Updated: Aug 16, 2021
Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17. Jesus, the Son of God, prayed for us! “’Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one . . . that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves . . . that you keep them from the evil one.” Jesus prayed these things for his disciples, “but not for these only . . . also for those who will believe in my through their word” (17:11-21). And soon after, Jesus was betrayed and arrested. Not only his words, but his actions show his great love for us. He went to the cross to save those for whom he prayed.
Shortly after, a servant girl said to Peter, “’You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?’” He said, ‘I am not’” (18:17). Two more times, Peter denied Jesus, who had just prayed so lovingly for him and for us. Surely, when given the opportunity, Jesus would return the favor and deny Peter. But, no. John and Peter, at the empty tomb, “went in, and saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead” (20:8,9). In the locked room, Jesus “showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you’” (20:20,21). Jesus loved them to the end, and he was quick to forgive and to speak peace to those who were his. How terrible was Peter’s denial! How great was Jesus’ mercy! John Newton’s words remind us of our own weakness and Jesus’ grace.
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
in a believer’s ear!
It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds,
and drives away our fear.
How weak the effort of my heart,
how cold my warmest thought;
but when I see you as you are,
I’ll praise you as I ought. (1779)