“Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name.” John 17: 11-12
In John 17, this appears to be the last recorded prayer that Jesus has with His Father and contains all of Jesus’ desires. Jesus recognizes that the hour has come when He must be handed over to die. It’s almost as if this prayer could have appeared in a legal will. In fact, this prayer was Jesus’ last will and testament, with God being appointed the Executor.
Jesus prays for His disciples. God had given to Jesus the disciples to teach. Now Jesus was leaving behind the biggest investment He had made on earth, in His disciples. He had given to them everything He had and knew. He had spiritually equipped them with all of His wealth of knowledge of His Father, how to heal and love others as per God’s request. As per the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus had received his share of talents (disciples) and He had invested in them wisely, and He was returning them back to God with added interest (spiritual discernment) and asking God to look after it for Him.
Jesus’ now asks God to provide the disciples with joy, protection and sanctification as they go into the world to share the gift of eternal life that He also left to us in His will. Jesus also petitions God, asking that the disciples and believers may be one as He is with God and they may love each other as God has loved Him.
Jesus’ last will and testament is truly beautiful. It is a selfless expression of concern and love. Jesus wants protection for the disciples because He knows that His death will fulfill God’s purpose and Satan will be defeated. He knows that because of this defeat, Satan will seek to stop the disciples spreading the Gospel message and hinder people from accepting Jesus and salvation through Him.
Recognizing this as Jesus’ last will creates in me a desire to honor His requests, especially since He has requested the ultimate protection and love from God while I am doing this. I want to commit to unity between believers, to love others as He has loved me and to use my talents to share the Gospel message so that others may be saved.
Dear Father in Heaven
Thanking You for Your steadfast love and protection. Thanking You for taking care of us since the time Jesus left the world.
I pray that you will continue to sanctify us by Your truth and set us apart from the world so that we are different. May that difference be one that draws people to You, because they sense a love that they have never experienced before radiating through our testimony of You. For if we truly know You Lord, then we should be able to declare your love to others in the way that You have loved us.
Jesus, we look forward to Your return, so that we can finally meet You and thank You for leaving us this wonderful gift of eternal life in Your last will and testament. But for now, we will rejoice in serving You and fulfilling Your will.
In Jesus’ Name