Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, April 24th, 2024
the Fourth Week after Easter
Take your personal ministry to the Next Level by helping StudyLight build churches and supporting pastors in Uganda.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
John 17

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verse 1

John 17:1

Several times John noted that Jesus’ time had not yet come (John 2:4; John 7:6, John 7:8, John 7:30; John 8:20). Then in His intercessory prayer, just before the Cross, He began, “Father, the time has come” (John 17:1; cf. John 12:23, John 12:27; John 13:1).

17:1–26 The Prayer of Jesus. Jesus’ longest recorded prayer.

John 17 records the true “Lord’s Prayer” (in contrast to the “model prayer” of Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4).

Glorify your Son ... In the Gospel of John, the cross is a place of honor. Jesus’ oneness with the Father means that if the Son is glorified, the Father will also be glorified.

Verse 2

John 17:2

17:2 “authority over all flesh” This is an awesome statement by a peasant carpenter (cf. John 5:27; Matthew 11:27; Matthew 28:18; Luke 10:22). The term “authority” (exousia) is the same one used in John 1:12; John 5:27; John 19:10-11. It can be translated “legal right,” “authority,” or “power.” The phrase “all flesh” is SINGULAR (a Hebrew idiom referring to mankind, cf. Genesis 6:12; Psalms 65:2; Psalms 145:21; Isaiah 40:5; Isaiah 66:23; Joel 2:28). - Utley,

those you have given him ... See vv. 6, 9, 12, 24; see also John 6:37-39, 44 and notes.

as many as you have given ... refers to the apostles.

Verse 3

John 17:3

17:3. Eternal life is more than an endless existence. It is a personal relationship with God.

This verse shows the two major truths of Christianity: (1) monotheism (cf. Deut. 6:4–6) and (2) Jesus as Divine Davidic Messiah (cf. 2 Sam. 7).

See Utley on "the only true God."

and Jesus Christ whom You have sent ... This emphasis on Jesus as “sent” from the Father is a recurrent vertical dualism in John (cf. John 3:17, John 3:34; John 5:36, John 5:38; John 6:29, John 6:38, John 6:57; John 7:29; John 8:42; John 10:36; John 11:42; John 17:3, John 17:8, John 17:18, John 17:21, John 17:23, John 17:25; John 20:21). The rabbis used the term apostello was to refer to one sent as an official representative. - Utley

Verse 4

John 17:4

17:4. I have finished (teleiosas) means “I have made perfect or completed.” This verb is in the active voice, indicating Christ had finished His active ministry (cf. 4:34). He now assumes a passive role. In 19:30 (“It is finished”) the passive voice suggests that He has by then finished His passive ministry as well.

Verse 5

John 17:5

with thine own self ... In fellowship with Thee. The following great truths are contained in these two verses; (1) that the Son is in Person distinct from the Father; (2) that the Son, existing in glory with the Father from all eternity, working in obedience to the Father on earth, existing in glory with the Father now, is in Person one and the same. - Plummer, A.

Verse 6

John 17:6

manifested your name ... Among the Hebrews and many ancients the "names" were meant to reflect character.

The name of God summarizes everything about Him (cf. Exod. 3:13–15; Isa. 52:6). Manifesting the name of God to people means revealing His essential nature to them. The Eleven had kept God’s word by believing on and following Jesus even though they were not consistently obedient. - Constable.

In later Jewish literature, the name of God became enshrined in the sacred tetragrammaton (Yahweh), so that “the Name” served as a substitute for pronouncing this divine name. - Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary:

the men ... ESV "people", NCV, NIV "those"

Does this refer to all those who came to hear Jesus’ message of salvation, or a reference to the twelve?

Verse 8

John 17:8

them ... these apostles.

Verse 9

John 17:9

I ask on their behalf ... Jesus is our Mediator and Advocate (cf. 1 John 2:1). The Father is also involved in these tasks (cf. John 16:26-27) as is the Spirit (cf. Romans 8:26-27). All three Persons of the Trinity are involved in all aspects of redemption. - Utley,

the world ... Kosmos is used 18 times in this chapter. Jesus cares for (1) the planet (cf. John 17:5, John 17:24) and (2) believers’ relationship to its fallenness (cf. John 1:10; John 17:6, John 17:9, John 17:11, John 17:13, John 17:14, John 17:15, John 17:16, John 17:17, John 17:18, John 17:21, John 17:23). In John’s writings this term uniquely means “human society organized and functioning apart from God.” Sometimes it implies (1) the planet; (2) all life on the planet; or (3) or life apart from God. - Utley,

Verse 14

John 17:14

your word ... Not the OT Scriptures, but Jesus’ own teachings, and more broadly, the whole of his life, which is the revelation of himself as the Word of God (John 1:1, John 1:14). - ESV Study Bible

The term “word” here is logos. The Greek synonym rhēma is used in verse 8. This is an affirmation of divine revelation through Jesus’ person, teachings, and example. Jesus gives the Word and is the Word. - Utley.

Verse 17

John 17:17

Sanctify them ... This is an AORIST ACTIVE IMPERATIVE from the root “holy” (hagios). Believers are called to Christlikeness (cf. John 17:19; Romans 8:24; Galatians 4:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). This can only happen through knowledge of the truth, which is both living word (Jesus cf. 10:36) and written word (Bible cf. 15:3). - Utley.

Sanctify them ... consecrate them (cf. John 10:36). Set them apart; Those who follow and obey the Word are set apart (sanctified) from the world and enjoy God’s blessings.

The idea of sanctification is the setting apart of something for a particular use. Accordingly, believers are set apart for God and His purposes alone so that the believer does only what God wants and hates all that God hates (Leviticus 11:44-45; 1 Peter 1:16). - The MacArthur Study Bible

The sanctification of Christians is a lifelong process - ESV Study Bible

Verse 20

John 17:20

DIVISION is Sinful- 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, John 17:20-21.

There is only one body- Ephesians 4:4 & Ephesians 1:22-23, 1 Corinthians 12:13.

To support false teacher is sinful- 2 John 1:10-11, Isaiah 5:20, Proverbs 17:15.

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on John 17". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/john-17.html. 2021.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile