148. Jesus' prayer (John 17:1-26)
Having announced his victory over the world (see John 16:33), Jesus now offers a prayer that reflects the triumph of his completed work. He begins by speaking of his relationship with the Father. Jesus' work was to reveal God to the world so that people might receive eternal life through him. He prays that by dying on the cross and successfully finishing his work, he will bring glory to his Father. At the same time, his death will bring glory to himself, for it will enable him to return to his Father and enjoy the glory that was his before he came into the world (John 17:1-5).
Although most people did not believe in Jesus, some did, such as the apostles. They believed the evidence they saw and heard that Jesus was God and that he had come from the Father to make God known (John 17:6-8).
This thought leads Jesus to the second part of his prayer, which is for his disciples. He prays that they will live in such a way as to show his glory to the world (John 17:9-10). Their unity will display the unity that exists between the Father and the Son. Jesus asks that they will remain faithful to him and not be defeated by the evil that is in the world . He wants them to share with him the triumphant joy that comes through successfully completing the work the Father had committed to him (John 17:11-13).
When Jesus leaves the world, his disciples will carry on his work. He prays therefore that they will be neither discouraged by the world's hatred nor corrupted by its sin (John 17:14-17). Just as Jesus gave himself to God to carry out his work, so he desires his disciples to give themselves to God for the task of spreading his message throughout the world (John 17:18-19).
In the final part of his prayer, Jesus prays for those who will believe through the preaching of that initial group of disciples and so become God's new people, the Christian church. He prays that the same unity as exists between the Father and the Son will bind the believers together, so that through them others too will believe (John 17:20-23). Jesus desires that in the age to come, when he enjoys the glory that was his before the world began, all who have trusted in him will be there with him. Meanwhile, in the present world of unbelief, they will learn more of him as they share in the love that the Father has for the Son. The world will begin to know God when it sees the love of Jesus in his people (John 17:24-26).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on John 17". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany