bible speaks Him.

If we truly love Him, we make no excuses and choose to live right because our desire is to please Him, not people or our flesh.

More about what Jesus said and why, next time.