Matters of the heart
“I have finished the work which You gave me to do.” John17:4
Jesus must have felt so burdened physically and emotionally as He prepared to leave this earth. He still wanted to say so much to His disciples, and to us.
Every detail of His final prayer originates from a heart of love for the world He came to save. Jesus tried to show His followers the kind of love that existed between Himself and His Father. It is this same love that he prays would be planted in the hearts and lives of His disciples so that they could become one with Him and with God.
Throughout His ministry and also in this entire prayer, one of Jesus’ main concerns is that the world would come to know God. How? By believing in Jesus, His God-given mission, and by receiving eternal life: “This is eternal life, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” This deep desire that the world would believe and come into a loving relationship with God is repeated emphatically because that is the purpose and essence of life. It is the sole reason for which Christ came to this earth.
What else is Jesus concerned about? Evil and the world. Jesus knows that the presence of evil in this world is a reality – a powerful one! Therefore He prays that God would “sanctify” (set apart) and protect His followers from the evil one –anything or anyone whose influence is not of God: “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is Truth.” It is the Word that separates us from the rest of the world, making our lives different. It is the Word that will empower and make us victorious while we are still in this world, but not taken in by it.
Jesus lived the life He did as a supreme example to all his followers: “For their sakes I sanctified myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” What gratitude and love we should feel as the beneficiaries of such a prayer! Al Jones