"And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." John 17:11-16 (ESV)
Jesus is making sure that his people are taken care of, like a parent leaving their child with someone.
He asks the Father to keep us IN and keep us FROM.
I. Keep us IN His Name
Is Jesus concerned that we would leave the faith? No. He has complete trust in the Father.
We were given to Jesus by the Father. Our adoption was part of His sovereign plan.
So the Father will be faithful to keep us. Jesus' prayer will be answered.
Why then does He pray this? Because He loves us. We are overhearing a cosmic conversation between two loving caregivers (who are really One).
We are being kept so that we may be one. This doesn't mean we never disagree. There is unity around the Gospel.
II. Keep us FROM the evil one
We are protected by the Father from the enemy in the world. But...
- We are not to be completely separate. Wise, but still in the world.
- We will experience suffering.
Since Jesus finds joy and comfort knowing that the Father is keeping and protecting us, let us also find joy and comfort in this truth.
We should also find joy and comfort in a loving Savior. Jesus prayed these things for our hope and our joy. He assures us by praying for us. This is mere hours before the crucifixion. And He's thinking about us.