Monday, 12 December 2022
“I pray for them; I do not pray for the world, but for those You have given Me, because they belong to You; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I am glorified in them.” -John 17:9-10
John 17 records the greatest prayer in Scripture – the high priestly prayer of Jesus Christ. Even as His suffering and death for the sins of fallen mankind was imminent, we – His disciples were utmost in His heart. Jesus’ only prayer for Himself (Vs 1-5) was that the Father would glorify Him in His resurrection that He may bring glory to the Father and enter into the glory He set aside when He left His heavenly throne to die on our behalf. (Philippians 2:5-11)
Jesus’ prayer for His disciples then and in all generations, is very profound and focused (Vs 6-26). As we mediate on His intercession, may our lives reflect the character of Christ to the world.
Abundant joy (Vs 13): In the world where we are bound to face persecution and trials, Jesus prayed that the unfailing love and presence of the Father that strengthened Him during His suffering would also fill our hearts with such an abundance of joy as to face every challenge in strength. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (John 15:11)
Protection from the evil one (Vs 14-15): Jesus did not ask that those who believe in Him would be removed from the world. Why? On earth, we are the ambassadors of Christ, we are the light that reflects Christ’s love in leading others to salvation. He knows that satan will not sit still when we proclaim the gospel to a sinful world and so His prayer is for our divine protection from the enemy.
Sanctification (Vs 17-19): Sanctification means ‘to be set apart’ or consecrated for the Lord. Just as Jesus, the spotless and blemishless Lamb of God consecrated Himself to fulfil the Father’s will, so He prays that we will live a life of purity and holiness in accordance with God’s word. Our sanctification should result in us obeying the divine mandate of making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
Unity among the brethren (Vs 20-21): Jesus prayed that the unity revealed in the Holy Trinity, the oneness of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, would also be revealed in us. As one in Christ, we are to live in harmony and love, building up the body of Christ. The bond of unity among Christ’s disciples should witness to the world! ‘Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.’ (Philippians 2:1-2)
Eternal Union with Him (Vs 24): Jesus’ will for us is our ultimate union with Him that we may behold and share in His glory. Jesus desires that all those who are His, will be where He is. Shouldn’t that be the very desire of our hearts, to live a life so tuned to the Spirit, eagerly awaiting the eternal union with our Lord?
Hearts overflowing with love: It is incredible how Jesus asks the Father to love us with the very same love He had for Jesus! It is the love of the Father that unites us with Christ and it is this agape love flowing into our hearts that enables us to love others. ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.’ (John 13:34-35)
Jesus prayed for protection and guidance over everything that pertained to our salvation and the eternal inheritance in Him. Understanding the depth of His love and desire for us, let us persist in living a holy life that glorifies the Lord.
Think on: “Whenever God calls us to a task, He will equip us and enable us to complete that task.”- Michael Youssef