In a discussion on Calvinism someone asked me about John 17:9, where Jesus tells His Father, “I do not pray for the world, but for those who You have given me.” This person used it in support of the view that some are born to be saved while others are not. Why did Jesus say that?
John 17 is divided into 3 parts. In John 17:1-5 Jesus prayed for Himself. John 17:6-19 was meant for His disciples, which is why He said He wasn’t praying for the world in verse 9. In John 17:20-26 He prayed for all believers. In John 17:20 the Lord said He was praying for “those who will believe in Me.” The Greek word translated believe means to place their trust in Him. It comes from a root that means to be persuaded and implies choice, not predestination.