Last week we began to look at Jesus Praying Before He Was Arrested. Jesus began his prayer, with his disciples around him, by stating the Hour Has Come. I wrote about the meaning of that in Jesus Knew His Mission All Along
In the section we look at today from John 17, Jesus prays for the disciples, which we can learn from also. In his prayer, Jesus talks about one of the main reasons he came- to show us God the Father.
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.
That is a theme thread throughout John that began in John chapter 1:18
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Jesus came to show us who God is and what he is like, so we could be brought into relationship with God.In this prayer in John 17, Jesus is praying for his disciples not the world.
I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.
The reasons Jesus prays for them are for protection and their growth.
Jesus knew he was about to depart this world. Yes, he defeated death through his resurrection, but he also ascended to heaven. Jesus knew they would be persecuted and that Satan hated them because of his hatred for Jesus.
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 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.
For our growth as Christians he prayed:
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.
For all who know Jesus, Jesus sees us as being in the world, but not of the world. He sees us as living in this life full of problems, struggles, sin, but not being of his life. Because of Jesus, like Jesus we are not of this world.
Once we come to know Jesus, he begins the process of helping us to grow in him. It is a lifelong adventure. Yes, part of that is to leave our sins behind and live differently. Other aspects include becoming more like Jesus in how we not only live our lives, but how we treat others.
I like the saying that Jesus loves us so much that he accepts us the way we are, but he loves us too much to leave us the way we are.
When I think about myself, it amazes me of how Jesus has changed me and my life. If you had told someone who knew when I was a teen or in my twenties that I would become a teacher and have a ministry for refugees and immigrants, they would have laughed in disbelief. Jesus can change lives to become reflections of him.
Reflect on the wonderful truth that Jesus came to show us God and what he is like. Reflect on how Jesus protects us and helps us to experience growth and change. His love for us is all encompassing.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.