“I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them.” John 17:26
John 17 is a very special chapter because it is where Jesus prays for us. In this prayer we find that Jesus’ chief concern is not to do with our sins or shortcomings or that we get busy doing His work. His chief concern is our relationship with God and with one another. Jesus had taught about God and now He wants future followers to continue to grow in their knowledge of God and His love.
In Romans 5:5 it says, “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us.” Here is God’s answer to Jesus’ prayer He has put His love into our hearts. Yet sometimes we are tempted to keep God at arm’s length thinking He is displeased with us. But He longs for us to come to Him. When Jesus appointed the twelve in Mark 3:14 His first instruction is that they “be with him”. This desire is in this prayer as well (v.24), “I want those you have given me to be with me where I am.”
God longs more than anything else to have a close, personal relationship with us. As he said over Jerusalem, “how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”