I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.John 17:9-10
Here you see the reason for our Lord's prayer for these eleven men, a reason that grows out of His great, heartfelt love and concern for them. He prayed for them for the same reason that we pray for each other--because of a love and concern for one another. He tells us three reasons He loved them and was concerned for them.
First, because they are
those you have given me. That is, they were the gift of the Father to the Son. All of us have something we have been given by someone whom we love. We treasure that gift--not only because of its intrinsic value but because it comes from someone who means much to us. Jesus loved these men and was concerned for them because they represented the Father's choice for Him.
Here is a revelation of how God works in human lives. We have already seen something of it previously in this prayer. Jesus is the only one who gives us the right to know God, this mighty Being who flung the worlds into existence and designed us in all our human complexity. To know Him is to gain the greatest blessing in life. And the only one who has the right to give us that knowledge is Jesus. But Jesus says that the Father has a part in this, too. He draws certain ones to Him. God is at work throughout our lives, drawing us to Himself by various means. If you have a hunger for goodness or a passion for truth, that is the drawing of the Father. If you love the words of Jesus and are attracted by who He is and what He says, that is the drawing of the Father, moving in you to bring you to Christ, that you might commit yourself to Him.
Second, He says that they are dear because,
All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. Because the Father had given them to Him, they belonged to Him. And so His concern reaches out to them because they are His property, under His ownership. Written across the front of our church auditorium are words that capture one of the greatest truths in Christian faith:
You are not your own; you are bought with a price. You do not belong to yourself if you are a Christian; you belong to God.
You are bought with a price. These men were bought with that price and belonged to Him, and so they are dear to Him.
The third reason is,
Glory has come to me through them. They were choice men, because in them Jesus saw the means by which all the glory that is His due would be manifested. They would be the messengers by whom the world would know Him, So they were infinitely precious and dear to Him, and thus He prays for them.
What an amazing thought, Lord that You treasure me as a gift given to You by Your Father!
Of the many blessings one can have in life, what would be the greatest blessing? How do we experience drawing close to God?