By Oscar M. Baker
We have been on Holy ground in studying this chapter. We've had one lesson on it, we mentioned the fact that maybe we should take off our shoes as we approach this wonderful chapter and listen in on this prayer that our Lord has with the Father. Remember that this is the true Lord's prayer. The one that is often called the Lord's prayer is the disciples prayer or the tribulation prayer. That was a prayer that the Lord taught the disciples to pray when the time of the tribulation should come. But here, in John 17, is the real Lord's prayer.
"Thine they were, and Thou gavest them me: and they have kept Thy word" (verse 6).
We have spoken about how the disciples were chosen because of foreknowledge, and then given to the Son. And He mentions the fact that, "they have kept Thy word." That is, they have believed and kept in their hearts the word. Remember, the psalmist David said, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." This is the best way of keeping away from sin in this world that I know of, by the cleansing of the word.
"Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given He are of Thee" (v. 7).
That is, all things that have been given to the Son had belonged to the Father.
"For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send He" (v. 8).
Now here are some of the things these disciples have believed, some fundamental beliefs. They believed that Christ came from God, they believed the words that He had which God gave Him. And they kept these. "I pray for them: I pray not for the world" (v. 9). Now I'm just wondering here, did the Lord ever pray for the world? Or is it just on this particular occasion that he says this? Well, He's coming to the end of His ministry, and having to give over the ministry to these disciples. Remember that after He makes His final sacrifice, He goes away and leaves His ministry in the hands of 12 men to carry on. WHAT A GREAT RESPONSIBILITY THEY HAD! And what a great deal of world history hinged upon what these would do as the fate of many, many persons since that time. But He says,
"I pray not for the world, (I just pray) for them which Thou hast given Me; for They are Thine" (John 17:9).
No, not at this time is the Lord praying for the world. There is a ministry to the world to be done later on by these disciples. So now He is particularly praying for them that they might be faithful to their task, and then this other will work out.
"And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine;and I am glorified in them" (v. 10).
Now I believe it was Martin Luther that once said that anybody could probably say, "all mine are Thine" in speaking to God, BUT, only the Lord could say to The Father "all Thine, are Mine".
To be continued.