When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. (John 17:1-4 ESV)
In this chapter Jesus explains in plain language why he came: “to give eternal life to all whom you [the Father] have given him.” He also explains what eternal life is: “that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Jesus sinless life and death on the cross accomplished this great work. But now Jesus has work to do back at the Father’s side and he begins that work in the presence of his disciples. What is that work? It’s praying for believers in Jesus.
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 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. (John 17:9-11 ESV)
And when he prays, he doesn’t pray for an easy life for you, he prays instead for their protection from the evil one as they are sent into the hostile world on a mission to spread the good news.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. (John 17:15-18 ESV)
Did you know that Jesus becomes our intercessor when he ascends to heaven? Does it surprise you to learn that he doesn’t pray for an easy life for you? What do you think of that? How might you change your prayers to be more in line with Jesus’ prayer for you?
Ask God to equip you for his mission this morning.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 2 Sa 8-9, 2 Co 2, Ez 16, Jn 17