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by | May 8, 2024 | New Life, Purity, Unity

“Holy Father, keep them in Your name, which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as we are One. While I was with them, I kept them in Your Name, which You have given Me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate Myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”

(John 17:11b-19 ESV)

Sometimes people who are seriously ill get an organ transplant. Doctors take a kidney or a liver or even a heart from someone else and put it into the sick person’s body. If all goes well, the new organ does its job the way it should, and the person’s life is saved.

But to do its job right, the transplanted organ needs to do three things. It has to stay itself—it’s no good if the transplant changes to have the same problem that the original organ had. The transplant has to stay together—heart cells or kidney cells can’t do their job if they’re scattered all over the place! And it has to be inside the body to make the whole body healthier.

This is a lot like what Jesus is doing with us. On the night before He died, He prayed this prayer with His disciples listening—and what did He ask the Father for? That we should stay Christian, and not go back to being “of the world.” That we should stay united, loving each other and functioning together as Christ’s people. And that we should be in the world, passing on the life and light and joy that God has given us through Jesus Christ our Savior.

It’s a tricky balance to keep. That’s why Jesus was praying so urgently about this. He knew that He was about to finish His work—to suffer, die, and rise again for all of us, so that everyone who trust in Him will have life with God forever. And after that, He would have only 40 days before returning to heaven to be with the Father. Who would protect us? Who would keep us safe and functional and united? God the Holy Spirit.

Jesus has not left us alone. Even though He has returned to the Father, He keeps His promise to stay with us always. And He has given us a wonderful gift—the Spirit who gives us life and faith and joy, to be with us always.

We Pray: Lord, thank You for loving us and giving us the Spirit. We look forward to Your coming back. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on May 9, 2024
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. How does God keep you in the Christian faith?
2. Why is it so hard to stay faithful to Jesus when we’re cut off from other believers?
3. What benefits has God given the world through Jesus’ people? Name as many as you can.


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