John 17:20

20 "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word,

John 17:20 Meaning and Commentary

John 17:20

Neither pray I for these alone
Meaning his immediate apostles and disciples, for whose preservation and sanctification he had been particularly praying in ( John 17:19 ) ; and now, that it might not be thought that these were his only favourites, and the only persons he had a regard for, and to whom his intercession and sacrifice were confined; he adds,

but for them also which shall believe in me through their word:
Christ is the object of true faith; which faith is not a mere assent of the mind to any truth concerning Christ, as that he is the Son of God, the Messiah and Saviour of the world; but it is a spiritual sight of him, of the necessity, fitness, and suitableness of him as a Saviour, a going forth unto him, laying hold on him, and depending upon him for life and salvation; of which the preaching of the Gospel is the instrumental means: it is indeed a gift of God, and a fruit of electing grace, and which is secured by it; hence our Lord knew that there would be a number, in all successive generations, that would believe in him, through the ministry of the word; and for these persons, and their conversion, and the success of the Gospel, to the good of their souls, he prays.

John 17:20 In-Context

18 As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.
20 "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word,
21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one,
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.