Today’s Reading: John 17-18
Today’s Reflection: John 17:20-21
20) “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21) that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
After Jesus gracious address to his disciples in John 13 to 16, He prays for them in chapter 17. Jesus prays that God will strengthen them in His name because He’s leaving them behind in a hostile world (John 17:11), a world in which they are hated (John 17:14), a world that’s about to crucify Him. Jesus prays that God will keep the disciples and protect them from the evil one (John 17:15). Jesus prays that God will sanctify the disciples in His truth. Jesus even prays that the disciples would have their joy fulfilled (John 17:13). Then Jesus prays for all of those who will believe in Him because of the ministry and work of the disciples.
In other words, here Jesus is praying for you.
Jesus prays that we would be unified just as He and God the Father are unified and one. He prayed this so that the world could see the truth: that Jesus truly was and is the Son of God. Unity and love within the body of Christ is the evidence the world needs to see to know that Jesus is everything He says He is.
John 13:34-35 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
But Jesus is also praying for us just as He prayed for His disciples: that God would keep us in this hostile world, would keep us from the evil one, would sanctify us in His truth, and would fulfill our joy. We can claim each of these requests as our own.
At times when you’re struggling with your faith, when you’re going through trials and temptations, when you’re not sure if God is really there, it should comfort you to know that Jesus isn’t just your lord and saviour. He’s your rabbi, your teacher, and you are His disciple. Just as He prayed for the 12 apostles, Jesus is interceding on your behalf and praying for you.
Luke 22:31-32 – 31) “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32) but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”