"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. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." John 17:20-21 NIV
This is an amazing prayer that Jesus is praying. What stuck out to me was the word "will". Jesus is praying for all believers and then says this:"I pray also for those that "will" believe in Me through their message..."
The "their" He is referring to at that moment was His apostles. Today it is us. He has commissioned us to be His apostles of today. So it is our message that will bring more believers to Him.
Our message isn't just our words, No, our message is a whole lot more. Our words are a very important part of that message, but if we just focus on the words, we only have an incomplete package. No, in order to have it complete, people would need to see His message act out in our life style, our actions and ourselves.
Jesus was very earnest in this prayer. If you read on, He prays, "May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." WOW! Did you pick up on a very important fact? Please, reread the verse. "...have loved them even as you have loved me." Jesus is telling us that His Father--our Father--has loved us--you, me--as much as He has loved Himself!
Isn't that mind boggling? With all my warts, short-comings, failures, my Heavenly Father loves me as much as He loves Jesus--my Brother that is beyond perfect? That is amazing! So humbling amazing!
How does that make you feel? What are your thoughts? Does that help you realize and receive the fact that your Father in Heaven loves you so unconditionally? That you can't earn His love? That He loves you ever so completely.
In case you need further proof, verse 24 states this:"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."
Jesus wants you! He wants you to be in Heaven with Him. And again,"because you loved me before the creation of the world." And what did we learn a couple of verses before? That our Heavenly Father loves us as much as He loves His Son. So now we learn that He has also loved us since the beginning of time.
Can it get any better? I think not.
"Praise be to the Lord,
For He showed His wonderful love to me." Psalm 31:20 NIV