1. After Jesus finished saying this. The things in the last few chapters. McGarvey says this is still in the upstairs room. Father, the hour has come. [People commonly prayed standing with their arms raised above their head, looking “up” to heaven.] This is the real “Lord’s Prayer.” He turns his thoughts from the disciples to the Father. Jesus stands “at the foot of the Cross,” and with full knowledge of what he must experience, and why he is doing it, he prays these words. This forms the climax to the teaching that begins in chapter 13. At its conclusion, they will go to Gethsemane. John alone records these important words for us.
2. So that he might give eternal life. McGarvey says: “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.”
3. And this is eternal life. See 1 John 5:20. As we actually live “God’s life,” we know him; and the New Testament shows us how to live “God’s life.”
4. I showed your glory on earth. There was no longer any reason for him to stay on earth. He had finished the work leading up to the Cross.
5. Father! Give me glory. John 17:4-5 are explained by Philippians 2:5-11. This shows the continuity of the historical Christ with the Logos (see John 8:58).
6. I have made you known. Now he prays for his disciples. The apostles are the ones he especially singles out.
9. I pray for them. His prayer from John 17:9-19 is for the apostles. I do not pray for the world. He sets the world aside for the present, to pray specifically for his apostles. Luther says: “To pray for the world, and not to pray for the world, must both be right and good. For soon after He says Himself: ‘Neither pray I for those alone, but for them also who shall believe on me’.”
10. And my glory is shown through them. By their holy lives and the work they would do in his name.
11. But they are in the world. “Christ has no hands but our hands, to do his work today.” So they may be one. See John 17:21.
12. Except the man who was bound to be lost. Judas had made himself fit the prediction (Psalms 41:9).
15–16. To take them out of the world. The world is blessed by the Christian being in it. The Christian is blessed by the battle to defeat the world and bring it to Christ. See 1 Peter 1:6-10.
17–18. Dedicate them to yourself. [SANCTIFY = to chose, set apart, dedicate, make holy.] Truth is the means; God’s word is truth. Compare 1 Peter 1:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:13.
19. And for their sake. The purpose of Christ dedicating himself to the Father, was to bring the truth by and in which the disciples might be dedicated to the Father.
20. I do not pray only for them. For all who will be disciples down through the future until time ends.
21. I pray that they may all be one. This is a prayer for the UNITY [not union] of all disciples. The “spirit” that divides “Christians” into warring factions, is CONTRARY to this prayer. Christians should be ONE in intent and purpose. So that the world will believe you sent me. It must be a unity which the world can see and recognize. [Some think the prime force of what he says was directed to the apostles. See notes on John 13:4-5.] Church quarrels and sectarian division causes unbelief!
22–23. The same glory you gave me. The work of Christ is accomplished when men are ONE in Christ. See John 1:12; 1 John 3:1; Galatians 3:26-29. Just as you and I are one. All who are guided by the one Spirit will be one with each other! See Ephesians 4:3; Ephesians 4:13.
24–26. And I will continue to do so. By his death and by sending the Spirit of truth. The purpose of this, is so that the love the Father has for the Son will be in the disciples from that time on, to the end of time!
These files are public domain.
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 17". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Easter