“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 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. I am praying for them.” (John 17:6-9a)
At this point in His farewell to His disciples Jesus has finished His teaching and His words of encouragement and exhortation that they remain faithful. He then presented His final words in a form of a prayer which is often called His High Priestly prayer. In this prayer Jesus acted as intercessor with the Father. He asked for strength for Himself that He glorify the Father by carrying out the onerous task of redeeming mankind by dying on the cross. He asked for courage and faith for the disciples that none of them would fall away from faith though they would be sorely tested. He prayed also for all who would believe in Him because of the message of the disciples, which includes us. He prayed that we might share the unity He has with the Father.
In these difficult and chaotic days, we need Jesus’ intercession every moment of every day. Thanks to the media and the Internet we are deluged by temptations to sin, to compromise our faith, and to abandon the truth of the gospel in favor of cultural relativism. We cannot hope to remain holy or true to our calling without His help. And, lest we despair because of our weakness and failure, we can be assured by the intercession of Jesus that the Lord will grant us forgiveness and grace as well as the strength and wisdom to remain in Him.