“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father…”
It seems so fitting for Jesus to end his time of speaking so frankly and intimately with His disciples with prayer to the Father.
He has modeled his prayer life before them and even, when asked, taught them how to approach prayer. He has publicly prayed and offered thanks to God in their hearing but this prayer is personal. I can only imagine Jesus – God Himself – praying out His heart so I could listen.
Jesus begins by praying for Himself. He talks about having glorified the Father on earth and asking to be restored to the glory He had with the Father before the world existed. John began this gospel by identifying the Word as having been God from the creation. This is the foundation for all He has done – that He is, in fact, God – sent by the Father to accomplish the work of eternal life.
Jesus prays next for His disciples. I can hear his passion on their behalf. Father, they have believed and now they will be moving forward to carry on our mission. They belong to Us and We belong to them – (vertical relationship)
He prays that they:
• Will be “one, even as we are one” – (horizontal relationship) (Can we ever attain this level of oneness as the church? I don’t know – but to think this is the first thing Jesus prays for them should move it high on our list.)
• “May have my joy fulfilled in themselves” – He is praying they will abide in Him (John 15:10-11)
• Be protected from the evil one – they will be in the battle and need protection
• Be sanctified in the truth – sanctify – “the state of proper functioning; set apart for the use intended by its designer”. Jesus is asking for them to grow into all God intended them to be and this is accomplished by being “in the truth” – “your word is truth.”
Lastly, Jesus prays for all those who will come to believe – the church – me.
• He prays for our oneness, with Him and with each other, because this is how the world will know about Jesus.
• He prays that we may share His glory
• He prays we will know that we are loved
• He prays we will be with Him where we can see His full glory (heaven)
Isn’t everything here a giant summary of all He has lived before them – Oneness, Abiding, Obedience, Joy, Love, and Glory? And in this prayer, Jesus – who knows the will and mind of the Father – has prayed that we would live the same way.
(It seems impossible and I feel less than inadequate – that would be something below zero! Not to mention why would God include me in this grand scheme and offer me to share all this with Him? But when all this unworthiness is swirling around in my head, I am called to remember God chose to love me before the foundation of the world.)
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Eph. 1:4 NLT
His love is unfathomable.
I could spend my life trying to understand God’s love for me or I can, and will, allow myself just to Be Loved.
About the World?
And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him. This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.1 John 4:9-10 GNT