In John 17, Jesus’ longest recorded prayer in the Bible, we see that Jesus had a very special relationship with our God, His Father. In these last few minutes of his time alone with his disciples, Jesus prayed for those that followed him to be blessed and to continue the work after he was gone.
This powerful “red lettered” prayer by Jesus shows us once again that Jesus was directly sent to this earth by God to fulfill his Father’s work. Jesus’ time on this earth was not an accidental adventure, but planned work assigned to Jesus. He was sent to be a living example of love for the initial disciples and also for us. We can continue to mirror his example of love daily within us and also externally through us by sharing it with the world. Jesus understood that his life was just the beginning of his Father’s work and that it needed to continue after he had returned to glory.
Jesus repeatedly prays that the work He began on this earth continue through the disciples that remain. We need to remember that he was praying for us. He prays that we stay protected and be brought to complete unity. As verse 23 says, “Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me”. We may long for heaven as Jesus did, but there is work remaining to do on this earth so others may know of our Father.
Let us also remember that Jesus concluded by praying that we may have the same strong bond of love as he had with his Father. “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.”
We can approach this world knowing that Jesus is God’s son and that he was sent to this world to fulfill his Father’s plan. While on this earth Jesus shared love and the hope of eternal life. And yes, God does love us and we need to share it with OTHERS.