John 17:9-13 – I pray for them. I don’t pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you have given me I have kept. None of them is lost, except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to you, and I say these things in the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves.
Jesus makes it very clear about who He is praying for in this section. The things that He says here don’t apply to “the world” but only to one group of people.” In the world we hear people say that all religions are equal, but Jesus doesn’t see it that way. Some people believe that everyone in the world is a child of God. In a sense that is true because they were all created by God, but Jesus is singling out the group that will actually be saved from destruction because of sin.
The Father didn’t give Jesus the whole world even though Jesus did die for it. He gave Him a group of people out of the world. It says here that we are kept by Jesus name. All of us who are saved by Jesus are parts of each other. We hold together by Jesus name. We are kept so that we can be one together with each other and with the Father and Jesus. The world is divided between those who believe in Jesus and those who don’t.
Notice that Jesus takes personal responsibility for making sure that “none of them is lost.” It is Jesus who does the keeping. It isn’t your church or a preacher. It is Jesus who keeps us together to this very day. It is good for all of us to do whatever we can to help each other not fall as we grow together, but Jesus is the one who works in our churches and our preachers when things are working correctly.