Our Hour Has Come!

Easter VII – John 17:1-26

Title: Our Hour Has Come

Theme: How Has Our Hour Come?

Goal: Connect what Christ did, to who we are!

Malady: We are not looking to things eternal.

Means: What Jesus Did Do, And Why.

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John:17:1-26

1 As these words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

2 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

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In the Name of the Father and of the + Son

and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen

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Our Hour Has Come?  What on earth are you talking about, Pastor?  He said it was “His” hour that has come.  Not ours!

At first glance – that seems to be the case.  But ONLY at first glance.  With the sole exclusion of verse one, where Jesus directs the prayer to his Father, the rest of the whole prayer, Jesus directs the Father’s attention to the Apostles, and to the whole Church on earth, then, and until He returns – which includes, I pray, all of us sitting here this morning!

Before I start, the first thing I want everyone to understand – this whole text is at once LAW – for it to fulfill the Law which we cannot, that Jesus is going to His death on the Cross.  It is a stark reminder of how seriously God views our sin!  And then, why only of, in Christ, could do what Jesus told the Baptist – who was protesting having to baptize Jesus:

Permit it at this time, in order to fulfill all righteous.

His baptism was into the Cross – His bloody work for us, and which is given to each of us who are baptized – from the oldest of us here, to the tiniest newborn babe among us!

So likewise, our Gospel lesson is filled to over-flowing with the Gospel of our forgiveness and that of the whole Church on earth, whenever, wherever!

Let us examine our text:

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

There is so much packed into those words it is hard to single out one or two.  So – we won’t!

With Jesus acknowledging the Father had given Him power over all flesh, is also to tell us these 20 centuries later, that Christ has full authority from Heaven – the very authority we find in Matthew 28:19; speaking of His Ascension, which was this past Thursday:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Go!  Make disciples!  How?  By baptizing them in the Name of our Triune God, and teaching them to observe – to believe – all that Christ had said and done on earth!  That simple . . . that HUGE!  And yet – precise the basics to which Luther returned the Church, and which, down through the centuries, has always “grown” the Church!

To every Mom about to have her new baby, I have always offered to come to the hospital on the day of birth, and do the child’s Baptism then and there.  Have Mom’s and Dad’s minds settled on that count.  the nurses would close the room, or set us up in a “closed” waiting room for the event.  Nurses would stay.  And even some grandparents told me – “I wish our pastors had done that!”  It is that important – and Jesus puts it at the top of the list in the Great Commission.

Which brings us to the task we as Pastor have in a specific way, and which the entire “royal priesthood” of the whole Church has as its task.  All we preach, all we tech, all we say and do as Church is taking from, and returns back to – the Words of Jesus!  It is not from “manual depicting how the Church can be ever more smashingly successful if we only add to Jesus’ words the wisdom of man.  All the programmatic “Do it this way or that” manuals and programs out their aren’t worth spit next to the words of Jesus:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

It is impossible to do, in any other way, than the way which our Lord gave us to do it.  It IS that simple, and that difficult!  Jesus goes on –

15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

We are made holy SOLELY through the Word, as it comes to us in the preaching of the Apostles doctrine, as we will hear next week – Repent (change!) and be Baptized, receive the Holy Spirit in your Baptisms.  The Apostles doctrine (teaching). and communion – the breaking of bread and prayer.  There is the Christian’s “church growth”  manual, my fellow believers.  The world and its ideas are no match!

This is done through us, in Word and Sacrament, here in the world, but we are not of the world!  Then – the most beautiful to our ears – especially we who live in a time 20 centuries after the Crucifixion!  It is our solace in times of trial, and our glory in times of joy.  We have been sanctified – made holy – by what Christ has done, and is still doing for us, through the Scriptures.  The world calls that “pipe-dreaming” or pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by.”  They are not relying on the Word and the Holy Gospel, but their own wisdom.  And we are sent out into that world as Christ was sent into this world, to teach the faith into repentant souls who see the dead ends the world teaches.

But Jesus isn’t quite finished:

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

2 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

If I try to unpack all of that, we’ll be still here this time next Sunday.  We are one with Christ and the Father, and the Holy Spirit whose Word brings us all these treasures.  Come back to these verse Christ, only hours before His bloody crucifixion for us, uttered for each and every one of us – in whatEVER situation we find ourselves.  All of that – existing ultimately in Christ’s and God’s love for us, is to know we have not been forsaken in any trial and tribulation.

And it that we might know – her where the Word of the Gospel is rightly preached, and the Blessed Mysteries of the Sacraments, that the Church may be found, praying and believing as One.  It is why the liturgy which we pray(!) has what I and others call “the eternal sameness” – to reminds us that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and unto the end of the age (also the great conclusion of the Great Commission!)  It is to point away from this world, and to come into God’s presence, and to, with the angels and the archangels and all the company of heaven, of those gone home before us, we sing, every week(!) the most blessed and same words of the Sanctus, addressed to the whole Holy Trinity in the first three words:

Holy, Holy Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth; Heaven and earth are full of thy glory!  Hosanna!  Again, said three times – Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.  Hosanna – three times.

And yet – as gloriously grand and full of promise as is this long prayer – all of it is packed into the Prayer the Lord Jesus gave us, the Lord’s Prayer!  There in each recital of the prayer, to bring us all the glories of which Jesus spoke and prayed.

So – very simply put again – In Jesus’ “hour” – is our “hour.”  His all is our all, and it is particularly why I love Paul’s words to fellow preachers:

I am determined to know nothing among you, but Christ, and Him crucified.

For us, it is always “our hour” – in the crucified and risen Christ.

Amen.

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