Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”
They are your gift to me. The literal translation from Greek is “those whom you have given me.” They are human beings of flesh and blood, not objects, not presents. Jesus recognizes his disciples as given by the Father. They must be precious. He is praying for them. He prays for their unity, harmony, and integrity. They must be able to imitate his oneness with the Father. This constitutes their perfection. Jesus cannot afford to see his disciples divided and at odds with one another.
Jesus prays that all his adherents, old and new, will be united to him. They, too, are entitled to see his glory.
Their unity will make them his credible witnesses to the unbelieving world. Those who will come to believe because of their preaching—Jesus also prays for them. He will have special affection for them. The converts who join them will be integrated into their community. As a result, the believers will increase in numbers. More will give witness to Jesus. In this way, the world that opposes Jesus will realize at the end that he is God-sent and that he is loved by the Father. The unity of the disciples, in faith and action, will make them powerful witnesses and will disprove the world.
Can you join Jesus in his priestly prayer that is the Christian prayer of unity? Do you consider other believers as God’s gift to you?
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.