Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Investigating Jesus - Part 32
In this part of the prayer, Jesus prays for his disciples. Note how he describes them: they were chosen by God Himself, seen God in Jesus and have received God’s words and obeyed them (John 17:6). John 17:6, 9-10 tells us that the disciples were in the safe possession of both the Father and the Son.
John 17:7-8 shows what the disciples know. Despite misunderstanding frequently what Jesus was talking about, the disciples still grasped that Jesus had come from God. Having taught that they will endure persecution and suffering because they are his followers, Jesus prays for their safety. They will be safe, not because of their own cunning, character or conduct. They will be safe because of God’s care and protection (John 17:11-12).
As they are God’s possession, God Himself will ensure that they are watched over and protected. This security is also born from glorifying God and being witnesses for Him (John 17:10). God is glorified whenever his salvation plan is explained and told. Who are the disciples’ enemies and why do they need protecting (John 17:11-12, 15)?
The first enemy is the world who does not know God and is therefore in rebellion against God. The disciples were told of this prior to this prayer. satan is also an enemy of the disciple and will do all he can to stop God being glorified in the life of the disciple. How will God keep them safe? Through his mighty name and nature. By remaining loyal to Jesus, obedient to his teachings and telling others about Him, God’s name & nature will therefore protect them.
Jesus also prays that they may be filled with joy (John 17:13) and be dedicated wholly and solely to Him. The disciples now have a mission and purpose to fulfil – to tell others of Jesus. This mission, though whilst their responsibility, is not theirs alone but is the continuation of Jesus’ mission to bring people to reconciliation with God. Part of that mission is to live a holy life in the power of the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit is the real and true pioneer evangelist. Living a holy life, means living a life not for themselves but for the glory and obedience of Jesus Christ.
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