December 11, 2020 – Friday
John 17:6-8 NIV
6 I have revealed Your Name to those whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours; You gave them to Me and they have obeyed Your word.
7 Now they know that everything You have given Me comes from You.
8 For I gave them the words You gave Me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me.
In John 19 we have three prayers by Jesus prior to His arrest. These prayers are not found in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), only in John. Within the first prayer (1-5) Jesus prays to be glorified that He may glorify the Father. Then in the second prayer (6-19) He prays for His disciples at that time – this prayer is the source for our verses for today. Last, but certainly not least, Jesus prays for all believers (20-26), current and future.
The key in the prayer for His disciples is the second part of verse eight above, They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me. His disciples believed Jesus was sent by the Father. As a result He continues His prayer for them committing them to the Father for protection even though He knew they would initially desert Him. He continues (9-11), I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they are Yours. All I have is Yours, and all You have is mine. And glory has come to Me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your Name, the name You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one. He won’t be here and asks His Father to protect His disciples by the power of His Father’s name! (Note that Judas Iscariot had deserted the group earlier that evening and thus was not included in the prayer request.)
Concerning Jesus’ disciples and His prayer for them David Guzik makes the following interesting points, One might say that in these few verses, Jesus looked at salvation from two points of view. Each perspective is true from its point of view. John 17:6 explains their salvation in the election of God (the men You have given Me out of the world), seeing it from God’s point of view and John 17:8 explains their salvation in their faith (they have believed that You sent Me), seeing it from humanity’s point of view. How remarkable.
Now let us look at the first part of verse eight, For I gave them the words You gave Me and they accepted them, which shows Jesus as the prophet promised to Moses by God in Deuteronomy 18:18, I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put My words in His mouth. He will tell them everything I command Him. The words were accepted (or received depending on your bible version) which I took to be a form of believing, but I was wrong. If anything, it means to take hold of so strongly as to make it part of one’s spiritual makeup (my paraphrasing of Strong’s and Vine’s combined). Once again, how remarkable.
Hopefully we will not only believe but accept Jesus’ words so deeply they become part and parcel of our spiritual makeup as they did within His disciples.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Thank you for sharing Jesus’ prayer for His disciples, letting us see how great His love for them was when He placed them in Your care. Help us to not only believe, but to accept and receive Jesus’ words at such a level they become an integral part of us. – In Jesus name, amen.