In this passage Jesus prays for his disciples: we can assume that the
living Christ intercedes (prays) for us along the same lines as he did for
his earliest followers.
Jesus believes his disciples were people given to him by his Father. His
father had given him the words to speak to them, and these followers had
accepted and were now living on the basis of Jesus’ words.
He prays above all that the disciples be “protected’ now that he is going
to have to leave them. He means protected not just from physical danger or
accident, but “from the evil one” , for they are not of the world, and the
evil one will therefore target them in spiritual warfare.
And secondly Jesus prays that his disciples will have “the full measure
of (his joy within them)”. Not that they will be happy, for he knows that
this world will deliver many things that will make them at times unhappy,
but rather that they will have joy. What is the difference between happiness
and joy? That’s for us to ponder, though the clue is the word “within”. Joy
is an inner experience not dependant on outer circumstances.