Jesus prayed before His arrest. He prayed aloud, because the disciples needed to hear His words. They needed the strength and benefit of His prayer too. He didn’t begin His prayer by praying for Himself. He began His prayer by glorifying the Father and then He prayed for the disciples and for us.
Jesus’ focus on others and on God’s will rather than His situation is an example of the selfless love we are to imitate. His prayer also gives us encouragement through our walk with Him. Verses 6-8 read,
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.”
Jesus revealed, demonstrated, and expressed God to His followers. People whom God had chosen before the foundations of the world. Because He did and said God’s words, those whom God had elected believed. It is God who does the saving, when we obey and follow. There will be some who just never see Jesus in us, no matter how clearly we express Him. There will be those who never hear or understand the truth, no matter how plainly we say it. Like Jesus we love them anyway.
Jesus was the exact representation of the Father. He spent about three years with the twelve men He called His closest friends and followers, yet even Jesus couldn’t make Judas Iscariot believe He was Messiah. He didn’t stop teaching, He didn’t pound the truth into Judas’ head, and He didn’t become discouraged. He kept obeying God. He continued to demonstrate the Father’s love. He trusted the Father.
The disciples were going to go through some rough times and soon they would no longer have Jesus with them to physically show them the way. But they would still have Him and they would still have the Father. Jesus’ prayer encouraged them of that fact. It can encourage you and me as well. We are in the world but we are of the Kingdom of God. We are kept safe in God. Verses 9-12 read,
“I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”
If you are a believer you belong to Jesus and to the Father. God keeps us. He continues to teach us, mold, us and edify us. He guards us against the iniquities of the world and helps us obey Him and follow Jesus more closely.
Part of being united with God is unity with one another. The more united we are with our fellow believers the more we are integrated with God. Verse 11 encourages us to be one with each other, just like we are one with God.
“And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”
In verses 21-22 Jesus repeats the sentiment this time not only about those would become His apostles, but about you and me specifically.
“that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,”
Unity with one another is very important to God and it is one way we are strengthened to continue walking in Jesus as we follow Him in this world. And Jesus wants us in the world glorifying Him. The world needs us to reveal Jesus to them. They need Jesus. We can show them the way. Jesus doesn’t want us separated out of the world living separately from them. He is strong enough to protect us from the wickedness and keep us holy. When Jesus returned to the Father, the Holy Spirit came and filled the believers. He completed them and equipped them for living in the world and revealing Him to the world. He fills and perfects us as well so that we can prove God’s love to one another and to the lost. Verses 13-19 say it like this.
“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
If you truly are concerned with what concerns the Father, if you genuinely want what God wants then you have to be in the world. But God protects you from the power of Satan. He makes it possible for you to live righteously and obey His commandments. He gives you faith. He pours His joy and love into you so that you can pour joy and love into others. You can’t do that if you are not living in the world. Jesus sent you into the world, just like He sent the disciples into the world. Jesus, being God, made Himself holy so that the disciples, you, and I could be holy in the truth that Jesus is Christ.
Jesus wants us with Him. He wants cohesion with us and He wants us to know the glory of God the way He does. He concluded His prayer with verses 24-26.
“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Jesus prayed that for you. He wants you to live fully, joyfully, and sanctified. He wants you to be distinct from the world as you live in the world shining bright for Him. What use is it to shine brightly in a room filled with light? Your light can’t be seen when it is only among other lights. Shine in the darkness instead and reveal Christ to the world. Let those who will hate you, hate you. Love them anyway. You are one with the Father because you are one with Christ. You are filled with the Holy Spirit and you are one with all the other believers. That unity makes your light shine brilliantly. That unity allows you to love even through the hate thrown on you. It is through that love that people will see Jesus made evident in your life.