Do you fear the people of the world and what they may do to you? Do you perhaps hide your Christian faith for fear or worry about what people might say? Do you see the things going on in this world and worry about your life here, especially matters like earthquakes, natural disasters, war, guns on the street, violence and so on?
Well in this section where Jesus prays for His people we see a small verse that does not immediately stand out, but is an amazing promise for Jesus tells us we are under the protection of the Father. There are other scriptures that show this protection we have as Christians too. So let us have a look at these and remember them so that our fears, anxieties and worries can be cast away from us, for they are truly groundless.
The Fathers Protection
Look at the words of verse 9.
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
Jesus is praying for His disciples and ALL of His people in this section. But in this verse He shows us specifically who He is praying for and who He is NOT praying for. He is NOT praying for the world. The people of the world are specifically excluded from this prayer Jesus is offering to His Father. The rest of the world who are not the people of God are on their own.
Then we see also that Jesus IS praying for the people whom the Father has given to Him. In verse 10 we see who these people are.
All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
ALL of the people who the Father has accepted are the same people He has given into the hand of Jesus. This is why He says in other places that we have both the Father and the Son or we have neither. It’s both or none. Look what John wrote in one of his letters, (1 John 2:23) and there are other similar scriptures.
No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.
Then in verse 8 we see the basis of this protection we have from the Father. Verse 8 tells us,
For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.
Christians have the protection of the Father because they have faith. As it says in this scripture, the Father gave the Son the words of life and of His kingdom, and the people who received and believed those words and believe that Jesus truly was sent by the Father are those who Jesus was praying for. So like almost all things to do with the teachings of the Kingdom of God, faith is the basis.
Protected in Christ
Now this is not the only scripture to show there is protection through Jesus Christ and following in His ways and coming to The Lord. Look at this scripture in Luke 12:4-5.
4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?
5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Look at this scripture and see what it is saying. There were eighteen people who died when a tower near the pool of Siloam fell on them and crushed them. Look at what Jesus says about them, “… do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?” Did they die because they were greater sinners than anyone else?
No. They were no better or worse than anyone else in Jerusalem at that time. So why did they die? Because they had nothing to protect them from the things going on around them. And they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
So what does Jesus urge and exhort from this lesson and example? He says that people need to repent or else they too may perish in the same way, through a quirk of happenstance and circumstance. But the underlying message in Jesus’ words are that if they repent they will receive salvation. They will have the protection of The Lord on their side who will save them from destruction in both this world and in the resurrection.
What a wonderful promise to know that someone is looking out for you. And not just anyone, but God Himself who cares about those who come to him in repentance. He is the one who protects and saves us through the salvation in the death of Jesus Christ. And there is more.
Peace on Earth…to Whom?
At the very beginning of the coming of Jesus to this earth, when He was born in Bethlehem we see the following words from the hosts of angels. (Luke 2:13-14)
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased.”
This scripture is often quoted during Christmas services and by many at Christmas time. But too often they leave off the last five words of the quote.
God is not pleased with ALL men or ALL mankind. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact he is so displeased with mankind that He will judge and destroy those who choose to do wrong and who choose the path of the faithless and the evil. There is a day of judgement and a day of reckoning coming upon all of the people who live and have lived on this earth, and for many it will be a dark day indeed.
But for those who choose to follow the ways of God and believe in Jesus whom God sent to be our Saviour, the very first promise made when Jesus was born is that they should receive peace. They who have faith in Jesus Christ and follow the ways of The Lord are the ones with whom God the Father is pleased. And it is to them that the offer of peace comes.
For the rest who choose wickedness, there is no peace, only a promise of judgement and destruction. As The Lord said through the prophets Isaiah, “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” (Isaiah 48:22, Isaiah 57:21)
So in the end we see that there is peace for those who please God. There is also a protection for those who repent and importantly in the prayer of Jesus we see there is the protection of the Father for those who believe in Jesus and the words of the Father given to Jesus to show us the way of life.