Learning From The High Priestly Prayer, Part 3
Jesus continues to pray for his disciples in John 17. This week we tackle verses 13 thru 21. There are six requests Jesus makes of the Father in these verses.
Jesus tells the Father that He is praying this prayer so that they will have His joy made full in them. They are about to face a traumatic time with Christ dying on the cross. His time with them is growing shorter and shorter. Their lives are going to change forever. What does He want for them? Joy. His joy.
CHANGE OF STATUS
Jesus declares to the Father that the disciples are not of the world any longer, just like Jesus is not of the world. He has given them the Father’s word and the world hates them now, just as the world hates Jesus. (By the way, this is the same world that God loves so much that He sent His only begotten Son.)
KEPT FROM THE EVIL ONE
Jesus then asks that they not be taken out of the world, but to be kept out of the power of the evil one. I imagine that the saying I have heard much of my life, “In the world, not of the world” comes from. The implication is that the world is run by the evil one. Jesus is praying that the world will not have any hold over His disciples.
Jesus then asks the Father to sanctify the disciples. Sanctify is a delightfully old-fashioned word that most of us don’t use on an everyday basis. It means to set apart and make holy. Jesus is asking that the disciples will be made more like Him. He even tells the Father how it can be done. How? Through His word. He had previously said that the Father’s word had been given to them. This word had power to make them holy, to set them apart.
Jesus then says that He is sending them into the world as He has been sent into the world. He describes that He has been sanctified for their sakes. What Jesus is saying is that He is not asking the disciples to do anything that He has not already done and set the example for.
Finally, Jesus once more asks that the disciples be unified just like He and the Father are. The wonderful thing is that He says that this prayer is not just for these remaining eleven disciples. It is also for those who believe in Him through their words. So, this prayer is for all followers of Christ throughout the history of the Church.
How does it make you feel to know that Jesus prayed these things for you 2000 years ago?