15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world,
Jesus did not pray that the Father would keep the apostles from trouble; otherwise, they would have had to leave the world. It was important that they kept meaningful contact with the world so that they could share the gospel properly. Their mission transcended any hassle they might face. To remove the apostles from the world would have left their mission unaccomplished.
but that You should keep them from the evil one.
Jesus made two requests to the Father for the apostles: (1) that they would be kept from the evil one and (2) for their consecration to ministry by the truth (v. 17).
Jesus’ prayer was not to keep the apostles from difficulties but that the Father would protect them from satanic power. Satan is essentially a deceptive being.
God does not eliminate difficulties from believers, but He sustains them in trial.
God’s purpose is not to remove believers from danger but to sustain them in it. We have a mission to discharge, but we need to rest in God’s sovereign hand through it all.
Satan is behind human viewpoint. He hates divine viewpoint. His followers also have hostile attitudes about divine viewpoint. They come with the thinking of their father, the devil (Jn 8:44). He is no mythological figure dressed in a red jumpsuit who carries a pitchfork. He is like a roaring lion seeking to gulp down (Greek) the followers of Christ (1 Pe 5:8). His entire worldview is set against God’s view of reality. The Bible warns us against adopting his viewpoint (1 Jn 2:15-17).
Satan stands behind all sinister attempts to dissuade people from ministry (1 Jn 5:18). Those who minister need special protection from this evil one (Eph 6:11, 12; 1 Th 2:18).