After his recounting that all the father gave the Son has been kept except the “son of destruction,” Jesus now assures the disciples that he is going to the Father and does not focus on his departure. It was a joyful thought that he would once again enjoy the position he had with the Father and he speaks these things “in the world” or in the ears of the disciples so that they would know that his departure is ultimately a good thing though painful for a while. This joy that Jesus experienced is something he desired the disciples to experience as well.
Jesus is not leaving the disciples alone, however. He is giving them God’s word. The have God’s word is a great value. It also separates those who love God from those who hate him. In fact the connection is that those who hate God hate those who belong to God specifically because they are not like the world but will be like God. God’s reflection is seen in those who belong to him and the Word is the mechanism whereby God instills his image in his people. In short, the world hates the disciples because their values and philosophy and way of life is not like the world but like God.
Even though we are not of this world, Jesus does not pray we are taken out of the world but are left in the world. The reason they are left is that Jesus is sending them into the world to be salt and light. Jesus prays, however, that in the world his disciples would be protected from the evil one. The devil hates God and by extension hates the saints who belong to him. Satan empowers the world and Jesus prays that Satan’s work would not overcome the disciples.
Let us pray that as the Father glorifies himself in Christ, let us also glorify God through Christ.