May 5th John 17 The Lord Prays
1: These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3: And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4: I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5: And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. 6: I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. 7: Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 8: For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. 9: I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10: And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 11: And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12: While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13: And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14: I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15: I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16: They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18: As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19: And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20: Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22: And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24: Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25: O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26: And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
Now the Lord turns from teaching to prayer. He prays in the presence of his disciples and of course John records it for our edification. And what a prayer it is. First Christ prays for the Glory of the Father and the Son. The Lord asks that the Father will glorify him in the redemptive work that he is about to do. Gods Character and ways are going to be revealed to the world once and forever in the ultimate ministry of Christ upon the Cross. All that God is will be revealed his love, his justice, his holiness, his grace. Everything will be displayed for those who have eyes to see. This will be done even as the Father has given to his Son authority to give eternal life to those that the Father has given to the Son. Believers are the Fathers Love gift to the Son. And what is Eternal life? It is the personal experience of fellowship which the believer experiences and it is an eternal relationship. Christ’s ministry as a Prophet has been completed now he takes up the ministry of the priest. Now he is going to offer up an eternal sacrifice, himself. Now Christ asks the Father to glorify him with the Glory he had before the world was. Christ never laid aside his glory but now he asks that the glory might be revealed. Next Christ prays about the men that God has given him. He prays that the word that he has given them might remain in them. He says l am no longer in the world but they are in the world. Christ prays for the well being of the disciples in the world. he prays that the Father will keep them through his own name those that have been given him. That they might be one. He prays for the unity of the disciples. He says the world hates them but l do not pray that they might be taken out of the world but that they might be kept from the evil one. They do not belong to the world just as l do not belong to the world. Set them apart, he says, through your truth. Then Christ turns his attention to those in the future who will believe on him through their word. Who are these people? Most of the time Christians immediately jump on this and claim it for themselves, but wait a moment the Church – which is his body, is not in view yet. What Christ is almost certainly thinking of is those jews of the future who will see the returning Christ in power and great glory and they will believe in him. So what links the Apostles to these future believers? They believe on me through their word. What links the men of the tribulation to the apostles is a common faith based on the common word of God which the Apostles wrote. Christ prays that they ALL might be one. Jewish unity does not just have width it has length. They will united today to the apostles of the first days. And the glory that Christ gives is to believers in his messianic claims. And why does he do this? That the world may know that Christ was sent of the Father. And that the world may know that the Father loves them in the same way as the Son is loved of the Father. Lastly he prays that the whole company of Jewish believers that they might eventually come to be with Christ where he is, so that they might behold his glory, in his kingdom. His ultimate purpose is the love of the Father might be in them and Christ in them. What a prayer, what heights of blessing are described. May we lift our eyes from this world to see the coming Lord of glory.