SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- In today’s reading we get to listen to Jesus pray. First he prays for himself, and then for his followers at the time and those that will follow because of the disciples' preaching.
- In verse three, Jesus gives us a definition of eternal life: knowing the only true God and Jesus whom he sent. In other places, Jesus talks about "abundant life," or life to the full. They all refer to having a relationship with God through Jesus.
- When Jesus prays for his disciples he asks God to protect and unify them. Then, when he prays for the people who will eventually believe his disciples' message (which includes us), he asks God that they also would be unified. It's important to Jesus that his followers are unified. He wants his followers to love each other just like he loves them (as he also mentions in John 13:34-35).
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Jesus says, in verse 1, that ultimately his desire was to bring glory to his Father. That should be our ultimate desire as well. God is the star of the show and we need to point our lives and other people to him.
- We often think of eternal life as what happens after we die in this world; it starts with the "next life." But eternal life is having a relationship with God and living the life he has for us. Eternal life begins when we say yes to God and put our faith in Jesus. It will continue, in a bigger and better way, when we pass from this life and enter the next, but it begins here and now.
- The unity of his followers is of critical importance to Jesus. We need to live seeking to live in harmony with other believers, and always seeking to mend relationships whenever necessary.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What did you learn about prayer from hearing Jesus pray? How should it change the way you pray or what you pray for?
- How are you doing at living in unity with other followers of Jesus? Do you seek to develop relationships and good will with other believers? And when rifts do develop in your relationships, instead of ignoring it or allowing the relationship to suffer, do you proactively seek to deal with the issue and make peace? Is there someone you need to do some relationship-mending with now?