Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
10653 N – 550 W
Decatur, IN 46733
A 21st Century Parish with a 1st Century Faith
Chartered February 25, 1838
Celebration of 174th Year
20 May 2012
When taking leave of fellow Christians, we sometimes say “Godspeed” or “God bless” or “God be with you.” We express the wish that God would watch over them and protect them. Jesus expresses something similar in His great high priestly prayer – that His Father would keep the disciples. Jesus is concerned that you also be kept safe and secure. Jesus prayer for you is that the Father would keep you.
1. The need for protection.
A. Gone is the security of Jesus’ physical presence.
1. He had guarded His disciples, but now He was leaving them.
2. They would have to remain in a world that hated them (vv.14-15) I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one
B. The unbelieving world is the Christian’s enemy.
1 The world’s prince is “the evil one,” Satan (v.15) who intends to destroy Christians. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one
2 The world regards God’s grace as foolishness.
3 The world calls evil good and good evil.
4 The world priorities are therefore different from the Christian’s We need protection because we live in a world that has not changed its basic attitude toward Christ and His followers.
We need Jesus to pray for us, “God keep you!” god is able to keep us. How?
2. The means of protection.
A. The revelation of the Father that Jesus has given.
1. The Father’s love give joyous security. (vv.12-13) While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by[b] that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.
2. The Father’s love makes it possible to respond with love even to the world’s hatred.
B. The Word of the Father that Jesus has given (v.14) I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world
1. That Word, as it has come to us in the Scriptures, enables us to shun false teaching that would destroy our faith.
2. The Scriptures guard our faith and thereby our unity in Christ. (v.11) I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of[a] your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. We know the Father’s love and persevere in faith through the Scriptural Word.
God protects us by means of His Word. When Jesus prays for us, “God keep you!” we know God can. Why should He keep us?
3. The purpose of protection.
A. We Christians have a job to do in this world. (v.18) As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world
1. We are sent to teach the Father’s Word aright.
2. We are sent to hallow God’s name by a godly life.
B. We need to be renewed in consecration (v.19) For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
1. So that we pursue our task with single-mindedness (John 4:34) “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
2. So that, while in the world, we would not be of the world. We are kept in the world for a purpose. Jesus has good reason to pray for His own, thus, He prays, “God keep you!”
When we say to each other, “God keep you,” we are not saying empty words. We are reiterating Christ’s own pray for His own, That prayer relates to a real need, reminds us of divine power to protect, and directs us to our purpose in this world. God keep you! Now and forever!