Tuesday 20 January 2015

Bible Book:

“Jesus said, ‘... Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.’” (v. 11b)

John 17:6-19 Tuesday 20 January 2015

Psalm: Psalm 84


Today's passage, the central section of John 17, is Jesus'prayer that his Holy Father will protect his disciples so that theymay be one (verse 11) as they continue his mission in the world(verse 18). At the end of the previous chapter, Jesus warned hisdisciples that the hour had come when they would all be scattered,each to their own home, and they would leave him alone (John16:32). In verses 6-8, he is much more positive about them; so,for example, he says that they have kept God's word.

It is important to appreciate that John's Gospel uses the Greekword 'kosmos', which is translated 'world', in a number of ways.For example, he makes it clear that, in its broadest sense, theworld is everything and everyone, created and loved by God; he alsouses it to talk of the social world which hates Jesus and hisdisciples. In this passage, we read that the disciples are in theworld (verse 11a) but do not belong to the world (verse 14), andthat Jesus does not want them to be taken out of the world (verse15) but has sent them into the world (verse 18).

It is in this context that Jesus asked his holy Father toprotect the disciples so that they may be one as he and his Fatherare one (verse 11b); a little later he asked God to protect themfrom the evil one because they are in the world but, like Jesus, donot belong to the world (verses 15-16). Then Jesus asked, "Sanctifythem in the truth; your word is truth" (verse 17). That last phrasehas a double-meaning because, for John, Jesus is the Word madeflesh (John 1:14) and is the truth (John14:6).

To Ponder

  • Where and in what ways do you think the disciples of Jesus needto be protected today? How does this relate to the request in theLord's Prayer asking God to "deliver us from evil"?
  • How do you see the relationship between the Church and theworld? How does this influence the way you understand and share inGod's mission?
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