“I was reading in John’s gospel again this morning,” Stan began, “and I ran across what appears to me to be the one-verse explanation for why I came to faith in Christ. And not only me, but each one who believes.”
“A one-verse explanation?” I replied. “What verse was that? What did it say?”
“It’s in Chapter 17,” Stan replied, “Where Jesus prayed what is commonly referred to as ‘The High Priestly Prayer’.”
Continuing, he added, “It’s where Jesus really poured out His heart to His Father about the cross, that the disciples were going to be left without Him, and all sorts of things like that.”
“So,” I replied, “how does a prayer that Jesus prayed a long time ago about the disciples who were with Him have any impact on you today?”
“Verse 20 of that chapter,” Stan replied, “says that Jesus prayed to His Father for the disciples. While my name is not mentioned in that prayer, I think I’m included in what Jesus prayed.”
“You?” I asked. “How?”
“The verse says that Jesus prayed not only for the disciples,” Stan replied, “but also for all who would come to believe in Him through what the disciples would say.”
“So,” I said, “you see yourself covered by this prayer? From one disciple to another, down through time, until it came to you, giving you the opportunity to believe. Is that what you’re saying?
“That’s it,” Stan replied.
“If that’s right,” I said, “it would mean that Jesus prayed for me as well. That’s exciting! God the Son prayed to God the Father that I would come to believe. That makes it really special!”
“Special, indeed,” Stan replied. “Think about it for a minute. It means that Jesus prayed for every person we, as disciples, speak to about the truth of Jesus.”
“That’s kind of like,” I said, “that Jesus has already gone before us and opened the door by His prayer so that the people we speak to about Him can come to believe.”
“Covered by the ‘High Priestly Prayer’,” Stan concluded, “prayed by the High Priest! Going from one disciple to the next. And on and on it goes!”
I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word. John 17:20.
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3, 4.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, and not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you gave Jesus for all who believe to have life eternally with you when it is time. Thank you, too, that Jesus prayed that each person who hears the truth would accept your free and gracious provision. I am forever grateful for the disciples you sent into my life to speak the truth so I could believe. I ask for your help so that I, too, speak the truth to everyone you bring before me so they also have the opportunity of believing and coming to you in faith. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Everyone who believes does so because someone presented them with the truth of God’s free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him. If you are a believer, can you point to a specific person who told you? If so, have you thanked that person for the role he or she played in your acceptance of God’s salvation? Are there any people who can point to you as the one who helped them come to faith? Would you like for that to happen? Why or why not? If you would like that, do you know how it can happen?