Sermon #1226


            Title:               THE PERSON AND WORK OF OUR

                                                LORD JESUS CHRIST

            Text:               John 17:1-26

            Reading:         Psalm 147:1-20

            Subject:          Christ’s High Priestly Prayer

            Date:               Sunday Morning - March 24, 1996

            Tape #



            The title of my message today is The Person and Work of our Lord Jesus Christ. In John 16:28 the Lord Jesus summed up his life and ministry, his person and work, in three plain and simple statements. Look at them with me.


1. I came forth from the Father.”


            Who is this man, who declares that he came forth from God the Father? That declaration certainly indicates at least these two things about who he is.

·        If he came forth from the Father, he must have been with the Father and in the Father (John 1:1, 18).

·        If he came forth from the Father, he must have been sent by the Father for a specific purpose, to accomplish a specific work (Matt. 1:21; Heb. 10:5-10).


2.     I am come into the world.” -- He is not of this world, but came into this world.


            How did he come into this world? He came through the womb of a virgin, by supernatural, divine intervention. The Son of God came into this world by incarnation, conceived in the womb of the virgin and brought forth into the world by the power of God the Holy Spirit. The eternal God assumed into union with himself our nature. God came into the world as a man (Phil. 2:5-7).


Why did he come into this world? He came here to redeem and save his people, to put away our sins, to justify and sanctify us by his own life’s blood, which he poured out to God as a sin-atoning sacrifice for us (Gal. 4:4-6).


What did he do while he was in this world? He did what he came to do. He brought in everlasting righteousness for us by his obedience to the Father (Rom. 5:19) and satisfied the law and justice of God for our sins by his death as our Substitute (Rom. 3:24-26). The Lord Jesus Christ effectually redeemed his people from their sins and delivered us from the curse of God’s holy law (Gal. 3:13).


3. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”


            He must have completed what he came here to do. Otherwise, he would not have left. If upon his leaving the world he went to the Father, from whom he was sent, it is evident that the work he was sent here to do was finished and that the Father approved of and accepted him and his work (Heb. 10:11-14).


            The apostle Paul began his Epistle to the Hebrews with these same three facts, facts that define the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:1-3)


            Perhaps the best commentary on who Christ is, what he did, why he did it, and where is now is to be found in John 17. As you know, this chapter contains our Savior’s high priestly prayer, that great prayer which he made to God the Father for us just before he went forth to the cross to accomplish our redemption.


Proposition:             The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our sin-atoning Sacrifice and Substitute, by whom our redemption has been accomplished. -- He is our great High Priest who makes intercession to the Father for those people he has redeemed. -- And he is our almighty Savior, by whom grace is conveyed to us, and by whom we shall be carried into the very glory of heaven itself.


            In this seventeenth chapter of John our great High Priest makes four mighty requests, requests which the Father cannot deny. Not one of these requests can be denied because they are made upon the basis of Christ’s finished work. Really, these four requests are more than requests. They are the claims of Christ, our sovereign Redeemer, claims made by him when he had finished the work the Father gave him to do. I want us to look at these four great requests together. They will teach us much about the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.




            That is the request that he makes as our mighty Mediator and Substitute. This is not just an ambition for personal exaltation. It is a prayer for power and dominion as a Man for the salvation of chosen men. And the basis of the request is his fulfillment of all the stipulations of the covenant of grace by him as specified in verses 1-4.


Verse 1 -- “These words spake Jesus (the words spoken to his disciples in the preceding chapter), and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come (the hour he so often spoke of, the hour for which the world was made, the hour for which he came into the world); glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.”


            As the Son of God he needed no glory to be given to him; but he prays as our Mediator, as a Man. He is here praying that God the Father would uphold and sustain him in the work he was about to accomplish upon the tree, that he might thereby glorify his every attribute.


Verse 2 -- “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”


·        The Father has given the Son, as our Mediator and Savior, all authority, dominion, and power over all flesh (John 3:35; Matt. 28:18). This total, sovereign dominion, power, and authority belongs to him by...

1. Creation.

2. Decree.

3. Purchase.

He is the appointed and rightful Administrator of the Father’s will, purpose, and kingdom.


·        Our Lord Jesus Christ holds and exercises this absolute power so that he may “give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” (John 6:37-39). NOTE: This is a very important phrase. Our Lord refers to his people by this same phrase six times in this prayer (vv. 2, 6, 9, 12, 24).


Verse 3 -- “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”


·        Eternal life is knowing God in Christ.


            Eternal life is not a religious experience. Eternal life is not a moral or religious reformation of conduct. Eternal life is spiritual life. It is life given to dead sinners by God the Holy Spirit in sovereign regeneration. Eternal life is not knowing that there is a God, but knowing God. It is having God revealed in you and to you by his Spirit. It is understanding who God is by personal acquaintance.

·        John 14:6-9

·        1 John 5:20


Verse 4 -- “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”


·        No one but the Lord Jesus Christ could ever make this claim.


            Here is a man who literally loved, obeyed, and honored the eternal God all the days of his life. In his life and in his death, our Savior glorified God’s law, God’s will, God’s justice, and God’s grace. He did it for us, that God might be both just and the Justifier of his people (Rom. 3:24-26).


·        When our Lord says, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do,” I have no doubt that he is referring to three things.


1.      The righteousness he brought in, established, and finished for his people (Jer. 23:6).

2.      The redemption he was about to accomplish and finish at Calvary (John 19:30).

3.      The kingdom he shall at  last finish when he has given eternal  life  to all  that  the  Father  gave to him from eternity (1 Cor. 15:24-28; Heb. 2:13).


            It is upon the basis of this finished work that our Savior prays, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (v. 5).




            His prayer is this: Father, preserve and keep my believing people. Now notice how the Son of God describes his believing people. Here are twelve (12) things which are true of all God’s people in this world.


A.    Believers are men and women to whom God almighty has been made known.


Verse 6 -- “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.”


            God’s name is his character, his attributes. His name is who he is. It is written, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That simply means, whosoever shall believe God, worship God, trust God, as he has manifested himself in Christ shall be saved. His name is...

·        Jehovah-Jireh (Gen. 22:13-14 “The Lord will Provide”).

·        Jehovah-Rapha (Ex. 15:16 “The Lord that Healeth Thee”).

·        Jehovah-Nissi (Ex. 17:8-15 “The Lord our Banner.”)

·        Jehovah-Shalom (Jud. 6:24 “The Lord our Peace”).

·        Jehovah-Ra-ah (Ps. 23:1 “The Lord is my Shepherd”).

·        Jehovah-Tsidkenu (Jer. 23:6 “The Lord our Righteousness”).

·        Jehovah-Shammah (Ezek. 48:35 “The Lord is Present”).


B.   Believers know that the man Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of the living God.


Verse 7 -- “Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.”


We recognize that the Father and the Son are one. We know that everything Christ did and said, and everything he shall yet do, is of God the Father. This is the confidence we must have. It is the confidence we do have.

·        2 Corinthians 5:19

·        Acts 17:30-31


C.   Believers are people who receive the Word of God and, receiving the Word of God, know who Jesus Christ is, the Sent One of God in whom is all our hope and all our salvation.


Verse 8 -- “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.”


D.   Believers are sinners chosen by God the Father in eternity and given to Christ in effectual grace as the special objects of his mercy, love, and grace.


Verse 9 -- “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”


Everything Christ has done, is doing, and shall hereafter do is for his people.


E.    Believers are those men and women in whom the Lord Jesus Christ is glorified.


Verse 10 -- “And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.”


Christ is glorified by...

·        our faith in him.

·        our obedience to him.

·        our final, consummate salvation and everlasting glory by him (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14; Rev. 5:9-13).


F.    Believers are kept in life, grace, and faith in Christ.


Verses 11-12 -- “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”


Look at this. God’s saints are here described as a people...

·        In the world, in hostile enemy territory.

·        Kept by God’s grace and power.

·        United as one body in Christ (Eph. 4:4-6).


G.  Believers are those who shall have Christ’s joy fulfilled in themselves.


Verse 13 -- “And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

·        The Joy of His Grace (1 John 1:3-4).

·        The Joy of His Salvation (John 16:20; Heb. 12:1-2).


H.   Believers are, because of their faith, the objects of the world’s hatred.


Verse 14 -- “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”


The gospel we believe, the Savior we serve, the God we worship is despised by this world.


I.      Believers are left in this world to preach the gospel amid much evil and under the assault of the evil one.


Verse 15 -- “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”


Let nothing hinder faithful obedience to Christ. Our God will keep us from evil and from the evil one!


J.     Believers sinners who have been sanctified (set apart and distinguished from the world) by the Word and truth of God.


Verses 16-17 -- “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”


K.   Every believer, every child of God is sent into this world as the servant of God almighty, to do his will, glorify his name, and serve the interests of his kingdom.


Verse 18 -- “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.”


L.    You and I, God’s elect, sinners who trust the Lord Jesus Christ, are the special objects of all that the Lord Jesus Christ came to do.


Verse 19 -- “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”


            The Son of God set himself apart to be a sin offering that we might be sanctified by hearing and believing the gospel. Or sanctification is threefold. We are sanctified by God...

·        The Father in Election (Jude 1).

·        The Son in Redemption (1 Cor. 1:2; Heb. 10:10).

·        The Spirit in Regeneration (1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Thess. 2:13 - Through the Instrumentality of the Word).


III. Third, in verse 20-23, our Savior turned his attention specifically to us, his people who were yet to be saved. His prayer is this: FATHER, SAVE MY REDEEMED ONES. Read these verses, and see if that is not what you get out of them.


Verses 20-23 -- “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.


IV. Then, in verses 24-26, the Lord Jesus prays, FATHER, GIVE ME THE REWARD OF MY LABOR.


Verses 24-26            “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (vv. 24-26).


Application: Soon, our Savior’s prayer shall be fully answered. He will have all his people with him in glory; and we shall have his joy fulfilled in us. In that great, blessed, glorious day, our sorrow shall be turned into joy; and our joy shall be full!

·        Revelation 21:3-7


(Revelation 21:3-7)  "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. {4} And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. {5} And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. {6} And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. {7} He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."