Joh 17:12 While I was with them, I was protecting them by your name that you have given me. I guarded them and not one of them is lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture may be fulfilled.
Joh 17:13 Now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy completed in them.
Joh 17:14 I have given them your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
When I read these words, I think of the song by Bob Hartman, as sung by Petra:
“We are pilgrims in a strange land
We are so far from our homeland
With each passing day it seems so clear
This world will never want us here
We’re not welcome in this world of wrong
We are foreigners who don’t belong.”
The song goes on to talk about believers leaving the world, but that was not what Jesus prayed. He goes on to pray in the next verse “I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”
The difference in us is not because we are being fitted for a trip to heaven. It is because we are learning to be like the Son, who came from heaven. Being like Jesus is what makes us not welcome in this world.
Lord, despite it making us unwelcome, mold us into your image.