Summary: This passage continues Jesus' prayer as He prays for His disciples.
Last week we listened as Jesus prayed for Himself. He asked that God would glorify Him so that He might glorify the Father. And He also asked that He be restored to His former glory. Tonight’s passage continues that prayer as Jesus prays for His disciples.
READ verses 9-10. Jesus says that He wasn’t praying for the world right now. He specifically said so. Why? It wasn’t because He and the Father don’t love the world. They love the world deeply. After all, the world was the very reason Jesus had come to earth: to save the world and keep it from perishing. It wasn’t’ because the world didn’t need prayer because it did. There are 4 reasons why Jesus was only praying for His disciples right now. Note that the reasons are part of His prayer.
1. In verse 9 Jesus’ disciples had been given to Him by His Father. They had been entrusted into His hand. He was responsible for them and their welfare. So He had to pray for them that His Father would give them special strength in the coming days.
2. In verse 10, Jesus’ disciples belonged to both Him and the Father. Note how He worded this: “All I have is yours, and all you have is mine.” So the disciples belonged to God, but they also belonged to Jesus. And so it is with us. Once we accept Christ there is a mutual possession of all believers by both Jesus and God.
3. Again in v. 10, Jesus’ disciples glorified Jesus; their lives brought glory to Him. They lived for Him by obeying His Word. They lifted Jesus up and proclaimed that He was the Savior of the world. Since Jesus was glorified, honored, and praised, He prayed for them that they might become strong in their lives and witness for Him.
4. READ v. 11. Jesus was leaving the world and returning to heaven and the Father. So now the whole mission of preaching the gospel to the world rested upon the shoulder of His disciples. What an awesome responsibility. They were the ones who were to go out into the world as His ambassadors to proclaim His Word. As they went, they needed to be strengthened and equipped by God to stand against some terrible forces. They needed special prayer. In these last hours before He returned to heaven, He had to pray for them with power and intensity, asking great things of God.
READ 11-12. Jesus prayed that God would keep His disciples together as one. He was praying for the disciples to be kept from the divisiveness of the world, not that they would be kept from evil. He dealt with the evil of the world later in verses 14-15.
We have to keep in mind that the disciples were in an extremely divisive world. Jesus had kept them together while He was on earth. The only one He lost was Judas but Judas’ betrayal happened to fulfill Scripture.
Now Jesus was leaving the world, so God had to take over. It was now up to God to keep them, and he would. God would keep the disciples as well as Christ did.
In verse 13, Jesus simply prayed that the disciples would have His joy in all its full measure. READ v. 13.