January 20, 2019 – John 17:1-26
Lesson Date: January 20, 2019
Focal Scripture Passage: John 17:1-26
AIM: To lead students to list the things Jesus prayed for them, and to thank Jesus for giving them eternal life, keeping them, and continually interceding for them.
Before class: Read the notes on John 17:1-26 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask the students if any of them have any prayer requests they would like to share with the group. Take about two minutes for them to share prayer requests. Pray briefly for the requests mentioned. After praying, ask: “Why do we ask other people to pray for us?” (we gain comfort and strength knowing others are praying for our needs and we have confidence that God can answer prayers).
Ask: “If you were facing something really big, who would you ask to pray for you?” Tell the students when we have a very big or serious need we often ask the most spiritual people we know to pray for us.
Tell the class in today’s lesson we will learn that, if we are saved, Jesus Christ prayed for us. Not only did He pray for us during His earthly ministry, but He is still praying for us today!
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the students that we are studying the Gospel of John.
- Ask a volunteer to read John 20:31.
- Ask: “Why did John write this account of Jesus’ life?” (so his readers would believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have everlasting life by trusting in Him).
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (God knows the future and will turn our sorrows into joy).
- Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (John 16:33).
- Remind the class that John 13 – 17 describe Jesus’ conversations with His disciples the night before He was crucified.
- Jesus’ Prayed for Himself.
- Write on the marker board or chalkboard the heading “Jesus Prayed.”
- Throughout the course of this lesson you should write under that heading the things Jesus prayed.
- Ask a volunteer to read John 17:1-5.
- Ask: “To what ‘hour’ did Jesus refer in verse 1?” (the hour of His sacrifice for sin; contrast this verse with John 2:4).
- Ask: “What did He ask the Father in verse 1?” (to glorify Him so He could glorify the Father).
- Ask: “According to verse 2, to whom does Jesus give eternal life?” (those the Father gives Him; in other words, the elect of God).
- Ask: “In verse 3, how does Jesus define eternal life?” (knowing God the Father and Jesus Christ).
- Tell the class in verse 4 Jesus said He had glorified the Father throughout His time on earth and had finished the work the Father sent Him to do.
- Ask: “What did Jesus ask His Father in verse 1 and verse 5?” (to glorify Him with the same glory He possessed before the world was created – in eternity past).
- Write, “Glorify Me” on the board.
- Summarize: Jesus asked His Father to glorify Him. This is the only thing He prayed for Himself on the night before He was crucified.
- Jesus Prayed for His Disciples.
- Ask a volunteer to read John 17:6-10.
- Ask: “Who gave the disciples to Jesus?” (the Father).
- Ask: “What do verses 7-8 say the disciples knew and believed?” (that Jesus came forth from the Heavenly Father).
- Ask: “According to verse 9, who did Jesus pray for?” (the disciples the Father gave Him out of the world).
- Ask: “Who did He NOT pray for?” (the world).
- Tell the class it may seem strange that Jesus didn’t pray for everyone in the world.
- Ask: “Why did He pray for His disciples and not the rest of the world?” (because the disciples belonged to God).
- Write, “For His Disciples” on the board.
- Read John 17:11-12.
- Tell the class in verse 11 Jesus said He was about to leave the world and return to the Father.
- Ask: “What two things did Jesus pray for the disciples in verse 11?” (He asked the Father to keep [preserve, protect, sustain] them and to make them one).
- Write, “Protect The Disciples” and “Unify The Disciples” on the board.
- Ask: “According to verse 12, why did Jesus pray this at this time and not before?” (He kept them while He was with them in the world, but now He was about to leave them).
- Ask: “Who was the ‘son of perdition’ Jesus mentioned in verse 12?” (Judas Iscariot).
- Ask a volunteer to read John 17:13-19.
- Ask: “What did Jesus pray for His disciples in verse 13?” (that they would have His joy).
- Write, “For His Disciples To Have Joy” on the board.
- Ask: “According to verse 14, how did Jesus say the world would treat His disciples?” (with hatred).
- Ask: “What did Jesus NOT ask His Father in verse 15?” (to take His disciples out of the world).
- Ask: “What did Jesus pray for His disciples in verse 15?” (He asked the Father to protect them from the evil one – Satan).
- Write, “Protect His Disciples From Satan” on the board.
- Ask: “What did Jesus pray for His disciples in verse 17?” (He asked the Father to sanctify them through the truth of God’s Word).
- Write, “Sanctify His Disciples” on the board.
- Stress the fact that the way we grow in sanctification is through spending time in the Bible.
- Tell the class in verse 18 Jesus said that just as the Father had sent Him into the world, He was now sending the disciples out into the world.
- Summarize: Jesus prayed for His disciples, asking the Father to protect them, unify them, give them joy, and sanctify them.
- Jesus Prayed for Us.
- Tell the class in verses 1-5 Jesus prayed for Himself and in verses 6-19 He prayed for His disciples. In verse 20, however, the focus of His prayer changed.
- Read John 17:20.
- Ask: “Who did Jesus pray for, beginning in 20?” (all those who would later believe in Jesus through the witness of His original disciples).
- Explain that since everything we know about Jesus comes through the witness of His early disciples whom God used to write the Bible, beginning in verse 20 Jesus began praying for US!
- Write, “For Us” on the board.
- Ask the class to listen for things Jesus prayed for us, as you read John 17:21-26.
- Ask: “What did Jesus pray for us in verses 21-23?” (that we would be one – unified).
- Write, “That We Would Be Unified” on the board.
- Ask: “What did Jesus pray for us in verse 24?” (that we will be with Him in heaven and behold His glory).
- Write, “That We Will Be With Him And Behold His Glory” on the board.
- Ask: “What did Jesus pray for us in verse 26?” (that we will experience Christ’s love and presence).
- Write, “That We Will Experience Christ’s Love And Presence” on the board.
- Summarize: Jesus prayed for us, asking the Father to unify us, take us to be with Jesus so we can behold His glory, and let us experience Christ’s love and presence.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the class that prayer is a very private and personal thing. In prayer we bare our souls to God, confessing our sins and asking Him to work in very special and often private matters. Tell the students in John 17 we are given the very special privilege of listening in on Jesus’ last prayer time with His disciples. We have been invited onto holy ground, as God the Son speaks very personally with His Heavenly Father. In this special prayer, Jesus prayed for Himself, for His disciples, and for us.
Use the list written on the board to review the things Jesus prayed. Ask: “What did Jesus pray for Himself?” (that the Father would glorify Him). Ask: “What did Jesus pray for His disciples?” (that the Father would protect them, unify them, give them joy, and sanctify them). Ask: “What did Jesus pray for us?” (that the Father would unify us, take us to be with Jesus so we can behold His glory, and let us experience Christ’s love and presence).
Ask: “How does it make you feel to know that if you belong to Jesus Christ He actually prayed for you the night before going to His death on the cross?” (humbled, blessed, comforted, and strengthened). Tell the students it is a great blessing to know that Jesus prayed for us, but here’s some even better news – Jesus is still praying for us today!
Ask a volunteer to read Romans 8:34. Tell the class that verse assures us that right now Jesus Christ is at the right hand of the Father, praying for us!
Tell the class it’s wonderful for us to pray for each other, but the best thing is to know that Jesus Christ is praying for us. That amazing assurance, however, only applies to those who are genuinely born again.
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Tell the students if any of them are not truly saved they should repent of their sins and ask Jesus to come into their hearts right now. Tell those who are already saved to thank Jesus for giving them eternal life, keeping them, and continually interceding for them. Allow a moment for the students to pray silently, then voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Tell the students when trials and temptations come their way this week, they should stop and thank Jesus for praying for them. They should then depend on Him to protect and help them through those trials. Praise the Lord, Jesus is praying for you!
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