John 17:6-19

"I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 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 your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by 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. 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. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified."

Jesus continues praying to his Father, this time focussing on his disciples. He's about to leave them, and he entrusts them into the Father's care. He begins by affirming that he has revealed the Father to the disciples. They have come to know God through Jesus. This is a powerful testament to Jesus' ministry. He has not just taught about God but has made God known.

He acknowledges that the disciples belong to the Father. "They were yours; you gave them to me," he says. This speaks to the sovereign choice of God in drawing people to himself. It also speaks to the unity between the Father and the Son. Jesus receives what the Father gives.

Jesus then commends the disciples' response. They have obeyed God's word, they have accepted Jesus' teachings, and they have believed that Jesus came from God. This belief is not just intellectual assent, but a deep, abiding trust.

As Jesus prays for his disciples, he makes a distinction. "I am not praying for the world," he says, "but for those you have given me." This doesn't mean that Jesus doesn't care about the world. Rather, it highlights the special relationship he has with his followers and the unique role they will play in spreading the gospel.

Jesus' prayer for his disciples is not just for their own sake, but for the sake of his glory. "Glory has come to me through them," he says. As the disciples live out their faith, they bring glory to Christ.

Knowing that he is about to leave them, Jesus prays for the disciples' protection. "Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name," he pleads. The world will be a hostile place for these believers, and they need divine protection.

But Jesus' prayer is not just for their individual safety. It's for their unity. "So that they may be one as we are one," he prays. This unity is not just organizational or emotional, but a profound spiritual oneness that reflects the unity of the Trinity.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are reminded of our own place in God's family. If we are in Christ, we are among those whom the Father has given to the Son. We are recipients of divine revelation, objects of divine affection, and bearers of divine glory.

We are also reminded of our need for protection and unity in a hostile world. We cannot navigate the challenges of faithful living on our own. We need the Father's protection and the support of our spiritual siblings.

So let us ask ourselves: Do I recognize my identity as one whom God has chosen and given to Christ? Am I living in a way that brings glory to Jesus? Am I praying for and pursuing unity with my fellow believers?

May we embrace our place in God's family, may we live for his glory, and may we experience the protection and unity that Christ prays for us.

God bless you.

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