So personal and intimate is the prayer Jesus spoke aloud on His last night with His disciples (John 17:1-26), that we may feel as if we are intruding when we read it. But there it is, in the divinely inspired Word, for us all.
Jesus prays for Himself,
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”
He prays for His disciples,
“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…Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth.”
Jesus also prayed for future believers,
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”
“I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me…”
But then He said,
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world…May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
And then, then, Jesus prays,
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
Is this our Lord’s human side breaking through into the prayer? He said, “I want…” He longs for us – for all people – to be with Him, to see and know His glorious self, as personally and intimately as we have ‘seen’ and known His human self. He wants us to be with Him – caught up and held fast in Him, rejoicing in Him, forever.
We are wanted by Jesus, by God Himself! Not only that, He would have us “share in his glory” (Romans 8:17).
Somewhere, as we follow Jesus along in this prayer, we remember that He spoke the words on His way to suffer and die on the Cross for the world’s sin – for our sin. And this brings us back down to earth. What Paul said in Romans is that we must share in The Lord’s sufferings if we are to also share in his glory. He is talking about laying our lives down, in the here and now, for other people in the world. He wants us to tell them about this sacrificial love that God has for them. What Jesus wants now is for us to do for others as He did for us.
In Lent we remember and reflect on all that our Savior Jesus Christ did for us, and the reason He came.