And He Prayed for Us as Well
In the first part of his “Priestly Prayer,” Jesus prayed to the Father that He would glorify the Son as the Son had glorified the Father by accomplishing the task that he was given to do, proving to the whole world that he had come from the Father. In the second part of the prayer, he prayed for the disciples that the Father would guard and keep them as Jesus was now leaving them in the world while he returned to the Father. And in the third part of his prayer, which we take up today, Jesus prays … for us! He knew that with the sending of the Holy Spirit and the testimony of the apostles, others would believe in his name. And so it has happened just as the Father planned – and here we are, reading these precious words and wondering to ourselves, “Wow! He prayed for me on that night of agony.” Jesus is our High Priest, and that’s what priests do – pray for their people.
Moreover, Jesus prays for our unity, “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us.” And why does our Lord pray for this unity, “So that the world may believe that you have sent me.” This unity is a miracle because it is not based upon our good feelings about one another, but on the unity of the Father and the Son, “that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” So our unity is founded upon the Father’s love, a love that He had for us from the dawn of time. If we fail in showing this unity, the sin is with us. If we will abide in His love, we should have no trouble loving our brothers and sisters in Christ.
And then Jesus says something truly wonderful: “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” Jesus wants us to be with him, that’s why he goes to prepare a place for us (14:2-3). And please note that his desire for us to be with him is not so we can relax but so that we may behold his glory. You see, for the believer, seeing God in all His glory is everything. There is nothing more beautiful, more desirable, nothing that should thrill our hearts more than seeing Him. And in glorifying the Lord, we share in his glory, for Jesus says, “The glory that you have given me I have given to them.” And Paul tells us that those whom He chose, called, and justified, he also glorified (Romans 8:30). This is his prayer for us to the Father, which tells us how even now he prays for us at the right hand, we in him, he in us, that we all may be one.