World! Ever feel like you are “not of this world?” I know I do. Shouldn’t come as a surprise to a Christ follower. The world embraces beliefs that are often opposite to those outlined in Scripture. A stark reminder that our true citizenship is not in this earthly realm. Pretty heady stuff. So why don’t we just gather all those with like-minds and form our own separate society–one with a common “Biblical world view?” Wouldn’t that be the safe thing to do?
I’m sure the disciples wondered the same thing. Jesus knew His time on earth was short, so He prays for them (John 17). They would forever be out of step with the world, so He asks the Father to guard them. “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world” (John 17:14).
But look what Jesus prays next: My prayer is not that you take them out of the world by that you protect them from the evil one (John 17:15).
He could take us out of the fray, send us to more peaceful pastures. Makes sense, so why not? Simply this. The world that hates us actually needs us. They need our message of good news. They need grace. And there ares many citizens of this broken and hurting world who are hungry, thirsty, and ripe for the Gospel. That is why Jesus doesn’t call us away. “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world,” He prays (verse 18).
Friend, if you are a believer in Jesus, you have those early disciples to thank. They didn’t retreat but risked their life to take the Word of Christ “to the ends of the earth.” Jesus knew in advance that you would seek Him, so He prays for you, too. Ponder His words and let them soak in:
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me (verses 20,21)
Jesus knew you and interceded for you! May you take comfort in that assurance. And may you also go boldly into your world today, knowing that Jesus has prayed for you so that you will seek and save the lost. Stay alert for that person in your path who desperately needs to know He loves them.