John 17:6-8

Sunday Morning Bible Study

August 16, 2009


I am leaving on a trip early tomorrow morning to Russia and Hungary.  I have been invited to share at a Pastors’ Conference in Moscow and a conference at the Hungary Bible College.  Pray for me!  I’ll only be gone ONE Sunday.

Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

Jesus is on His last evening with the disciples.

He's been giving them lots of instruction, preparing them for the tough days ahead.

And now He stops to pray.

This is not what Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. He doesn’t come to the garden until after this prayer (18:1).

This prayer has been called the “High Priestly Prayer”.

In the prayer, you see three sections:

·Jesus prays for Himself (:1-5)

·Jesus prays for His disciples (:6-19)

·Jesus prays for future believers (:20-26)

17:6-19 Jesus prays for His disciples

:6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.

:6 manifestedphaneroo – to make visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way

:6 nameonoma – name; the name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i.e. for one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds etc.


Getting the name right

The day finally arrived: Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven. He is met at the Pearly Gates by Saint Peter himself. The gates are closed, however, and Forrest approaches the gatekeeper. Saint Peter says, “Well Forrest, it’s certainly good to see you. We have heard a lot about you. I must inform you that the place is filling up fast, and we’ve been administering an entrance exam for everyone. The tests are fairly short, but you need to pass before you can get into Heaven,” Forrest responds, “It shore is good to be here Saint Peter. I was looking forward to this. Nobody ever told me about any entrance exams. Shore hope the test ain’t too hard; life was a big enough test as it was.” Saint Peter goes on, “Yes, I know Forrest. But, the test I have for you is only three questions. Here is the first: What days of the week begin with the letter ‘T’? Second, how many seconds are there in a year? Third, what is God’s first name?” Forrest goes away to think the questions over. Forest returns the next day and goes up to Saint Peter to try to answer the exam questions. Saint Peter waves him up and asks, “Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers.” Forrest says, “Well, the first one, how many days of the week begin with the letter ‘T’? Shucks, that one’s easy; that’d be Today and Tomorrow!” The saint’s eyes opened wide and he exclaims, “Forrest! That’s not what I was thinking, but... you do have a point though, and I guess I didn’t specify, so I give you credit for that answer.” “How about the next one” says Saint Peter, “how many seconds in a year?” “Now that one’s harder,” says Forrest. “But, I thunk and thunk about that, and I guess the only answer can be twelve.” Astounded, Saint Peter says, “Twelve! Twelve! Forrest, how in Heaven’s name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?” Forrest says, “Shucks, there gotta be twelve: January second, February second, March second.......” “Hold it,” interrupts Saint Peter. “I see where you’re going with it. And I guess I see your point, though that wasn’t quite what I had in mind. I’ll give you credit for that one too.” “Let’s go on with the next and final question,” says Saint Peter, “can you tell me God’s first name?” Forrest says, “Well shore, I know God’s first name. Everybody probably knows it. It’s Howard.” “Howard?” asks Saint Peter. “What makes you think it’s Howard?” Forrest answers, “It’s in the prayer.” “The prayer?” asks Saint Peter, “Which prayer?” “The Lord’s Prayer,” responds Forrest: Our Father, which art in Heaven, Howard be thy name......”
This is not just about teaching people how to spell or pronounce God’s name.
In the ancient world, a person’s name often described their character. Sometimes I wonder how the parents knew how to name their kids:

Nabal – “fool” – he was the fellow who criticized and refused to help David when he was fleeing from Saul.

Achan – “trouble” – he was the fellow who took and hid part of the cursed stuff from the conquest in Jericho. He ended up being known as the one who “troubled” Israel.

Abraham – “father of a multitude” – eventually his descendants would number as the stars in heaven.

David – “beloved” – he was the fellow known as a man after God’s own heart, greatly beloved by God.

When Moses wanted to know God better, God clarified His “name” with Moses:
(Ex 34:5–7 NKJV) —5 Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

It’s kind of strange that some think of God in the Old Testament as being cranky and quick to strike people dead.

There is a part of God that is indeed just, willing to punish the wicked. But God is first merciful, gracious, patient, etc.

Sometimes as Christians we leave the wrong impression about God with people.
This was the problem Jesus often had with Pharisees

(Lk 12:1b–2 NKJV) …He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.

The Pharisees were the ultra religious people of the day. If anyone ought to have given a correct impression about who God was, it should have been them. But they were caught up in hypocrisy – hiding the crud in their own hearts and constantly criticizing what Jesus was doing.  This is NOT what God is like.

Don’t you hate it when people don’t get your name right?

My name has a lot of variations.

In first grade I was known as “Richie”.  In second grade I was known as “Dick”.  In third grade I was known as “Rich”.  In Spanish class I was “Ricardo”.  From fourth grade into my thirties I was known as “Richard”.  After becoming a pastor, I decided to go for the simplified version and am quite okay with people calling me “Rich”.

I really prefer that you don’t call me “Rick” or “Ricky”.  Not that I have a problem with people who are called that, but it’s just not “me”.

Whatever you call me, just don’t call me late for supper.  And please stop calling me “surely” …

To me, when a person gets my name wrong, it simply points out that this person doesn’t know me as well as they should.

Jesus gave people the correct impression of God. He “manifested” God’s name to people.
Jesus has already clarified to His men that if they’ve “seen” Him, they’ve “seen” the Father. (John 14:9)

(Jn 14:9 NKJV) Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father…

Think of what they’ve seen in just the last couple of hours of this evening.


Jesus washed their feet, taking the role of a servant.


(Jn 13:34–35 NKJV) —34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”


(Jn 15:13 NKJV) Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Jesus has correctly “manifested” God’s name.

:6 kepttereo – to attend to carefully, take care of

:7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You.

:7 knownginosko – to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel; knowledge by experience

What kinds of “things” has God given to Jesus?  His words.

:8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.

:8 the wordsrhema – that which is or has been uttered by the living voice

It comes from rheo: to pour forth, to utter

I like the concept of “pouring” here. God has “poured” the words into Jesus, and Jesus has in turn “poured” the words into the disciples.

:8 I have givendidomi – to give something to someone


The Teacher

Jesus not just giving an explanation of where His teachings came from, but He’s also setting an example.
Jesus received the things He taught from God. The things that God gave to Jesus, Jesus passed on to His disciples.
This is not just something unique to Jesus, but should be an example for all Christian teachers.
When Paul was addressing the Corinthians about the messes they caused during communion and how important it was for them to address their problems, he wrote,

(1 Co 11:23 NKJV) For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread …

Did you notice Paul’s “source”? Paul received this from the Lord, and passed it on to the Corinthians.

How does this happen?

How does a teacher “get things” from God?
I hope that at least some of the things that I talk about on Sunday mornings are not just good ideas that I’ve researched and then shared – but it is my sincere hope that at least some of these things are things that are shared have been given to me by God, and given to me to pass on to you.
Not everyone is called to teach, but there are more teachers in this room than just me. These are things that I find are important in the process of preparation.
God says,

(Je 33:3 NKJV) ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

I think understanding comes to a heart that is crying out to God for guidance.  I remember reading about a Puritan pastor would continually pray while preparing his messages, “More Light…”

We need to pray for those that we teach.

The prophet Samuel was speaking to the nation of Israel when he said,

(1 Sa 12:23 NLT) “As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that “prayers” and “teaching” are connected in the same verse.

God’s guidance in what to talk about comes in that atmosphere where He is present in prayer and the faces of the people you teach are before you.

That’s the atmosphere that comes only by praying for the people you are teaching.

If you are a teacher over a group of any size, at some point before you teach, and best before you prepare, work at the discipline of praying for those that you teach. Their faces should before your eyes when you are preparing.

The passage we’re in today is a prayer of Jesus, and the biggest chunk of this prayer is centered in on these disciples that have been with Him.
I think it is very important to spend time studying and preparing before you speak.

I think good teaching is like preparing a meal. The better the preparation, the better the meal.

What would you do if you ordered veal parmesan at a restaurant, and the waiter comes out and throws a piece of raw meat, a cup of flour, a can of tomatoes, some spices, a hunk of cheese, and some dried pasta onto your plate? Would you come back to that restaurant?

Preparation is a good thing.

I get the feeling from some teachers that they subscribe to the raw parmesan approach.

Paul wrote to Timothy:

(2 Ti 2:15 NKJV) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

It is not unspiritual to prepare. It’s healthy.

(2 Ti 2:15 AV) —15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Chewing. Meditating. Listening.
The whole message doesn’t just come from your vast mental powers and preparation. Give God a chance to respond to your prayers.
David said about the righteous man:

(Ps 1:2 NKJV) But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.


Are You Listening?

The story is told of Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what was said. One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who came down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” The guests responded with phrases like, “Marvelous! Keep up the good work. We are proud of you. God bless you, sir.” It was not until the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Not quite knowing what to say, the ambassador leaned over and whispered, “I’m sure she had it coming.”

The Golden Crane
As a teacher of origami (the ancient Japanese art of paper folding) at the LaFarge Lifelong Learning Institute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Art Beaudry was asked to represent the school at an exhibit at a large mall in Milwaukee. He decided to take along a couple hundred folded paper cranes to pass out to people who stopped at his booth. Before that day, however, something strange happened - a voice told him to find a piece of gold foil paper and make a gold origami crane. The strange voice was so insistent that Art actually found himself rummaging through his collection of origami papers at home until he found one flat, shiny piece of gold foil. “Why am I doing this?” he asked himself. Art had never worked with the shiny gold paper. It didn’t fold as easily or neatly as the crisp multicolored papers. But that little voice kept nudging. Art harrumphed and tried to ignore the voice. “Why gold foil anyway? Paper is much easier to work with.” He grumbled. The voice continued “Do it! And you must give it away tomorrow to a special person.” By now Art was getting a little cranky..... “What special person?” He asked the voice. “You’ll know which one,” the voice said. That evening Art very carefully folded and shaped the unforgiving gold foil until it became as graceful and delicate as a real crane about to take flight. He packed the exquisite bird in the box along with about 200 colorful paper cranes he’d made over the previous few weeks. The next day at the mall, dozens upon dozens of people stopped by Art’s booth to ask questions about origami. He demonstrated the art. He folded, unfolded and refolded. He explained the intricate details, the need for sharp creases. Then there was a woman standing in front of Art. The special person. Art had never seen her before, and she hadn’t said a word as she watched him carefully fold a bright pink piece of paper into a crane with pointed, graceful wings. Art glanced up at her face, and before he knew what he was doing, his hands were down in the big box that contained the supply of paper cranes. There it was, the delicate gold-foil bird he’d labored over the night before. He retrieved it and carefully placed it in the woman’s hand. “I don’t know why, but there’s a very loud voice inside me telling me I’m supposed to give you this golden crane. The crane is the ancient symbol of peace.” Art said simply. The woman didn’t say a word as she slowly cupped her small hand around the fragile bird as if it were alive. When Art looked up at her face, he saw tears filling her eyes, ready to spill out. Finally the woman took a deep breath and said, “My husband died three weeks ago. This is the first time I’ve been out. “Today.......” She wiped her eyes with her free hand, still gently cradling the golden crane with the other. “Today is our golden wedding anniversary.” Then this stranger said in a clear voice. “Thank you for this beautiful gift. Now I know that my husband is at peace. Don’t you see? That voice you heard. It’s the voice God, and this beautiful crane is a gift from Him! It’s the most wonderful 50th wedding anniversary present I could have received. Thank you for listening to your heart.” And that’s how Art learned to listen very carefully when a little voice within him tells him to do something he may not understand at the time.  ~Patricia Lorenz~
My favorite teachers are ones with which it is obvious that they’ve spent time thinking and meditating on a passage.

It’s best to give your passage a chance to “breathe”. Don’t get into the habit of preparing your lesson ten minutes before you teach.

I hope that a fair measure of the things that I share are not just head knowledge, but things that I’ve been learning to apply to my life.
A teacher is supposed to set an example with his life.

Paul wrote to Timothy:

(1 Ti 4:12–13 NLT) —12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.

Before Paul encouraged Timothy in his teaching, he encouraged him to be an example.

If I’m teaching on humility, and yet the people around me know what a proud jerk I am, they are going to have a hard time listening to me.

Can the people who know you best stand to listen to you teach? Do they receive anything from what you say? Or do your words come across flat because you don’t “practice what you preach”?

On the flip side, there are things that I will need to talk about from time to time, things that I don’t have a clue about.

Don’t shy away from teaching about things beyond your experience level. But be honest that it’s beyond you. Don’t pretend to be an expert at something you’re not.

:8 known – ginosko – to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel; knowledge by experience

:8 surely – alethos – truly, of a truth, in reality, most certainly

Based on the word for “truth”

They haven’t just “really known”, but have “known truthfully”

:8 they have receivedlambano – to take; lay hold of; to receive (what is given)

Jesus taught, the disciples “received”.

(vs. 8) they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me


The Learner

We may not all be called to teach, but we are all called to learn.  There are some interesting things here that challenge us as those who are “taught”.  There are three key words in the last phrase that tell us what it is to be a “learner”.
Jesus’ teaching brought the disciples to “know” who God was.  This is a knowledge based upon experience.  They haven’t just learned about God, but have come to know God.
The word translated “surely” (alethos) is based on the word for “truth”.

The basic idea of “truth” (aletheia) is what is “not hidden”.

Whereas the hypocritical Pharisees learned to cover things up in their lives, the disciples are learning to uncover the truth about who God is, who they are, and how to follow Him.
The disciples have come to trust in Jesus and who He is.
For you, you don’t need to come and trust the human teacher (like me).  Your trust needs to be in Jesus Christ.
From time to time I hear Christians complain that they didn’t get anything out of a Bible Study.  Perhaps the teacher didn’t tell any good jokes.  Perhaps he told too many jokes.  Perhaps he didn’t tell them anything they didn’t already know.
The bigger issue is whether or not I am open to receiving anything from God.
The old priest Eli taught the little boy Samuel how to respond when God was poking at his heart:
(1 Sa 3:10 NKJV) Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”
Growing as a disciple doesn’t just come from having a good teacher.  It comes from being a good “learner”
Am I hungry to “know” (experience) God?
Am I ready to hear the “truth” about who God is and who I am?
Am I ready to trust God with more of my life?