John 17 is sometimes referred to as the other Lord’s Prayer. Instead of teaching us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven…” as with the traditional Lord’s Prayer, John 17 is an entire chapter where Jesus prays to his Father in heaven for his disciples.
He prayed this prayer right before he went to the cross to die for our sins, rise from the dead and then ascend into heaven. So he is thinking about the world he will leave behind, the world that his beloved disciples will have to contend with. In these verse from the other Lord’s Prayer, Jesus mentions the world eight times:
John 17:14–18: Jesus said, “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.”
In verse14 Jesus says that the world hates us because of the word of the Father that Jesus has given us. Why would Jesus give us a something that would make the world hate us? It’s because it is only through the word of the Father that we can be born into the kingdom of God.
Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:23 “You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” Through the power of the Word we are born again into a heavenly kingdom that the world cannot accept.
In John 6:68 Peter asks Jesus, “Lord to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life?”
The world hates us because Jesus has given us the word of his Father, a word that he personally delivered and through the power of that word we are transferred to the eternal kingdom of God.
In verse 15 Jesus addresses the evil one: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one.”
As evil as this world is, Jesus wants us to stay here. The only reason that could be is that there are more people out there waiting to hear the word and believe.
Jesus prays that as we spread his word to those who do not yet know him, we are protected from the evil one.
This world would be a much different place if the devil were not here. Yes, there are a lot of bad things in the world but the biggest threat we face in the world is from the evil one.
The evil one constantly tries to get us to believe that the things of this world are more important than the things of God. The evil one tries to make good look bad and bad look good.
In verse 16 Jesus says that we are not of the world, just as he is not of this world.
Jesus came to this world from heaven and then, forty days after he rose from the dead he triumphantly ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. He returned to his proper home.
We who follow Jesus are not of this world either. We are not of this world simply because there is nothing that this world can offer us that is better than what Jesus gives us. Jesus gives us life eternal.
In verse 17 Jesus prays, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
Another reason the world hates Jesus and us is because of our truth claims. We believe that Jesus is the truth. The world can’t handle that.
In John 18:37b Jesus tells Pontius Pilate, “Everyone who is of the truth listens to me”
In John 8:31-32 Jesus says “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.
In I John 5:11-12 John makes a similar bold statement: “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life. And this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
Jesus asks the heavenly Father to “Sanctify us in the truth.” To sanctify means to cleanse.
I John 1:8-9 says, “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
There is no truth more important than to know that we are sinners and that when we confess our sins to our faithful God he will forgive and cleanse us for the sake of Jesus.
But the world is not interested in a truth that sanctifies. The world prefers to remain in its sinful filth.
And in verse 18 Jesus says, “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”
When Jesus met with his disciples on the evening of the day of his resurrection he said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21)
And as God sent Jesus, so Jesus sends us. We often think of our limitations as we go out into the world. The thing to focus on is the one who sent us. Jesus, our risen and ascended Lord is the one who sends us.
As Jesus tells his disciples in Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
This is what keeps us from being afraid of going out into the world. As God sent Jesus, Jesus sends us. Would he send us without protecting us? No way!
Jesus did leave the world but he is still with us. He is with us in a way that the world could care less about. He is with us in his Holy Supper. To the world the Holy Communion looks like a useless ceremony of some words and a little bread and wine. But since the bread and wine are joined with God’s almighty Word it is a blessed sacrament and assurance of Jesus’ presence with us.
It’s a big world out there with Satan as its king. But we have the truth found in God’s Word. And we are sent into the world to bring the truth. There is no greater truth than to know that for Jesus’ sake we are cleansed from all sin.