In John 17, we find one of the most significant prayers in the Bible. This prayer is commonly known as the ‘Prayer for His Disciples.’
But have you ever wondered why it’s called that? What exactly did Jesus pray for His disciples? Let’s dive deeper into this prayer and explore its meaning.
Before we dive into the prayer, let’s first set the context. This prayer comes at a critical time in Jesus’ life – right before He is about to be arrested and crucified. He has just finished His last supper with His disciples and is about to head to the Garden of Gethsemane.
It’s in this context that Jesus prays for His disciples. The prayer can be broken down into three main parts:
Part 1: Jesus Prays for Himself
The first part of the prayer is when Jesus prays for Himself. He acknowledges that His time on earth is coming to an end and that He has completed the work that God had given Him to do.
Jesus also prays for God’s glory to be revealed through Him, saying, “I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). This statement shows us that Jesus’ ultimate goal was not just to save humanity but also to reveal God’s glory.
Part 2: Jesus Prays for His Disciples
The second part of the prayer is where Jesus prays specifically for His disciples. He acknowledges that they are not of this world but rather belong to God (John 17:14).
Jesus also petitions God to protect them from evil, saying, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). This statement shows us that even though Jesus knew that His disciples would face trials and tribulations, He still wanted them to be protected from the enemy’s attacks.
Part 3: Jesus Prays for All Believers
The third part of the prayer is where Jesus prays for all believers. He recognizes that His ministry on earth was not just for His disciples but also for those who would believe in Him through their message (John 17:20).
Jesus prays that all believers would be united as one, just as He and the Father are one (John 17:21). This statement shows us that Jesus’ ultimate goal was not just to save individuals but also to bring unity within the body of Christ.
So, what do we call this prayer? As mentioned earlier, it’s commonly known as the ‘Prayer for His Disciples.’ However, given that Jesus prays not just for His disciples but also for all believers, we could also refer to it as the ‘Prayer for All Believers.’
This prayer is significant because it reveals Jesus’ heart for His followers. He prayed for their protection, unity, and ultimately their glorification. It’s a reminder that even though we may face trials and tribulations in this world, Jesus is interceding on our behalf.
In conclusion, John 17 is a powerful prayer that reveals Jesus’ heart for His followers. It’s a reminder of how much He loves us and how much He desires unity within the body of Christ. Let’s take comfort in knowing that we have a Savior who intercedes on our behalf and continues to pray for us even now.