John 17 Selected Verses (NKJV)
9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours….. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are…..20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
We visited the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem today. I am with a group of brothers and sisters in Christ visiting the Holy Land of Israel. In the garden is a Church maintained by the Franciscan Order housing the rock on which Jesus prayed the night before His crucifixion. It is called the Basilica of theAgony. (https://www.seetheholyland.net/church-of-all-nations/) I touched that rock! It is hard to put into words the emotions and feelings that experience granted me which I share with you. It is somewhat surreal. I know I am awake and in Israel but it is like watching a video. Could I actually be in a place where Jesus prayed? The signs and the religious artifacts say so. Wow!
We were given the chance to touch the rock. I kneeled down and placed my hand on what is the top of the rock which is the part exposed in the front of the Church. The entire rock is probably six to eight feet high. Luke 22:44 (NIV) tells us that Jesus sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood as He prayed. As I felt a sense of His anguish, several verses were given me as shown above. They were the verses Scripture tells us Jesus was praying in the Garden. Jesus prayed for Himself, the Disciples and you and me. Who am I that Jesus would pray for me? Like you, I am His beloved.
Can you imagine someone praying so fervently that the stress of the prayers would cause them to sweat blood? How about that someone praying in that manner for someone He has not even met yet; someone who does not yet exist? Jesus said in John 15:13 (NIV) “13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Do you understand that? He is calling us, you and me, His friends and we hadn’t yet come into existence. How great is that loves that it extends more than two thousand years to reach us? Are you walking in that depth of love? Can you even fathom the extent to which Jesus loves you? I cannot! I’m not that good a person that He should love me. Yet, He does! Our love for the Lord pales in comparison to His love for us.
Jesus prayed so hard for you that He bled on the ground in Gethsemane. He bled and died for you. You are that precious in His sight. In light of His love for you, how will you live? Will you allow that incredible love to flow out from you to those around you who so desperately need the love of God? I pray that you will today and every day. In Jesus name!