Introduction – John 17:1-26

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield Studies in the Lord’s Prayer John 17:1-26 By K. David Oldfield Introduction The nearer that a person approaches the throne of God, the more cautious he ought to become. The more that a person knows of the Lord, the more worthless and helpless he will realize himself to be. And when someone deliberately chooses to step toward the burning bush of the presence of the Lord, he must immediately kick off his shoes and walk very, very carefully. This manuscript contains a study of our Saviour’s earthly, High Priestly prayer. Any study of the personal prayer life of the Lord Jesus Christ must to be considered as more sacred and holy than even Moses’ approach towards the Lord on the backside of the desert. It is in this attitude that we come to John 17. We will strive to remind ourselves that we are but observers and eavesdroppers in the communion between the Son and His Father. What is being uttered may be on behalf of the saints, but it is not for the saints – that is – for their entertainment or speculation. This is holy ground! We ask that the reader be patient with the writer. Perhaps he treads a bit too cautiously in some places, while stomping incon-siderately in other places. If what he says doesn’t fully match your perspective and perception, reconsider the simplicity and direction of the scripture being studied, before you toss this manuscript away. When this project was first begun there was no hidden agenda involved: no axe to grind or...

Chapter One – John 17:1

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:1 Would you say that the Lord Jesus was, or was not, a man of prayer? The answer is obvious. To picture Christ Jesus as anything less than the epitome of the true Intercessor approaches blasphemy. Even at this moment He is at the right hand of the Father interceding on the behalf of His own. And a casual study of the Gospels shows that He when He was walking among us incarnate, He was constantly bringing God the Father and us, His brethren, together at the heavenly throne. Furthermore, there has never been anyone who successfully prayed “without ceasing” while upon earth – except our Saviour. How many times during your life have you deliberately spent an entire night in prayer? and how many times are we told that Lord Jesus did exactly that? Without a doubt He was a man of prayer. John 11:41-42 says:”Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me,” and He knew that He was always heard. Of the many prayers of Christ which are recorded in the Word of God, this chapter contains the longest. And unlike the example that we have in the early chapters of Matthew and Luke, this really is the Lord’s prayer. It came after the Passover and Lord’s Supper, when Jesus and His disciples were all back outside under the stars. Some think that it was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Perhaps, but it was probably prior to that other great prayer. This was somewhat like the dismissal...

Chapter Two – John 17:2

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:2 If I was a downed pilot, caught behind Taliban lines in Afghanistan, I would want nothing and no one but the best to come and rescue me. I would want someone with capability, opportunity, desire, and authority to come and get me. I would want someone to save me, who was trained and commissioned for that kind of job. I’d want him equipped with the best and fastest helicopter, medical supplies and experience. I’d want air support to protect both me and the rescue people. I’d want the very best of the very best. That is precisely what we have when it comes to our soul’s salvation. Even down to the preplanning of our salvation from before the foundation of the world. “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:” When the Lord Jesus uttered these words, He was probably not more than 12 or 14 hours away from the cross. All of the preparatory work among His disciples had been completed. They had been given sufficient information to carry them through until the day that they were endued with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit would soon guide them into all necessary truth, as Jesus had told them. They had observed their last Passover together, and they had celebrated the first Lord’s Supper. Judas had left and was making arrangements to quietly deliver Christ to the priests. The little group of disciples was on its way...

Chapter Three – John 17:3

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:3 Are you familiar with the “Make a Wish Foundation?” It started in 1980 with a little 7-year-old boy named Chris, who always wanted to be a policeman. Chris had leukemia and would never reach his eighth birthday, but his family had some friends who were with the Sheriff’s Department in Phoenix, Arizona. One day a police helicopter flew into Chris’ yard, and he was air-lifted to Sheriff’s headquarters. From there he rode in a patrol car and spent the day with some of the officers. His parents had earlier gotten him a battery powered motorcycle which he often used instead of his wheelchair. On the uniform of one of his new police friends, he saw the wings of a motorcycle cop, and the boy asked what the officer had done to get them. He was told that he had to pass a rigorous test. A few days later Chris was taking a cycle test on his battery powered motorcycle, dressed in his new authentic-looking police uniform. Chris was given his motorcycle police wings and was the happiest kid on the planet. He died a few days later. Since 1980, “The Make a Wish Foundation” has established 80 chapters in the US and another 22 internationally. They have fulfilled the wishes of over 83,000 critically ill children. Most of those wishes come in the form of: “I would like to have . . . I would like to be . . . I would like to do . . . and I would like to meet ....

Chapter Four – John 17:4-5

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:4-5 There was someone a few years ago someone who won one of the big city marathons. It seems to me that it was the New York or the Boston Marathon, but I can’t be sure. Anyway, whoever it was appeared to win the race, but he/she later had his medal taken away. Apparently someone questioned whether or not the person actually started the race, so race officials studied all of the film of the runners at the starting point, and this person’s face or number could not be found. Eventually, he/she confessed that he/she had entered the course about half way through. Obviously, this person didn’t deserve the medal. He/she didn’t even deserve the T-shirt. Let me begin our lesson this evening with an application rather than the exposition. No one “deserves” (if that is the right word) the glories of Heaven, who has not run with patience the race that set before him. And we are compassed about with a great company of witnesses who can testify to our running. I know that salvation is by grace. I know there will be people in Heaven who were saved by the cross but who still loved a few sins. And I know that there will be thousands in Heaven saved yet so as by fire. In fact there may be thousands in Heaven, who never did a single thing to serve the Lord. But there will be no reward for the man who has not run. There will be no glory for the lazy. This is...

Chapter Five – John 17:6

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:6 When the Lord said, “I, the LORD thy God, am a JEALOUS God” He raised some interesting questions. The way that we ordinarily define it, jealousy is something potentially dangerous to humans. It is an emotional poison that when taken in little doses might give us a buzz, but no real harm. But taken in any larger quantity can destroy us and everything around us. The Song of Solomon says, “Jealousy is as cruel as the grave.” The person who doesn’t love their loved one enough to be potentially jealous doesn’t truly love. And yet, unjustified jealousy is love that’s gone over the edge. Jealousy is a parasite that lives on the body of love. It’s like an infected itch that is so intense that it borders on pain. It lives upon doubts rather than trust. Jealousy is the sister of love, as a demon is a brother of the angels. And yet – the Lord calls Himself jealous. Paul, speaking for the Lord, says that he was jealous over those saints who were on the edge of heresy. The Bible speaks of God’s jealousy for Israel. And in Exodus 20, where the Lord first calls himself the jealous God, He is talking about the sin of idolatry. The Lord is jealous for Himself. Jealousy may be the sister of love, but there is another sister in the family named “Pride.” We often jealously guard the honour of things for which we have a sinful pride. But does the Lord have “pride” for his saints or...

Chapter Six – John 17:7-8

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:7-8 The Lord Jesus teaches us, while speaking to His Father, that eternal life is to know the Father and the Son. This means that what Jesus teaches us is more important than anything that could ever be learned in any institutional college or university. It means that we have to learn it right. And it also means that we need to learn with our hearts, and not just with our heads. I read of a little girl who asked her mother about the Name of God. Mom tried to explain that God has several names like “Jehovah, Adoni, Elohim” and so on. After her short course in Theology, the little girl looked up and said: “I think I’ll just call Him ‘Steve.'” We may smile, because this comes form an innocent little girl. But this illustrates the great problem with most of humanity: “Steve” the god, is not good enough. There was an elderly woman, whose favorite verse was II Timothy 1:12: “For I know whom I have believe, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”Eventually as her mind began to fail she was confined to a nursing home. Every time her family visited her, she would talk about the Bible and quote her favorite verse, but with every visit she was having a harder and harder time remembering. Even parts of her favorite verse kept disappearing. “I know whom I have believe… He is able to keep…what I committed…to him.” One her last...

Chapter Seven – John 17:9-10

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:9-10 This is the point at which Jesus’ prayer for us actually begins. All the preceding material has been a very wonderful and blessed introduction. You might say that the Lord has been building the scaffolding upon which to erect this prayer. There are three major thoughts contained in these two verses: Christ is praying only for those people who are the Lord’s. He is not praying for those who are not the Lord’s people, and He is glorified in those who are His people. These are absolutely fantastic and humbling principles. “I pray for them….which thou hast given me.” We might wonder even why the Second Person of the Trinity would need to pray at all. Doesn’t this kind of language prove that He and the Father are not One? That is what some unbelievers would argue – that this language proves that He is not God. But we need to remember that He is interceding for us as our Messiah. This prayer is from a very special – and very important – point of view. All of us wear different hats from time to time: Some of you are children and you speak to your parents as if you are their children. And at the same time you are parents yourselves, and you speak to your children with authority. If you are a businessman, you speak to your bosses differently than you do your subordinates, and you talk to your customers differently again. So your different relationships lead you to speak with different people differently....

Chapter Eight – John 17:11

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:11 I was thinking yesterday about the changes that the world has gone through during the last 80 years. When our grandfathers were born, just after World War I, this was different place than when our fathers were born, just after World War II. And the world of 1970 was very, very different from the world of 2002. Joshua, the son of Nun, went through a transition period much like our parents and grandparents. He was born a slave in Egypt and was about 60 years of age at the time of the Exodus. Despite His age, he appears to me to be a rather shy, unassured sort of person. But his mentor was Moses and his school was the wilderness. For 40 years, he and his family ate manna and lived under the shade of the pillar of cloud. He had both days of spiritual and physical victory — and defeat – during that time. But when he was called upon to lead Israel across the Jordan, he was a very mature and ready servant of God. And on that day, the manna ceased and the Pillar of Cloud dissipated. At Gilgal, on the banks of the Jordan, down the road from Jericho a new day and new world began. The Lord Jesus was to the disciples in some ways like Moses was to Joshua. He was their Manna and their Pillar of Cloud. He had borne the heat against them and miraculously fed them for 3½ years. He is our shade by day, defense by...

Chapter Nine – John 17:12

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:12 The 3-year-old was making his first visit to the beach with his family. Dad held him in his arms as he walked into the water and soon the waves touched the boy’s feet. Teasingly, as he walked out into the waves, Dad started muttering, “Deeper, deeper, deeper,” And as the water lapped up against his waist, the little guy started to panic, but Dad kept on going. Of course, no one was in any danger at all; the boy was perfectly safe in the arms of his father, and he had no way of knowing that he could have drowned in an inch of water just as easily as he might have in four feet of water. As Christians we don’t often think about the Lord’s care and protection of us. Oh, when things really start going wrong, when we are in great danger, or death is nearby, then we might meditate on the graciousness of the Lord in protecting us, but ordinarily we don’t realize that we’re in just as much danger in one inch of water as we are in four feet of water. In His prayer here, the Lord reveals just a glimpse of His protective power over us. “While I was with them in the world . . .” Again, as we said last week, this is the special language of the eternal God. This is not English, Spanish or Chinese, this is “Christese.” It’s not quite the same as the “futuristic present tense,” but it comes close. Our Lord is talking...

Chapter Ten – John 17:13

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:13 My wife, Judy, and I had been married a long time before either of us left the other’s side for any length of time. Sure, we had gone to work, to the store, and to class many times, being gone for a few hours, but neither of us had ever been away from the other for more than day. In fact, as far as I can remember, Judy and I had kids before that ever happened. The only exception was when I was on deputation as a missionary and Judy was living with her parents. But it came to pass in the process of time that I was invited away to a Bible conference. It was going to be gone for less than week. I was flying in and flying out. We had probably been married for 400 or 500 weeks by that time. As we parted at the airport, Judy was in tears, and I had a very heavy heart as well. This was something new to both of us, and to ease my conscience and mind, while in Texas, I bought little gifts for everyone back home. When the plane finally returned me to Calgary again, I gave everyone a little memento of my absence. I suppose that thousands of Dads have done that millions of times. There is a whole industry for this sort of thing. Why else are there those gift shops at the airport all stuffed with all those stuffed animals? But isn’t that sort of practice a little backward? When...

Chapter Eleven – John 17:14-16

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:14-16 The next three verses contain some repetition, which emboldens me to look at a larger chunk of scripture than usual. But first let me tell you about Clay Shiver. In 1995 Clay was one of the best players in college football, playing center for Florida State University. Before the season began he was selected by a national magazine as their All-American Center. He was to be featured in an article, and it would have certainly helped his fame and career. But Clay Shiver is a Christian and tries to do the Lord’s will in everything that he can. He felt honored to be selected for this award, but he turned it down. The magazine involved was the infamous and ungodly Playboy. Clay felt that he could be a Christian and play college football, but he couldn’t be a Christian and be featured in that magazine. As Christians we are in the world, but we cannot afford to be identified with the world. And so the Lord Jesus continues in His prayer: “I have given them thy word. . .”This is what the Lord said in verse 8 – the words given by the Father to Christ were to be given unto us. This word was not the Old Testament Law – that had already been given. In a sense this word can be summarized by the contents of the Great Commission. It includes the Gospel, the doctrines of Christ and the responsibilities that we have as Christians. But it’s not so much the communication of words...

Chapter Twelve – John 17:17

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:17 While on a recent walk you heard the joyful sound of a goose, so you looked up into the air, but there was no v-shaped wedge of geese to be seen. And then you realized that the sound was coming from behind some willow shrubs, so you pull back a few plants and there she was. You startled a female goose and as she jumped from her nest you saw three eggs. But these eggs were really different, they were gold in color. Finally, it sank in: You have found the goose that lays the golden eggs. As you took her home and your pockets were full of solid gold eggs, you realized that you are going to be fabulously wealthy. How are you going to treat your new found source of wealth? Are you going to lock her in a closet? Are you going to put her in the old rusted parakeet cage in the attic? Are you going to throw her out in the back yard and hope that she doesn’t run or fly off? No, you are going to treat this bird as if she was royalty. But of course, this never happened and it is never going to happen. On the other hand, you already possess something just as wonderful; more wonderful. You can hold in your hand the Word of God. Do you think that I’m being a little too preacherish? Think about what the Saviour is asking the Father in this prayer. He has already asked that since He is...

Chapter Thirteen – John 17:18-19

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:18-19 Let’s say that when you wake up tomorrow, you’re disoriented and don’t recognize where you are. You find yourself laying on an unfamiliar bed in a dilapidated house with strange pictures on walls. And there Is someone pounding on your door, yelling at you in a language that is not your own. As you stumble to the door, you realize that this is not a dream; this is really happening. You are not at home, and you don’t know how you got to this strange place. The night before you dropped into your old bed in your comfortable old house as usual, but now you’re in Africa, or the Amazon jungle, or some other exotic place. When you open the door there is a big black man, with tears running down his face, obviously pleading with you in a foreign tongue. But surprisingly you understand every word that he is saying. He says that the weight of his sins is crushing him. He wants to know how the Lord Jesus can save him. He pleads with you to give him the gospel once again; he tells you that he’s ready to be saved. And it’s your joy to tell him all that you know about the Saviour. Of course this is never going to happen, at least not in this miraculous, instantaneous sort of way. And yet at the same time, that is what has happened to all of us in a not so instantaneous sort way. Now, let’s see how this illustration ties into the...

Chapter Fourteen – John 17:20-21

From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield John 17:20-21 Everyone who owns a car or truck agrees that it’s important to check the oil every once in a while. What are the reasons for checking that oil? We check oil because we know that if we don’t the pistons may dry out, seize up and ruin the motor. Or we may check the oil, because we have stock in a company that produces oil, and we want to make sure that people are buying that product, even if it is only ourselves. It might be for sentimental reasons – we love that vehicle and want it to turn into a classic. Like feeding the dog, we do it because we love the dog. Maybe we check the oil because we have nothing better to do with our time. Maybe we use the oil on the dipstick like we use hand lotion. It might be because we are trying to keep the weeds down on the driveway, and we’re hoping that the oil in the car looks dirty enough to warrant changing. There might be a dozen reasons to check the oil in our vehicles. And why should we strive to live holy lives, to spread the Word of God, and to serve the Lord? This time there might be a hundred very good and very Biblical reasons, but what reasons does the Lord give us? Verse 21 says that the whole world might know that the Father hath sent the Son into the world. The Lord’s reasons should be infinitely more important to us than...