Jesus' High Priestly Prayer
Comments for Study 22
Key verse: 17:1
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I. Jesus' Prays for God's Glory to Be Revealed Through Him (1-5)
>1. To what time was Jesus referring when he said, "Father, the time has come..."? (See John 1:29)
* The contents of John 17 is not in the other gospel accounts. However, the other accounts do record that Jesus prayed in the Mount of Olives. The most the others record Jesus saying is, "(My) (Abba) Father, (everything is possible for you) (if you are willing), take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done." (Matt. 26:38, 39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:46) The other accounts show his struggle, where John records the content of his prayer.
* John 17 is before Jesus left Jerusalem. (18:1)
* Jesus is not praying for the world, but for Christians alone.
* "After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: 'Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.'" -John 17:1
* "After Jesus said this" -Jesus had taught many things to the disciples, most of which they did not understand. (16:18)
* "He looked toward heaven and prayed" -praying is communicating to God who is in heaven on his throne. It is not talking to ourself, nor meditating.
* "up" -men are down humbly on earth, while God is high and mighty in heaven. We need to have a humble heart. (The poster of looking up is not so important, (Luke 18:9-14) as is the heart attitude.)
* "Jesus...prayed" -Jesus chose to pray before his trouble and in the mist of trouble. He did not look at the world situation (Judas betrayal, the leaders evil heart, the crowd that would say, "Crucify him", nor Pilate) and disrepair. Nor did Jesus morn for his own pitiful state. He came out of himself and above man's preoccupation with himself, and prayed.
* "Father" -God the Father is not human, but Jesus chose to call him the office of Father to describe his and our relationship with God. God has the attributes of a good father. He is loving, providing, protective, disciplining, wise, etc. Jesus was born of Mary, a virgin. Thus Jesus father really was God.
* "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'" -John 1:29
* "The time has come" -In just a few hours Jesus was about to be betrayed, arrested, tried, suffer, crucified, die and rise from the dead. He knew this.
* "The time has come" -The time we were waiting for, implying that this was prepared in advance. When was it planned? It was planned before creation.
>What was his personal prayer request? (1, 5)
* "After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: 'Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.'" -John 17:1
* "'And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.'" -John 17:5
* "Glorify" -Greek is "doxazo" from doxa to render (or esteem) glorious (in a wide application):-(make) glorify (-ious), full of (have) glory, honour, magnify. Greek is doxa, dox'-ah; from the base of dokeo; glory (as very apparent), in a wide application (lit. or fig., obj. or subj.):-dignity, glory (-ious), honour, praise, worship. Greek is dokeo, dok-eh'-o; a prol. form of a prim. verb doko, dok'-o (used only as an alt. in certain tenses; comp. the base of deiknuo, of the same mean.; to think; by impl. to seem (truthfully or uncertainly):-be accounted, (of own) please (-ure), be of reputation, seem (good), suppose, think, trow. Greek is deiknuo, dike-noo'-o; a prol. form of an obs. prim. of the same mean.; to show (lit. or fig.):-shew.
* "Glorify" -therefore means:
1) to reveal
2) to honor.
* "Father, Glorify your Son" -Jesus was asking his Father to glorify himself (Jesus). When Jesus came to this world as a man he left behind his glory. Now the time was coming when he would receive the glory again. God is wrapped in glory, inaccessible light. Jesus' appearances in the Old and New Testament is always accompanied by light.
* Jesus said, "the time has come" referring to his painful death. To Jesus this would be glory unto himself. What does this mean?
1) It would reveal to the world Jesus.
2) It would honor Jesus.
* What about Jesus would be revealed?
1) His love for fallen man.
2) His obedience to the Father.
3) His faith.
* How would this honor Jesus? Humanly there is no honor in a crucifixion. But spiritually there is for the Creator God
* Jesus' idea of glory and honor is opposite of the world's way.
>What was his life purpose? (Lk. 22:42-46; Jn. 12:27, 28)
* "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation." -Luke 22:42-46
* "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." -John 12:27-28
* He wanted to glorify God. He lived for God's glory.
* Jesus knew, but prayed anyway. He prayed this so we would learn him and follow his example.
>What should be each person's life purpose? (Ro. 11:36, and 1 Cor. 10:31)
* For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen." -Romans 11:36
* So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." -1 Corinthians 10:31
* We are to glorify God in all things; exalt, honor, and reverend.
* We should have God centered prayer.
* Our life pursuit is to not seek happiness.
* Our prayers should not be preoccupied with ourselves, but to bring glory to God.
>2. How did Jesus render glory to God while he was on earth? (4)
* "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." -John 17:4
* "completing the work" -finish, fulfill
* Paul also said at the end of this life that he finished the race.
>In what respect did Jesus' death on the cross glorify God? (Heb. 5:8; Ro. 5:8)
* "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8
* "Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered" -Hebrews 5:8
* He obeyed even though it meant the agony of the crucifixion because it brought glory to God.
* When Jesus fully obeyed to the end it brought glory to God.
* God's love for us and him was revealed. It revealed just how terrible sin is. It displayed God's holiness and his desire for us to be holy.
>How would God glorify Jesus?
* "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." -John 17:5
* Jesus would be restored to his glory that he had as creator of the world.
* "glorify me in your presence" -When Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday, he appeared to Mary and told he he had not yet gone to his Father. After he talked with her he fulfilled the Feast of the Sheaf Wave, the First Fruit, by appearing to our Father in heaven as the first to raise from the dead. That year this feast was on the Sunday he rose from the dead.
* "with the glory I had" -the bright shining glory of the Lord. Glory is "kabad" in Hebrew meaning a bright sinning cloud surrounding the LORD God. The glory of the Lord came on Mt. Sinai just after the Lord led the Israelites out of Egypt (Ex. 16:7-10, 24:16-17), in desert Tabernacle (Ex. 40:34-38; Lev. 9:6, 23; Num. 14:10), and in the Temple in Jerusalem (1 Ki. 8:10-11; and 2 Ch. 5:14, 7:1-3, Isa. 6:1-4). Jesus coming in the glory of the Lord is prophecies by Isaiah (Isaiah 4:2-6; 35:1-2; 40:4-5; 59:19-20; 60). Ezekiel also saw the glory of the Lord. (Ez. 1:25-28; 3:12, 22-23; 9:3-4; 10:3-4, 18-22; 11:22-23; 43:1-5; 44:4). Luke 2:9 says the glory of the Lord shown over the shepherds when the angles said Jesus was born. Paul calls Jesus the "Lord of glory" in 1 Cor. 2:8 and the "radiance of God's glory" in Hebrews 1:3.
>3. What authority did God give Jesus? (2)
* "For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him." -John 17:2
* "for you granted him authority" -he is in control and can not be stopped.
* "over all people" -no one is excluded. It does not matter if they acknowledge his authority or not. It does not matter if they rebel against him or obey him. It does not matter if they believe in him or not.
* "that he might give eternal life" -Jesus uses his authority to give eternal life.
* "to all those you have given him" -Not everyone is included. It is not up to our choice. It is God's decision alone.
* Luke 22:25
* Worldly authority, Satan's authority is to oppress those under them, to make them serve him.
>What is eternal life? (3)
* "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." -John 17:3
* "know" -not just a little, not just in the head, but in all of us. A personal relationship, experience, to be one with, to engage with and in, and to share his life.
* Forever in hell is not eternal life. It is eternal death.
* God is the source of life. (1:4)
* The believer's eternal life came when we accepted Jesus in our very being.
* Eternal life is not just an extension of life. Eternal life is restoration to what we were originally meant to be.
* "only true God" -there are many things that man and demons substitute as God.
>What does it mean to know God and to know Jesus whom he sent?
* It means eternal life.
* Eternal life is the continual revelation of Jesus, the Messiah.
* To know Jesus means to know eternal life for he brings us to the Father.
* God desires that we may know Jesus, the source of our life.
II. Jesus' Prays for His Disciples (6-19)
>4. Read verse 6-8.
* "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me." -John 17:6-8
>How did Jesus bring people to know God and to know himself? (3, 4, 6-7; 16:30-31)
* The disciples had already confessed after his teaching, "'Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.' 'You believe at last!' Jesus answered." -John 16:30-31
* "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." -John 17:3-4
* "'I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.'" -John 17:6-7
* "I have revealed you" -Only Jesus reveals God. We do not find him on our own. The disciples were fisherman and Jesus found them.
* "to those you gave me" -Jesus taught all people about God, but he revealed God especially to his disciples. Often he took them aside to explain the meaning of the parables. Why? Because they accepted him. Those who accept the Son will come to know the Father.
* "out of the world" -We all were called out of the world.
* "They were yours; you gave them to me" -We do not belong to ourselves, We belong to Jesus. Our life is not our own. Our life is Jesus.
* "and they have obeyed your word." -only because Jesus comes into our life can we obey God.
* "For I gave them the words you gave me..." -Jesus reveals God to men through his teachings.
* "world" -sinful, godless, selfish, unbelieving, rebellious, do not know God.
>What did Jesus want to teach his disciples?
* "'Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you and they believed that you sent me.'" -John 17:6-7
* "Now they know" -only after Jesus revealed God to us can we know they truth.
* "Now they know" -the disciples confessions early in John's account, and even Peter's confession that Jesus was the Christ were superficial belief compared to their confessions here.
* "that everything you have given me comes from you" -This is everything; life, death, the material and the spiritual universe.
* "and they accepted them" -Just hearing words is not good enough we must accept them.
* "accept" -believe with all of self
* "They knew with certainty" -the point of certainty is the point of no doubt. Certainty is an absolute in our life with God.
* "that I came from you and they believed that you sent me." -Jesus wanted his disciples to accept that he is from God. We can not be God's if we don't.
* "believed" -same as accept
* "you sent me" -God sent Jesus to us. Our goodness didn't bring God. It was God's goodness that he sent his one and only Son.
* Jesus taught his disciples;
1) God the Father
2) until they obeyed God's words (6)
3) until they knew everything God gave Jesus came from God (7)
4) until they accepted Jesus' words
5) until they knew with certainty that Jesus came from God and God sent Jesus
6) until they believed that God sent Jesus
These six things were among the fruits of Jesus' teachings and are must in a Christian life.
* Jesus' Bible study training while he was in the flesh, was now complete. It took a long time, 3 1/2 years of every day, every hour, every moment study of his words and actions.
* Jesus said many good words about his disciples in this prayer, little about the agony to come.
>What can we learn here about the importance of Bible study?
* Through it we can reveal God to others and they can believe in Jesus personally.
* Personal Bible study.
* Response to Bible study is important.
>5. Read verses 9-16.
* "'I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.'" -John 17:9-16
>Why did Jesus pray for his disciples?
* "I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me" -This is only for the disciples.
* "and glory has come to me through them" -They were difficult students/disciples/sheep. They were stubborn, proud, ignorant, not good leaders, argued amongst themselves, got Jesus in trouble, and speaking words of discouragement, and full of political ambition. Yet Jesus said this. How could he? God worked through them and he chose them.
* "but they are still in the world" -We are not to be hermits and not associate with unbelievers.
* "Holy Father" -pure, without fault, perfect, complete, whole, absolute
* Jesus viewed his disciples as;
1) his (6)
2) God's gift (9)
3) God's (10)
* We are stewards of sheep. We should not be indifferent with the attitude, "God will take care of them, so I'll leave them alone and go their own way."
>What were his prayer topics for them?
* "protect them by the power of your name" -it is not possible by human effort.
* "the name you gave me"-In old Judea a name represented a person. This is when we are in Christ.
* "so that they may be one as we are one" -we are united to Jesus similar to the way husband and wife are united.
* "While I was with them I protected them and kept them safe" -now is a different time for he was leaving them.
* "so the Scriptures may be filled" -Jesus lived to fulfill prophecy
* "but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them." -all circumstances, even if hated. But his word must be in our hearts.
* "sanctify them"
>From what was Jesus asking God to protect his disciple?
* " I have given them your word and the world has hated them" -this is the environment for Jesus disciples.
* "for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world" -We are separate. There is enmity between us.
* "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one." -Satan want to destroy us.
* "They are not of the world, even as I am not of it" -We are like Jesus. Our life will be like Jesus'.
>What does this suggest about Satan's work and God's work?
* Satan's work is to destroy God's people by dividing them from God and each other. He wants to destroy the unity so our work in glorying God is broken. He plants doubt and bitterness, and indignant heart. Satan gives good reason to dislike. Human thinking settles in.
* God's work is to unite his people and make them one so we can do his work and glorify Jesus.
* This is not talking about the division between believers and non-believers.
* Sometimes it is not easy to discern God's work and Satan's work. Satan is the great deceiver. He is a liar; a masquerader.
* We need to be humble toward other believers in Jesus. We need respect for them for they are God's people too.
* 2 Cor. 11:14
* As long as we are people of mission, bringing glory to God and Jesus, obeying Jesus Satan will try to stop us from loving God and our brothers and sisters in Christ.
* "no one has been lost except" -some will fall.
>6. Read verses 17-19.
* "'Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.'" -John 17:17-19
>Why must Jesus' disciples be sanctified?
* Because God is holy.
* We are in the world were it is not easy and pure.
>(What does this mean?)
* "Sanctify"-set apart for sacred use or made holy (see sub-note).
* Holy means separate. Dedicated to God. Not a physical separation.
* Those who use to be in the world become servants of God.
* Sanctifying for the sack of sanctifying is not good if we are not sent out.
* This glorifies God.
>Why "by the truth"?
* We can be devoted to God with the truth in our hearts.
* God's word is truth. Jesus is truth.
* The purpose of Bible study is to know Jesus so that he may sanctify us. The Holy Spirit teaches us of Jesus so we are sanctified.
>What does verse 18 mean?
* "'As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.'" -John 17:18
* Jesus has given us a mission to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.
* We are sanctified so we can be send out as his ambassadors.
* The reason why the disciples were called by Jesus to learn to be fishers of men was so that they could be fishers of men. Bible study is not for selfish gain.
* Unbelievers can't lead people to Jesus. Unsanctioned people can't lead people to Jesus. Only Jesus' people can lead people to Jesus.
>7. Why did Jesus sanctify himself?
* "For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified." -John 17:19
* To sanctify us.
* we need to be sanctified before we are sent out.
>How did Jesus sanctify himself?
* He obeyed the word and will of God completely.
III. Jesus' Prays for All Believers (20-26)
>8. What are Jesus' two main prayer topics for those who would believe through his disciples' message?
* 1) That they be one. (21a, 22b)
* 2) That they be where Jesus is and see his glory. (24)
* "My prayer" -Jesus is the great and only mediator between God and man. He is the high priest of all saints, both in the old and new testament. Jesus gives us an example to pray for others, especially those we study the Bible with. (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6, 9:15, 12:29)
* "My prayer is not for them alone." -Jesus thought about the future generation of saints. He did not just think of his 11 faithful sheep. However Jesus prayed more for his 11 sheep than all other generations. Why? Because if the 11 would have fallen away, if that were possible, then the gospel would have ended with them.
* "those who believe in me" -this prayer is restricted to believers in Jesus.
* "those who will believe in me through their message" -through our message people can believe in Jesus. Jesus expected his believers throughout the ages to witness the message to others.
* "believe in me" -believers are those who have faith in Jesus based on God's words. Some say they have faith in Jesus, but it is either not in spirit or not in truth, or both.
>What does it mean that all believers become one?
* "that all of them may be one," -this is unity between believers. This unity goes beyond gender, race, age, health, beauty, time and generations.
* "just as you are in me in me and I am in you" -The relationship between Christians is the same as Jesus, the Son's relationship is with God, his Father. The relationship they share is very close. (If it would be any closer they would be on the opposite side of each other. Ha, Ha.) Their relationship is based on love; spiritual not flesh. They are one in substance, power, and glory. The are also one in mission, hope, teaching (John 16:12-15), purpose (mission to save the world) and belief.
* "May they also be in us" -Jesus also prayed that we may be in Jesus and the Father. The omni-presence of the trinity in us in a truth and a mystery.
* "I have given the glory that you gave me" -We are made in Jesus' likeness. Even though this is not visible to us it is true. This transfiguration is in the spiritual world.
* "that they may be one as we are one" -Jesus equipped us with all we need to be one. He gave us his very nature so that we may be one. And his nature is all-inclusive.
* "I in them and you in me" -again the omnipresence of God in the believer.
* This is in the present tense.
>What is the result when all believers truly love one another?
* 1) "so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (21b)-this is also said in verse 23, "to let the world know that you sent me"
* There are many purposes for unity but one is made clear here; world salvation. From these two verses, 21 and 23 we can conclude that when we are one in the trinity and one in each other the world will know that God sent Jesus. This is a natural occurrence, like gravity and entropy.
* 2) "and loved them even as you have loved me"-this is a second natural occurrence when we are one in God and each other.
* God is glorified when we love one another.
* We have unity not for unity sake, but we are unitied for God's sake. Unity is a natural outcome of being in God and it has a natural outcome; two are mentioned above.
* God gives us what is needed to be united with him and each other. However we must accept what he gives us. We should not reject loving our brothers and sisters in Christ, just as we should not reject Jesus as Messiah and Lord.
* To further understand how God can be witnessed through believers unity one can look at how God is witnessed through the unity of a family unit. (Gen. 2:23-24)
>9. Read verse 24.
* "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." -John 17:24
>What does this second prayer topic mean?
* "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am." -Jesus is in heaven now. Yet he is also in the hearts of the believer, and he said he would be where two or more are gathered in his name. It could be any or the combination of.
* "and to see my glory" -Jesus' glory was revealed on the mount of transfiguration, Paul (Saul) saw Jesus' glory, and John in the book of Revelation saw Jesus' glory. Jesus also refereed to his crucifixion as glory. Also Jesus' glory is revealed when he changes a person from a sinner to a saint.
* "the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." -since Jesus mentions the glory he had before the creation of the world we can conclude that he means we will see him in his original glory in heaven.
* "Because you loved me." -Jesus mentions the eternal love that God the Father has for Jesus.
* "before the creation of the world" -Jesus mentions his existence before creation. He is God. God loved him then.
>What is the best blessing Jesus wants his followers to have?
* "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me." -John 17:25.
* "Righteous Father" -All God does is right and good.
* "The world does not know you, I know you" -The world offers a lot, but they can not give a relationship or even a revealing of God for they don't know him. This goes for Buddha, Confucius, Muhammad, Harry Krishna, etc.
* "And they know that you have sent me"- The disciples know.
* The best blessing is knowing God.
>What hope does this prayer plant in believers?
* "I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." -John 17:26
* "I have made you known to them" -through many things but as indicated when he prayed for the 11 the words he spoke is the most common and effectual way he made God known to us.
* "and will continue to make you know" -We will know God more and more if we remain in Jesus. We will understand him more. This give us hope that God will complete the task he started in us and in our sheep. How does Jesus do this? Jesus and the Holy Spirit obviously work together to doe this. In Matt. 28 Jesus said, "Surely I will be with you until the end of the age."
* "in order that the love you have for me may be in them" -the first result.
* "and that I myself may be in them" -the second result.