John 17:9

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them that you have given me; for they are yours.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
When He adds, I pray not for the world, by the world He means those who live according to the lust of the world, and have not the lot to be chosen by grace out of the world, as those had for whom He prayed: But for them which you have given Me. It was because the Father had given Him them, that they did not belong to the world. Nor yet had the Father, in giving them to the Son, lost what He had given: For they are Yours. It is sufficiently apparent from hence, that all things which the Father has, the Only-Begotten Son has; has in that He is God, born from the Father, and equal with the Father; not in the sense in which the elder son is told, All that I have is yours. For all there means all creatures below the holy rational creature, but here it means the very rational creature itself, which is only subjected to God. Since this is God the Father’s, it could not at the same time be God the Son’s, unless the Son were equal to the Father. For it is impossible that saints, of whom this is...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
1. When the Lord was speaking to the Father of those whom He already had as disciples, He said this also among other things: I pray for them. I pray not for the world, but for those whom You have given me. By the world, He now wishes to be understood those who live according to the lust of the word, and stand not in the gracious lot of such as were to be chosen by Him out of the world. Accordingly it is not for the world, but for those whom the Father has given Him, that He expresses Himself as praying: for by the very fact of their having already been given Him by the Father, they have ceased to belong to that world for which He refrains from praying. 2. And then He adds, For they are Yours. For the Father did not lose those whom He gave, in the act of giving them to the Son; since the Son still goes on to say, And all mine are Yours, and Yours are mine. Where it is sufficiently apparent how it is that all that belongs to the Father belongs also to the Son; in this way, namely, tha...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
I pray for them (that Thou wouldst make them grow in the knowledge and love of Thee and Me): I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. And hence heretics in the time of S. Augustine (making a wrong use of his writings) taught that Christ prayed only for the predestinate; and that therefore whatever sins they committed could not hurt them, and that no good works could be of avail for the reprobate. This heresy was renewed by John Huss and Martin Luther. But Scripture teaches us that Christ was born and died for all men, even the reprobate, or rather for those who would be reprobated on account of their sins. See Luke 23:34; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; John 1:9; 1 Timothy 2:4. Because Christ, for His part, provides all men with the necessary means for salvation. His sacraments are constituted for all. His Apostles He sent to all nations. He offers His teaching and His grace to all. He has sufficiently done His part for their salvation. But He her...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
CHAPTER VIII. That nothing which is spoken of as belonging to the Father will be excluded from the kingdom of the Son, for Both alike rule over all. He once more mediates as Man, the Reconciler and Mediator of God and men; and being our truly great and all-holy High Priest, by His own prayers He appeases the anger of His Father, sacrificing Himself for us. For He is the Sacrifice, and is Himself our Priest, Himself our Mediator, Himself a blameless Victim, the true Lamb Which taketh away the sin of the world. The Mosaic ceremonial was then, as it were, a type and transparent shadowing forth of the mediation of Christ, shown forth in the last times, and the high priest of the Law indicated in his own person that Priest Who is above the Law. For the things of the Law are shadows of the truth. For the inspired Moses, and with him the eminent Aaron, continually intervened between God and the assembly of the people; at one time deprecating God's anger for the transgressions of the people...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
I pray for them, I pray not for the world. That is, now in this prayer, when I desire special graces and assistances for them, to discharge their duty, as my apostles; yet we must take notice, that (ver. 20.) Christ prays for all those, who should believe in him. He also prayed (Luke xxiii. 34.) for all, even for those that crucified him, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Witham) The prayer I now offer up to thee, O my Father, is all in behalf of my disciples, it is not for the world. I pray not now for the incredulous Jews, nor for such of the Gentiles as shall afterwards believe in me; for them I will pray at another time. At present I speak to thee for my apostles only: they call for my first care, because they are thine, and thou has given them to me. (Calmet) Jesus Christ prayed with an absolute and an efficacious prayer, for all those, for whom his prayer was to be heard: he begged for them, whatever his Father had predestined to give them; but he asked for...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
As the disciples were still sad in spite of all our Lord’s consolations, henceforth Headdresses Himself to the Father to show the love which He had for them; I pray for them; Henot only gives them what He has of His own, but entreats another for them, as a still further proof of His love. He often repeats, you have given Me, to impress on them that it was all according to the Father’s will, and that He did not come to rob another, but to take unto Him His own. Then to show them that this power had not been lately received from the Father, He adds, And all Yours, and Yours are Mine: as if to say, Let no one, hearing Me say, Them which You have given Me, suppose that they are separated from the Father; for Mine are His: nor because I said, They are Yours, suppose that they are separate from Me: for whatever is His is Mine. Then He gives proof of this, I am glorified in them. If they glorify Me, believing in Me and You, it is certain that I have power over them: for no one is glorified b...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
What sayest Thou? Do You teach the Father, as though He were ignorant? Do You speak to Him as to a man who knows not? What then means this distinction? Do you see that the prayer is for nothing else than that they may understand the love which He has towards them? For He who not only gives what He has of His own, but also calls on Another to do the same, shows greater love. What then is, I pray for them? Not for all the world, He says, but for them whom You have given Me. He continually puts the hast given, that they might learn that this seems good to the Father. Then, because He had said continually, they are Yours, and, You gave them unto Me, to remove any evil suspicion, and lest any one should think that His authority was recent, and that He had but now received them, what says He? ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
To make it clear that everything He has been saying to the Father is purely for the benefit of His disciples, the Lord now adds, “I pray for them, and not for the world. I love and take care of My disciples; I bestow upon them what is Mine; and I beseech You, Father, to protect them. I do not pray to You on behalf of coarse, vulgar men who think about nothing except this world; I pray … for them whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.” When the Lord says, whom Thou hast given Me, this does not mean that the Father only recently gave Him authority over these men. It does not mean that there was a time when the Father had this authority, but the Son did not, nor that the Father lost this authority when that the Son gained it. To make this clear, the Lord declares, “All Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine. For as long as they have been Yours, they have been Mine, for all Thine are Mine. They did not come into My possession a moment ago. And the fact that they are Mine in no way implie...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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