Jesus tells His disciples that the world will hate them just as it hated Him and that there will be persecution. As Christ followers, we should not expect less. “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
By grace through faith we are saved — brought from death to life. “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). This is why Jesus tells His disciples it is better for them if He goes to be with the Father so He can pour the Spirit out on them. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
“A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.” Jesus is going to be crucified, but then He will rise from the dead three days later defeating death. After forty more days on earth, Jesus will ascend to be with His Father in heaven. However, He will not leave His disciples alone, for He will send them the Helper, the Holy Spirit, ten days after His ascension to heaven.
Jesus says to the disciples that the sorrow they feel now at the news of His departure will be replaced with joy upon seeing the resurrected Christ, and this joy will be sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Although they will experience various trials and persecution, they can rejoice knowing that Jesus has defeated death and ultimately the world who hates Christ followers. Jesus assures His followers, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
Jesus prays for unity for His current disciples, protection from the evil one, and sanctification by His truth, which is His word. Jesus also prays for all His future disciples who will hear His testimony and believe — “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
We see the heart of Jesus in this prayer. Although He is praying for His disciples, He is still looking out at the lost and dying in need of a Savior. In a broken world, our unity in Christ is designed to draw others to Jesus, so they may become heirs of the kingdom of God.
Tomorrow Jesus is betrayed, arrested, and put on trial. Keep reading. (John 15:18-17:26)