Jesus Christ had just finished talking with his disciples, warning them of things to come, letting them know that he was about to leave them (through death), but encouraging them that he would send them the Holy Spirit to be their helper. Their helper, the Holy Spirit, would guide them into all truth, he would declare to them the things to come, he would glorify the Lord, and he would declare to them the things that are of God and of Christ our Lord.
Then Jesus prayed to God the Father, submitting himself to the Father’s will to go to that cross and to die there for our sins that we might have salvation from sin and eternal life in him. And then he began to pray for his followers, for those who had trusted him with their lives and with their salvation. He was about to leave them and they were in the world and would be so now without him, and so he prayed that God the Father would keep them in His name that they might be one with God as Jesus and the Father were one.
They Were Kept in His Name
John 17:12-19 ESV
“While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
They Were on His Heart
While Jesus walked the face of this earth, during his three years of earthly ministry, he called to himself 12 men to be his close disciples, to go with him wherever he went, to learn from him, and to do and to say the things that he did and said. They were not his only disciples (followers) but they were the ones who followed him everywhere he went and learned from him. And only one of them was lost for eternity – Judas, who betrayed him to death.
What was now on Jesus’ mind and heart was the fact that he was going to leave them and now they would be on their own. He cared about them and so he was concerned about them and about how they might do and what they might or would most certainly face after he left them. For while he was with them he had looked after them, but now he would be gone and they would not have him there to keep them and to guard them from all evil.
For when Jesus had his three years of ministry on the earth, prior to his death and resurrection, he taught his disciples (and the crowds who followed him, too) the Word of God. But because his disciples had the word of God being taught to them, and because they had believed in his word, and they were also proclaiming the word of God to the people of the world (and/or to Jews only), the world (which included unbelieving Jews) hated them.
And they were hated because they were not of the world, for Jesus had called them out of the world. He had called them to dedicate their lives to him and to his service and to no longer live like the world but to live holy lives pleasing to God. During the time that he was with them he had trained them in godliness and in righteous living and in obedience to the Lord and in the putting off of the deeds of the flesh. So, the ungodly hated them.
And if that is how we are living, not like the world, but like God’s word teaches us that we must live, and if we are taking his word to the people of this earth – which includes to both Christian and non-Christian (including professers of faith in Jesus Christ who are not genuine followers of Christ) – then we should also be hated, but not just by those professing no faith in Jesus Christ but also by professing Christians who are living worldly lives.
Sanctify Them in the Truth
Now the prayer that Jesus prayed for his disciples when he was about to leave them is still his heart for us, too. And he still intercedes for us to God the Father, on our behalf. So what we read here that Jesus prayed for his disciples then, I am certain he is still praying for his followers today, for we are in the same situation. We are in the world but we are not to be of the world, and so if we are not of the world, the world will hate us, too.
We are also living in a world which is filled with all kinds of evil lurking around every corner. Although there are good things about the internet, such as we can now fellowship with other believers in Jesus throughout the world, and we can share the gospel and the teachings of the Scriptures with people all over the world, there is much evil on this internet which is now accessible to most people, at least here in America, via a pocket computer/phone.
So all sorts of evil is now easily accessible to most people, including children, via these smart phones and tablets (computers) and personal computers and desktop computers. With the smart phones, though, privacy is very easy to have even in a room full of people or wherever you go because your phone (computer) travels with you. Things that used to be very hard to get to are now there with the touch of a finger, and so evil is rampant in our society.
Yet, the Lord is not asking that we be removed from the world for he has sent us out into the world to share the gospel and to love the people of the world as he loved them. So we need to be in the world. We are just not to be part of the world, i.e. we are not to partake with them in what is worldly and sinful and in what is against God and against his divine purpose and will for our lives. For we are to be unlike the world and to be like Jesus.
So, we are to live in the world among the people of the world but we are to not be like the world, but we are to be like Jesus. But we need to be like the Jesus of the Bible, not like the Jesus that many are teaching today who is not the Jesus of the Scriptures. And we need to love the people of this world like Jesus did, with the same heart and passion, and not love like the world does following our emotions and just what makes people feel good.
For we want the Lord to keep us from all evil, and we want him to sanctify us in the truth of God’s holy word. And to be sanctified is to be made holy, to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made into the likeness of Jesus. And it is to live holy and godly lives in purity of devotion to our Lord in obedience to his commands and it is to no longer live to fulfill the desires of our sinful flesh. So, this should be our heart’s desire.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-32; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Heb 10:26-27; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Does Jesus Care?
1 Peter 5:7
Lyrics by Frank E. Graeff, 1901
Music by Joseph L. Hall, 1901
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.
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