Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
It’s kind of like a genealogy. Jesus begat the church, starting with these faithful believers in Christ who were committed to the Lord, to His truth, to His people, and to obeying His commands and His commission. We can trace our spiritual family and history all the way back to those disciples and the impact they had on the world in sharing the Gospel of Christ. Peter told this person, and then they told someone, and that person told someone else, and then generations later, someone told us, and we came to know Jesus as our Savior.
It truly is an amazing legacy. And way back then, Jesus prayed for us, the fruit of those labors and their efforts and their faithfulness, even before He went to the cross to die for us. He could see already in these men the eternal results that were yet to come. He could see all the way down the line to us believing in Him because of the events that were soon to occur in His life. He could see a church, a united body of believers down through the centuries. He knew all the lives that would be touched and changed by just a few faithful people.
It may seem like a risky plan to entrust humans with such a task, fallible and limited as we are. But enabled by His Spirit, that work has continued for thousands of years. There has never been a time since the day Jesus died where there were not true believers in Christ. We’re part of something much bigger than just ourselves and just our generation. We’re part of an eternal body of believers who are joined together by our Lord and Savior.
And we have our part to do today to keep the chain going, to bear fruit from our own spiritual lives and invest in the lives of others so they might come to know Christ as their Savior, too, so they can know they are loved by God and can be part of His family, so they can find their place and serve alongside, and so the process can continue until Jesus comes for His church. There is still a world that needs to believe, so may we be faithful to show Christ to them so they can become part of the family.