JOHN:The Book Of Heartfelt Belief
Jesus Prays for His Disciples
Jerry A. Collins
The body of Christ is like nothing else in all of the world. It is a spiritual organism united by the common bond of faith in the work of Christ on the cross as the means of salvation. Everyone enters into this spiritual organism the same way. No connections, no advantages, no earning your way in. Once in, we have responsibility for one another not authority over each other. That makes us different from the clubs, the teams, the committees, the marketplace of this world. We are not clamoring for status or power on this side of the grave. We are serving one another, praying for one another in light of the other side of the grave. Jesus models this one another ministry when he prays for his disciples. Why did he pray for them? What did he pray for them? 1. THIS PRAYER IS MOTIVATED BY LOVE AND CONCERN 9-10
As we observe Jesus prayer unfold, the reason for it is a heartfelt deep love for these men. That is the same reason why we should pray for one another. Jesus loved these men and was concerned for them.
(1) Those You have given me
They were a gift from the Father to the Son. Like Jesus we all have something given from someone whom we love. We treasure that gift because it comes from one who means much to us. We pray first for those we love. Our children, mate, grandchildren. Jesus has these feelings too. This is what he means when he says he does not pray for the world. The world, the secular society, has not been given to him in this personal way by the Father. Jesus is concerned for the world but not in the way he is concerned about these men. It is amazing that out of all the crowds who followed Jesus at one time or another these three years, these men are all that are left. But this was his mission, to convince 11 men about who he was 17:4. So these are dear to him since they were given to him by the Father.
(2) and all things that are mine are yours and yours are mine
Not only had the Father given these men to him but now they were his, they belonged to him. He is concerned for his property and he expressed the concern of ownership. You do not belong to yourself if you are a Christian. You belong to God (1 Cor 6:19-20). You do not have the right to script your own life, he has. Since these men were bought with a price and belonged to Him, they are the object of his love and concern.
(3) i have been glorified in them
Just as the ability of the team of athletes often advertises the quality of the coaching; just as achievements of students often advertise the kind of teaching they have received; so these men will advertise the example and teaching of Jesus. They will be the way by which the world will know who Jesus is. History has proven that. For instance, we have the Bible because of these 11 men. We read of Jesus because of them. Since Jesus loves these men, He prays for them as they advertise Jesus all throughout the world and history. Our prayers, too, should be motivated by love and concern for one another first, because each of us belongs to Jesus Christ. It is not because we are Americans or have same political persuasions or religious convictions because we won’t. But superseding all of this is our commonality in Christ and that warrants a deeper love and concern for each other. Second, because we have all things in common. We have the same destiny, heaven. We have the same Savior, Jesus. We have the same Word, the Bible. We do not have to try and manufacture commonality we already have it and we must move from there in our relationship with one another. Third, because together we want to advertise Jesus to the world. We have the same goal to preserve and promote the message and example of Jesus everywhere. This is why Jesus prayed for the 11 and this is why we pray for one another. What specifically, then, can we pray for one another?
2. THIS IS A PRAYER TO KEEP US IN UNITY 11-13
There is going to be a change of guardianship for these men. Jesus kept these men by the same resource which he now asks the Father to keep them by, in the Fathers name. That name stands for all of the resources, power, wisdom and glory attached to that name. I kept them, Jesus says, by that resource. Now you keep them, Father, by the same. The record we have shows how difficult this task was for Jesus. He had to rebuke them, correct them, spend nights praying for them. They were threatened by schisms, division, quarrels and strife. They wanted to get ahead of each other, dominate one another and put each other down. Be he had kept them in unity by the resources associated with the name of his Father. That worked in spite of the difficulty uniting these men posed. Now he prays they would be kept this way by the Father when Jesus leaves them. The only one lost was the son of perdition vs 12. Judas never did belong to this group that would be kept. He looked like it but he never made the right choices like the rest of them did and he was lost which in the end fulfilled scripture. In addition, these 11 were recipients of true inner joy vs 13. That came from believing the truth they heard from Jesus and discovering this truth to be confirmed in their lives it led to their joy. It was the real thing. It is not unity for unitys sake but unity around the truth of Gods Word that we seek after. Without this as the basis of unity, we will fail to have the unity Jesus prays here for us.
3. THIS IS A PRAYER TO PROTECT FROM EVIL 14-16
Jesus clearly saw the danger his men faced. He understood the world would hate them, fight them and undermine them. Since this is Satans realm, the truth Jesus teaches counters the philosophy of this world vs 14. This truth does not have its roots in this world. (1) We should not remove ourselves from the world vs 15. Even though it is dangerous and antagonistic. Otherwise the world is left without the lights on. Only decay, darkness and death with no help at all. (2) We must not become contaminated by the world. Behind the worlds hatred is the evil one. He drives all of the evil associated with the world and deceives and tempts us to ID with its values and thinking, But He has no claim on us we are not of it as Jesus was not vs 16.
4. THIS IS A PRAYER FOR CONSECRATION 17-19
This is the only way we can stop contamination with the world. It means to set apart to an intended purpose. Here twice we are set apart to the truth. While the world lives in illusion, things not true at all, Jesus prays we will live by reality, the truth of His Word. Set apart from world to values of Jesus.