Jesus . . . offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears.
Jesus healed the sick, freed the
oppressed, and proclaimed good news
to the poor (see Luke 4:18–19). Then,
after three years, He approached the
inaugural act of His priestly work: His
death on the cross that would culminate
in our atonement. At Passover, He knew
the coming hours would bring the full
wrath of God for the sins of the world
upon Him. And yet, even in His anguish
(see Luke 22:44), He prayed for all who
were called by His name.
John records this prayer, beginning
with Jesus’ request that the Father
would glorify Him. The One who was
with the Father from the beginning,
equal with Him in power and glory,
prays that He might again receive His
rightful place of honor. For Christ’s
followers, too, Jesus’ exaltation is our
chief delight and the great purpose of
our lives (v. 10).
It’s logical that Jesus’ prayer would
move from Himself and His glory to
His disciples and their good. His love
for them is evident here. Though we
might be tempted to think of the twelve
disciples as ignorant, self-focused,
and slow to believe, Jesus describes
them tenderly. He calls them obedient,
faithful, and teachable. He commends
them for believing He was the promised
Messiah. Jesus knew His disciples’
failings—He was about to die for them—
but He also knew that they were the
Father’s gift to Him (v. 6) and would
soon share in His glory (v. 22).
This same love leads Christ to intercede
for His disciples’ protection. The world,
with its evil desires and prideful
attitudes, is the enemy of God’s people,
but Jesus continually intercedes (see
1 John 2:1-6). For the sake of His glory
and the unity of His body, Jesus asks
the Father to keep His followers safe.
Apply the Word
Reflect on this quote by theologian Charles Ross:
“What is Jesus now doing at the right hand of God?
Pleading with a continuous . . . special intercession
for his own. Does sin plead loud against you? The
blood of Jesus pleads louder still. Does Satan stand
at your right hand to accuse you? Your Advocate
stands at God’s right hand to plead for you.”
Pray with Us
Join us in continued prayer for the Intercultural Studies faculty: Stephen Clark, Kyeong-Sook Park, Timothy Sisk, and Walter Cirafesi. Pray for strength to train students for missionary work across the globe, cultures, and generations.