Jesus Prays For Us
13 May 2018 – Seventh Sunday of Easter
We have arrived at the seventh Sunday of Easter, the Sunday between the ascension of Jesus and the Pentecost of the church. As the Gospel for this day, we hear part of Jesus’s high priestly prayer. He prays for those the Father has given him. He prays for us. Listen to what he prays for: He prays to the Father to protect us, to sanctify us. What Jesus prays for, God gives.
Jesus prays the Father to protect us in this world. Not that we be taken out of the world, but that we be protected in it. “The world” doesn’t mean a place, but a way of being: the way of brokenness, rebellion, separation from God, into which we humans have fallen. Jesus doesn’t ask the Father to take us out of that into some place of purity.
Instead, he prays that the Father might protect us in this broken world, so that in the very midst of that brokenness we might have unity, the same unity with God that Jesus knew, so that we might have the joy of Jesus made complete in ourselves. –– Paul G. Bieber
In John's Gospel Jesus concludes his discourse at the end of the last supper with a prayer to the Father. . . Jesus prays for his disciples, who are to be in but not of the world. Jesus asks his Holy Father to keep these disciples safe, as he has done while with them. He pleads that his Father will foster the unity among these disciples such that their bonding reflects the unity Jesus shares with the Father. Jesus also asks that God make his disciples holy as they are to be sent into the world just as Jesus was sent. This prayer applies to all who follow Jesus throughout the ages. –– Regina A. Boisclair
In the time between Jesus's ascension and Pentecost, Acts reports that Jesus's followers gathered together in Jerusalem. At one point when 120 followers are said to be together, Peter calls for a replacement for Judas, who had guided those who arrested Jesus. This would restore the inner circle to twelve, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. Peter then specifies that it must be someone who had been with them throughout Jesus's ministry. Two men were suggested, Justus and Matthias. By casting lots this role fell to Matthias. An inner circle of twelve was never continued in the church. –– Regina A. Boisclair
1 John 5:9-13
This author writes so that his readers realize that those who believe in Jesus have eternal life. There is no other source. He insists that God has testified on behalf of Jesus (Jn 8:17–18). Those who believe in the Son of God accept God's testimony within their hearts. Those who do not believe take God for a liar. God offers eternal life through his Son. Those who do not accept the Son do not accept God and do not have eternal life. –– Regina A. Boisclair
Paul Bieber is pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church, San Diego, California.
Regina Boisclair, a Roman Catholic biblical scholar, teaches at Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, Alaska.
Homily Service 42, no. 2 (2008): 154-167.