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Jesus Prays for Our Protection from Evil

(John 17:14-16)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
We saw this morning
Jesus prayed for disciples:
That as He was leaving
The Father would protect them,
Specifically, from three things:
First, that He would preserve them in general
And bring them safely to heaven;
Second, that He would protect them from the evil in this world,
And third, that He would protect them from the evil in their hearts.

B. Preview.
Weve already looked at the first,
Now lets look at the second.

This evening, lets consider three things:

1. The mission: Jesus has sent us to the world.
2. The danger: the world will hate us.
3. The solution: not removal, but refuge.

II. Sermon.
A. First, the mission: Jesus has sent us to the world.

We see this in verse 14, I have given them Your word; and the world has hated
them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Jesus gave them His Word for two reasons:
He gave it to them originally
That they might be saved by it.
Its true that most of the disciples
Might already have been converted
When Jesus first called them
They were already OT saints.
For instance, Peter and John,
And Philip and Andrew,
Believed Gods Word
And were looking for the Messiah
When He found them;
And since they were,
They may already have been estranged
From their neighbors at least in some degree.
But its also true
That there was at least one
That wasnt: Matthew, the tax collector.

But they were all alienated from their neighbors

Once they were called to follow Jesus
Because this put them

In a different relationship to the world
Well consider this more in a moment.

The second reason He gave them His Word

Was that they might become His ambassadors
To take His Gospel to the world.

He spent 3.5 years with them,

Teaching them,
Preparing them,
Giving them the greatest treasure
Anyone could ever have,
That they might share it freely with the world.
Paul writes to Timothy, Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard
from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the
Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you (2
Tim. 1:13-14).

Now again, we dont have the same calling they had

Were not all called to be preachers or evangelists
But we do have our Lords call on our lives
To be His witnesses
And to share His Gospel with others.

The disciples did what they were called to do well:

They took the Gospel to the world.

In Gods mercy,
That Gospel came to us,
And by His grace,
We were saved by it.

In His love,
He brought us into His church
And He taught us
He entrusted His treasure to us
And by His authority, He called us
That we might share His Gospel freely with the world
Just as He gave it to us without charge,
So we are to give it away to as many as we can:
Jesus said to His disciples
When He sent them out
In Matthew 10:8, Freely, you received, freely give.

The Lord has given His Commission to His church as whole,

But each of us has our part to play:
We are those awake among the sleeping;
We know the way of safety,
The truth that can save
Our friends, our neighbors, our loved ones
From sinking into hell forever.

And so we need to share this message:
Thats why He gave us His Word.

B. Second, we see the danger in bringing this message to others: the world will hate
We see this in verse 14, I have given them Your word; and the world has hated
them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
The problem they had to face
And we do as well
The reason Jesus prays for us
Is that our audience will hate us.
The word literally means detest.

Theyll hate us
Because as we do what Jesus calls us to do
It will become clear that were not of the world.
We see this not only in verse 14,
But also in verse 16, They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Of course, we started out as part of the world:

We were the children of Adam like everyone else
We came into the world guilty of his sin
And having his evil heart
Most of us even lived a good part of our lives
As the children of this world.

Paul writes, Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh,
indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of
wrath, even as the rest (Eph. 2:3).

But at some point, God, in His mercy, saved us

Through faith in His Son Jesus
Took us out of this world,
And brought us into His kingdom.
Now we are children of light
Living among the children of darkness.
We are no longer of this world
Even as Jesus is not of this world
Now we belong to a heavenly kingdom.
Now we no longer want to do
What the world does
But what our Lord would have us do.

Once this happened,

It put us at odds with the world,
Even as the world was at odds with Jesus.
Jesus said earlier in Johns Gospel, If the world hates you, you know that it has
hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its
own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world,
because of this the world hates you (15:18-19).

Now the world wont see the difference

That exists between them and us,

Unless we do one of two things:
Live like Jesus,
Or share His message.

If we dont live as He calls us to live,

If we do what everyone else does:
If we talk like they talk
Laugh at the same jokes,
Use the same coarse language
If we place the same value on the things they do
Such as money, popularity, position
If we disrespect authority,
Break the Sabbath,
Commit sexual sin,
Steal or backbite like them
They wont see the difference
And treat us like anyone else.
Of course, if thats the way we live
We still need the Lords mercy.

But if we show that were different,

If we live as our Lord calls us to
By letting our light shine in such a way
That they may see our good works (Matt. 5:16),

If we do what Jesus would do in our situation,
Theyll see were not the same,
And they wont like us
Maybe even hate us
Particularly if what we do
Points out something theyre doing thats wrong:
Jesus tells us
That those in the dark hate the light (John 3:20).

The other way theyll know were different

Is by the message we bring
The message of faith and repentance.
Theyll particularly hate us for this
Its one of the main reasons we hesitate
When sharing the Gospel:
Because no one enjoys being hated.

But we have to share it

We really dont have any other choice:
We have a command from Jesus:
He says, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation (Mark 16:15).
We have His Spirit in our hearts moving us to obey.
We have the love of Christ in our hearts
That moves us to reach those around us

Who will perish forever if they dont hear the Gospel
We know that if they dont repent and believe
That one day well see them again
Among the goats on the Day of Judgment
Trembling with fear and shrieking in horror
As the Lord sends them forever into the lake of fire
We know theres something we can do about this now,
But only now.
We have a message we can share with them,
Which, if the Lord is pleased,
He will use to save them.
Love dictates that we try.

Theyre not necessarily going to love us for telling them the truth:
They might hate us for it.
But its the only way they can be saved.

C. Finally, we see our Lords solution to this hatred: not removal, but refuge.
He prays in verse 15, I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep
them from the evil one.

Jesus could have asked His Father to bring us to heaven

Like Elijah on a fiery chariot but He didnt.
He could have taken us straight to glory
The moment we believed

That would have kept us safe
But that wasnt His purpose.
He left us in this world to do His work
Its hard to evangelize from heaven.
God has determined that the Gospel
Would be the means to save,
And He has appointed us
To bring that message to the world.

The answer, then, to the worlds hatred

Is not removal, but refuge.
Jesus prays that the Father
Would not remove us, but protect us.

Hes already prayed that He might preserve us

And bring us at last to heaven as we saw this morning.

Here, He prays that the Father would protect us from evil.

He doesnt specify the particular evil
He simply says the evil
By which He could mean all the evil
We must face in this world:
Which includes not only the people of this world,
But the world itself

Which John tells us in 1 John 2:16 includes, The lust of the flesh and the lust of
the eyes and the boastful pride of life.
And the evil one.

Or He could mean specifically the evil one himself.

He is, after all, the one working through all these things
To try and keep us from getting the Gospel out to others
And over all, hes doing a pretty good job.

If Jesus prays for us,

And we know that the Father has heard and answered His prayer,
Why should we still be afraid?
We shouldnt!
We should instead have the attitude of the psalmist,
Who writes in Psalm 118:6-9, The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man
do to me? The LORD is for me among those who help me; therefore I will look
with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in
If we can just learn to do this
If we can look to Him by faith
And know that He is our refuge,
We wont need to fear anything.

Thats why Jesus prayed for us:

So that no matter what the evil one would do
Through the means that are at his disposal

He would not be able to stop us.

Lets learn from this prayer

To trust Jesus
And in His Fathers gracious protection.
Its the only way well find the courage we need
To get the Gospel out to those whose lives depend on it. Amen.