John 17:12 – 26
12While I was with them, I protected them in your name that* you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost,* so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.* 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.* 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.
20 ‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,* so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
25 ‘Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’
Jesus continues his prayer for the disciples, that they might be protected from the forces of evil in this world – from the selfishness, anger, jealousy, hate and fear that exist in this world and will lead to Jesus’ death. They will be hated by the world, by these forces, just as Jesus was hated, for they do not belong to these forces, but to Jesus.
To whom do we belong? Do we sometimes live lives devoted more to this world, to selfishness, fear, anger, hate, or jealousy than to Jesus? Or perhaps our devotion is to the culture of this world? Can we live in the culture of our world, without belonging to it? Does the Word Jesus taught influence who we are, what we do? Who ultimately affects our decisions, the way we live?
Jesus prays not only on behalf of his disciples then and there, but on behalf of all those who will believe because of their words. He prays for you and me. He prays that we will be one – that all who believe in him may be unified, one with each other, one with Jesus, and one with the Father. Jesus prays that we may know relationship with the Father, through his life – he has shown us the Father because he is one with the Father, in intimate relationship with the Father. He has shown us the Father, not only in his life but also in his death and resurrection – he is glorified – he reveals God to us, in his life, death, and resurrection. Not just that it was a generous and good thing to do, which we should emulate – to lay down one’s life for his friends – but that in doing this, Jesus reveals God, through revealing his own divinity, his glory.
Jesus prays that we may be with him, may see his glory. He prays that we may know him, may have relationship with him. This is not just a prayer for when we die, but a prayer for today, that we may see him and know him today. He prays that the love with which God has loved Jesus will be in us, and Jesus will be in us. And the only thing to add is, “Amen.”