Prayer for Persuaders and Persuaded
John 17:20
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;…

I. PRAYER FOR THE PERSUADERS Jesus says, "Neither pray I for these alone;" that means by implication his prayer for these. Jesus prays for those who will believe on him through the word of his servants; that means his prayer for those who will speak the word which produces the faith. Jesus had spoken to his servants in language of tenderness, energy, and strength, altogether unequalled. They had to go out on a great errand; they had a glorious message to take; they were being made ready to taste the sweetness of a great privilege.; and nothing was left undone that would stamp on their minds an indelible impression of all this. And in this verse the prayer of Jesus for these special servants of his comes to a transition stage. The service they had to render is indicated. They had to go out to speak to men in such a way as that listeners would be won to give themselves up entirely to the disposition of Jesus. Their word, coming from the depths of believing hearts, filled with spiritual energy, would produce like precious faith in others. They believed, therefore they spoke. They believed, therefore they could not help speaking. They believed, because they had found out their own need as sinning, sorrowing human beings; and therefore they felt sure that other sinning, sorrowing human beings would also believe when saving and comforting truth was placed in its beautiful fullness before their eyes. Jesus is quite sure about what will happen. All through the prayer one unbroken spirit of confidence prevails. Jesus prays for those whom he is quite sure will persuade men to believe on him.

II. PRAYER FOR THE PERSUADED. Jesus sends his desires into the future that he knows is coming. The beginning of that future was close at hand. Believers came by thousands. No doubt there was a something that made them so ready to hear. He who sent down the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, knew well that it would not be a barren day so far as the eliciting of human faith was concerned. The glory of Pentecost was not in the mighty rushing wind or the tongues of fire; it was rather in the multitude who believed, accepting the testimony of the apostles as to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And the apostles would then have to expound things more fully to these believers, attentive in the freshness of their new faith, and grateful for such a wondrous outlook into eternity. Then would they tell them how Jesus had already prayed for them, being sure of what would happen. He knew the believers were coming, and saw their coming from afar. Thus the prayer for Jesus needed its answer soon; and it has always needed an answer. There have always been believers to pray for, and always believers needing to be prayed for, and brought into all the giving and receiving that belongs to true unity. True unity is the mark of a loving, growing, joy-bringing Christianity. The discordant elements of the world make the curse of worldliness. Rivalries and antipathies fill the world. Over against this Jesus wants to see true unity - that which comes through the free play of the individual conscience and affections. The more we live as we ought to live, the more we stretch out, as it were, hooks and eyes by which we get connected with the world at large. The individual Christian feels the sufferings and losses of others as if they were his own. The whole world of men and women is a corporate unity. As long as there is suffering anywhere, there must be suffering everywhere. - Y.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

WEB: Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word,

Friends Mistaken for Foes
Top of Page
Top of Page