Our reading, John 17:1-11, retells part of Jesus' prayer the night before he died. Jesus had just finished a great discourse with his friends as they sat together after supper. He spoke words of comfort. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me." (John 14:1) He offered insight, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) He unveiled mysteries, "I am in the father and the Father is in me" (John 14:10) and he even explained his friends place in salvation telling them they are the branches and he is "... the true vine" (John 15:1).
As he finished speaking he looked up to heaven. He spoke to the Father with his friends listening in as he prayed. Jesus spoke of what he'd done, said, and taught. He named the dangers we face, even the world's rejection his teaching. Jesus asked that...
- he might return to the Glory he shared with the Father before the world was made (John 17:4)
- his followers be protected through the power of the Father's Holy Name (John 17:11)
- we might be one as he and the Father are one (John 17:11)
- we have his joy in us (John 17:13)
- we not be taken out of the world but that we be protected from the Evil One (John 17:15)
- we be ready to serve God in truth (John 17:17)
- others might believe through the teaching of his followers (John 17:20)
- we be one so that the world can come to know the Father(John 17:21-23)
- we might be with him and see his glory (John 17:24)
After praying, the Gospel of John tells that, Jesus' next stop was the garden across the Kidron Valley where he would be arrested. This prayer, the night before Jesus died, gives us a moment both of deep insight into the relationship between Jesus and the Father and into all that Jesus asked for us.