John 17 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of John 17)
17:1 These 1 words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, 2 Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

(1) Jesus Christ, the everlasting high Priest, being ready to immediately offer himself up, by solemn prayers consecrates himself to God the Father as a sacrifice, and us together with himself. Therefore this prayer was from the beginning, is, and will be to the end of the world, the foundation and ground of the Church of God. (2) He first declares that as he came into the world so that the Father might show in him (being apprehended by faith) his glory in saving his elect, so he applied himself to that only: and therefore he desires from the Father that he would bless the work which he had finished.

17:2 As thou hast given him power over a all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

(a) Over all men.

17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the b only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

(b) He calls the Father the only true God in order to set him against all false gods, and to include himself and the Holy Spirit, for he immediately joins the knowledge of the Father and the knowledge of himself together, and according to his accustomed manner sets forth the whole Godhead in the person of the Father. So is the Father alone said to be King, immortal, wise, dwelling in light which no man can attain unto, and invisible; (Romans 16:27; 1 Timothy 1:17).

17:6 3 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: c thine they were, and thou d gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

(3) First of all he prays for his disciples by whom he would have the rest of his disciples gathered together, and commends them unto the Father (having already rejected the whole company of the reprobate) because he received them from his Father into his custody, and because by embracing his doctrine, they will have so many and so mighty enemies, that there is no way for them to be in safety, except by his help.
(c) He shows by this the everlasting election and choice, which was hidden in the good will and pleasure of God, which is the groundwork of our salvation.
(d) He shows that the everlasting and hidden purpose of God is declared in Christ, by whom we are justified and sanctified, if we lay hold of him by faith, so that we may eventually come to the glory of the election.

17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be c one, as we [are].

(c) He prays that his people may peaceably agree and be joined together in one, that as the Godhead is one, so they may be of one mind and one consent together.

17:15 4 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

(4) He shows what type of deliverance he means: not that they should be in no danger, but that in being preserved from all they might prove by experience that the doctrine of salvation is true, which doctrine they received from his mouth to deliver to others.

17:17 f Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

(f) That is, make them holy: and that thing is said to be holy which is dedicated to God and belongs to him alone.

17:18 5 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

(5) Moreover, he adds that the apostles have a calling common with him, and therefore that they must be held up by the very same virtue to give themselves up wholly to God, by which Christ, who was first, did consecrate himself to the Father.

17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the g truth.

(g) The true and substantial sanctification of Christ is contrasted with the outward purifyings of the law.

17:20 6 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

(6) Secondly, he offers to God the Father all of his, that is, all those who will believe in him by the doctrine of the apostles: that as he cleaves unto the Father, receiving from him all fulness, so they being joined with him may receive life from him, and being loved together in him, may also with him eventually enjoy everlasting glory.

17:26 7 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

(7) He communicates the knowledge of the Father with his own little by little, which knowledge is most full in Christ the mediator, that they may in him be beloved by the Father, with the selfsame love with which he loves the Son.