“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, – John 17:20-22
Sometimes we can get the idea that God is all powerful and that we are too insignificant for such a mighty God to care about us. I mean as we consider the wonder of creation, the vastness of space, it is easy to believe that “our God is an awesome God,” but it is far more difficult for us to imagine that this same God could know anything about us. All of which makes Jesus’ prayer just before he was arrested incredibly significant. John records that as he was facing certain death by crucifixion, Jesus prayed not for protection or release from his fate, but for his disciples. He prayed that his followers would continue the work which he had begun, that they would be united, that they would be comforted and empowered as they grieved his death.
Then, John records that Jesus prayed these words, “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word.” Do you see what this means? Just minutes before Jesus’ arrest and just hours before his crucifixion and death, Jesus prayed for you and for me.
I don’t know how the Gospel could get any more personal than that. As Jesus went into battle against the forces of evil, as he freely offered himself to atone for the sins of the whole world, as he accepted his place as the “lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world,” he was thinking of you. He was praying for you. He was preparing to die for you.
Our God really is “an awesome God,” not just because God is mighty but because God is unbelievably personal. The gospel tells us that Jesus was thinking of you as he perpared to die I can’t imagine anything more important or life-changing than knowing that. Can you?
Good Father, I know that you are great and mighty. What I can hardly believe is that you are thinking of me. Amen.