John 17

The High Priestly Prayer

1 Jesus spoke these things; and 1lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; 2glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,
2 even as 3You gave Him authority over all flesh, that 4to all whom You have given Him, 5He may give eternal life.
3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, 6the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom 7You have sent.
4 "8I glorified You on the earth, 9having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
5 "Now, Father, 10glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had 11with You before the world was.
6 "12I have manifested Your name to the men whom 13You gave Me out of the world; they were 14Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have 15kept Your word.
7 "Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You;
8 for 16the words which You gave Me 17I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that 18I came forth from You, and they believed that 19You sent Me.
9 "20I ask on their behalf; 21I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom 22You have given Me; for 23they are Yours;
10 and 24all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.
11 "I am no longer in the world; and yet 25they themselves are in the world, and 26I come to You. 27Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name 28which You have given Me, that 29they may be one even as We are.
12 "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name 30which You have given Me; and I guarded them and 31not one of them perished but 32the son of perdition, so that the 33Scripture would be fulfilled.

The Disciples in the World

13 "But now 34I come to You; and 35these things I speak in the world so that they may have My 36joy made full in themselves.
14 "I have given them Your word; and 37the world has hated them, because 38they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from 39the evil one.
16 "40They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 "41Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
18 "As 42You sent Me into the world, 43I also have sent them into the world.
19 "For their sakes I 44sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be 45sanctified 46in truth.
20 "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;
21 that they may all be one; 47even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, 48so that the world may believe that 49You sent Me.

Their Future Glory

22 "The 50glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;
23 51I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that 52You sent Me, and 53loved them, even as You have loved Me.
24 "Father, I desire that 54they also, whom You have given Me, 55be with Me where I am, so that they may see My 56glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before 57the foundation of the world.
25 "O 58righteous Father, although 59the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that 60You sent Me;
26 and 61I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that 62the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

Images for John 17

John 17 Commentary

Chapter 17

Christ's prayer for himself. (1-5) His prayer for his disciples. (6-10) His prayer. (11-26)

Verses 1-5 Our Lord prayed as a man, and as the Mediator of his people; yet he spoke with majesty and authority, as one with and equal to the Father. Eternal life could not be given to believers, unless Christ, their Surety, both glorified the Father, and was glorified of him. This is the sinner's way to eternal life, and when this knowledge shall be made perfect, holiness and happiness will be fully enjoyed. The holiness and happiness of the redeemed, are especially that glory of Christ, and of his Father, which was the joy set before him, for which he endured the cross and despised the shame; this glory was the end of the sorrow of his soul, and in obtaining it he was fully satisfied. Thus we are taught that our glorifying God is needed as an evidence of our interest in Christ, through whom eternal life is God's free gift.

6-10. Christ prays for those that are his. Thou gavest them me, as sheep to the shepherd, to be kept; as a patient to the physician, to be cured; as children to a tutor, to be taught: thus he will deliver up his charge. It is a great satisfaction to us, in our reliance upon Christ, that he, all he is and has, and all he said and did, all he is doing and will do, are of God. Christ offered this prayer for his people alone as believers; not for the world at large. Yet no one who desires to come to the Father, and is conscious that he is unworthy to come in his own name, need be discouraged by the Saviour's declaration, for he is both able and willing to save to the uttermost, all that come unto God by him. Earnest convictions and desires, are hopeful tokens of a work already wrought in a man; they begin to evidence that he has been chosen unto salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. They are thine; wilt thou not provide for thine own? Wilt thou not secure them? Observe the foundation on which this plea is grounded, All mine are thine, and thine are mine. This speaks the Father and Son to be one. All mine are thine. The Son owns none for his, that are not devoted to the service of the Father.

Verses 11-16 Christ does not pray that they might be rich and great in the world, but that they might be kept from sin, strengthened for their duty, and brought safe to heaven. The prosperity of the soul is the best prosperity. He pleaded with his holy Father, that he would keep them by his power and for his glory, that they might be united in affection and labours, even according to the union of the Father and the Son. He did not pray that his disciples should be removed out of the world, that they might escape the rage of men, for they had a great work to do for the glory of God, and the benefit of mankind. But he prayed that the Father would keep them from the evil, from being corrupted by the world, the remains of sin in their hearts, and from the power and craft of Satan. So that they might pass through the world as through an enemy's country, as he had done. They are not left here to pursue the same objects as the men around them, but to glorify God, and to serve their generation. The Spirit of God in true Christians is opposed to the spirit of the world.

Verses 17-19 Christ next prayed for the disciples, that they might not only be kept from evil, but made good. It is the prayer of Jesus for all that are his, that they may be made holy. Even disciples must pray for sanctifying grace. The means of giving this grace is, "through thy truth, thy word is truth." Sanctify them, set them apart for thyself and thy service. Own them in the office; let thy hand go with them. Jesus entirely devoted himself to his undertaking, and all the parts of it, especially the offering up himself without spot unto God, by the eternal Spirit. The real holiness of all true Christians is the fruit of Christ's death, by which the gift of the Holy Ghost was purchased; he gave himself for his church, to sanctify it. If our views have not this effect on us, they are not Divine truth, or we do not receive them by a living and a working faith, but as mere notions.

Verses 20-23 Our Lord especially prayed, that all believers might be as one body under one head, animated by one soul, by their union with Christ and the Father in him, through the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. The more they dispute about lesser things, the more they throw doubts upon Christianity. Let us endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, praying that all believers may be more and more united in one mind and one judgment. Thus shall we convince the world of the truth and excellence of our religion, and find more sweet communion with God and his saints.

Verses 24-26 Christ, as one with the Father, claimed on behalf of all that had been given to him, and should in due time believe on him, that they should be brought to heaven; and that there the whole company of the redeemed might behold his glory as their beloved Friend and Brother, and therein find happiness. He had declared and would further declare the name or character of God, by his doctrine and his Spirit, that, being one with him, the love of the Father to him might abide with them also. Thus, being joined to Him by one Spirit, they might be filled with all the fulness of God, and enjoy a blessedness of which we can form no right idea in our present state.

Cross References 62

  • 1. John 11:41
  • 2. John 7:39; John 13:31
  • 3. John 3:35
  • 4. John 10:28
  • 5. John 6:37, 39; John 17:6, 9, 24
  • 6. John 5:44
  • 7. John 3:17; John 17:8, 21, 23, 25
  • 8. John 13:31
  • 9. Luke 22:37; John 4:34
  • 10. John 17:1
  • 11. John 1:1; John 8:58; John 17:24; Philippians 2:6
  • 12. John 17:26
  • 13. John 6:37, 39; John 17:2, 9, 24
  • 14. John 17:9
  • 15. John 8:51
  • 16. John 6:68; John 12:49
  • 17. John 15:15; John 17:14, 26
  • 18. John 8:42; John 16:27, 30
  • 19. John 3:17; John 17:18, 21, 23, 25
  • 20. Luke 22:32; John 14:16
  • 21. Luke 23:34; John 17:20
  • 22. John 6:37, 39; John 17:2, 6, 24
  • 23. John 17:6
  • 24. John 16:15
  • 25. John 13:1
  • 26. John 7:33; John 17:13
  • 27. John 17:25
  • 28. John 17:6; Philippians 2:9; Revelation 19:12
  • 29. John 17:21; Romans 12:5; Galatians 3:28
  • 30. John 17:6; Philippians 2:9; Revelation 19:12
  • 31. John 6:39; John 18:9
  • 32. John 6:70
  • 33. Psalms 41:9; John 13:18
  • 34. John 7:33; John 17:11
  • 35. John 15:11
  • 36. John 3:29
  • 37. John 15:19
  • 38. John 8:23; John 17:16
  • 39. Matthew 5:37
  • 40. John 17:14
  • 41. John 15:3
  • 42. John 3:17; John 17:3, 8, 21, 23, 25
  • 43. Matthew 10:5; John 4:38; John 20:21
  • 44. John 15:13
  • 45. John 15:3
  • 46. 2 Corinthians 7:14; Colossians 1:6; 1 John 3:18
  • 47. John 10:38; John 17:11, 23
  • 48. John 17:8
  • 49. John 3:17; John 17:3, 8, 18, 23, 25
  • 50. John 1:14; John 17:24
  • 51. John 10:38; John 17:11, 21
  • 52. John 3:17; John 17:3, 8, 18, 21, 25
  • 53. John 16:27
  • 54. John 17:2
  • 55. John 12:26
  • 56. John 1:14; John 17:22
  • 57. Matthew 25:34; John 17:5
  • 58. John 17:11; 1 John 1:9
  • 59. John 7:29; John 15:21
  • 60. John 3:17; John 17:3, 8, 18, 21, 23
  • 61. John 17:6
  • 62. John 15:9

Footnotes 9

  • [a]. Lit "everything that You have given Him, to them He may"
  • [b]. Or "by accomplishing"
  • [c]. Heb idiom for one destined to perish
  • [d]. Or "out of" the power of
  • [e]. Or "evil"
  • [f]. Gr tense indicates "continually believe"
  • [g]. Lit "into one"
  • [h]. Gr tense indicates "continually know"
  • [i]. Lit "even the world"

John 17 Commentaries

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.