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Monday, December 30, 2013

Jesus Prayed For Me And You

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...
Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane), oil painting by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann (Heinrich Hofmann). The original is at the Riverside Church (Riverside Church, New York City). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
John 17 begins with Jesus addressing his Father.  The prayer is a commitment to see this to the end. Jesus wants the Father to glorify him so that the Father will be glorified in this act of obedience and sacrifice. The Father and Son are united in this and whatever glory is revealed in one also flows on and through the other. He refers to the glory they shared before the world began, and now he is opening the door for the Disciples to view this glory.

In verse 6 he returns to the need and situation of the Disciples. The Disciples already belonged to God the Father, but he gave them to Jesus, and Jesus now is returning them back to the Father. The symbol of words is used here. The words he taught them came from the Father, and the revelations he shared with them came by instruction from the Father. Believing the words is the place where entering into God’s eternal life takes place. At this point he was praying for the Disciples because the whole plan of God depended on them when he was taken up.

He makes an amazing statement here: He says that glory has come to him because of the disciples. They had begun the life of obedience and fellowship that would be the lifeblood of the Church when the Spirit comes. Jesus sent them back to the Father with confidence that they would be protected by his name and sanctified by his truth. Jesus feels the pressure of the arrest looming, and he knows the risk they will face in the world without him. Now they must face that risk alone without him, but with the Father’s help and grace he is ready to take the next step.

Beginning in verse 20, he prays for the message the Disciples will deliver to yet unborn generations. He sees the Disciples as the founding members of the Church and their disciples as the culmination of the Father’s plan. Throughout the process Jesus claims the Father’s glory. The unity he had with the Father before the world began will be the glorious outcome as the Disciples are obedient and yielded to him. He envisions the world knowing the love of God and surrendering to it so that all will be united in love and in him.

I claim this prayer of Jesus as his prayer for me as a believer who has come to know him through the words and evangelistic efforts of the Disciples. In that thought, I enjoy a reflection of the glory Jesus prayed for us to receive and I revel in it. 

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