What Jesus' High Priestly Prayer Reveals About His True Desires for Believers Today

(Unsplash/Pedro Dias)

As Jesus prayed for the disciples (John 17), He prayed to the Father several things that are essential to understanding what it means to be one with Christ and faithful witnesses in the earth:

— Eternal life is found in knowing God personally (John 17:3). Scholar D.A. Carson says it this way: "Eternal life turns on nothing more and nothing less than knowledge of the true God. Eternal life is not so much everlasting life as personal knowledge of the Everlasting One."

— "They are not of the world even as I am not of the world" (John 17:16).

— "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17).

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— "As you sent Me into the world, so I sent them into the world" (John 17:18).

— "For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth" (John 17:19).

Through these Scriptures in the context of Jesus' prayer, we can see that His prayer is a departing prayer as well as an empowering one. The New Covenant as prophesied by Jeremiah declared that all would know God (Jer. 31:34). The disciples came to know the eternal one through the eternal begotten Son who declared Him. Jesus sanctified and set Himself apart for the missional purpose of being sent into the earth through the incarnation to be obedient to death on the cross. His obedience to the will of the Father, which led to His sufferings as the second and last Adam as Paul described (1 Cor. 15:45-47), would restore what the first Adam lost through disobedience. The power of His crucifixion brought us into union with Him for the purpose of being the expression of His nature as faithful witnesses in the earth. Athanasius, who was an early church father in the third century, describes it as "He became what we are so that we might become what He is." The more we grow in our intimacy with the Lord, the more we not only learn His ways and thoughts but become conformed to them through the Scriptures.

The question remains for us: How are we sanctified, and what does that mean for us today? Jesus in his prayer said that the disciples would be sanctified and set apart by the truth, and for that truth to be released, He sanctified Himself for them as well as for us through His sacrifice. The Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of truth, guides us through the sanctification process as we conform according to the thoughts and ways of Christ when we deny ourselves and pick up the cross daily. The Greek word for truth, aletheia, means what is true, real and not concealing reality. The reality and truth of who Christ is sanctifies us and sets us apart to be carriers of His glory and faithful expressions of His character. The blood of His cross sanctifies and purges our consciences so we think as He thinks, walk as He walked and move as He moved as faithful witnesses of His resurrection. Sanctification is being set apart from the old ways and thoughts of the first Adam and becoming conformed to the thoughts and ways of Jesus, the last Adam.

In this episode of Keys to Walking in Kingdom Culture on the Charisma Podcast Network, we will explore what it means to walk in oneness with Christ and to allow His story to be relived in our story as the narrative of His life becomes expressed in our lives.

To hear more of this revelatory word, listen to the podcast.

Purchase Wayland Henderson's two books: Walking with God: Repairing the Breach and Restoring the Ancient Path to Discipleship and Racism: In the Church and the Nation on Amazon.

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