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Monday, April 2, 2012

I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.
John 17:6-10

“I am praying for you.” Few things so move me, or mean so much to me, as to hear people say they are praying for me. And then, for them to stop right in the moment and pray for me! Wow! I feel so wonderfully loved and supported.

That’s one reason why Jesus’ prayer means so much to me. We actually get to listen in as He prays for His disciples, as well as all who believe in Him. We see how precious Jesus’ friends are to Him. They are like family. So in His final hours Jesus is thinking and praying for them. Yes, Jesus knows they will abandon Him, deny Him, and scatter to the winds, but He asks the Father to keep them safe. “Holy Father, protect them.”

We listen as Jesus speaks tenderly to the Father about these men as having “kept your word”. In their own failing and floundering ways, they had “received” the words Jesus gave them, and “believed” that the Father had sent Him. Their faith in Jesus is yet so fragile, but Jesus loves them as they are. Jesus even says that He has “been glorified in them”. Amazing!

Jesus speaks of these disciples, and all who follow Him, as a priceless treasure the Father has given Him: “They were yours, and you gave them to me.” They are the Father’s love gift to His Son. Jesus will cherish them and lay down His life for them to bring them back to His Father.

In words of transcendent, ineffable mystery, Jesus says of these men: “All mine are yours, and yours are mine”. Father and Son claim them as their own! They will be protected, forever!

Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Spirit, breathing from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so.
Oh, this full and perfect peace!
Oh, this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His and he is mine.
–George Robinson


What are there in Jesus’ words today to know; to feel; to do?

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