John 17: 6-19: The Lord’s Prayer.(please click for todays passage)
Again, we are reminded that the life of discipleship begins with the action of sovereign grace (6-8). God takes the initiative.
It could be said that this chapter also contains ‘the Lord’s prayer’. In today’s verses we overhear Jesus’ prayer for the 11 (as they now were: verse 12b). It provides an insight into his heart; we get to feel His pulse, and this can surely helps us to know how to pray for fellow-Christ followers.
He prayed for:
Protection by the Name of Jesus (11, 12). The Name stands for all that He really and truly is. It’s more than a label. The Name ‘Jesus’ means ‘Saviour’, ‘Deliverer’, ‘Rescuer’.
Jesus prayed for protection:
because they were ”still in the world” (11), and the world is a dangerous place for disciples of Christ (14). We are ‘in’ it, but not ‘of’ it (16). It is the Word of God that makes the difference. Life lived according to Christ’s Word marks us out as different. We become travellers in an opposite direction. It puts us on a collision course with the current, evil world system: ”I gave them your word; the godless world hated them because of it, Because they didn’t join the world’s ways, Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways…They are no more defined by the world Than I am defined by the world.” The Message. The world hates and persecutes such people;
from the devil (15). As in the other Lord’s Prayer, He prays for deliverance from the evil one. He does not ask for their removal from the world. They are sent on a mission into it, as He was (18). He just asks for their protection from Satan;
for unity (11b). How insightful was this prayer of our Lord. He knew that relationships among disciples would always be under threat from the evil one, and He prayed for protection in this area.
It was obviously going to be a difficult life for Jesus’ disciples. He was only too aware of the fact. But He wanted them to experience the joy He Himself had in the face of the trials, the temptations, the onslaught of evil.
The Word of God may get us persecuted, as we have seen. But it also brings purity into our lives. It is God’s main way of shaping, forming His people into the image of Christ. So let’s give ourselves to reading, studying, knowing and living the Book of God.
”Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68).