25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but will tell you plainly of the Father. 26 On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.” 29 His disciples said, “Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus’ patience with his followers as he prepared them for what would happen next finally resulted in their understanding of what he was saying. Their declaration about Jesus was not so much that all their questions were answered, but that he knows all things and is above being challenged, and that he indeed came from God, God made flesh. That was what they needed to know in order to be faithful followers of Christ.
- What questions do you have that you have asked God?
- What do you believe about Jesus that empowers you to trust him with things you don’t understand?
- What are you asking for in Jesus’ name?
Gracious Lord, thank you for continuing to patiently reveal yourself to us in ways that we can understand. Help us to not lose heart in listening to you and for you in our lives. Keep us close enough to you so that we can hear you and respond. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
Jesus demonstrates that he indeed knows all things, including the that disciples will scatter and leave his side. But his belonging is with the Trinity and so is not alone. He graces them with his peace and courage, based on the conviction Jesus is going ahead of them, has overcome, and will be present with them in their struggles, bestowing on them the peace and courage they need to flourish.
- When have you felt scattered from Jesus and from his followers?
- How easy is it for you to find belonging with the Trinity?
- In what ways do you need peace and courage right now?
Gracious Lord, you said these things as you were preparing to put yourself into the hands of your killers. Thank you for the concern that you had for them and the concern that you have for us as we navigate our way in this world. Give us peace that guides our steps and courage to be faithful to what you have for us to do in our context. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
What a blessing it is to have someone who knows you well pray over you. Jesus turns his attention from his followers to God as he commits them to God. In his prayer he addresses the glory that is present in his life and ministry, and in his coming death. And he invites us to eternal life, which is intimacy with the Trinitarian God. There is nothing better.
- How easy is it for you to see the glory of God in Jesus’ death? What is challenging about that?
- How does Jesus’ definition in vs. 3 invite you to experience eternal life now?
- How is your intimacy with God continuing to deepen? When do you feel closest to God?
Gracious Lord, in this sacred space between your journey to the cross and your resurrection, thank you for your prayer for you followers and for us. We indeed need to encounter your glory in the midst of chaos, destruction, and heartache, and we pray for eyes to see you. Give us a desire to live into your promise of eternal life now by deepening our relationship with you. In Your name, Amen.
6 “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8 for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.
In his prayer, Jesus draws his followers into the fellowship of God through the words that he has given, and through the giving of his very self. There is a belonging that we experience in the Trinity through the work of Christ, and as we live into the truth that we belong to God, God is glorified in us.
- How has Jesus made God’s name and character known to you?
- What words of Jesus come to mind as you reread vs. 8?
- What does it mean to you that you belong to God? How is that reflected in your life?
Gracious Jesus, thank you that you continue to make yourself known to us through your word and through your Spirit. May we share in the community of the Trinity as we remember your words and live as those who belong to you. In Your name, Amen.
“11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.”
Jesus prays for the protection of the disciples so that they may be one. More than anything, Jesus wants his followers to be united under the protection of God. We belong to him and he doesn’t let us go. In this promise we can find joy, even when we are surrounded by a world that doesn’t know him and hates us.
- How is Jesus protecting you so that you remain united with your brothers and sisters in Christ?
- How do you experience the hatred of the world?
- How do you experience joy made complete in yourself?
Gracious Lord, thank you for your protection over us. Give us unity as we live in the reality that we belong to you. May we find our confidence in you so that we can walk as your beloved, even when we feel hated by the world, and share that love with those around us. In your name, Amen.