As Christians, we often turn to the Bible for guidance and understanding of our faith. One passage that provides insight into the heart of Jesus and His love for His disciples is found in John 17.
This chapter contains what is known as the High Priestly Prayer, where Jesus prays for His disciples before His impending crucifixion. Let’s take a closer look at what Jesus prays for His disciples.
Unity Among Believers
In verse 11, Jesus prays, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.” Here, Jesus asks God to protect His disciples and unify them in the same way that He and God are unified. This unity among believers is crucial for spreading the gospel message and fulfilling God’s will on earth.
Protection from Evil
In verses 15-16, Jesus says, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” Jesus recognizes that His disciples will face trials and temptations in their lives but asks God to protect them from falling into sin or being led astray by Satan.
In verse 17, Jesus prays, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” To sanctify means to set apart for a holy purpose.
Here, Jesus asks God to set apart His disciples and make them holy through His Word. The Bible is a powerful tool for spiritual growth and transformation.
Joy in Their Hearts
In verse 13, Jesus says, “I am coming to you now but I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” Jesus desires for His disciples to experience the same joy that He has in His heart. This joy comes from knowing God and fulfilling His purpose for our lives.
Commission to Spread the Gospel
In verses 18-19, Jesus says, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them, I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”
Here, Jesus commissions His disciples to continue His mission of spreading the gospel message throughout the world. He also reaffirms their sanctification through Him.
In John 17, we see a glimpse into Jesus’ heart as He prays for His disciples. He desires unity among believers, protection from evil, sanctification through God’s Word, joy in their hearts, and commission to spread the gospel message. As we read this prayer today, let us remember that we too are included in Jesus’ prayer and strive to live out these qualities in our own lives.