Read John 17
Looking beyond the cross and the tomb, Jesus asks the Father for seven things (John 17:1, 5,11,15,17,21-24). He prays for Himself (17:1-5); His disciples (17:6-19), and us (17:20-26). The love gift of God to the world is Jesus (3:16).
After the Passover meal, Jesus began praying: Father, the hour is come; glorify (honor) Thy Son. . . . I have glorified (honored) Thee on the earth. . . . I have manifested (made known) Thy Name unto the men which Thou gavest Me . . . and they have kept Thy Word (John 17:1,4-6). All true believers should unite in glorifying the Father and Christ our Lord and in keeping His Word.
Jesus continued praying for all who would ever believe in Him, that they may be one, even as We are One (17:20-22). Jesus and the eleven disciples then went to the Mount of Olives. Jesus knew that Judas would soon arrive with the religious leaders who would lead the hostile mob and the Roman military to crucify Him. Soon, all of Jesus' followers forsook Him.
Satan is the accuser of our brethren (Rev. 12:10); but it is comforting to know that Jesus sees far more in His followers than we see in ourselves or in each other. He knew His disciples would leave Him; but He loved them and forgave them and they became even more loyal.
The difference between the weakest of Jesus' disciples and the worldly, unsaved person is revealed in Jesus' prayer to His Father in heaven: I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them . . . and they have believed that Thou didst send Me (John 17:8). Notice the order: You gave Me the words; I gave the words to them; and They received the words. This emphasizes that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Faith and spiritual discernment are imparted as we daily meditate upon the Word of God. We should pray: Shew me Thy ways, O LORD; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth . . . for Thou art the God of my salvation (Ps. 25:4-5).
Jesus also prayed to the Heavenly Father to keep through Thine own Name those whom Thou hast given Me (John 17:11). How comforting to know that His prayer included everyone of us as He prayed: I have given them Thy Word. . . . They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify (keep holy for God's service) them through Thy truth: Thy Word is Truth. . . . Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word (John 17:14,17-20).
Thought for Today:
O love the Lord, all ye His saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer (Ps. 31:23).
17:12 son of perdition, Judas Iscariot; 18:30 malefactor, evildoer, criminal.
For John 17:12: See Ps. 41:9.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Sam Graves (MO) • Country: Guatemala (12.3 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and Indian languages • Religious freedom • 60% Catholic; 35% Protestant; 2% Animist; 1.5% Other; 1.5% None • Prayer Suggestion: Rise early in the morning to lift up your prayers to God and hope in His Word (Ps. 119:147).
Memory Verse for the Week: Luke 14:33