"I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.John 17:6(NASB)
This beautiful 'high priestly' prayer of the Lord Jesus demonstrates His humble obedience and unreserved dependence upon God. This prayer of all prayers also displays His utter submission to God's will and the depth of love He has for His Father. But it also highlights the compassionate love that the Saviour has for His people.
Christ knew that the hour to fulfil the sacrificial mission for which He had come to earth had arrived. He knew it was an undertaking that would both glorify God and pay the tremendous price for the sin of the world. But He also knew that a cruel cross and ungodly sentence awaited Him, when He would bear the sins of the whole world and be made sin for those He came to save.
And being found in appearance as a man, Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death on a cross! His finished work achieved for Him an eternal weight of glory and bestowed on Him authority to give eternal life to all who believe on His name. And so He was able to pray to the Father: "I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work, which You gave me to do.. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world."
Jesus manifested the glory, attributes, nature, and character of the invisible God to the men Whom God had called and chosen, before the foundation of the world, to be His children. And He gave them to Christ to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.
And so He begins to intercede for His precious yet bewildered disciples: "They were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your Word."
This little group of followers had believed in Christ and kept God's Word, which gave honour and glory to the Father. And although they had made many mistakes in their walk with the Lord, their understanding was still limited and their faith was weak. And 'though they were to make many more mistakes in the days to come, we discover in His high priestly prayer there is no mention of their faults and failings, but an earnest desire that God the Father would keep them - for they were bought with a price - the precious blood of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Thank You, Father, that You knew me before the foundation of the world and chose me to be Your child. Thank You that I have been bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Thank You that even when I do not understand or when my faith starts to fail, that You remain faithful and have promised to finish the good work that You started in me, in the day of Christ Jesus, to Whom be all honour and glory forever and ever, AMEN.
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