Bible Study series No.24 from the Gospel of John "The Last Prayer for the Disciples"





Jesus’ prayer began in verse 1:"After Jesus said this, He looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you."


The "time" for the manifestation of the glory of God the Father and Jesus the Son means His death on the cross.

And "glory" does not mean spectacular in the usual sense of the word, but here it refers to the cross. Execution by crucifixion was the cruelest and the worst punishment of that time, striking human dignity to the very bottom. How can the cross, which could be considered a symbol of human sin or Jesus' defeat, be called glorious?


As I have already mentioned, the cross was the result of God the Creator's painful decision to hand over His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die so that none of us would perish.

In other words, glory is the fact that death on the cross equals the consummation of God's righteousness.

It also means the triumph of complete salvation. Moreover, the cross is the secret of God's deep love for us.


We are saved, not by our works, but by God's mercy and the atonement of the cross of Jesus. We who deserved death and judgment were made God's own, and this is how Jesus was glorified by God for the first time.

The cross, known as the symbol of the Christian, is the starting point of faith, the greatest blessing from God for those who believe in Christ.


The meaning of "one" in verse 11 does not mean uniformity.

It is unity as the body of Christ, the result of being nurtured by love.

In music, it would be good to imagine the unity of an orchestra, where joy is formed by “harmony".


In verses 25-26, Jesus says, "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known so that the love you have for me may be in them and that I may be in them.


"They" refers directly to the disciples who believed in Jesus and walked with Him, and today, to Christians. This prayer of Jesus is strong encouragement for those who have the mission to carry the Gospel.


For three and a half years, while living with the disciples, Jesus had taught them firsthand what the Kingdom of God and eternal life were and had given them the mission and training to carry that Gospel to the world. And when the time came for the disciples to part ways with Him for the completion of their salvation, he told them of the presence of the Holy Spirit who would protect them in the future.


Jesus prayed that the same love that God, the Creator of heaven, had for His only begotten Son Jesus, would be poured out on the disciples without ceasing and that He would be with them as the Holy Spirit from now on.


If you had to give your last words to your loved ones, what would you say to them? I am sure it would be hard to put it into a few words.


Verse 3 says, "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." 


This is the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom God has sent. 

I believe that "eternal life" was one of the most important things John wanted to convey in his evangelism.

“Eternal life" may sound like a philosophical theme, but Jesus said it simply and plainly.

He declares, "To know the existence of the Almighty and true God, and to know Jesus, whom God sent to this world.”


Also, eternal life is often thought of like life that continues after death. However, no one can prove this scientifically.

Rather than thinking about the proposition of eternity, we should ask ourselves, "How can I live in the present?”

Isn't that what is important for us?


It makes me think that we must ask ourselves more seriously what we are seeking to live out today. Does spending time as the wind blows and letting time pass automatically lead to eternal life?


However, I am not speaking only about actions that must be done to be productive.

Even Christians, including myself, who are accustomed to hearing the words "eternal life" in sermons every week, are not free to dismiss them as comforting words.


There may be times when we are not so conscious of "knowing Christ" on a day-to-day basis because we are not worried about the promise of eternal life. It means that we have left the meaning of the words in our knowledge and have not adapted them to actual life.


It could be, life means only "today”.

It could be me, it could be you.


Right now, there are people in Ukraine whose lives are threatened by war. (The Ukrainian government estimates that if the fighting continues, there will be more than 4.5 million refugees.)

There are also people (821 million) who are dying of starvation.

Some people are so overwhelmed by their worries that they are contemplating suicide. According to statistics from January 2022, there were 1,569 people. (According to a survey by the National Police Agency)


When I think of these people whose lives are in danger, I realize how fortunate we are to be able to spend time today in quiet contemplation of the meaning of life.


May God save and help those who are in danger today!

Let us pray.

We would like to express our gratitude and joy to all of you.

We have been asking for your support for the Tonga undersea explosion through our website, line, and e-mail, and we have closed the "Tonga Undersea Explosion Donation" on March 2. 

We are pleased to report that we have collected 90,000 yen from 28 people along with your warm words and encouragement. 

We received words of appreciation from the president of the Kuroshio-to Elementary and Junior High School PTA Association, the president of the Kuroshio-Cho Women's Federation, and the superintendent of education of Kuroshio-Cho, Kochi Prefecture, who has been involved in the fundraising activities.

The Federation has contacted me to confirm the earlier transfer of funds and to express their surprise and gratitude for the support and cooperation from faraway places.

Words from Organizer
Since yesterday, each organization has been working on tallying up the total. We will release the total amount as soon as we have compiled them.

Many people's thoughts and feelings for Tonga have accompanied the donations. We will send them to Tonga as soon as possible. Thank you very much, everyone.

We pray that the donations, with God's blessing, will be delivered safely to the people of Tonga.