1) Revelation – “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.” John 17:6
God wants to be known. Eternal life itself depends on this ultimate knowing. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” v.3 The apostle Paul also echoed this reality of revelation when he prayed for the Ephesians:
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” Ephesians 1:17
The generous Father has already “given” us people to whom He will reveal the beauty, glory and salvation of His Son Jesus. Who are your “given?”
2) Edification and Sanctification by the word of truth – ” For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them…Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:8&17
You must give people “words” that you have overheard from the Father. Such words are found in the disciplined and loving meditation of the whole Bible. Try reading it through at least once every year.
3) Prayer – “I pray for them.” John 17:9
Jesus “always lives to intercede for” us according to the writer of Hebrews 7:25, and we should also devote our lives to pray for those God has entrusted to us.
4) Protection – “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name…My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:11&15
For the Jews there was great power in the revealed name of God. That name is now incarnated and fulfilled in the name of Jesus before whom every knee must bow: “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11
Proclaim the name of Jesus over those you love, your church, your friends, family and your nation.
True protection can never come from just hiding away behind the four walls of the church or barricading ourselves behind a marginalised religious culture. We are in the world as salt and light. Engage boldly with it, also releasing those you love to their culture and friends, trusting that your prayers will protect them from all evil influences.
5) Unity – “so that they may be one as we are one.” John 17:11
Staying together always requires effort, sacrifice and love. It is the mark of the mature and the reflection of true Christian character. Unity is never separate from the truth of God’s Word. Heeding the apostle Paul’s advice we must all work towards this goal. “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3
The Puritans put it this way. “Unity in essentials, liberty in non-essentials, charity in all things.”
6) Joy – “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” John 17:13
Jesus is a joy bringer. Cultivate joy in your life and sow it into that of others. The atmosphere of the Church, where Jesus is present, should be impregnated with joyous freedom. The cold stoney sadness of many religious edifices, simply signals the absence of the true Beloved. “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
7) Mission – “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” John 17:18
There is a great river of purpose flowing out from God’s heart. He wants all of us to be caught up into this passionate current of love which seeks salvation and restoration for the world. Jesus began the “domino effect” of such a mission as He laid down His life, was “sent” and knocked on to His disciples the same “sacrificial sentness.”
May your own domino fall on to those around you adding to the great teleological history of salvation.