17:1 These things spake Jesus; and lifting up his eyes to heaven1, he said, Father, the hour is come2; glorify thy Son, that the son may glorify thee3: THE LORD'S PRAYER. (Jerusalem. Thursday night.) John 17:1-26
And lifting up his eyes to heaven. The action marked the turning of
his thoughts from the disciples to the Father.
Father, the hour is come. See John
2:4 and see John
Glorify thy Son, that the son may glorify thee. The Son here prays
for his glorification, viz.: resurrection, ascension, coronation, etc., that
through these he may be perfected as a Savior and be enabled to give that
eternal life unto millions, the bestowal of which will redound unto the
glory of the Father. Moreover, the glorification of Christ revealed his
divine nature, and the Father was glorified by its thus becoming apparent
that he had bestowed upon the world so priceless a gift.
17:2 even as thou
gavest him authority over all flesh, that to all whom thou hast given him, he
should give eternal life1.
Even as thou gavest him authority over all flesh, that to all whom thou
hast given him, he should give eternal life. The gift of authority was
bestowed after the resurrection (Matthew
28:18). All humanity was given into his hands that he might give life to
that part of it which yielded itself to him in true discipleship.
17:3 And this is
life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou
didst send, [even] Jesus Christ1.
And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God,
and him whom thou didst send, [even] Jesus Christ. God is revealed in
Jesus Christ: Jesus had just prayed for his glorification that the Father
may be fully revealed him him. The revelation of God is the first step
toward the attainment of eternal life. The inner reception of that
revelation by a daily conformity to it is the second step. As we actually
live God's life we come to know him; but we cannot attempt to live his life
without a revelation.
17:4 I glorified
thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which thou hast given me to do1.
I glorified thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which thou
hast given me to do. As the hour for finishing his work had arrived,
Jesus speaks of it as already finished.
17:5 And now,
Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee
before the world was1.
And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory
which I had with thee before the world was. As he had finished that for
which he had emptied himself of his glory and entered the world, he asks
that now, on his departure from the world, he may be reinstated and
permitted to assume again that which he had laid aside. Paul's words are
commentary on these two verses (Philippians
2:5-11). Thus Jesus ends the first division of his prayer which is a
petition for himself, for the glory of the Father, and the good of the
world. The second division which follows is a fourfold plea for the
disciples which he then had, followed by petitions in their behalf.
17:6 I manifested thy name unto the men
whom thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were,
and thou gavest them to me1; and they have kept thy word.
Thine they were, and thou gavest them to me. As a first plea or
reason why the Father should bless the disciples of the Son, the Son urges
that they are his property by gift of the Father. The Father is possessor of
all humanity as the Creator; the Son by gift from the Father possesses the
believing portion of humanity as its redeemer.
17:8 for the
words which thou gavest me I have given unto them; and they received [them]1,
and knew of a truth that I came forth from thee, and
they believed that thou didst send me2.
For the words which thou gavest me I have given unto them; and they
received [them]. As a second reason for blessing the disciples, Jesus
pleads their reception and retention of the truth which the Father had sent
him to reveal, and the resulting knowledge and faith.
And knew of a truth that I came forth from thee, and they believed that
thou didst send me. The truth revealed by Jesus was so palpably divine
that the disciples could know that its bearer came from heaven. But whether
that bearer came of his own volition or as a commissioned messenger of the
Father they could not know. But where knowledge was impossible, they trusted
to Jesus and believed.
17:10 and all
things that are mine are thine, and thine are mine: and I am glorified in them1.
And all things that are mine are thine, and thine are mine: and I am
glorified in them. As a third plea he urges the joint possession which
the Father held with him in the disciples, and the further fact that the Son
was glorified in the disciples.
17:11 And I am
no more in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee1.
Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast
given me, that they may be one, even as we [are]2.
And I am no more in the world, and these are in the world, and I come
to thee. As a last plea he urges the necessity of the Father's care over
the disciples since the Son will be no longer in the world.
Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me, that they
may be one, even as we [are]. Our Lord's first petition grows out of his
last plea. His departure would tend to scatter the disciples; they had been
united by faith in the name of Christ, that is, by the divine power given of
God and revealed in Christ (Exodus
9:6 their unity may be as perfect as that subsisting between the Father
and the Son.
17:12 While I
was with them, I kept them in thy name which thou hast given me: and I guarded
them, and not one of them perished1, but
the son of perdition2; that the
scripture might be fulfilled3.
While I was with them, I kept them in thy name which thou hast given
me: and I guarded them, and not one of them perished. Jesus emphasizes
the fervency of his petition by urging his own conduct as to that which he
asks. He asks the Father to care for those for whom he had himself been so
painstakingly careful that not one had been lost, save him whom it was
impossible to save, and whose loss the Scripture had predicted--a loss in no
way chargeable against the loving fidelity of the Good Shepherd.
But the son of perdition. Literally, the son of perishing.
That the scripture might be fulfilled. See Psalms
17:13 But now I come to thee; and these
things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy
made full in themselves1.
That they may have my joy made full in themselves. Being about
ready to depart from the world, Jesus had taught and prayed for his
disciples that they might be brought into a oneness with the Father similar
to that which he himself enjoyed, and the consequent joy which filled his
own life might in some measure fill theirs also.
17:14 I have
given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world1,
even as I am not of the world2.
I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are
not of the world. An additional reason for the Father's care is here
presented. The reception of the Father's word had brought upon them the
hatred of the world, thereby increasing their need of a heavenly blessing,
as a counter-balance to the curse of the world.
Even as I am not of the world. Jesus as advocate gives potency to
his petitions as to the sufferings of his disciples by suggesting that he
has himself shared them (Hebrews
17:15 I pray not
that thou shouldest take them from the world, but that thou shouldest keep them
from the evil [one]1.
I pray not that thou shouldest take them from the world, but that thou
shouldest keep them from the evil [one]. The care which he asks in
protection in, and not removal from, the world. It is best both for the
Christian and for the world that he should remain in it. The world is
blessed by the Christian's presence (Matthew
4:14-16), and abiding in the world affords the Christian an opportunity
of conquest and reward (Romans
them in the truth: thy word is truth1.
Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth. To sanctify means to
set apart to a holy use. As Jesus himself had been set apart as God's
messenger to the world, so he had set apart the apostles as his messengers
to it. This setting apart was not a formal, empty act, but was accomplished
by God's imparting or developing a fitness in the one sanctified to perform
the duties for which he was set apart. Fitness in this case would be
imparted by imbuing the apostles with the Spirit of truth.
17:19 And for
their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be
sanctified in truth. Jesus had set himself apart (Hebrews
9:14), that the apostles might follow his example (2 Corinthians
5:14-17), and also the church, (Romans
2:5) that thereby the world might be saved.
Our Lord's prayer as to the apostles (John
17:1-19) is, therefore, a threefold petition, viz.: that they may be
kept in unity, kept from the world and the devil, and that they may be set
apart and equipped for the gospel service.
for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their
Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me
through their word. We come now to the third division of the prayer
wherein he asks for blessings upon future believers.
17:21 that they
may all be one1; even as thou,
Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us2:
that the world may believe that thou didst send me3.
That they may all be one. Here again the first petition is for
unity, and again the unity subsisting between the Father and the Son is
designated as the kind desired.
Even as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be
in us. The future disciples may understand the nature of this unity,
Jesus sets it forth in an amplified statement, which reveals the fact that
he does not ask for a unity similar to that subsisting between the Father
and the Son, but for that very unity itself enlarged and extended so as to
become a triple instead of a dual unity by the comprehension of the
disciples within its compass.
That the world may believe that thou didst send me. As a reason why
the Father should bring about this unity (and a reason also why all
Christians should work for it), our Lord states that its attainment will
result in the conversion of the world to the Christian faith.
17:22 And the
glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them1; that
they may be one, even as we [are] one2;
And the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them.
Jesus here states that to bring about the unity which he here prays for he
has bestowed upon the disciples the glory which the Father had bestowed upon
him. The glory mentioned was that of being the Son of God (Matthew
3:6), which glory Jesus imparts to his followers (John
1:12; 1 John
That they may be one, even as we [are] one. In other words, he made
us his brethren that we might be united in one great household (Romans
2:19; 1 John
3:9,10; 1 John
4:8,16). A true comprehension of the Fatherhood of God and our
brotherhood in Christ.
17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that
they may be perfected into one; that the world may know
that thou didst send me2, and
lovedst them, even as thou lovedst me3.
And the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them. He
here states that the perfect unity of the church and the putting forth of
its power in harmonious effort to convert the world will be equivalent to a
demonstration of the truth of his divine mission.
That the world may know that thou didst send me. John
17:22 asserts that the initial stages of unity will produce faith in the
world, and this verse adds that the perfection of that unity will lead the
world beyond faith into the realm of actual knowledge as to the divine
mission of Christ.
And lovedst them, even as thou lovedst me. The context suggests
that this unity will result in gracious manifestations of the Father's love.
Possibly these manifestations may be of such a nature as to aid in bringing
about the state of knowledge mentioned.
17:24 Father, I desire that they also
whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that
they may behold my glory1, which thou hast given me: for
thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
That they may behold my glory. While Jesus prays that his disciples
may enter the heavenly state, that state is not expressed as the end
desired. He wishes them to be in that state that they may behold his glory.
The glory of Christ is his Sonship, and the love which accompanies that
relationship. To behold this is the height of spiritual exultation. To know
God is life eternal, and to behold God is joy ineffable. God is truly beheld
subjectively. We must be like him to see him as he is (1 John
3:2). The second petition of Jesus, therefore, in no way savors of a
vainglorious desire that his disciples may behold him to lead them to admire
him, but a wish that they may participate in the heavenly state, and know
the Sonship of Jesus and all its attendant blessedness by, in some measure,
participating in it.
17:25 O righteous Father, the world knew
thee not, but I knew thee; and these knew that thou didst send me;
And these knew that thou didst sent me. In the closing sentences
Jesus blends his present and his future disciples.
17:26 and I made
known unto them thy name, and will make it known1; that
the love wherewith thou lovedst me may be in them, and I in them2.
And I made known unto them thy name, and will make it known. The
knowledge which he had of the Father had been imparted to the disciples, and
they had received it, and had thereby been in some measure fitted for the
revelation of the glory for which he had just prayed. The world, on the
contrary, had rejected Christ's revelation, and had refused to know God, and
had thus become unworthy of the privilege here asked for the disciples.
That the love wherewith thou lovedst me may be in them, and I in them.
Jesus had revealed the Father while on earth that men might attain to the
revelation of God in the hereafter, thus participating in the love which the
Father has for the Son because the Son is spiritually in them.
It is a significant fact that the two of the five petitions of this
prayer are for Christian unity. It may be said generally of all the
petitions that they ask the Father to complete that which the Son has
already begin and completed to the limit of his present circumscribed power.