Jesus Prays for His Disciples
Open Your Bible
John 17:1-26, John 18:1-27, Jude 1:24-25
My husband’s parents have incredible records of their family trees, with some branches going as far back as the 1600s. I love looking over them. My family hasn’t kept records like that, but we have beautiful stories passed down for generations. And I want to share these stories with my kids so they can know where they came from.
Today’s reading records an event that we can look back on and see the origins of our spiritual family tree. How many people, from Jesus until now, were faithful for us to be Christians today? It’s astounding to consider.
Think about the person or people who shared the gospel with you. Who shared the gospel with them? And who shared it with those people? And on and on—over continents, across languages and cultures, throughout different eras of history, etc. Jesus’s disciples can trace a chain of faithfulness that goes back to John 17.
In His final discipling moments before going to the cross, Jesus prayed what has been called His High Priestly prayer. He prayed over the disciples who were present, and He prayed over those who were to come. They got to eavesdrop, and so do we.
Jesus prayed that we would be one with Him and the Father, and He prayed for our protection, sanctification, and glorification. And God answered those prayers. That’s why so many have been faithful to the truth. Not solely based on people’s faithfulness but on Christ’s. Scottish pastor Robert Murray M’Cheyne once said, “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.” Friend, He prayed for you in John 17 and is still praying for you.
He’s the faithful High Priest at the Father’s right hand, who lives to intercede for us even now (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25). And not only is Jesus the perfect High Priest in the order of Melchizedek (not Caiphas), He’s also the perfect sacrifice.
Jesus didn’t pray over bulls, lambs, or goats. He prayed for Himself because He was to be slain for our atonement. He’s the mediator humanity needs and the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. We are children through His word because others have kept the Word, just as Jesus prayed. And through us, others will believe the Word of truth, just as Jesus prayed they would.
Are you part of God’s family tree? If so, then give Him glory! The Father has answered the Son’s prayers for you. Dear Christian, glorify Him right where you are because you are the fruit of Jesus’s High Priestly Prayer from over two thousand years ago. And He has promised to keep us from stumbling, able to stand in the presence of His glory without blemish one day (Jude 1:24–25).