THE GARDEN PRAYER

John 17:6-10:

6 I have made Your name known to the men of this world that You gave Me. They were Yours; You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.

7 Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You.

8 The words, which You gave Me, I have given to them. They received them and truly understood that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me.

9 I ask on their behalf. Not on behalf of the world do I ask, but on behalf of those You have given Me, for they are Yours.

10 All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.

So much to glean from the Words of Yeshua’s prayer in The Garden. …

The fact that He declares that He made the Father’s Name known to the men of this world (John 17:6) tells us that we are to do likewise, even if we’d never received the “Great Commission” (Mark 16). Beyond this commission, the Words “You gave Me. They were Yours; You gave them to Me” (John 17:6,7) are very revealing: (1) the Father is always at the helm, because (2) The Father gave them to the Son; (3) If the Father gave them to the Son, that means: (a) they had already been chosen, lined up, if you would. He preordained them, in accordance with: “He chose us in the Messiah before the foundation of the world  . . . . He predestined us for adoption as sons through Messiah Yeshua . . .” (Eph.1:4,5). You see, God the Father really is in command; He is sovereign; He already knows who will come to Him and who will not come to Him. (b) That means that whoever you and I are to bring into the Kingdom will already have been chosen/selected/preordained by God the Father, Himself; He will have assigned them to us, just as He assigned to Yeshua the ones He brought in while on the earth; © Furthermore, if the Father gave them to the Son, they also are passed on to true believers/disciples (those He assigns to each of us; since none of us are responsible for all), because we are “also heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Messiah” (Rom.8:17). We therefore inherit whatever work is His, not only eternal life and blessings.

Yeshua said: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16). He chose the ones which the Father had given to Him; now we are sent to the ones He has assigned to us. That is why not everyone is our assignment. We need to listen for the voice of the Spirit to direct our path. We need not go chasing down paths that have not been ordained, or assigned to us. But it is mandatory that we be obedient to whichever ones He has assigned us to bring in. God works through His people: “I selected you so that you would go and produce fruit” (John 15:16). Many will ask: “If He already knows who is chosen, why does He need us to do anything? Surely, we can make no difference. .  .” Our sovereign Lord has chosen to work through His people. It is one of His Ways of engaging us, involving us. It is part of His redemptive plan. He has His reasons for everything He does, whether we understand it or not is irrelevant. Our job is to be obedient, not to understand. There are many things we will never understand, this side of eternity/heaven.

Yeshua says that His disciples came “to know that everything You have given Me is from You” (John 17:7). Likewise, everything that has been given us comes from the Father also, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights  . . . . .” (James 1:17). So if the disciples got it, so should we, for we have so much more to go on (they didn’t have the New Testament).

“The words, which You gave Me, I have given to them” (John 17:8). Even Yeshua listened for the Father’s Words before He spoke. He told the disciples exactly what the Father directed Him to teach them – no more, no less – He did not make arbitrary decisions apart from the Father. How often do we jump in and make decisions because we fail to wait and listen for God’s voice through His Holy Spirit? The disciples received, understood, and believed.. ….  It’s okay to talk to the Father about what whatever one wants, but our most important task is trust, listen, obey.

“I ask on their behalf. Not on behalf of the world do I ask, but on behalf of those You have given Me, for they are Yours” (John 17:9). Notice, the asking is preceded by all the sharing, just like we would do in any intimate relationship. In this passage, he makes clear that: (a) His request is not generic; it is exclusive; it applies only to those whom the Father had given Him, because (b) they had already belonged to the Father, by His sovereign will. So Yeshua was not arbitrarily adding to what the Father had assigned Him; © this asking on their behalf is a model and a mandate for us, a call to intercessory prayer; (d) Yeshua’s prayers are not general, generic, universal, or all-inclusive, but specific; once again, a model for us to follow. When interceding, prayers should be targeting the individuals/population the Lord has called you to cover/intercede/warfare on behalf of. Generic prayers have little power. Powerful prayers always point at a specific target population, situation, circumstance or people group.

All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them” (John 17:10). Now comes the statement of “Oneness/Unity” which will form a theme in the following section of His prayer. He shares all with His Father; what belongs to Him was already in the Father’s Hand, but now belongs to Him. Yeshua has also given what belongs to Himself to us, His followers, and disciples: “he who puts his trust in Me, the works that I do he will do; and greater than these he will do” (John 14:12); “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with tzara’at, drive out demons. Freely you received, freely give” (Matt.10:8); “I have given you authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Lk.10:19). Those who walk in surrender will walk in His authority; one has as much authority as the degree to which the individual is surrendered. PLEASE REMEMBER (refer to my previous STUDY TOPICS on SURRENDER): (1) Surrender requires action – i.e., BE surrendered; assume a posture of surrender.  (2) Merely saying you are surrendered is meaningless.

From these passages we see that there can simply be dialogue and sharing with the Father; prayer does not mean one must always be asking for something  . . . But when one asks, one should be specific. Most noteworthy is that even when Yeshua does begin to ask the Father for anything, it is for everyone else that He is concerned, not Himself. He’s not even praying anything to do with Himself; yet it is He who is going to the Cross the next day!  Now, how selfless is that?! Yeshua’s concern before He went to the Cross, was to cover in prayer the disciples (and future disciples) He would leave behind.

So many lessons in this discourse. .  … to be continued in tomorrow’s Study Corner..  . .

© 2017, revised 2018, 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.

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