Sometime between the washing his disciples’s feet at the Passover meal, and his arrest later that evening, Jesus looked up to heaven and had a conversation with his Father. John recorded the loving prayer in John 17. If you ever doubt the enormity of Jesus’ love for you, read this prayer he prayed while knowing he soon be tortured and killed.
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.John 17:1-3
Jesus knew the was close to death, and he prayed for God to be glorified and that we might have eternal life.
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.Jesus, John 17:11
Jesus prayed for the protection and unity of believers.
I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.Jesus, John 17:13
Jesus prayed for us to have joy.
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.Jesus, John 17:15
Jesus prayed for our protection from Satan.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.Jesus, John 17:17-19
Jesus prayed for us to be sanctified, which means that we will become more like God.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.Jesus, John 17:20-23
Jesus wasn’t just praying for the disciples that were with him at that time. He was praying for the believers that would follow. He was praying for you. He was praying for me. And he wanted us to have unity with God, with him, and with each other.
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.Jesus, John 17:24
Jesus wants us to be with him. Wow. The creator of the universe wants to be with me and show me his glory. What an immense love. I understand Jesus having compassion for his creation. I can even wrap my mind about Jesus being willing to die to save us. But here Jesus takes it even further: he wants me to be with him. Jesus wants to spend time with me. He doesn’t just love me in a paternal way; he likes me. He prays for me. He wants the best for me.
And as he prayed below, Jesus wants me me to know that I am loved:
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, John 17:25-26