Harmony of the Gospels

Date: Thursday P.M.—The last week of His life
Location: Jerusalem
Title:
Last Speech to the Apostles and Intercessory Prayer
Scripture: John 17


 We now come to what is known as the High-Priestly prayer of the Lord Jesus. In this prayer, He made intercession for His own. It is a picture of His present ministry in heaven where He prays for His people.

 

 

 

Introduction

In this, His high priestly prayer, Jesus prayed for Himself (vv. 1–5), His disciples (vv. 6–19), and all of His church (vv. 20–26).

The prayer reveals our Lord’s spiritual priorities: glorifying the Father (v. 1), the unity of the church (vv. 21–23), the sanctity of the church (v. 17), and the winning of a lost world (vv. 18–19). Are these priorities in your life?

It also reveals the gifts He has given His people: eternal life (vv. 2–3), the Word (vv. 8, 14), and His glory (v. 22). But note that believers are the Father’s gift to Him (vv. 2, 6, 9, 11–12), just as Jesus is the Father’s love gift to us ( John 3:16)[1]. It is all of grace!

The word world appears nineteen times in this prayer, for this prayer tells us how to “overcome the world” ( John 16:33)[2]. We must seek God’s glory first (vv. 1–5), experience His joy (v. 13), be sanctified by the Word (v. 17), seek to win the lost (vv. 18–19), and encourage the unity of God’s people (vv. 20–23).

Glory is another key word. Christ laid aside His glory to come to earth (v. 5b), glorified God on earth (v. 4), and was glorified when He returned to heaven (v. 5a). Christ is glorified in His church (v. 10) and has shared His glory with the church (vv. 22, 24). We already have the glory; we are just waiting for it to be fully revealed ( Rom. 8:18–21, 30)[3].

The Scottish Reformer John Knox had this prayer read to him daily during his last illness. But you would benefit by starting now to read it and meditate on it. What a treasury of truth it is!

Chapter 17

Jesus Prays for His Ministry (1–5)

The Glory of the Persons and the Work (1)

1These 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:

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven.
Looking up at heaven was a common practice when one prayed, since He was addressing Himself to God. The fact that it is mentioned immediately after making His closing comments to the disciples shows that there was no break in the situation.

And said, Father, the hour is come. Many times His enemies had been unable to take Him because His hour had not come. But now the time had arrived for the Lord to be put to death, and accomplish His earthly ministry. The exact time for His death was predetermined, fulfilling prophesy, and preparing the future. It is the hour of the overthrow of Satan, the hour of atonement and redemption, the hour of His resurrection and adoration.

Glorify{i} thy Son. He was looking ahead to His death on the cross. If He were to remain in the grave, the world would know that He was just another man. But if God glorified Him by raising Him from the dead that would be proof He was God’s Son and the world’s Savior. God answered this request by raising the Lord Jesus on the third day and then later by taking Him back to heaven and crowning Him with glory and honor and giving Him all authority in heaven and on earth.

That thy Son also may glorify{i} thee. The meaning of this is explained in the next two verses. Jesus glorifies the Father by giving eternal life to those who believe on Him. It brings great glory to God when ungodly men and women are converted and display the life of the Lord Jesus on this earth. Moreover He glorified and will glorify the Father through His resurrection, ascension, and mediatorial work,
GLORY{i} (Glorify) — beauty, power, or honor; a quality of God’s character that emphasizes His greatness and authority. The word is used in three senses in the Bible:
1.    God’s moral beauty and perfection of character. This divine quality is beyond human understanding (Ps. 113:4). All people “fall short” of it (Rom. 3:23).
2.    God’s moral beauty and perfection as a visible presence. While God’s glory is not a substance, at times God does reveal His perfection to humans in a visible way. Such a display of the presence of God is often seen as fire or dazzling light, but sometimes as an act of power. Some examples from the Old Testament are the pillar of cloud and fire (Ex. 13:21), the Lord’s deliverance of the Israelites at the Red Sea (Exodus 14), and especially His glory in the tabernacle (Lev. 9:23–24) and Temple (1 Kin. 8:11).
Since the close of the Old Testament, the glory of God has been shown mainly in Christ (Luke 9:29–32; John 2:11) and in the members of His church. Christ now shares His divine glory with His followers (John 17:5–6, 22), so that in their lives Christians are being transformed into the glorious image of God (2 Cor. 3:18). Believers will be fully glorified at the end of time in God’s heavenly presence (Rom. 5:2; Col. 3:4). There the glory of God will be seen everywhere (Rev. 21:23).
3.    Praise. At times God’s glory may mean the honor and audible praise that His creatures give to Him (Ps. 115:1; Rev. 5:12–13).

Life Eternal (2)

2As thou hast given him power (authority) over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

As thou hast given him power over all flesh. As a result of His work of redemption at the cross, God has given His Son authority over all mankind.

That he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. This power entitled Him to give eternal life to those whom the Father had given Him. This refers specifically to the disciples and generally to those of all flesh whom God has given to Christ. Here again we are reminded that before the foundation of the world, God marked out certain ones as belonging to Christ. Remember, though, that God offers salvation to anyone who will receive Jesus Christ. There is no one who cannot be saved by trusting the Savior.

Not the Father Without the Son (3)

3And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

And this is life eternal. Here is a simple explanation of how eternal life is obtained. It is by knowing God and Jesus Christ.

That they might bknow{ii} thee the only true God. The only true God is in contrast to idols, which are not genuine gods at all. This verse does not mean that Jesus Christ is not the true God. The fact that His Name is mentioned together with God the Father’s as being the joint source of eternal life means that They are equal.
b{ii}Know. The word ginōskō, “know,” indicates a knowledge acquired by experience. The tense of the verb here signifies a continuous course of progressive knowledge. Moreover, it is knowledge of persons, not simply of facts, and this involves personal contact and interaction. It is our mind answering to His mind, our heart to His heart, our appropriating to ourselves all that God makes known to us, the Father and the Son revealing themselves to us by the Holy Spirit.
The oneness of Christ with the Father in godhood is implied in what the Lord says in regard to the experience of knowing Him, and is confirmed by the apostle’s testimony, “We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).
He is “the true God.” All other objects of veneration are false gods, and any conception of God which does not accept the oneness of the Son with the Father in the Godhead, and the oneness of the Spirit in the same Godhead, as taught by the Lord and in the Scriptures of truth, is a misconception. There is no eternal life possible without the knowledge of the Father and the Son in this oneness by the operation of the Spirit.

And Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Here the Lord called Himself Jesus Christ. Christ was the same as Messiah. This verse disproves the charge that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah.
There is no such thing as knowing the Father without knowing the Son. No one can know the true God until He knows the Son whom He sent, and who is in Himself the personal embodiment and manifestation of the true God. His two Names, Jesus and Christ, mentioned here by the Lord concerning Himself in His prayer, contain the title of deity, the work for which He came, and the substantiation of it by God the Father. And so, the names are appropriate for the Lord. It is His coming as the Son from the Father and all that His Names convey that make the knowledge of the one inseparable from the knowledge of the other.

Glorifying and Glory (4)

4I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

I have glorified thee on the earth. As the Lord uttered these words, He was speaking as if He had already died, been buried, and risen again. He had glorified the Father by His sinless life, by His miracles, by His suffering and death, and by His resurrection.
The crucifixion brought glory to the Father. It glorified His wisdom, faithfulness, holiness, and love. It showed Him wise, in providing a plan whereby He could be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly.—It showed Him faithful in keeping His promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head.—It showed Him holy, in requiring His law’s demands to be satisfied by our great Substitute.—It showed Him loving, in providing such a Mediator, such a Redeemer, and such a Friend for sinful man as His co-eternal Son.
The crucifixion also brought glory to the Son. It glorified His compassion, His patience, and His power. It showed Him most compassionate, in dying for us, suffering in our stead, allowing Himself to be counted sin and a curse for us, and buying our redemption with the price of His own blood.—It showed Him most patient, in not dying the common death of most men, but in willingly submitting to such pains and unknown agonies as no mind can conceive, when with a word He could have summoned His Father’s angels, and been set free.—It showed Him most powerful, in bearing the weight of all the transgressions of the world, and vanquishing Satan, and depriving him of his prey.

I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. Christ has brought glory to the Father by fulfilling His will and completing the work of salvation the Father had given Him to do ( John 4:34[4];  John 6:38[5]). Note that Christ views His death as having been completed. He is so certain and sure of His atonement that He can speak as if it had already been completed. As Ryle puts it: He finished the work, not simply bringing it to an end, but perfectly fulfilling it and achieving its object. It was His meat to do the will of Him who sent Him and to accomplish His work (4John 4:34). This is His example for every true follower who realizes that what he engages in doing is given him to be fulfilled for His glory.

The Glory of Preexistent Sonship (5)

5And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self. Before Christ came into the world, He dwelt in heaven with the Father. When the angels looked upon the Lord, they saw all the glory of Deity. To every eye, He was obviously God. But when He came among men, the glory of Deity was veiled. Though He was still God, it was not apparent to most onlookers. They saw Him merely as the carpenter’s Son. Here, the Savior is praying that the visible manifestation of His glory in heaven might be restored. The words “glorify thou me with thine own self” mean “glorify Me in Your presence in heaven. Let the original glory which I shared with You before My Incarnation be resumed.” This clearly teaches the pre-existence of Christ.

With the glory which I had with thee before the world was. This is the glory of essential and uncreated deity, of a being who was not created, a personal being and not an influence, and an eternal relationship as the Son; for it is a glory to be “with Thee,” the Father—It was a glory which “I had,” not which “I received.”

Jesus Prays for His Disciples (6–19)

Facts Concerning the Disciples (6-8)


6I 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.

Here the Lord mentions seven facts concerning His followers: (1) He had manifested the Father’s Name to them; (2) they were the Father’s gifts to Him out of the world; (3) they had kept His word; (4) they had known that what belonged to the Son came from the Father; (5) the words given them by the Son were given Him by the Father; (6) they had received them; (7) they knew that He came forth from the Father and that the Father sent Him.

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me. Jesus had manifested (made known) the Father’s name to the disciples. The “name” in Scripture means the Person, His attributes, and character. Christ had fully declared the Father’s true nature. It is clear that the purpose in all this was to prepare these men for their service as instruments in bearing testimony for Him, with all its consequences. In manifesting the Name he had declared all that God is, His nature, counsels, and ways and works ( John 1:18). These disciples had been given to Christ by the Father.

Out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me. The disciples had been given to the Son out of the world. They were separated from the unbelieving mass of mankind and set apart to belong to Christ for His possession, care and instruction. “They were the Father’s by election before the world was, and became Christ’s by the gift of the Father, and by purchase of blood,” wrote J. G. Bellett.

And they have kept thy word. An evidence of true conversion is obedience to the Word of God. In spite of all their failures and shortcomings, He credits them with having believed and obeyed His teaching. “Not a word against His people,” Rainsford writes, “no allusion to what they had done or were about to do—forsake Him.”

7Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
8For 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.

The Savior had perfectly represented His Father. He explained to the disciples that He did not speak or act by His own authority, but only as the Father instructed Him. So they believed that the Father had sent the Son. Moreover, Christ did not originate His own mission. He came in obedience to the Father’s will. He was the perfect Servant of Jehovah.
The disciples had come to understand that all things (the message and the mission of Christ) which Christ had were ultimately from the Father. Christ was faithful in giving the Father’s words to the disciples. The disciples accepted the message, and obtained a twofold knowledge: they understood that Christ had come from God, and that God had sent Him. These teachings were not simply His; He taught every detail as that which He received from the Father. In receiving His words they had accepted the truth concerning His person as the one who came forth from the Father and was sent by Him. That was the great preparation for their mission. They were raised above the bewilderment, the grumbling, and the criticisms of false teachers.

A Radical Distinction (9-10)

 9I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

I pray for them. As High Priest, He prayed for the disciples. He was praying as the One who represented believers before the throne of God. They were to be left, but not without the divine help they would need. Christ’s concern was for His own ( Rom 8:34[7];  Heb 7:25[8]). So the Lord begins with His own high priestly cintercession{iii}.
cINTERCESSION{iii} — the act of petitioning God or praying on behalf of another person or group.

I pray not for the world. This should not be taken to mean that Christ never prayed for the world or that He was unconcerned about the unsaved ( Luke 23:34)[9]. On the cross, He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they do.”

But for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. The distinction is solemn and radical—the disciples—the world. Not that He did not have the interests of the world before Him. He was about to send them into it, so that all men might believe and be saved.

10And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

And all mine are thine, And thine are mine. The perfect union between the Father and the Son is shown here. No mere man could truthfully say these words. We might be able to say to God, “All Mine are Yours,” but we could not say, “All Yours are Mine.” It is because the Son is equal with the Father that He could say it. Christ is praying to the Father in behalf of the disciples, and is confident that His prayers will be answered, since the disciples belong to the Father as well as the Son.

And I am glorified in them. It seems to refer to the disciples; for Christ was, and continued to be, glorified in them. It is possible, however, to read it this way: “All things that are Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them,” for God commands all things so that they may be for the glory of His Son.

Kept in the Name (11-12)
11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep{iv} through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father. Again the Lord Jesus anticipated His return to heaven. He prayed as if His death had already occurred (17:4). He made cintercession for the disciples since they were still in the world, with all that this entails:
Notice the title Holy Father. Holy speaks of One who is infinitely high. Father speaks of One who is intimately nigh.

[iv}Keep. (Gr tēreō)  To keep watch over, guard, or preserve.
Christ prays for the Father to stand guard over the disciples in the wicked world.
He had Himself experienced all the hostility and adverse conditions of the world, and He feels for those who are to remain it. It is full of everything unholy and unwholesome, harmful to the spiritual life and antagonistic to endurance and power.

 Through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. Jesus’ prayer “that they all may be one” refers to unity of Christian character. As the Father and Son are One in moral likeness, so believers should be united in this respect—so that they are like the Lord Jesus.
 
That they may be as one does not mean that Christ wants all denominations to be as one; He is praying that the disciples would be united in their stand against the wickedness of the world.

12While 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 dson of perdition{v} (Judas); that the scripture might be fulfilled.

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name. While He was with the disciples, the Savior kept them in the Father’s name, that is, by His power and authority, and they stayed true to Him. He kept them, while teaching and training them amidst all the adverse circumstances that He and His disciples experienced from the Jewish nation, which is brought out in the narratives of the Gospels.
A better reading of this phrase would be; “But He kept them in the Name the Father had given Him.” Since the Name conveys all that God is as revealed in Christ, all the truth concerning Him--in nature, character and ways—it was the very realm, and medium in which the Lord had guarded, taught and trained these men. The fullness of the Name is again and again mentioned in the Epistles as “Christ Jesus (or Jesus Christ) our Lord” ( Romans 5:11, 21[10];  Romans 6:11, 23[11]). After all that He had done He requested that they would still be kept. And on their behalf He addresses the Father as “Holy Father (v.11),” for they were, and we are to be, holy, for He is holy. They were, and we are, by nature unholy and in an unholy world.

 Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition. “None of them is lost (compromised with the wicked world),” said Jesus, “except the son of perdition,” that is, Judas. But this did not mean that Judas was one of those given to the Son by the Father or that he was ever a genuine believer. The sentence means this: “Those that You gave Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition is lost, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”
The title “the son of perdition” means Judas was consigned to eternal ruin or damnation. Judas was not compelled to betray Christ in order to fulfill prophecy, but he chose to betray the Savior and in so doing the Scripture was fulfilled.
The “son of perdition” describes the character and effect of a man’s moral state, as it affects the manner of his life ( 1 Sam. 25:17[12];  Eph. 2:2[13]), and not a destiny.

d{v}Judas the Lost    Judas was not a saved man, even though he was one of the Twelve. He never believed in Jesus ( John 6:66–71)[14] and therefore was never washed from his sins ( John 13:11)[15]. He was not chosen by Christ ( John 13:18)[16] and therefore not kept. Judas is a frightening example of how near one can get to the kingdom and still be lost.

That the scripture might be fulfilled.
The word perdition means “the lost one.” Note the blend of human responsibility and God’s purpose. Judas was lost by his own choice, but his behavior was a fulfillment of divine prophecy ( Ps 41:9)[17].
The Scripture, being God-breathed, has the character of accurate prediction; it has never been, and could not be, falsified. Christ had shown, in regard to this very person that He, the living Word, was possessed of divine powers of knowledge ( John 13:18).

Joy (13)

13And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world. Christ was about to leave the earth, and He was conscious of the void that He would leave with His disciples.
The Lord explained why He was praying in the presence of His disciples. It was as if He said to them: “These are intercessions which I shall never cease to make in heaven before God. But now I make them in the world, in your hearing, so you may more distinctly understand how I am there to be employed in promoting your welfare, so that you may be made in large measure partakers of My joy.”

That they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. They were not only to be kept; it was His desire that they might be filled with joy, His own joy experienced in them: “that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”
This plainly intimates that the Lord purposely said these things so they could hear them. But why does He say “in the world” instead of “in their hearing”? He had expressed the same desire to them directly ( John 15:11). The world, however, was the scene of so much that would tend to cast down and depress (and He was leaving them in it), that He repeats this great desire, addressing it to Him to whom He was coming, so that the joy that characterized Him might continue and be fulfilled in them.

Holiness (14)

14I 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.

I have given them thy word. The Lord gave God’s word to the disciples, and they received it. As a result, the world turned on them and hated them. They had the characteristics of the Lord Jesus, and so the world despised them. They did not fit in with the world’s scheme of things.
But in spite of their status in the world, they would be blessed with His own sustaining joy, and it would be maintained by the Word He had given them, the Father’s Word. The Word of God, accepted and kept, ministers joy to the heart. To keep His Word is, however, contrary to the spirit of the world and produces its hatred.
It was the disciples’ acceptance of Christ’s word that caused the world so hate them.

And the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Christians are not of this world, meaning that we are citizens of heaven and as such we are to live Holy lives, because He is Holy. Holiness is a quality which is essential to true spiritual unity; anything short of it makes for division and discord. This unity is designed for believers, and will be the character of believers, hereafter. It is not simply like-mindedness, nor mere acknowledgment of the truth; it is the very character of God discernible in all circumstances and activities.

The Evil One (15)

15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

The Lord did not pray that the Father should take believers home to heaven immediately. They must be left here to grow in grace and to witness for Christ. But Christ’s prayer was that they might be kept from the evil one. Not escape, but preservation.
The Lord had spoken of the evil one before ( Matt. 13:19)[20], not as a sinister influence, but as a person, and the Epistles bear this out in frequent passages. The apostle Paul assures the church at Thessalonica that God would guard them “from the evil one” (2 Thess. 3:3). The apostle John speaks of him five times, and says in the closing passage of his first epistle, in words which reecho the Lord’s, “We know that whosoever is begotten of God sinneth not (present continuous tense, “doth not go on doing sin”); but He that was begotten of God (i.e., the Son of God) keepeth him (R.V.), and the evil one toucheth him not. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one” (1 John 5:18, 19).
Christ did not want the disciples taken out of the world because He would fulfill His purpose in their lives while they were in the world. He wanted them to be delivered from the evil one (Satan himself,  Matthew 6:13[21];  I Peter 5:8[22]).
To remove them from the world would leave the effects of their presence and of their very mission unaccomplished. But the negative way first of making the request served only to stress the urgency of the positive desire. For the being who had sought to hinder and defeat Him was still active, and would be, in spite of his initial overthrow at the Cross. There lay, and there lies, the great danger.

Sanctification (16-19)

16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Christians are not of the world, just as Christ was not of the world. We should remember this when tempted to engage in some worldly pastime or enter into worldly associations where the name of Jesus is unwelcome.
The disciples did not belong to the world, they belonged to Christ.

17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Sanctify them through thy truth. To sanctify means to make holy, consecrate, dedicate, purify, or set apart. Sanctification is a state of separation to God; all believers enter into this state when they are born of God; but sanctification is also used to describe the practical experience of this separation to God, and is effected by the Holy Spirit making the Word of God understandable to the sinner. This is a continuing process in the life of every believer, and this process of becoming holy could only be accomplished through the Word of God. The Word of God has a sanctifying effect on believers. As they read it and obey it, they are set apart as vessels suitable for the Master’s use. That is exactly what the Lord Jesus was praying for here. He wanted a people who were set apart to God from the world and usable by God.

“Thy word is truth.,” Jesus said. He did not say, as so many do today, “Your word contains truth,” but “Your word IS truth.”

18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

The Father sent the Lord Jesus into the world to reveal the character of God to men. As the Lord prayed, He realized that He would soon be going back to heaven. But future generations would still need some witness concerning God. This work must be done by believers, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Of course, Christians can never represent God as perfectly as Christ did because they can never be equal with God; but believers are to represent God to the world, just the same. It is for this reason Jesus sent them into the world.

19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Christ does not state that He is in the process of becoming holy; He is referring to His self-sacrifice and total commitment. It is His example that should stir His followers to that same type of surrender.
To sanctify does not necessarily mean to make holy. He is holy as to His personal character. The thought here is that the Lord set Himself apart for the work His Father sent Him to do—that is, His sacrificial death. That He set Himself apart for the purpose for which He was sent, is both the basis and the condition of our being set apart for that for which we are sent ( John10:36)[23]. His sanctification is the pattern of and the power for ours. The sending and the sanctifying are inseparable.
The words “in truth” mean “in reality,” i.e., in practical experience (as in  Matt. 22:16[24];  Col. 1:6[25];  2 John 1[26]).

Jesus Prays for All Believers (20-26)

Prayer for All Believers (20-21)

20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

Neither pray I for these alone. Now the High Priest extended His prayer beyond the disciples. He prayed for generations yet unborn. In fact, every believer reading this verse can say, “Jesus prayed for me over 2100 years ago.”





But for them also which shall believe on me through their word. The Lord has in mind the vast company forming the Church, and the outcome of their initial ministry by tongue and by pen, the latter includes the Gospels as well as the Epistles. In this connection the foundations of the future city of glory have on them the names of “The Twelve Apostles of the Lamb.”
Beginning in this verse and continuing through the remainder of the prayer, Christ prays for His entire church. The first part of the prayer was for the disciples; this part includes believers today. He prays for everyone who will believe on Him.

21That 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.

The prayer was for unity among believers, but this time it was with the salvation of sinners in view. The unity for which Christ prayed was not a matter of external church union. Rather it was a unity based on common moral likeness. He was praying that believers might be one in exhibiting the character of God and of Christ. This is what would cause the world to believe that God had sent Him. This is the unity which makes the world say, “I see Christ in those Christians as the Father was seen in Christ.”

Imparted Glory Expressed in Unity (22-23)

22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23I 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.

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them. “The glory which You gave Me” is the glory of resurrection and ascension.
In verse 11, the Lord prayed for unity in fellowship. In verse 21, it was unity in witness-bearing. Now it is unity in glory. This looks forward to the time when saints will receive their glorified bodies.
We do not have this glory yet, but it has been given to us as far as the purposes of God are concerned, but we will not receive it until the Savior returns to take us to heaven.
The Father had manifested Himself through the Son, and now the Son manifests Himself through His followers. This is glory.
What this imparted glory is, receives an explanation from 1 Peter 1:21, “God … raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory.” It is the glory therefore of resurrection and reception into His presence. How the Lord Jesus will impart this glory to all believers is stated in  1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17[27]. He will “fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:21). At that moment and from that time believers will be one, even as the Father and the Son are one.

 That they may be one, even as we are one, I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one. Made perfect. The idea here is that of fulfillment and completeness, not sinless perfection. The ultimate result of that unity will be that the world will see God’s love revealed through believers.
The fulfillment and completeness is to be realized in the indwelling of Christ and the Father in each and all; “I in them, and Thou in Me.” The perfecting into one will be accomplished by, and consist in, our being “like Him; for we shall see Him even as He is” (1 John 3:2). There will be participation by all in this perfect likeness. Then the word will be fulfilled, “whom He justified, them He also glorified” (Rom. 8:30).

And that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. On that day ( the Second Coming), the world will be made to recognize not only the great truths concerning Christ as the One sent by the Father, but that all that is accomplished is the effect of the love of God the Father toward believers; a love as definite as His love for His Son.  At that time, the world will realize the vital unity between the Father and the Son, and the Son and His people, and will believe (TOO LATE) that Jesus was the Sent One from God.
The world will not only realize that Jesus was God the Son, but it will also know that believers were loved by God just as Christ was loved by God. That we should be so loved seems almost incredible, but there it is!
 2 Thessalonians 1:10[28] and  Revelation 1:7[29] speak of the fulfillment of the saint’s glorification in regard to the world.  Revelation 3:9[30] reveals that the love of Christ is to be recognized by the world.

The Lord’s Will (24)

24Father, 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.

This is Christ’s final request. He desires that all who believe on Him would see His glory ( Rev 1:12–18)[31].
The Son desires to have His people with Himself in glory. Every time a believer dies, it is, in a sense, an answer to this prayer. If we realized this, it would be a comfort to us in our sorrow. To die is to go to be with Christ and to behold His glory. This glory is not only the glory of deity which He had with God before the world began. It is also the glory He acquired as Savior and Redeemer. This glory is a proof that God loved Christ before the foundation of the world.
Thus far the Lord has said three times “I pray” (I make request); now He says “I will”: “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.” This and what follows are a consummation of all that has preceded regarding those who are His. It brings everything to the complete fruition of all the divine counsels and operations on their behalf. Accordingly, His desires now find their expression in a word which conveys the equality of the Son and the Father in counsel and purpose. Again He speaks of His people first as a totality, a complete entity, “whom thou hast given me,” and then as a company of individuals, “; that they may behold my glory.”
His coming will be a time of glory for the Lord and of amazement for the spectators.

The Concluding Facts and Purpose (25-26)

25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

The world failed to see God revealed in Jesus. But a few disciples did, and they believed that God had sent Jesus. On the eve of His crucifixion, there were only a few faithful hearts in the whole of mankind—and even those were about to forsake Him!
Just as the title “Holy Father” was used as appropriate to the holiness of His followers (v. 11), so now regarding the world and its unrighteous state of ignorance of God, the Lord says, “O righteous Father.” God had endowed man with a capacity for knowing Him, which resulted in the fulfillment of His will and obedience to His commands and led to being “right with God.” The world refused to have Him in knowledge ( Rom. 1:28)[32] . To the Jews He said “ye have not known Him, but I know Him” (John 8:55).

Righteous Father. Because the Father is righteous, He will fulfill all that the Son has requested for His followers.

26And 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.

The Lord Jesus had declared the Father’s name to His disciples when He was with them. This meant that He revealed the Father to them. His words and works were the words and works of the Father. They saw in Christ a perfect expression of the Father. Jesus has continued to declare the Father’s Name through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Ever since the day of Pentecost, the Spirit has been teaching believers about God the Father. Especially through the Word of God, we can know what God is like. When men accept the Father as He is revealed by the Lord Jesus, they become special objects of the Father’s love. Since the Lord Jesus indwells all believers, the Father can look upon them and treat them as He does His only Son.
This verse ends His last speech to His disciples, which includes this great intercessory prayer; it is retrospective, prospective and purposive. That which He had been doing for His own, He will continue to do.  He continued to make the Name known during the forty days after His resurrection; He continued to do so by the Holy Spirit through the apostles after Pentecost; He has done so ever since by the ministry of the Spirit in and through the Scriptures of truth; and this will not cease in the ages to come.
Finally, as to the purpose, the love of the Father to Jesus is designed to dwell in us by reason of the perpetual indwelling of Christ Himself. Were our hearts in such a condition that this love might be the controlling power over our lives, we would learn to love as He loves, to love one another fervently with a pure heart, and so to manifest the very life and character of Christ. That kind of life will meet with the highest reward in the world to come.



______________________Scripture Reference__________________________-


 [1] (John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

   [2](John 16:33) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

  [3](Rom. 8:18–21, 30). 18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God… 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 [4] (John 4:34) Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

 [5] (John 6:38) “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” “I have come down from heaven” said Christ, clearly teaching that He did not begin His life in the manger at Bethlehem. Rather, He existed from all eternity with God the Father in heaven. Coming into the world, He was the obedient Son of God. He voluntarily took the place of a servant in order to carry out the will of His Father. This does not mean that He did not have a will of His own, but rather that His own will was in perfect agreement with the will of God.  


  [6](John 1:18) “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” When men saw Jesus, they saw God. They heard God speak. They felt God’s love and tenderness. God’s thoughts and attitudes toward mankind have been fully declared by Christ.  

 [7] (Rom 8:34) “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” If the Lord Jesus, to whom all judgment has been committed, does not pass sentence on the defendant but rather prays for him, then there is no one else who could have a valid reason for condemning him.  

 [8] (Heb 7:25) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.  

 [9] (Luke 23:34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

 [10] (Romans 5:11, 21) 11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement…21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

 [11] (Romans 6:11, 23) 11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord…. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  

  [12](1 Samuel 25.17) Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.  

 [13] ( Eph. 2:2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  

 [14] (John 6:66–71) 66From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. 70Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.  

 [15] (John 13:11) “For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.” With full knowledge of all things, the Lord knew that Judas would betray Him, and so He singled out one as never having had the bath of redemption.  

  [16](John 13:18) I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

 [17] (Ps 41:9) “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”  Perhaps the “unkindest cut of all” was the treachery of one who had been an intimate friend. Of all the sorrows of life, this is certainly one of the bitterest—to be betrayed by one who has had close associations with you. It is a sorrow the Savior experienced in the betrayal of Judas, and a not-uncommon experience in the lives of those who follow this Captain.

  (John 13:18) I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

  (John 15:11) “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Jesus found His own deep joy in communion with God His Father. He wanted His disciples to have that joy that comes from dependence upon Him. He wanted His joy to be theirs. Man’s idea of joy is to be as happy as he can by leaving God out of his life. The Lord taught that real joy comes by taking God into one’s life as much as possible.

 [20] (Matt. 13:19) When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

 [21] (Matthew 6:13) “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” This request may appear to contradict James 1:13, which states that God would never tempt anyone. However, God does allow His people to be tested and tried. This petition expresses a healthy distrust of one’s own ability to resist temptations or to stand up under trial. It acknowledges complete dependence on the Lord for preservation.

 [22] (I Peter 5:8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

 [23] (John 10:36) Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?  

  [24](Matt. 22:16) And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

 [25] (Col. 1:6) Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:  

 [26] (2 John 1) The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

 [27](1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 [28] (2 Thessalonians 1:10) “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” His coming will be a time of glory for the Lord and of amazement for the spectators. He will be glorified in His saints, that is, He will be honored because of what He has done in and through them. Their salvation, sanctification, and glorification will be tributes to His matchless grace and power.  

 [29] (Revelation 1:7) Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

 [30]( Revelation 3:9) Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.  

 [31](Rev 1:12–18).12And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.  

  [32](Romans 1:28). And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  

Do you have any questions or comments?

In 1864, Abraham Lincoln was honored by the Committee of Colored People. On this special occasion, he was presented with a Bible. He responded to this gift by declaring, “In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

Christian History, Issue 33, p. 13
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