March 27, 2017

By Mike Donnalley

I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

(John 17:6-13)

While we’ve been going through passages from the Gospel of Matthew, this week we’re jumping to the Gospel of John to see an excerpt from Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer” in chapter 17. This is the prayer that Jesus offers up to God immediately before Jesus is betrayed by Judas and is arrested. In this prayer, he first prays for himself and his mission, he then proceeds to pray for his disciples and for all “those who will believe.” My focus will primarily be on verses 6-13 but I encourage you to go back and read the entire chapter prayerfully this week.

Look beginning with verse 9, where Jesus says, “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.” Consider this, Jesus the Son of God prayed specifically for you. He did not just offer up some general prayer for all people but a specific prayer, specifically for his sheep. And not only this, but he also continues to intercede specifically for you while seated at the right hand of God (Romans 8:34).

Consider this, Jesus the Son of God prayed specifically for you.

Does it get any better than that? Yes, it does. Jesus doesn’t just pray for you, but he prays for a most wonderful thing - that we are kept in God’s name and that we all “may be one, even as we [Father - Son - Holy Spirit] are one.” Stop and consider that Jesus, the “beloved Son of God” (Matthew 3:17) , the “image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15), the “Word made flesh” (John 1:14), the “Great High Priest” (Hebrews 4:14) has prayed and continues to pray that we, the Church, are all made one and that we are unified perfectly with God. We can, therefore, have all the confidence in the world that these things will come true for us. We will all one day be unified together as a Church and, even better, we will all one day be unified in perfect harmony with God - just as Jesus is unified with God.


Take time this week to read the entire chapter and contemplate the reality that Jesus has prayed for you and continues to intercede on our behalf. So in whatever situation you find yourself in this week, rejoice! For you are in the love and care of Jesus, our Great High Priest.