Setting

The hour has come for Jesus to leave the world and to return to the Father. He has spoken at length to the disciples to console them and to prepare them for what is ahead. Following a series of final discourses with His disciples, the Lord Jesus lifts up His eyes to heaven and utters a prayer to His Father for His disciples. As we can see from the passage that ensues, the Lord’s prayer will be followed immediately by His arrest in the garden.

Key Verse

(17:9)

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Outline

  • “Glorify Your Son”
  • “They are Yours”
    (17:6–11a)
  • “Keep them”
    (17:11b-16)
  • “Sanctify them”
  • “That they all may be one”
  • “That they… may be with Me”

Keywords/Phrases

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General Analysis

  • 1.

    According to Jesus’ prayer, record all that He has done or continues to do for believers.

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    1. He gives them eternal life (17:2). 2. He has manifested the Father’s name to them (17:6). 3. He prays for them (17:9, 20). 4. He kept them in the Father’s name (17:12). 5. He has given them the Father’s word (17:14). 6. He has sent them into the world (17:18). 7. He sanctified Himself for their sake (17:19). 8. He has given them glory (17:22). 9. He has declared to them the Father’s name, and He will declare it (17:26).

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  • 2a.

    Record the teachings in this chapter related to these key words: “Glory”

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    1. Jesus asks the Father to glorify Him, that He may glorify the Father (17:1). 2. Jesus has glorified the Father on the earth (17:4). 3. Jesus asks the Father to now glorify Him together with Himself, with the glory which He had with the Father before the world was (17:5). 4. Jesus is glorified in whom the Father has given Him (17:10). 5. Jesus has given the believers the glory which the Father gave Him (17:22). 6. Jesus desires that the believers may behold His glory (17:24).

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  • 2b.

    “Know”

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    1. This is eternal life, to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom the Father has sent (17:3). 2. Jesus’ disciples have known that all things which the Father has given Jesus are from the Father (17:7). 3. Jesus’ disciples have known surely that He came forth from the Father (17:8). 4. Jesus prays that the believers may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that the Father has sent Him, and has loved the disciples as He has loved Jesus (17:23). 5. The world has not known the Father, but Jesus has known Him (17:25). 6. Believers have known that the Father has sent Jesus (17:25).

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  • 2c.

    “The world”

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    1. Jesus had glory with the Father before the world was (17:5). 2. Jesus has manifested the Father’s name to the men whom the Father has given Him out of the world (17:6). 3. Jesus does not pray for the world but for those whom the Father has given Him (17:9). 4. Jesus is no longer in the world, but those whom the Father has given Him are in the world (17:11). 5. Jesus speaks these things in the world that the believers may have His joy fulfilled in themselves (17:13). 6. The world has hated the believers because they are not of the world (17:14). 7. Jesus does not pray that the Father should take the believers out of the world (17:15). 8. Believers are not of the world, just as Jesus is not of the world (17:16). 9. As the Father has sent Jesus into the world, Jesus also has sent the believers into the world (17:18). 10. Jesus asks for unity so that the world may believe that the Father sent Jesus (17:21). 11. Jesus asks that the believers may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that the Father has sent Him, and has loved the believers as the Father has loved Him (17:23). 12. The Father loved Jesus before the foundation of the world (17:24). 13. The world has not known the Father (17:25).

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  • 2d.

    “Word”

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    1. Jesus’ disciples have kept the Father’s word (17:6). 2. Jesus has given His disciples the Father’s word (17:14). 3. The Father’s word is truth (17:17). 4. Jesus does not pray for the disciples alone, but also for those who will believe in Him through their word (17:20).

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  • 2e.

    “One”

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    1. Jesus asks the Father to keep through the Father’s name those whom the Father has given Him, that they may be one as He and the Father are one (17:11). 2. Jesus ask the Father that the believers may be one in Him and the Father (17:21). 3. Jesus has given glory to the believers that they may be one just as He and the Father are one (17:22). 4. Jesus prays that the believers may be made perfect in one (17:23).

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  • 3a.

    What is the repeated expression Jesus used in the prayer to refer to His disciples?

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    Those whom the Father has given Him (17:2, 6, 9, 12, 24).

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  • 3b.

    What is the significance of this expression?

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    This expression indicates that believers are under the special care of the Father and the Lord Jesus. Because they have been entrusted to Jesus by the Father, Jesus deems it His responsibility to guard and preserve them (Jn 17:12). Now that Jesus has returned to heaven, the Father Himself continues to keep watch over them (Jn 17:11).

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  • 4.

    In what ways does Jesus’ prayer to the Father encourage you?

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Segment Analysis

  • 17:1–5

    1.

    What is Jesus’ petition here?

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    Jesus prays that the Father may glorify the Son (17:1, 5).

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  • 2.

    What can we learn about Jesus in this segment?

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    Jesus faithfully fulfilled His mission when He was in the world by glorifying the Father and finishing the work the Father had given Him to do (17:4). After completing His work in the world, the hour had come for Jesus to be lifted up. His ultimate submission, even to the point of death, was the pre-condition for the hour of glory (Jn 12:27, 28).

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  • 3.

    What was the work that the Father had given Jesus to do?

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    According to 17:2, the Father granted Jesus authority over all flesh in order that He should give eternal life to as many as the Father had given Him. This was the work entrusted to Jesus.

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  • 17:6–11a

    4.

    What has the Lord Jesus accomplished, according to this paragraph?

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    He has manifested the Father’s name to the men whom the Father has given Him out of the world (17:6). The name of a person often identified his qualities or character (cf. Gen 17:5, 25:25, 26). It could also carry that person’s authority, power, or legacy (cf. Gen 48:16). Likewise, the name of God represents His glory and majesty, even His very presence (cf. Ex 9:16, 23:21; Josh 9:9; 1 Kgs 9:3; Ps 20:1, 48:10). Jesus, through His incarnation and through His words and works, made the Father known to the world, particularly to those who put their trust in Him (Jn 1:18, 14:7). As part of the revelation of the Father’s name, Jesus has also given the believers the words which the Father has given them (Jn 17:8). While He was in the world, He declared and taught all that He had heard and seen from the Father (Jn 8:28, 38, 40).

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  • 5.

    What does this paragraph teach us about what we as disciples must do?

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    1. Keep and receive God’s word (17:6, 8). 2. Know that Jesus came forth from the Father and believe that the Father had sent Him (17:8).

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  • 17:11b-16

    6.

    What is Jesus’ petition here?

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    Jesus asks the Father to keep those whom the Father has given Him (17:11, 15).

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  • 7.

    The preferred reading for verse 11 is “keep them through Your name which You have given Me.” How has the Father given Jesus His name?

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    The Father has given Jesus His name in the sense that the Father has sent Jesus into the world to reveal Himself to the world. Jesus, the incarnate Word, is the express image of the Father (Heb 1:3). Seeing Jesus is seeing the Father (Jn 14:9), and everything Jesus speaks and does, He does so in exact accordance with the Father (Jn 5:19). He has also received from the Father authority over all flesh (Jn 17:2). As the Father’s ambassador (cf. Heb 3:1), Jesus fully possessed the name of the Father. The fact that Jesus has received the name of His Father is also manifest in the name by which He was called—“Jesus,” which is literally “the Lord is salvation” (cf. Mt 1:21). While “Jesus” was a common name at the time, only the Lord Jesus fully embodied the meaning of this name, for through Him the love and salvation of the Father have come to us. Therefore, salvation is found in no other name than that of Jesus (Acts 4:12). It is also in this sense that the Father has given Jesus His name.

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  • 8a.

    What does Jesus’ prayer teach us about our attitude toward and relationship with the world?

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    It is not God’s will to take us out of the world (17:15), for we have a mission to preach the word to the world (17:18, 20). However, while living in this world, we need to be clearly aware that we are not of this world, just as our Lord was not of this world (17:14). This means that we have no part in the godless and sinful patterns of the people of the world, who are under the sway of the evil one (17:15; Rom 12:2; Eph 2:1–3; 1 Jn 5:19). As a result of this separation, the world hates us (Jn 15:19, 17:14).

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  • 8b.

    How has our Lord Jesus set an example for us in this regard?

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    Jesus Himself came into this world to accomplish the work of God so that the world might believe through Him, yet He was not of the world (17:14). The ruler of this world had nothing in Him (Jn 14:30). Since the world did not know Him nor the Father, it hated Jesus and persecuted Him (Jn 15:20, 24). In Jesus we see the perfect example of having no part with the evil of the world and yet loving the world by dwelling in it and by offering Himself for the world (cf. Jn 1:14, 6:33).

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  • 17:17–19

    9.

    In what sense did Jesus sanctify Himself?

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    “Sanctify” generally means to set apart for God. Whereas the sanctification of human beings or common things involves purification, the sanctification of Jesus is on a whole different level, for Jesus Himself is the holy God and has no need of purification. According to Jn 10:36, the Father sanctified Jesus and sent Him into the world. This means that the Father commissioned Jesus with a divine purpose. Likewise here, in Jesus’ prayer, He says that He sanctifies Himself for the sakes of the disciples. It is also spoken in the context of being sent into the world (17:18). Therefore, we are to understand the sanctification of Jesus in the same sense as Jn 10:36. Just as the Father sanctified Jesus, Jesus also sanctified Himself.

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  • 10.

    What does it mean for us to be sanctified by the truth?

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    The truth is the very word of God (17:17) which leads us to the Father (Jn 14:6). Jesus has come into the world to proclaim the truth (Jn 1:17, 8:45, 18:37). Whoever accepts the truth is sanctified by the truth because he has left darkness and now belongs to God (Jn 3:21).

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  • 17:20–23

    11.

    Why does Jesus deem the unity of believers to be so important?

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    The unity of believers reflects the unity of Jesus and His Father (17:21, 22). This unity is founded on love (17:23, 26). The loving unity among believers is a living testimony that Jesus has brought the love of the Father into the world.

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  • 12.

    What does Jesus want the world to know? Why?

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    He wants the world to know that the Father has sent Him and has loved the believers as He has loved Jesus (17:23). Such knowledge leads to eternal life (17:3).

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  • 17:24–26

    13.

    What is Jesus’ desire for believers?

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    He desires that they may be with Him where He is, that they may behold His glory which the Father has given Him (17:24).

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  • 14.

    What does the prayer teach about the present and future abiding presence of Jesus for believers?

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    It is Jesus’ will that believers will be with Him ultimately in the future (17:24), and even now, while they are still in the world, He already lives in them (17:26). He certainly does not leave us as orphans (Jn 14:18), but continually abides with us.

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  • 15.

    How will Jesus continue to declare the Father’s name to His disciples?

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    The Holy Spirit continues the work of Jesus after Jesus leaves the world to go to the Father (Jn 14:26). He takes what is Jesus’ and declares it to Jesus’ disciples (Jn 16:12–14). Thus, Jesus Himself continues to declare the Father’s name through the Holy Spirit. The inner workings of the Holy Spirit in us enables us to gain an even more intimate knowledge of the Father (Jn 14:20, 21).

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