I am excited to be here with you today at family camp. There is something about getting out of our everyday routines and even weekly routines and to hear from the Lord. My prayer is that when we leave this place today that we will not have great memories of bonding together, but also that we would encounter God in a way that will bring great transformation in our lives.
Jesus is our ultimate example to follow. He did not come to earth just so that we can have salvation. He came to model the life that we were to live here on earth. I have been meditating on how the Word describes Jesus’s relationship with the Father and what that means for us as believers. God wants to bring a greater revelation of how understanding this relationship impacts our own lives.
I. Jesus had daily rhythms of being alone with the Father
Mark 1:35-39: Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons.
Matthew 14:22-23: Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
Luke 6:12-13: One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles.
II. The Revelation of Oneness
John 5:19-23: So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.
Jesus came as a man. He does only what the Father directs Him to do. He does what the Father is doing. The Father will show Him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Honoring the Father is the same as honoring the Son. Dishonoring the Son is dishonoring the Father.
John 10:14-17: “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
Jesus makes another distinction here. He knows the Father and the Father knows him. He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him.
Know is an intimate term that is used between a husband and wife. My sheep know and follow my voice. Jesus wants us to know and follow His voice.
III. Jesus’s prayer for His followers
A. Defining Salvation
John 17:1-8: After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.
Eternal life is to know the Father and Jesus. Those who belong to Jesus are those who have kept the Word. Jesus passed on the message to them and now they are passing it on to others.
B. Jesus’s prayer
John 17:9-19: “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold. “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
Protection from the evil one
To be united as the Father and Jesus are united
Make them holy by your truth
Teach them your Word which is truth
Sending them into the world to proclaim truth
C. A prayer for all believers (not just the twelve)
John 17:20-26: “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
He prays for oneness again.
Oneness with the Father and Jesus is how the world will come to know Jesus. Believers manifest Jesus to the world because we are one with Him.
Unity and love will speak to the world. That why Jesus says, “they will know that you are my disciples by your love for each other.”
I would like to conclude with Jesus giving us a picture of oneness. Understanding what it means to be one with the Father and Jesus is what God wants to reveal to us. When we understand this it will change everything for us.
John 14:9-14: Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
Jesus set a pattern for us to follow. When we take time to be with Him and the Father, we will walk a greater fullness in our lives. We will be doing what the Father has told us to do and we will see God do greater things through our lives than what He did through Jesus. By doing these things, it brings glory to them!