John 17

Glorify Your Son

There is no voice which has ever been heard, either in heaven or in earth, more exalted, more holy, more fruitful, more sublime, than the prayer offered up by the Son of God himself.
— Philip Melanchthon

The intimacy between Jesus and the Father is on full display in this passage as Jesus finishes his farewell address, lifts his eyes heavenward, and prays to the Father. Jesus has been saying that his hour had not arrived since the first miracle recorded in chapter two, but now the time has finally come for Jesus to be glorified as he glorifies the Father. Jesus' authority is for the purpose of giving eternal life to those granted by the Father, and eternal life is knowing God through Jesus Christ. Jesus did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, and he emptied himself, becoming like the creature. Jesus asks God the Father to restore him to the position and glory he had enjoyed with him before the world existed. It is moving to hear Jesus pray for the disciples. He made the Father known to them, and they are obeying God's word. The disciples are convinced that Jesus was sent from God and he taught the truth of God. Jesus prays for these disciples because they belong to Father and Son as they glorify Jesus. Jesus' departure from this world is imminent, and as he returns to his rightful place, he asks the Father to keep them in fidelity and unity. Jesus has kept these men and guarded them so that none was lost except the son of destruction. Jesus did not lose Judas in the sense that he failed, this was all a part of God's plan and had been foreseen in Scripture.

Unify Your People

Jesus prays that the disciples will remain in love, be obedient, and stay loyal to what he taught so that his disciples might share in his joy. Jesus has given his disciples the word, and as a result, the world hates them just as it hates Jesus. Jesus does not ask the Father to take them out of the world. Instead, he prays for them to be protected from the evil one. The disciples are not of the world, and Jesus wants them sanctified, or set apart for God's purpose which will mean that they must think God's thoughts after him which will happen through the truth found in his word. Jesus is sending his disciples into the world just as he was sent into the world. They have a mission, and that mission is connected to the mission of God. Obedience and mission are inseparable, and the disciples will have to hold to the truth of the gospel. Jesus will show the disciples what it looks like to obey the Father and fulfill the mission no matter what the cost. Jesus prays for those who would believe because of their word which assumes that their witness will be effective. Jesus prays for unity among believers as a testimony to the world. The disciples beheld Jesus' glory as it was made manifest and revealed the grace and truth of God. The love and unity of believers serves as an apologetic to the world. Jesus desires that his disciples be with him and witness the glory he was given before the foundation of the world. God the Father is righteous, and he judges the unrighteous. The world does not know God because they reject God and suppress his truth. Jesus will fulfill his mission as he loves them and makes God known to the very end of his earthly work and exaltation.

Things To Consider:

  • Why is prayer essential in the life of the believer?
  • What does prayer indicate about our relationship with God?
  • Why should God be glorified?
  • How can one know God and experience eternal life?
  • What do we learn about Jesus before his humiliation and earthly ministry?
  • How did Jesus make the Father known?
  • What does unity show the world?
  • How are we sanctified in the truth?
  • Why is God's word so important?
  • What will it be like to see Jesus in glory?
  • How does our love come from the love between Father, Son, and Spirit?