Jesus prayed His priestly prayer right at the juncture of His leaving the world and the disciples. The hour had come for Him to glorify the Father by completing His mission on earth. He came to die and give eternal life to humankind, bringing the human race once again back under the rule of God. In His prayer, Jesus began with God’s glory and the authority that He had given to His Son so that Jesus could have authority over all flesh, giving eternal life to those who believed.
Jesus is the King of the Kingdom and all authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Him. This is the starting point of the Great Commission in the Gospel of Matthew. Receiving such authority from the Father, Jesus came to save the world and those who would believe in Him are then citizens of the Kingdom of God. The first message of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark has something to do with the Kingdom of God. When anyone repents and believe the good news, he would come under the rule of the King Jesus who then has authority over him.
To come into the Kingdom of God, we must acknowledge the authority of the King Jesus by calling Him “Lord”. Our salvation hinges on whether we are the subjects of Jesus who can give us eternal life. He received the authority from the Father so that He might give eternal life to the believers. Eternal life is to know the only true God, recognizing that there is no other god in this world. The salvation is through also recognizing Jesus as the Son of God who was sent by the Father. Jesus existed with God even before the world existed.
Our authority as believers only comes when we share eternal life with others and to bring them into the Kingdom of God. When we preach the Gospel in the world, we are protected by the power of God through the Holy Spirit. The disciples are in the world but not of the world. They are kept and guarded by Jesus. They are set apart for the cause of the Gospel. Their unity is most important and Jesus prayed for their oneness with one another just like that Jesus and the Father are one. This would give the disciples glory and joy and love. Many others may come to know the Lord because of their unity.
Do you realize that Jesus was praying for you in His prayer recorded in John 17? Now put your name in the place of the believers and disciples and you’ll know that Jesus already had you in mind when He so prayed. He has given you authority over the world so that you may carry out His sovereignty over the unbelieving world. Use your authority over those who do not believe so that they might have eternal life. Your job here on earth is to expand the Kingdom of God. He is glorified when you lead another soul to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Exercise your authority now!
Ps 122:1-5 2 Sam 13:1-39 John 17:1-26 Prov 16:6-7