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

This chapter is special because it’s where Jesus prays for us. In this prayer, we find that Jesus’ chief concern isn’t 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 his followers to continue to grow in their knowledge of God and his love.

Paul writes, “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5). 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 draw near to him. When Jesus appointed the twelve, his first instruction is that they “be with him” (Mark 3:14). His desire for us to, “be with him” is also expressed in his prayer, “I want those you have given me to be with me where I am” (verse 24).

God longs more than anything else to have a close, personal relationship with us. 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.”

Today let’s be willing to allow God to draw us near to himself.