Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
I am praying on behalf of them. I am not praying on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those you have given me, because they belong to you. Everything I have belongs to you, and everything you have belongs to me, and I have been glorified by them. I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them safe in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. John 17.9-11
This is a prayer of Jesus right before he was handed over to be crucified. He is praying for the disciples which will be his apostles and will take the message out to the world. There is a principle here that Jesus makes clear for those who want to see it.
Jesus does not pray for the world. Perhaps this is because the world must submit to God to be accepted by him. The world is not one with the Father. The opposite is true. The world is in rebellion to God, Romans 5.10. The death of Jesus on the cross made redemption possible for every person, but it is not a given. One can refuse to obey and accept God’s grace.
Jesus prays for his disciples because they belong to the Father. Jesus states that everything he has belongs to God and vice versa. Jesus prays that God will keep them safe. He then asks that they may be one just as Jesus and God are one. Paul wrote that he taught the same message in all the churches, 1 Corinthians 7.17.
The religious world has missed this message of unity that is based upon the word of God. The Bible is not to be translated to fit my desires. If that were true, we could all have a pick-and-choose attitude. The Bible is like any document in that God has one message that he wants to share, not hundreds. When we take the message in context, remembering to whom it was written and when, the content should be the same. We do not see the same freedom of division in the Bible that we see in the religious world. We need to be one in the Lord having the same mind, Philippians 2.2.