Sometimes I’m envious of Jesus’ disciples. For three years, they got to talk with him, eat with him, laugh with him, weep with him. They saw him heal the sick and raise the dead. They witnessed his transforming mercy on people who were drowning in sin and despair. His disciples even got to walk and talk and eat with him after he conquered sin and death and burst out of the tomb, victorious. Can you even imagine how their short time with him changed their lives?
The night before Jesus went to the cross, he shared a final precious Passover meal with his best friends, those beloved disciples. You can almost feel the weight of sorrow in his words as he poured out his final instructions, cautions, and comfort on them. Their time with their teacher was almost at an end. He then prayed to God, his Father, for them: “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name” (John 17:11).
It’s almost unbelievable who Jesus prayed for next: “My prayer is not for [my disciples] alone,” he continued. “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” (verses 20,21).
Even with the cross looming, Jesus prayed for you. Specifically. Personally. You are the believer whose life has been impacted by the disciples’ message and witness. In his final hours, Jesus had you on his mind, dear believer. That’s true love.