Reflective Bible Study.
Focus Passage: John 17:1-26 (CEV)During one of His prayers on the night He was arrested, Jesus extends His focus past the immediate circumstances that He would face that weekend, and He prays for the small group of disciples and He gives these disciples a new identity. While the disciples began as a scattered collection of unique personalities, with the new identity Jesus gives them, they helped change history. John, one of these disciples, writes in his gospel what Jesus prayed. John tells us that in His prayer, Jesus prayed to the Father saying, “You have given me some followers from this world, and I have shown them what you are like. They were yours, but you gave them to me, and they have obeyed you. They know that you gave me everything I have. I told my followers what you told me, and they accepted it. They know that I came from you, and they believe that you are the one who sent me. I am praying for them, but not for those who belong to this world. My followers belong to you, and I am praying for them. All that I have is yours, and all that you have is mine, and they will bring glory to me.” (v. 6-10) In these few statements, Jesus shifts the focus of the identity of His followers out of belonging to the world, and into being a member of God’s family. In a subtle way, Jesus shares how those who choose to follow Him shift their allegiance towards God. It is as though Jesus shares that it is impossible to truly follow Him while also rejecting God the Father. Some people believe the God of the Old Testament is mean, while Jesus came to be the nice God. But everything implied in these verses says the exact opposite. Before Jesus came into the world, all of His followers were God’s. Jesus opened this portion of His prayer by saying, “You have given me some followers from this world…They were yours, but you gave them to me…” (v. 6) However, Jesus doesn’t collect followers to keep followers. Instead, He returns them to God when He says, “My followers belong to you.” And “All that I have is yours.” (v. 9b, 10a) In this prayer, Jesus shares a portion of His mission that focused on serving. Jesus summarizes His ministry to the disciples up to this point by describing in this prayer that He has shown them what God is like and that He has told His followers what God had shared with Him. (v. 6b, 8a) But Jesus’ prayer is exclusive. In His prayer, Jesus clearly states, “I am praying for them [His followers], but not for those who belong to this world. My followers belong to you, and I am praying for them.” (v. 9) In Jesus’ prayer, He shares how He is loyal to those who have chosen to follow God, and His prayer is for His followers. The disciples were about to experience a night they would never forget, and Jesus prays for them specifically. Jesus excludes those who have chosen to reject Him and/or God the Father. When Jesus entered the world, He knew that not everyone would accept Him, and He knew that entrance into the world would ultimately mean death. But that didn’t stop Him from coming. Jesus came to draw God’s followers together and to give them a picture of who God is and what He is like. He knew that some people would be able to see this picture clearly, while others would be confused by it. Jesus prays that His followers will bring God glory – and that is something only Jesus’ followers can do. This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today! Read this article on the web on it's official page: Jesus, God’s Servant: John 17:1-26