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“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world,
but for those whom you have given me. They are yours.
All mine are yours, and yours are mine.
And I am glorified in them.”
In our continued study of An Excavation of John 17, we find Jesus’ prayer to the heavenly Father. Before His crucifixion, He gave His disciples a clear understanding of His union with the Father “before the world was” and His purpose for being here. He did not pray for everybody.
“And she will bring forth a Son,
and you shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins.”
It is clear in Jesus’ prayer who was included and who was excluded.
He said, “I pray for them” – identified in the first three verses and throughout His prayer as “those” whom the Father had given Him. The purpose for the Father giving the men to Jesus, His Son, is so He would give them “eternal life.” (vs. 2)
Jesus specifically states, “I do not pray for the world.
Jesus did not give the Father’s Word and eternal life to the world but only to those men given to Him. They heard and believed. They received this truth from Him, knowing “the Father and Jesus Christ whom He sent.” (vs. 3)
“I have given them Your word;
and the world has hated them
because they are not of the world,
just as I am not of the world.” (vs. 14)
“I do not pray for these alone,
but also for those who will believe in Me
through their word;” (vs. 20)
We find many references to His prayers. Few others were heard and recorded by His disciples, His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the brief statement at Lazarus’ resurrection are two others.
His purpose for being here was to set up His kingdom and prepare His people for eternity with Him and His Father. Through Him we who once were disobedient, living in and of the world, have become a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. We are a special people to Him, to proclaim the praises of Him who brought us out of darkness into His marvelous light — the people of God.” 1 Pet. 2:9-10
CHOSEN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
“ just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,” (Eph. 1:4-5)
BEFORE TIME BEGAN
“who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” 2 Tim.1:9
There are many more references that teach the difference in God’s people and the world. (Psalm 1)
Jesus said, “They are yours.” He added, “Mine are yours and yours are mine.” As the Father and Son were one, having the same glory before the creation, the Father has given all to the Son in heaven and on earth. Jesus is glorified in His followers and will “bring many sons to glory with Him” in heaven. (Heb. 2:10-11)
If you believe and follow the humble Lamb of God, you can rejoice that Jesus prayed for you. He continues as our High Priest to pray for us at the right hand of the Father in heaven. We have the same privilege Jesus gave His disciples in The Lord’s Prayer. Many people quote this prayer without understanding its meaning between the Father and His children — those who are born of the Spirit as disciples of His Son. We belong to Christ and are one with Him and the Father.
Heavenly Father, we are blessed to know that you chose a people for yourself. We praise you for revealing Jesus to us, giving us eternal life in Him, giving us a new heart and a new spirit – bringing us to the light and writing on our hearts the truth of your Word. Let us proclaim your name and your kingdom of light in a dark world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.