I spelled out your character in detail To the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; Then you gave them to me, And they have now done what you said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them; And they took it, and were convinced That I came from you. They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them. I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world But for those you gave me, For they are yours by right.
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine, And my life is on display in them.
For I'm no longer going to be visible in the world; They'll continue in the world While I return to you. Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life That you conferred as a gift through me, So they can be one heart and mind
As we are one heart and mind. As long as I was with them, I guarded them In the pursuit of the life you gave through me; I even posted a night watch. And not one of them got away, Except for the rebel bent on destruction (the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).
Now I'm returning to you. I'm saying these things in the world's hearing So my people can experience My joy completed in them.
I gave them your word; The godless world hated them because of it, Because they didn't join the world's ways,
Just as I didn't join the world's ways. I'm not asking that you take them out of the world But that you guard them from the Evil One.
They are no more defined by the world Than I am defined by the world.
Make them holy - consecrated - with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth.
In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.
I'm consecrating myself for their sakes So they'll be truth-consecrated in their mission.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)