JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS DISCIPLES
Today’s reading is a prayer, which appears at the conclusion of Jesus’ Last Supper discourse. At the end of the prayer, Jesus is arrested in the garden. The prayer might be read as Jesus’ final commendation of himself to the Father. In this prayer we learn that Jesus’ life and ministry have been directed toward one purpose, revealing the Father. When this work is accomplished, Jesus is to return to the Father to be glorified. Regardless of what happens to Jesus, in John’s Gospel, Jesus and the Father are in charge. Even in the description of Jesus’ death, Jesus does not simply die but instead hands over his spirit.
In the prayer, Jesus also expresses care and concern for His disciples. The disciples are in the world, but they are separate from it because they have been given to Jesus. They are chosen from the world to be in service to the world for its salvation. This salvation has been accomplished in Jesus because Jesus has revealed the Father to the world, but the disciples will be sent by Jesus to make both the Father and Jesus known to the world. Jesus’ prayer is for the disciples’ work in the world.