Pastor’s May 2018 message
Jesus Prays for Us
Jesus prays to his Father,
“Father, keep them in your Name.”
He prays for us. It is the prayer of Baptism, interceding for us and our children, for the church, that all are kept in the promise that where God has placed his Name, he will never depart.
“Father, keep them in your Name, which you have given me.”
Jesus prays for gifts to be given. Jesus receives all things from his Father by way of gift. Even though he himself is true God, of the same substance with the Father, he is, at the same time, Son to the Father. And the Son looks to the Father for every good gift. In giving the promise of Baptism, he said that all authority in Heaven and on Earth had been given him by his Father.
The authority given was the authority to lay down his life as a ransom for many, to forgive sins—it was the authority bestowed by the Name. And the Name the Father gave him is the Name of the Lord, the Name of salvation. For that’s what the Name Jesus means, “The Lord saves.”
So Jesus’ prayer is, “Father, keep them in your Name, which you have given me.” For we bear his Name in our Baptism, and it is our very salvation.
Oneness, Unity for the Church
Then Jesus prays for our oneness, our unity:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”
As Jesus is one with the Father, so he prays that we are one with him and with each other. Indeed, we are already one with him and his Father, for he already said that in the previous verses, in praying to his Father,
“I have manifested your Name to those whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.”
We are already one with the Father, already cleansed, already kept in oneness by the Word.
But Jesus doesn’t depart his office of intercession. He prays for the church, for all the baptized, for each of us and our children, that as we are in this world of sin and division and shame, his Father would keep us in oneness.
Jesus Prays for Our Oneness
Jesus speaks his ongoing prayer for the church. It is a profound prayer of healing and life. Where there is schism in the church, where false doctrines are brought in to tempt his people to look to their own worthiness, where false doctrine is dividing Christian from Christian, Jesus prays for unity, “Father, Keep them in your Name, that they may be one, even as we are one.”
Where the Church is in turmoil, where one Christian has offended or brought shame to another, Jesus prays for healing, praying for the gift of repentance to be received, for the gift of forgiveness to be freely handed out, praying for peace between all his people, “Father, Keep them in your Name, that they may be one, even as we are one.”
Where our families are in division or enmity, where husband has not loved and cared for wife, where wife has not loved and respected husband, where words of gossip have been spoken of friends, where words of harshness or retribution have produced shame, Jesus prays for healing, for joy, for words of kindness and forgiveness to bring restoration, for words of the Father’s gifts of reconciliation and grace, words for restoration and joy in every family, Jesus praying, “Father, Keep them in your Name, that they may be one, even as we are one.”
We Pray for One Another
Jesus prays for his Church that she be kept in his Name. In his Name, sin is met with forgiveness, shame is overthrown by his word of honor, division and enmity are cast out by his word of reconciliation and oneness, and false doctrine is dispelled by the true Word of Gospel.
Jesus prays for us. And we pray for one another.
In the Name of Jesus,
October 30, 2018
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