"I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." John 17:14-16
In this, Jesus' heartfelt yet triumphant prayer rendered just hours before his death, he is mindful of his apostles and those who would believe in him based on their words. It can first be seen that Jesus has prepared them by educating them. He taught them the word of God as it was given to Jesus himself. The Hebrews (which they were) were very familiar with God's word through what we now refer to as the Old Testament, however, Jesus came and, for all intents and purposes, updated those things written by the prophets. It was this word that he lived, breathed and taught. And it is this word that we still enjoy today.
Secondly, he acknowledges that this same word would cause real difficulties for those who embrace it. It is no secret that when one goes against the societal grain, things can become rough. Jesus challenged the status quo of not only the Jewish religious hierarchy but unrighteousness in general. No one likes their negative deeds exposed to and by the light, but Jesus is in fact that Light and called upon all of his followers to be light also. The goal was not to shame or blame but to offer salvation from the darkness. Some would be willing, and others would fight to preserve their dark real estate.
For this reason, Jesus granted ambassadorship for all who accepted him. This means that our home is a heavenly one but that our residence is an earthly one. The reason we reside is to do the work of an ambassador who represents the heavenly realm of origin. We therefore are not lifted out of our circumstances but Jesus prays for our protection within our circumstances because darkness, be it human or spiritual, means us no good.
From all of this beloved, we can derive our purpose as disciples of Christ. We have work to do. That work is sometimes unpopular and uncomfortable, but also rewarding and soul saving. We are already citizens of heaven but yet on assignment in a foreign field. Let us earnestly and enthusiastically embrace our assignment in anticipation of one day going home. Let us be one in deed and in purpose with our Savior.