Word from Scotland: What we call the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is really the disciple’s prayer
We come to John Chapter 17. Jesus had spent that final evening with His disciples, at the conclusion of His final week on earth, when He had been teaching and sharing as much as they could absorb.
When we come to John Chapter 17, it is as if we are entering the New Testament Holy of Holies. We are listening to Jesus Christ at prayer. Think of the setting.
This is the Lord’s Prayer. He is the only Person on earth Who could have prayed these words. There is no confession of sin. Jesus taught His Disciples to pray for forgiveness. “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” We receive forgiveness to the degree that we forgive others. That is significant. That is important. To be forgiven, we must forgive.
If we do not forgive we stand guilty before God, and we condemn ourselves.
When Jesus talked with His Father there is no need to confess sin. Jesus never needed to pray for forgiveness. What we call The Lord’s Prayer is really the disciple’s prayer.
Look at His posture in prayer. He lifted up His eyes to heaven. Jesus, as our Great High Priest, bases His Prayer on Leviticus Chapter 16, where once a year the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies and he would pray for himself. Then, he would pray for his fellow priests, and then he would pray for the people of God, and then, he would come out and slaughter the sacrificial lamb – a one year old lamb in its prime.
In verses 1 to 5, Jesus’ prayer concerns Himself. In verses 6 to 19, Jesus prays for His disciples. In verses 20 to 26, Jesus prays for the Church to be one.
Then, He faces the cross. The hour has come. The moment for this amazing unique cosmic drama had arrived. Never before had anything like this happened and never again will anything like this happen.
It was for this moment that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had been sent into the world. Jesus says, “Glorify Your Son that Your Son may glorify You”.
Give Me glory as I go to the Cross, and then I can give more glory to You.
Throughout this prayer we find a theme of ‘giving’. Give Me that I may give to you. Give Me that I may give to them.
All that You have given to Me I have shared.
There is not a hint of selfishness and not a selfish motive in this profound prayer.
Verse 2 – You have given Him power, that He should give eternal life to all those You have given Him.
God the Father gives people to Jesus so that Jesus can save them and rescue them and wash them and forgive them and transform them, and give them eternal life and salvation, in the fullest sense of the word. They are born anew, or born again.
We can only receive salvation from Jesus Christ, and from no-one else, and not from any other source.
There is a crisis in the Church just now, in so many places and in so many areas – such as I have never witnessed over these past forty five years – and we so need this word, and of course, we so need every part of the Word of God.