6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
Jesus Sanctifies His Own
With Jesus there is an in group and an out group which is problematic. People today struggle with the idea of exclusion. However, justice and relationship demand boundaries and boundaries speak of inclusion and exclusion. I set boundaries to know those who are on the inside and those who are on the outside. If someone commits a crime, we exclude them from society for the safety of those who are left. If someone chooses not to be our friend, we do not force them to consider themselves as a friend to us. Inclusion and exclusion are a fact of a healthy life. This is only true, though, if the reasons for inclusion and exclusion are sound.
In Jesus’ prayer he indicates an in group and an out group. He shows in other passages of John that he is concerned for the broader community, however, in his prayer he shows that he is devoted to his disciples in a deeper way. In any relationship, it can only go as deep as both parties will let it. Those who do not pursue Jesus do not get the rewards that relationship with Jesus brings. Relationship with Jesus brings unity with the Father. There is a Trinitarian air to Jesus’ words in John. One finds oneself in the Father, in the Son and in The Spirit all at once.
Because we are chosen by Jesus and are His, we are not the same as the world outside that does not choose Jesus. We are to let that difference be seen. We do not need to fight to assimilate our values and our morals. Contextualizing the gospel is just an outside change. We might change how we present ourselves to men or women or Dutch or Jewish people. However, the essential nature of the gospel is the same. Jesus sets himself apart for the service of God and we are set apart. We find ourselves in a relationship with Jesus and we work at it. However, it is imperative that we keep our eyes focused on Jesus and our relationship with him and not primarily focused on the work. The work is a byproduct of the relationship. The relationship is not produced by the work.
Jesus, you prayed for us and now I pray to you. Let me know what it means to be unified with the Father.
Father, through your Son let me know what it is to grow in relationship with you. This mystery is too deep for me to fathom.
- Why does Jesus pray in front of his disciples?
- Why isn’t everyone included in Jesus’ prayer?
- What might a sanctified disciple look like?
- How does this prayer apply to you?
- Are you okay being part of an exclusive Jesus club?