Now, after Jesus expressed his deep desire for his followers to be with him (chapter 18), the time that Jesus had been talking about all along had come. He was going to bring it all to pass, be lifted up so he could draw all people to himself. It was show time. So, Jesus went to a familiar garden with his disciples, and Judas came to betray him. Jesus didn’t shrink from it; he knew the terror that awaited him, but he went willingly. His ultimate goal awaited on the other side: complete unity, togetherness, and love for anyone who wanted to know him and his Father. This was the result Jesus had been working toward during his time on earth, the reason that he came. It was all worth it for him.
Jesus is not done praying for us. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” Jesus keeps praying that we would know the Father, that his love and Jesus himself would fill us to the brim. Jesus loves us and wants to fill us and the world with his love. Jesus wants us to know him and the Father, so he can live in us. He just wants to be with us.
Jesus’ prayer continued, “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” Jesus just wants to be with us. He even wants to share his glory with us, that we would be participants in it. He took on human form so we could be reconciled to him. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” Jesus wants to spread the love he and the Father always had together, to everyone. We can live in this love with him forever.
Jesus wants his followers to be “one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one.” How can we be perfectly one, just like Jesus is with the Father? How is that possible? Jesus and the Father are completely united. They are the same. He does give us a prerequisite: we have to first be perfectly united with Jesus and the Father. Jesus wants to live with us. As he said, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” We need to turn our lives over to him and let Jesus live in us, submitting to him and his purposes, letting him work his magic in us, putting ourselves entirely at his disposal. When we are one with God, then we will be perfectly one with each other.
Jesus prays on, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” There is a distinct point to Jesus’ prayer. He is preparing his disciples and marshaling the help of God to keep them together and focused on the task that he came to perform. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” Chapter 12, verse 32. Live with Jesus.
Jesus continues, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” In Jesus we can be what we were created to be. We have our true identity in him. We are meant to live in Jesus, to share his life. Jesus is not of the world; we are not of the world. The world hates us just as it hates Jesus. We need God to protect us from the evil one. Our entire identity and security are completely tied up in our unity and participation in Jesus’ life and ministry to the world. Jesus’ followers are sanctified (set apart for God’s use) just as Jesus was. We can only thrive in connection with him. Our life is dependent on Jesus.
Jesus prays on, “But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 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. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” Jesus’ sentiment in this prayer is revealing. Jesus wants us to be a part of his world, but participating with him in God’s realm. He not only wants us to stay close to him; he wants us to partner with him in the world and have the joy of collaborating with him. He won’t take us out of the world, but we are not of the world. Jesus wants us to work here as his emissaries, representing him. We will be challenged by the “evil one,” who wants us to be consumed by the interests of the world. But Jesus has bigger responsibilities for us; we are meant to exemplify him.
Jesus keeps praying for us, “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. 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.” He watched out for his disciples while he was here, and he wants to make sure we stick with him and the Father. Jesus keeps us in the Father’s name. We are God’s people. We belong to him, abiding in him. Jesus keeps us close where he can infuse us with his life. We are united with Jesus when we choose to turn our lives over, exchanging them for the life that Jesus gives us. Jesus is intent on keeping us close.
Jesus prayed for his followers, “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.” Jesus is glorified if we follow him. All that he did for us was so that we could live with him. His objective is making it possible for us to be united with God and belong to him. In doing that, Jesus is glorified. In our life with him, we bask in his glory, living with Jesus.
Jesus kept praying, “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. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 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.” People who come to a close relationship with God live with him. They believe what God told them through Jesus. If we live with Jesus, we belong to God. He holds us close to himself and shows himself to us. We live with him. Everything we have comes from God.