Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.”
This was not a universal prayer.
It was a prayer including within it a certain class and portion of mankind, who are designated as “those whom the Father had given him.”
Now we are taught to believe that God the Father did, from before the foundation of the world, give unto his Son Jesus Christ a number whom no man can number, who were to be the reward of his death, the purchase of the travail of his soul; who were to be infallibly brought unto everlasting glory by the merits of his passion, and the power of his resurrection.
These are the people here referred to.
Sometimes in Scripture they are called the elect, because when the Father gave them to Christ he chose them out from among men. At other times they are called the beloved, because God’s love was set upon them of old.
They are called Israel; for like Israel of old, they are a chosen people, a royal generation. They are called God’s inheritance, for they are especially dear to God’s heart; and as a man cares for his inheritance and his portion, so the Lord cares especially for them.
The people whom Christ here prays for, are those whom God the Father out of his own free love and sovereign good pleasure ordained unto eternal life, and who, in order that his design might be accomplished, were given into the hands of Christ the Mediator, by him to be redeemed, sanctified, and perfected, and by him to be glorified everlastingly.
These people, and none others, are the object of our Savior’s prayer.
It is not for me to defend the doctrine; it is Scriptural, that is my only defense. It is not for me to vindicate God from any profane charge of partiality or injustice. If there be any wicked enough to impute this to him, let them settle the matter with their Maker. Let the thing formed, if it have arrogance enough, say to him that formed it, “Why hast thou made me thus?” I am not God’s apologist, he needs no defender. . . .
Can you now from your inmost soul say, “Who have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee!”
If so, trouble not your minds about election, there is nothing troublesome in election to you.
He that believes is elected, he who is given to Christ now, was given to Christ from before the foundation of the world. You need not dispute divine decrees, but sit down and draw honey out of this rock, and wine out of this flinty rock.
Oh, it is a hard, hard doctrine to a man who has no interest in it, but when a man has once a title to it, then it is like the rock in the wilderness, it streams with refreshing water whereat myriads may drink and never thirst again. . . .
If you be given to Christ now, you are among the happy number for whom he intercedes above, and you shall be gathered amongst the glorious throng, to be with him where he is, and to behold his glory.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, from the sermon The Redeemer’s Prayer, delivered on April 18th, 1858, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens