9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.
Jesus had declared that the apostles had come to adequately believe in His message, and He now prayed for their protection (Jn 17:9-15).
“I pray for [concerning] them.
Jesus prayed for the apostles before He chose them (Lu 6:12). Now He presently prayed that their faith would not fail as they would be confronted by a hostile world (Lu 22:32). He would continue to pray for them after He returned to glory (Ro 8:34; He 7:25).
I do not pray for the world
Jesus did not pray in general for the unregenerate world here. This does not imply that He had no concern for the world. Since God loves the entire world (Jn 3:16), He wants the world to believe (Jn 17:21).
but for those whom You have given Me,
The “those” here were the apostles. Jesus would later pray for all believers (Jn 16:20). His prayer was for their protection (v. 11) and sanctification (v.17).
for they are Yours.
Jesus did not claim exclusive ownership of the apostles but recognized they were the Father’s as well.
And all Mine are Yours,
All the apostles were both Jesus’ and the Father’s possession. There is a dynamic community between the Father and the Son. We cannot separate the interests of the Father and Son; they function as one.
The ground of Jesus’ prayer was the unity that He has with the Father. It went back to their purpose from eternity. His disciples had been in God’s plan from eternity past.
and Yours are Mine,
There is unity in what the Father and Son do together. What belongs to one belongs to the other. What is of interest to one is a concern to the other. No mere human being could pray this prayer.
and I am glorified in them.
Although the world rejected Jesus, the apostles embraced Him and His incarnation. They glorified Him for who and what He was. They were the means of glorifying Jesus on earth. The hour of our Lord’s death and departure would also bring new triumphs to the 11 apostles.
The church is Jesus’ own possession, not ours.
There is a danger in claiming that “this church is my church.” Rather, we should say, “This is God’s work” or “This is Jesus’ work for this time and place.”