In John 17, we get a glimpse into one of Jesus’ most well known prayers. It is a beautiful prayer allowing us to know Jesus better and gain insight into his ministry and relationship with the Father. We are going to point some things out throughout this prayer but we encourage you to read it on your own and meditate on what it means to you.
“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. “
Here we can see that Jesus is praying for those that belong to Christ. His disciples, those that have chosen to follow Him. We see that we belong to God if we belong to Jesus. We also see that Jesus prays for their protection by the very name of God. Jesus says that by being protected by the holy name of God, they will all be united together as one, under His name. Jesus protected them and so Jesus prays for their protection for unity as He knows He is ascending soon.
“I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.”
Jesus is aware that many people hate the disciples because of what they are doing by following Jesus. What Jesus prays for here is so insightful. He doesn’t pray that nothing will happen to them or that they should be spared from hardship. What he does pray for is safety and protection. Not that they won’t go through hard times but that they will be delivered through hard times and not be taken by Satan. Jesus knows the power of evil and He wants His disciples to be kept safe even when hard times come.
“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one
Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
After this, the next seven verses 20-26 are about all believers everywhere throughout all time who will believe in Jesus. He prays two main ideas for us. Unity and love. He prays over and over that we will be united as one people. This unity will reflect the unity between the Father and Son. This is why the church is meant to reflect this relationship. When we are united as one, we reflect the Father and Son relationship between the Father and Jesus. What a beautiful, ideal way to live.
We are also supposed to live in love. When we truly come to know God, His love becomes a part of us. Jesus closes with the idea that when this happens, He is also in us. When we love God, His love lives in us, and so does Jesus when we are unified as one people.