Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 17:2

even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Immortality;   Jesus Continued;   Life;   Power;   Prayer;   Predestination;   Regeneration;   Righteous;   Scofield Reference Index - Believers;   Christ;   Thompson Chain Reference - Ask;   Christ;   Christ's;   Church;   Family;   Importunity;   Power;   Prayer;   Secret Prayer;   United Prayer;   Unwise Prayers;   Weakness-Power;   Wicked, the;   The Topic Concordance - Belief;   Belonging;   Declaration;   Disciples/apostles;   Eternal Life;   Giving and Gifts;   Glory;   God;   Hate;   Jesus Christ;   Judas Iscariot;   Knowledge;   Losing and Things Lost;   Love;   Manifestation;   Power;   Sanctification;   Sending and Those Sent;   Truth;   Unity;   Will of God;   Word of God;   World;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Life, Eternal;   Power of Christ, the;   Reward of Saints, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Authority;   Election;   Eternity;   Predestination;   Son of god;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Life;   Mediator, Mediation;   Power;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Calvinists;   Commentary;   Covenant;   Intercession of Christ;   Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ;   Predestination;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Hypostatic union;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Covenant;   Perseverance of the Saints;   Predestination;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Flesh;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Authority;   Body;   John, the Gospel of;   Unity;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Children (Sons) of God;   Ephesians, Epistle to;   Hope;   Prayer;   Resurrection;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Attributes of Christ;   Creator (Christ as);   Death of Christ;   Dominion (2);   Election;   Flesh (2);   Force;   Hopefulness ;   Ideas (Leading);   Immortality (2);   Mediator;   Merit;   Mission;   Missions;   Names and Titles of Christ;   Reverence;   Salvation Save Saviour;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Power;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Body;   Crown;   Kingdom of christ;   Peniel;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Atonement;   Authority in Religion;   James;   Life;   Parousia;   Prayers of Jesus;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for January 18;   Every Day Light - Devotion for October 10;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

As thou hast given him power - As the Messiah, Jesus Christ received from the Father universal dominion. All flesh, i.e. all the human race, was given unto him, that by one sacrifice of himself, he might reconcile them all to God; having by his grace tasted death for every man, Hebrews 2:9. And this was according to the promise of the universal inheritance made to Christ, Psalm 2:8, which was to be made up of the heathen, and the uttermost parts of the land, all the Jewish people. So that he got all from God, that he might give his life a ransom for the whole. See 2 Corinthians 5:14, 2 Corinthians 5:15; Romans 5:21; 1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Timothy 2:6.

That he should have eternal life, etc. - As all were delivered into his power, and he poured out his blood to redeem all, then the design of God is that all should have eternal life, because all are given for this purpose to Christ; and, that this end might be accomplished, he has become their sacrifice and atonement.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 17:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-17.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

As thou hast given him power - It was on the ground of this power given to Christ that the apostles were commanded to go and teach all nations. See the notes at Matthew 28:18-19.

All flesh - All men, Matthew 24:22; Luke 3:6.

That he should give eternal life - See the notes at John 5:24.

To as many as thou hast given him - See the notes at John 10:16; John 6:37. To all on whom the Father has purposed to bestow the blessings of redemption through his Son. God has a plan in all he does, extending to men as well as to other objects. One part of his plan was that the atonement of Christ should not be in vain. Hence he promised him that he should see of the travail of his soul and should be satisfied Isaiah 53:11; and hence the Saviour had the assurance that the Father had given him a portion of the human family, and would apply this great work to them. It is to be observed here that the Saviour in this prayer makes an important distinction between “all flesh” and those who were “given to him.” He has power over all. He can control, direct, restrain them. Wicked men are so far under his universal dominion, and so far restrained by his power, that they will not be able to prevent his bestowing redemption on those were given him that is, all who will believe on him. Long ago, if they had been able, they would have banished religion from the world; but they are under the power of Christ, and it is his purpose that there shall be “a seed to serve him,” and that “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against his church. Men who oppose the gospel should therefore feel that they cannot prevent the salvation of Christians, and should be alarmed lest they be found “fighting against God.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-17.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Even as thou gavest him authority over all flesh, that to all whom thou hast given him, he should give eternal life.

Authority over all flesh ... Jesus' use of the third person accounts for some strange expressions in the prayer (John 17:3), the reason for this being found in the Lord's mental and spiritual condition during the prayer. Here the God-man was caught up into a union with the Father so complete and intimate that, for the moment, his whole human nature was thought of by Christ as if it were apart from himself. Also, the third person was a vehicle of further instructing the apostles.

Over all flesh ... To Jesus alone, God committed the judgment of humanity.

That to all whom thou hast given him ... All men belong to God, but not all are given to Christ. This clause shows that God gave Christ a special kind of authority over those given to him, the authority to give them eternal life. Thus, the gift of eternal life is conditional and available to them alone who are Christ's. Shank said:

All mankind rightfully belongs to God, as sovereign Creator; but those who seek to know and do his will are his in a special sense, and in them will be fulfilled God's real purpose in creation.[9]

ENDNOTE:

[9] Robert Shank, Jesus, His Story (Springfield, Massachusetts: Westcott Publishers, 1962), p. 206.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-17.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

As thou hast given him power over all flesh,.... All men, in distinction from angels; and these as fallen, as weak, frail, sinful, and mortal creatures; men of every nation, Jew or Gentile, and of every character, elect or non-elect: not but that he has also a power over angels; nor is his power over men limited to their "flesh" or bodies, but reaches to their spirits or souls also: which power is a governing, disposing, and judicial one; he rules them with a sceptre of righteousness, he disposes of them in providence as he pleases, and will judge them at the last day: and this is a power that is "given" him by his Father, and is not that original power over all things he has as God, and the Creator of them, which is natural, essential, and underived; but is a derived and delegated power, which he has as Mediator, as subservient to the ends and designs of his office: and as God glorified him as such, by giving him this power; so he glorifies him again, by acknowledging it, and by using it for the end for which it is given:

that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him; eternal life is a gift, and not owing to the merits of men; indeed there is no merit in men's works, no, not in the best; for these are previously due to God, cannot be profitable to him, if done aright, are not done in the creature's strength, but through the grace of God, and bear no proportion to eternal life; which is in Christ's gift: not only the promise of it is in him, but that itself; it is put into his hands, and he came into this world, that his people might have it; he has procured it, and has removed what lay in the way of their enjoyment of it; he has a right to bestow it, and their right unto it comes by him, through his blood and righteousness: the persons on whom he confers this gift, are not all men, but such as the Father in the everlasting covenant has given to him, as his people and portion, his spouse and children, his jewels and his treasure, to be saved and enjoyed by him; whom he has chosen and preserved in him, and made his care and charge; to these, and every one of these, Christ gives this great blessing; nor shalt any of them come short of it; and it is for the sake of this, that all creatures and things, all power in heaven and in earth, are given to him.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 17:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-17.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 17:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-17.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

given — gavest

him power over all flesh — (See on Matthew 11:27; see on Matthew 28:18-20).

give eternal life to as many as, etc. — literally, “to all that which thou hast given him.” (See on John 6:37-40).

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-17.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

As thou hast given him power over all flesh. This shows how the Son is to be glorified. It is by "giving him all power in heaven and earth," and "committing all things" to him, raising him from the dead so that "he should give eternal life."

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 17:2". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-17.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Authority over all flesh (εχουσιαν πασης σαρκοςexousian pasēs sarkos). ΣαρκοςSarkos is objective genitive. Stupendous claim impossible for a mere man to make. Made already in Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22 (Q, the Logia of Jesus, our earliest known document about Jesus) and repeated in Matthew 28:18 after his resurrection.

That (ιναhina). Secondary purpose with ινα δωσειhina dōsei (future active indicative) carrying on the idea of ινα δοχασηιhina doxasēi See John 13:34; John 17:21 for ινα κατωσ ιναhina class="normal greek">παν ο — kathōs class="normal greek">παν ο hina

Whatsoever
(οpān ho). A peculiar classical Greek idiom, the collective use of the singular αυτοιςpān ho as in John 6:37, John 6:39 and ho in John 17:24 and the nominative absolute (nom. pendens) with autois (to them), the dative plural explaining the construction. See Robertson, Grammar, p. 653.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-17.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Power ( ἐξουσίαν )

Rev., rightly, authority. See on John 1:12.

All flesh

A Hebrew phrase, denoting the whole of humanity in its imperfection. See Genesis 6:12; Psalm 65:2; Isaiah 40:5, etc.

That He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him ( ἵνα πᾶν ὃ δέδωκας αὐτῷ, δώσῃ αὐτοῖς ζωὴν αἰώνιον )

Literally, that all that Thou hast given Him, to them He should give eternal life. All ( πᾶν ), singular number, regards the body of Christian disciples collectively: to them, individually.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-17.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

As thou hast given him power over all flesh — This answers to glorify thy Son. That he may give eternal life, etc.-This answers to that thy Son may glorify thee.

To all whom thou hast given him — To all believers. This is a clear proof that Christ designed his sacrifice should avail for all: yea, that all flesh, every man, should partake of everlasting life. For as the Father had given him power over all flesh, so he gave himself a ransom for all.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 17:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-17.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

even as thou gavest him authority over all flesh, that to all whom thou hast given him, he should give eternal life1.

  1. 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.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 17:2". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-17.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Так как Ты дал Ему. Христос снова подтверждает: Он просит лишь о том, что согласуется с волей Отца. Ведь вечное правило молитвы – не просить больше, чем собирается дать Бог. Ибо нет ничего более дурного, чем просить Его обо всем, что нам вздумается. Власть над всякою плотью означает здесь царство, дарованное Христу, когда Отец поставил Его Царем и Главою всего. Но надобно иметь в виду цель, а именно: Христос должен дать жизнь всем Своим людям. Итак, Христос принял власть не столько для Себя, сколько ради нашего спасения. И нам добровольно надлежит покориться Христу не только для того, чтобы повиноваться Богу, но и потому, что нет ничего приятнее сего подчинения. Ведь Христос – причина нашей вечной жизни. Кроме того, Христос не говорит, что поставлен над миром, дабы всем принести жизнь. Он ограничивает благодать лишь теми, кто дан Ему. Каким же образом? Ведь и отверженных Отец покорил Его власти. Отвечаю: одни лишь избранные принадлежат Его особому стаду, охрана которого возложена на Него как на Пастыря. Итак, царство Христово распространяется на всех людей, но спасительно оно только для избранных, добровольно следующих за гласом Пастыря. Других Христос заставляет подчиниться Себе насильно, покуда совершенно не сокрушит их железным жезлом.

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-17.html. 1840-57.

Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books

Vv. 2 is an explanatory annex to John 17:1. Jesus reminds the Father of that which gives Him the right to say to Him: Glorify me! In praying thus, He acts only in conformity with the decree of God Himself: As thou hast given him power. This gift consists in the decree by which God conferred the sovereignty over the whole human race (all flesh) upon the Son, when He sent Him to fulfil here on earth His mission of Saviour (John 10:36); comp. Ephesians 1:10.

The work of salvation which He has to fulfil in the midst of mankind has indeed as its condition the position of Lord; comp. Matthew 28:18 : "All power has been given to me," a passage in which the sovereignty which has been gained serves as a basis for the command to teach and baptize all the nations—that is to say, to take possession of them. — The second clause: that he may give life, is parallel to the second clause of John 17:1 : that he may glorify thee. The true means of glorifying God is to communicate eternal life— that is to say, to associate men with the life of God. In presenting the aim of His petition under this new aspect, Jesus therefore gives the ground for it in a different way. His petition is equivalent to saying: "Grant me the Ascension, that I may be able to bring to pass the Pentecost." For it is through the gift of the Holy Spirit that Jesus communicates life to believers (John 7:37-39). Weiss does not recognize this relation, which is so simple, between the life and the Spirit, and wishes to see here only the extension of the action of Jesus to the whole world.— πᾶν, all, designates the future body of believers, that unity, that ἕν (of which John 7:33, John 11:52, Ephesians 2:14, speak) which God has eternally completed and given to the Son (Romans 8:28). The word πᾶν is a nominative absolute; comp. John 6:39. Afterwards, the same idea is taken up again and placed in its regular case in the limiting word αὐτοῖς, to them. This plural pronoun individualizes the contents of the totality, which is the object of the gift. For if the gift made by God to Christ is a collective act including every one who believes, the communication of life by Christ to believers is an individual fact.

The term: that which thou hast given him, recalls the expressions of ch. 6: "those whom the Father teaches, draws, gives to the Son" (John 6:37; John 6:44-45; John 6:65); they are those whom the influence of the law and prophecy lead with eagerness for salvation to the feet of Jesus.

The form δώσῃ is not Greek; it recurs, however, in Revelation 8:3; Revelation 13:16 in some MSS. We must see in it either a future subjunctive, a later form of which some examples, it is thought, are found in the New Testament (Baumlein cites ὄψησθε, Luke 13:28; καυθήσωμαι, 1 Corinthians 13:3; κερδηθήσωνται, 1 Peter 3:1; εὑρήσῃς, Revelation 18:14); or may it be the subjunctive of an incorrect aorist ἔδωσα, instead of ἔδωκα? It would indeed have been difficult to say δώκῃ . But the true reading is perhaps δώσει (Vatic.), of which it was thought a subjunctive must be made because of the ἵνα (comp. the reading γινώσκωσι in John 17:3). The reading δώσω in the Sinaitic MS. is incompatible with the third person used throughout the whole passage. The reading αὐτῷ, to it (the πᾶν), in the same MS., is also an evident correction.

The meaning of the expression: all that which thou hast given him, is less extensive than that of the term all flesh; it refers only to believers. If Jesus has received power over every manliving, it is with reference to believers whom it is His mission to save. Comp. Ephesians 1:22 : "He has given Him to the Church as head over all things," that is to say, as its head, who, at the same time, is on its behalf established over all things.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/john-17.html.

Scofield's Reference Notes

give eternal life

Christ's gifts to those whom the Father gave Him: Eternal life John 17:2; the Father's name (John 17:6; John 17:26; John 20:17), the Father's words (John 17:8; John 17:14); His own joy (John 17:13); His own glory (John 17:22).

given him

Seven times Jesus speaks of believers as given to Him by the Father (John 17:2; John 17:6; John 17:9; John 17:11; John 17:12; John 17:24). Jesus Christ is God's love-gift to the world (John 3:16), and believers are the Father's love-gift to Jesus Christ. It is Christ who commits the believer to the Father for safe keeping, so that the believer's security rests upon the Father's faithfulness to His Son Jesus Christ.

Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on John 17:2". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/john-17.html. 1917.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST

‘Thou gavest Him authority over all flesh.’

John 17:2 (R.V.)

‘All flesh.’ It is an expression often found in Scripture. It is a phrase which denotes man in his weakness and transitoriness, in contrast to the greatness and unchangeableness of God. The flesh of which all men are partakers has become, by reason of sin, our foe, not our ally. How can we hope to fight on, to conquer?

I. We have One Who has been given ‘authority over all flesh.’—He, too, was tempted in and by the flesh and He conquered. He has in Himself raised and dignified and sanctified the flesh and made it holy. To the cry of agony, ‘Who shall deliver me from this body of sin?’ He has enabled us to answer, ‘I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.’

II. Do you ask how He obtained this authority?—I answer, by the Incarnation. ‘He was made Man.’ ‘The Word was made flesh.’ ‘Since the children are sharers in flesh and blood, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same.’ ‘He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ This authority, claimed and fairly won by our King, is a great reality.

III. It was manifested all through, from the cradle to the Throne.

(a) In His life on earth, in His poverty, in His temptation, in His miracles, in His sinlessness.

(b) In His death. ‘No one taketh My life away from Me, but I lay it down of Myself’; manifested when, after hours of torture, ‘He cried with a loud voice and gave up the Ghost.’

(c) In His grave, for His flesh ‘saw no corruption,’ but He came forth from the grave ‘because it was not possible that He should be holden of it.’

(d) In His Resurrection. ‘I have power to take My life again.’

(e) It is manifested in glory, for still He is clothed in a human body, though spiritual and glorified. Still He gives His Flesh to His people after a heavenly and spiritual manner. Still in Holy Communion our sinful bodies are made clean by His Body.

Let us try and make this truth a reality in ourselves!

Bishop C. J. Ridgeway.

Illustration

‘The expression “all flesh” seems to denote all mankind. All are not saved, but Christ has power and authority over all. Some confine it to the “elect,” but I cannot see the force of their argument. To my eyes it is like John 3:16, where “world” and “believers” are in contradistinction. So it seems here, “all flesh” and “given ones.”’

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on John 17:2". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/john-17.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 2. That he should give eternal life] And what more free than gift? Note this against our merit mongers, who not only cry, with Novatus, Non habeo, Domine, quod mihi ignoscas, I have done nothing that thou shouldest forgive me; but with Vega, Vitam aeternam gratis non accipiam, I will not have heaven for nothing. How much better St Augustine, Homo agnoscat, saith he, ut Deus ignoscat. Man knows that God may forgive. And William Wickam, founder of New College, who though he did many good works, yet he professed that he trusted to Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 17:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-17.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

John 17:2

I. Perhaps the first thought which arrests the mind in this wide-circling verse is the connection of power and mercy—power all subordinate to mercy. Three gifts, you will observe—three gifts are separately mentioned, and these three gifts comprise everything. The whole truth, as it is in Jesus, is wrapt up in these three gifts. God gives Christ a people. Over that people, when He had died for them, God gives Christ authority,—for that is the meaning of the word "power:" authority, prerogative, rule. And Christ, using the power, gives to them eternal life.

II. It is just what we want—a force superior to the grossnesses of nature—an authority which asserts itself over the material—something that can elevate what we call the baser to something which seems to us to be, and which perhaps is, the higher part of our being. We want it daily in ourselves—we want it in those we love—we want it in the thickness and oppressiveness of a burdened life—we want it in all the great things of life—we want it in the Judgment Day—we want it in the new heavens and the new earth—we want it and we have it. "Thou hast given Him power over all flesh."

III. What is eternal life? (1) It is a thing present. Never think of eternal life as a thing beginning the other side of the grave. It begins now, or not at all. (2) To know God is eternal life. But remember it is no knowledge of God or of Christ to know them intellectually—to know them abstractly. You must know them personally. You must not know of them as you read in a book, as you know persons in history; but you must know them as you know one with whom you are intimate, whose mind you have read; in whose smile you have sunned yourself; in whose heart you are; with whom you have held sweet converse. That is life here—that is life for ever and ever.

J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 4th series, p. 314.


References: John 17:2.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. x., No. 566; Homiletic Magazine, vol. xvii., p. 122; J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 1874, p. 314. John 17:1-8.—W. Roberts, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xii., p. 277. John 17:1-7.—J. H. Evans, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 265. John 17:3.—Contemporary Pulpit, vol. iv., p. 310; S. Baring Gould, One Hundred Sermon Sketches, p. 43; G. Brooks, Five Hundred Outlines, p. 17; Homiletic Magazine, vol. x., p. 5; H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxviii., p. 33.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/john-17.html.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. The dignity which Christ was invested with, power over all flesh: that is, authority to judge and sentence all mankind.

Observe, 2. How Christ came to be invested with this power; it was given him by his Father: Thou hast given him power over all flesh. Hence the Socinians would infer, that he was not God, because he received all from God; but the text speaks not of his divine power as God, but of his power as Mediator.

And the note is, that all mankind is under the power and authority of Jesus Christ as Mediator: he has a legislative power, or a power to give laws to all mankind; and a judiciary power, or a power to execute the laws that he hath given.

Observe, 3. The end for which Christ was invested with this power: That he might give eternal life to as many as God hath given him.

Here note, 1. That all believers, that is, all sincere and serious Christians, are given by God the Father unto Christ; they are given to him as his charge, to redeem, sanctify, and save; and as his reward, Isaiah 53:10.

2. All that are given to Christ, have life from him; a life of justification and sanctification on earth, and a life of glory in heaven.

3. The life which Christ gives to them that are given him, is eternal life.

4. That this eternal life is a free gift from Christ unto his people; though they do not work for wages, yet they shall not work for nothing: I give unto them eternal life.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 17:2". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-17.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

2.] “The causal connexion expressed by καθώς is this, that the glorification, the end, must correspond to the beginning, to the sending, the preparation, and office of the Son.” (Lücke.) We must also bear in mind that the ‘giving of power’ in this verse is the ground, as well as the type, of the glorification, see Romans 1:28; 1 Corinthians 1:6; so Stier (v. 383, edn. 2).

πᾶσα σάρξ is not only ‘all mankind,’ but (see Genesis 7:15-16; Genesis 7:21) all that has life, all that is subject to death, all that is cursed on account of sin. But of this all, mankind is the head and crown, and in the full blessings of the Lordship of Christ mankind only can participate. πᾶσα σάρξ is given by the Father from before the foundation of the world to Christ; the whole creation is His to rule, His to judge, by virtue of His being, in the root of that human nature, to which sovereignty over the world was given, THE SECOND AND RIGHTEOUS ADAM.

But in this wide gift, there is a more special gift,— ὃ δέδωκας αὐτῷ in the stricter sense,—the chosen, they who believe on Him. And to them, and them only, He imparts the further and ineffable gift consequent on union with Him their God in the Spirit,—viz. ETERNAL LIFE (compare ch. John 5:26-27; also John 6:37).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 17:2". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-17.html. 1863-1878.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 1708

CHRIST’S POWER TO GIVE ETERNAL LIFE

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

WE have in these words an unbounded prospect from eternity to eternity: they present to our view the commission first given by the Father to the Son; they exhibit the Son in due season pleading that commission, and finally executing it when the world shall be no more: they lead us to contemplate,

I. The power given to Christ—

As God, he possessed all power equally with the Father; but, as Mediator, he received his power from the Father. This power was,

1. Universal in its extent—

[Not only was the material world, with all the brute creation, subject to his will, but man; “power was given him over all flesh.” His enemies are entirely under his controul: he restrains their violence [Note: Psalms 76:10.], defeats their plots [Note: Job 5:12.], and overrules their efforts for the accomplishment of his own eternal counsels [Note: Psalms 2:4.] — — — His friends and people are his more especial care: he watches over them for good continually [Note: Psalms 34:15.], succours them when tempted [Note: Hebrews 2:18.], strengthens them when weak [Note: 2 Corinthians 12:9.], and accomplishes in them all the good pleasure of his goodness [Note: 2 Thessalonians 1:11.] — — —]

2. Infinite in its degree—

[There is nothing beyond the reach of his power. If he chose to annihilate the whole human race, he could effect it in a moment, by a simple act of volition. If, on the contrary, he would change them all into his own divine image, he could as easily create them all anew, as he at first produced them out of nothing. By making use of second causes indeed, he conceals his own agency: but there is nothing done in the whole creation, which does not originate in him, as the only source of wisdom and of strength.]

But we are yet more particularly interested in considering,

II. The end for which he was invested with it—

The Father gave to Christ an elect people—

[It is worthy of notice, that Christ, in this his intercessory prayer, speaks again and again of those who were “given him” by the Father. And, in truth, if the Father had not given to him a peculiar people, we have no reason to think that any would ever have given themselves to him, since there is not in fallen man either the inclination or the ability to do so [Note: Philippians 2:13.]. They who do yield themselves up to him are “made willing in the day of God’s power [Note: Psalms 110:3.],” and in consequence of their having been “predestinated unto the adoption of children from before the foundation of the world [Note: Ephesians 1:4-5.].”]

To these “Christ gives eternal life”—

[The life of grace which is begun in their souls, is the gift of Christ [Note: John 4:14; John 6:51.]. The continuance of it is the effect of his continued communications [Note: Colossians 3:3-4.]. Its consummation also is bestowed by him [Note: John 12:32; John 14:19.] without any merit in us, or any motive in himself, but a concern for his own, and his Father’s glory [Note: John 14:13.]. Life, in every stage of it, both in this world and the next, is entirely his free gift. One is as much indebted to him for it as another: there will not be one in heaven that will not owe his salvation altogether to the merit of his blood, and to the efficacy of his grace.]

And for the accomplishment of this end he both received and exerts his power—

[It would have been to little purpose to have received from the Father an elect people, if he had not been invested also with power to secure them to himself. The Father well knew how many obstacles there would be to their salvation; and therefore he committed all power to his Son, that nothing might resist his will, or prevent the accomplishment of his eternal counsels. Jesus, thus qualified, orders every thing, both in heaven and earth, with an immediate reference to this great design. Events may sometimes appear to oppose his gracious intentions: but, as in a well-constructed watch the seemingly contrary movements all conduce to one end, so every dispensation, whether of providence or of grace, ultimately tends to his glory in our salvation [Note: Romans 8:28.].]

Infer—

1. What madness is it to neglect the Lord Jesus Christ!

[If any man have great preferments in his gift, he is sure to have many courting an interest in his favour. But the Lord Jesus Christ has eternal life to bestow upon us, and yet we can scarcely be induced to ask it at his hands. What strange infatuation! O let us awake from our slumbers, and implore of him the benefits he is so willing to confer.]

2. How great is the security which the Lord’s people enjoy!

[Jesus both possesses and exerts omnipotence in their behalf. What then have they to fear? Let them only secure his aid, and they defy both men and devils. “If he be for them, none can effectually be against them.”]

3. What obligations do we lie under to love and serve the Lord!

[Is Jesus incessantly exerting his almighty power for us, and should not we employ our talents for him? O for a heart duly sensible of his love, and altogether devoted to his service!]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on John 17:2". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/john-17.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 17:2. καθὼς, even as) This clause answers to the former member, glorify, etc.— ἐξουσίαν, power) against the enemy, who had brought into subjection all flesh. Colossians 1:13, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.”— ἵνα πᾶν, that all, etc.) This clause answers to the former member, ἵνα, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee.— πᾶναὐτοῖς, all—to them) See note on ch. John 6:37, πᾶν δίδωσίν μοι πατὴρ, all that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me [In the discourses of Jesus, what the Father gave to Him is called in the singular number and neuter gender πᾶν, all, everything: those who come to the Son Himself are described in the masculine or even in the plural, πᾶς, every one, or they. The Father gave the whole mass, as it were, in order that they all whom He gave should be one, ἕν, one whole: this whole the Son evolves in detail, and singly (one by one) in the execution. What some would call a solecism of construction in the Greek here, really contains beneath it a divine elegance of style, which would never seem harsh to Hebrews]. The collective singular πᾶν, all, everything, and the ἓν, one, one thing, John 17:11 (That they may be one) accord one with another.— δώσῃ) The Future Subjunctive, as θεωρήσωσι, ch. John 7:3, “Go into Judea that Thy disciples also may see.” For if it were not the Future, the Evangelist would probably have written θεωρῶσι, after the Present ὕπαγε. So we have θήσω, ἔσῃ, καυθήσωμαι, κερδηθήσωμαι used as Future Subjunctives. Comp. ἵνα ἔσται, in order that there may be to them. Others read δώσει.(369)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 17:2". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-17.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I see no reason for any to contend here, that by all flesh the elect only, who shall be eternally saved, are to be understood; Christ’s power undoubtedly extendeth further than to the elect, though to them only for salvation; he hath a power over reprobates and unbelievers to condemn them, as well as over his elect, to bring them to eternal life and salvation. The former part of the text speaketh of the more general power and authority, by which the Father had already made Christ glorious; putting all things under his feet, and causing all knees to bow down unto him; which are other phrases by which the same things are expressed, 1 Corinthians 15:27 Philippians 2:10. This general power our Saviour executeth according to the counsels of God, with respect to their faith or unbelief. As to those given to Christ, that he should die in their stead, and with the price of his blood purchase eternal life for them; Christ executeth his power in giving them eternal life: under which notion (as appeareth from many other scriptures) is comprehended, not the end only, which is eternal life and happiness, but all the necessary means in order to that end; from whence we are to observe, that eternal life is a free gift, that the Son gives only to such as the Father hath given him by his eternal counsels; so that all shall not be saved; for the term

as many as, & c., is plainly restrictive, and limits the gift to a certain number. And to examine our right to it, we need not ascend up into heaven, to search the rolls of the eternal counsels; for all whom the Father hath given him shall come unto him, and not only receive him as their High Priest, but give up themselves to be ruled and guided by him, by the efficacious working of the Spirit of his grace. By such a receiving of Christ, and giving up of ourselves to his conduct and government, we shall know whether we be of the number of those that are given to Christ; and till we find this, we have no reason to conclude it, but to fear and suspect the contrary.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 17:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-17.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

власть над всякою плотью Ср. 5:27; см. пояснение к Мф. 28:18. всему, что Ты дал Ему Ссылка на Божье избрание тех, кто придет ко Христу (см. пояснения к 6:37, 44). Через весь Новый Завет проходит библейская доктрина избрания или предопределения (15:16, 19; Деян. 13:48; Рим. 8:29-33; Еф. 1:3-6; 2Фес. 2:13; Тит. 1:1; 1Пет. 1:2).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 17:2". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-17.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Power over all; for the salvation of his people. Matthew 28:18; John 5:21; John 6:37; John 6:40; John 10:15-16.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-17.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2.As—Inasmuch, as, or since. He asks the Father to glorify him, inasmuch as he possesses power to reciprocate that glory in gathering his glorified Church. Surely all this is language that creatures could never use with God. It stands on equal terms, and assumes merit. It claims, rather than supplicates; offering compensation, glory for glory.

Given him—Yet is the Father, even in this equality, source, giver, superior.

All flesh—All humanity. The power of his death is not partial but universal, embracing every child of Adam both before and after birth. We are born under atonement.

As many as thou hast given him—Given him, in the eternal purpose of redemption, as foreknown believers and persevering heirs of salvation; as it is expressed in John 17:20: “Them also which shall [or rather will] believe on me;” and in John 17:8, even the apostles are those that “have believed.” And as that plan of redemption is conditional, saving in divine anticipation all who are foreknown as believers, so it presupposes no want of power for belief in others. It excludes none who do not exclude themselves. Hence this intercessory prayer covers all who please to place themselves beneath it.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-17.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“Even as you gave him authority over all flesh that to all whom you have given him he may give eternal life.”

‘Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh.’ The idea is that this One Who goes to His death is primarily the Judge of all the earth (John 5:27 compare Genesis 18:25; Acts 17:31), and has authority over all men. In consequence He has the authority to do whatever He will, and as a result He has also the authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:10). He came to the world from the Father and the world was under His feet. Thus He could have done what He would, for He had authority over all. He could have taken power and ruled as Satan tempted Him to do (Matthew 4:8-9). But this would not have achieved the object of redemption. So He willingly and tenaciously chose a different path, the path that God had laid down, giving eternal life to those given to Him by the Father in full awareness of the consequences of His choice. Notice the contrast between ‘being given authority over’ and ‘receiving as a gift from the Father’, the one authoritarian and judgmental the other personal and redeeming. The idea of His being given authority over all flesh is monumental. All things had been committed into His hands. He was sole arbiter of the destinies of all men (compare Matthew 7:21-23).

“All whom you have given Him.” The people of God are here described as God’s gift to Christ. This gift of the Father to His Son has been mentioned earlier in passages where Jesus has made plain that men respond to God because He has chosen them and drawn them. All those whom the Father gives Him will come to Him (John 6:37; John 6:39), for they put their trust in Him (John 6:40). Indeed no man can come to Him unless the Father draws him (John 6:44). So that no man comes fully to Christ unless it is given to him of the Father (John 6:65). The Judaisers did not respond to Him because they were ‘not of His sheep’ (John 10:26), while those who did follow were those given to Him by the Father (John 10:29). These verses stress that God is positively active in redeeming men, playing a full part in the bringing of men to Jesus Christ, and that those who are so redeemed are His gift to His Son.

‘He may give eternal life.’ By virtue of His projected offering of Himself He was able to bestow ‘the life of the age to come’ (John 17:2-3 compare John 3:14-16; John 6:52-58), that life which consists of new life in the Spirit (John 3:1-16), to all those given to Him (John 6:37; John 6:39 compare John 6:65; John 10:26-28). It is a life of wonderful quality whereby they know God through personal experience and have the certainty of being raised at the last day.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-17.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Father had glorified the Son by giving Him the authority to give eternal life to all individuals whom the Father had given to the Son (cf. Matthew 28:18). The Father had given Him this authority before Creation (cf. Psalm 2). It was the basis for Jesus" request in John 17:1. Both John 17:2-3 are explanatory and consequently somewhat parenthetical. Jesus referred to believers as those whom the Father had given Him five times in this prayer ( John 17:2; John 17:6 [twice], 9, 24).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-17.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 17:2. Even as thou gayest him authority over all flesh, in order that all that which thou hast given him, he may give unto them life eternal. This verse is clearly connected with John 17:1. It unfolds the means by which the glorifying of the Father is to be accomplished; and the first clause corresponds to ‘glorify Thy Son,’ the second to ‘that the Son may glorify Thee.’ To the Son the Father gave authority over all flesh, that the Son on His part might give to them eternal life. The words ‘all flesh’ (the Old Testament expression for all men) here used are remarkable. No words could more powerfully bring out that universality which is so characteristic of this Gospel and this prayer; while, at the same time, they set before us the picture of all humanity, Gentile as well as Jewish, in its weakness and sinfulness, in its want of the power of the Spirit, in its separation from that spiritual and eternal life in which alone it accomplishes its destiny and attains to the completion of its joy. Over all men the Son received authority that if they would only listen to Him they might be saved: thus the Father glorifies the Son. By the execution of this mission, again, and by the giving of life eternal to all believers, the Son glorifies the Father. The commission, in short, was glory to the Son: the execution was glory to the Father; and the prayer is, that the loving purpose of the Father may be accomplished in the visible glory properly belonging to it. The peculiar structure of this verse, by which Jesus first presents those spoken of as a connected whole, and then proceeds to refer to them in their more individual aspect, has already been spoken of (see on chap, John 6:37); and in the commentary on the same passage we have also seen that under the words ‘all fiat which Thou hast given Him,’ we are not to think of any absolute, predestinating decree laving no regard to the moral and spiritual character of those thus ‘given.’ Their moral and spiritual state is rather the prominent thought; they are believers; they possess eternal life. It is true that this is to be traced to the ‘drawing’ of the Father. From Him alone comes every perfect gift; they are in themselves only weak and sinful flesh; but, at the stage at which we view them here, the working of prevenient grace is long since past; the Father has called them, and they have answered the call: then they are viewed as ‘given.’

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-17.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 17:2. This is the object of Christ’s manifestation and reign. This glorification of the Son, which is now imminent, is in accordance with the purpose of the Father in giving the Son power over men: . Only by His being glorified could the Son give this eternal life, and so fulfil the commission with which He was entrusted is explained in John 12:27 and the verses preceding: Matthew 11:27; Hebrews 1:2. represents , Genesis 6:12, Isaiah 40:6, etc., and denotes the human race as possessed of a frail, terrestrial existence, lacking . , the neuter, as in John 6:39, resolved into the individuals in ; and on the nominative absolute, see Buttmann’s N.T. Gram., 379; and Kypke in loc.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 17:2". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-17.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Ut omne quod dedisti ei, det eis vitam æternam, Greek: ina pan o dedokas outo, dose autios zoen aionion. That is, ut omnibus quos dedisti, &c.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 17:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-17.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

As = Even as.

power = authority. App-172.

over all flesh. Literally of: i.e. in relation to (App-17.) all flesh. Compare Isaiah 40:5. Luke 3:6. Acts 2:17.

eternal. App-151.

life. App-170.

to as many, &c. Literally everything that Thou hast given Him, to them. Seven times in this prayer His people are said to have been given Him by the Father, verses: John 17:2, John 17:6, John 17:6, John 2:9, John 2:11, John 2:12, John 2:24; but see notes on verses: John 17:11, John 17:12.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 17:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-17.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

As thou hast given him, [ kathoos (Greek #2531) edookas (Greek #1325)] - 'According as thou gavest Him'

Power over all flesh. Compare John 3:35, "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand;" Matthew 11:27, "All things are delivered unto Me of My Father;" Matthew 28:18, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth."

That he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. The phraseology here is very special: 'That all that which Thou hast given Him, He should give to them eternal life.' On the import of this language and of the whole sentiment expressed by it, see the notes at John 6:37-40, with the corresponding remarks at the close of that section.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-17.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

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.”

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 17:2". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-17.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) As thou hast given him power over all flesh.—Better, According as thou gavest Him . . . This is the ground on which the prayer in John 17:1 is based. (Comp. John 10:36; John 13:3.) The glory for which He asks is in accordance with the decree which appointed His Messianic work.

“All flesh” represents a Greek translation of a Hebrew phrase. It occurs again in Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20; Luke 3:6; Acts 2:17; Romans 3:20; 1 Corinthians 1:29; 1 Corinthians 15:39; Galatians 2:16; 1 Peter 1:24. St. John uses it in this place only. Its especial signification is humanity as such, considered in its weakness and imperfection.

That he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.—Literally, That all whom thou gavest Him, He may give to them eternal life. (Comp. John 17:6, and Note on John 6:37 et seq.) The word “all” is in the Greek a neuter singular, and signifies collectively the whole body of humanity given to Christ. The word for “to them” is masculine and plural, and signifies the individual reception on the part of those to whom eternal life is given. (Comp. Notes on John 6:39-40.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-17.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
As
3:35; 5:21-29; Psalms 2:6-12; 110:1; Daniel 7:14; Matthew 11:27; 28:18; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Ephesians 1:20; Philippians 2:10; Hebrews 1:2; 2:8,9; 1 Peter 3:22
give
24; 4:14; 6:27,54-57; 10:28; 11:25,26; Romans 6:23; Colossians 3:3,4; 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 John 1:2; 2:25; 5:20; Jude 1:21
many
6:37,39; 10:29
Reciprocal: Genesis 25:5 - GeneralGenesis 47:6 - is;  Genesis 47:11 - Rameses;  Joshua 18:10 - before the Lord;  Joshua 19:51 - These are;  Isaiah 40:5 - all flesh;  Jeremiah 32:27 - God;  Matthew 9:6 - that the;  Matthew 10:1 - he gave;  Matthew 19:16 - eternal;  Matthew 20:14 - I will;  Matthew 20:15 - it;  Matthew 21:3 - The Lord;  Mark 10:40 - GeneralLuke 5:24 - power;  Luke 10:22 - All things;  John 3:15 - eternal;  John 4:15 - give;  John 5:22 - GeneralJohn 5:26 - so hath;  John 6:40 - and believeth;  John 11:22 - God will give it thee;  John 13:3 - knowing;  John 14:6 - the life;  John 16:15 - GeneralJohn 17:6 - the men;  Acts 2:17 - all;  Acts 3:15 - Prince;  1 Corinthians 11:3 - and the head of Christ;  1 Corinthians 15:45 - a quickening;  Titus 1:2 - eternal;  2 Peter 1:3 - his;  2 Peter 1:16 - the power;  1 John 5:11 - God;  Revelation 5:12 - to receive

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 17:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-17.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 2. "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him."

Jesus first justifies His request concerning His glorification. It was in perfect harmony with that glorification that God had given Him the power to impart eternal life to all His people. This power He could exercise only when He had Himself entered into His glory; His saints could be nowhere but where He was; their glory should consist in beholding His glory, ver. 24, ch. John 14:2-3. καθώς here is used just as כאשר in Psalms 51, "When Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba;" Micah 3:4. Primarily it is only correspondence that is meant, but the causal connection lies in the background. For ἐξουσία, compare the remarks on ch. John 10:18. The giving Him power is to be regarded as simultaneous with the sending of ver. 3. It was the recompense which should crown the work, and the prospect of which would inspirit to its performance. As the Father gave the Son His power, so He must place Him in that condition in which He could exercise it. The power given is over all flesh, inasmuch as no man absolutely and of necessity is excluded from the range of it. The limitation of that power is in every case the result of the fault of individuals, who reject the salvation provided for all: comp. "Ye would not," Matthew 23:37. πᾶσα σάρξ embraces the whole of mankind, corresponding to the κόσμος, ch. John 3:16; the ἐν παντὶ ἔθνει, Acts 10:35. In Matthew 24:22, Luke 3:6, Acts 2:17, 1 Corinthians 1:29, πᾶσα σάρξ is used to express the idea of the entire human race. Men are so denominated, in contradistinction to purely spiritual natures: comp. the πνεῦμα σάρκα καὶ οὐκ ἔχει, Luke 24:39. Strictly, the words run, "That all which Thou hast given Him" (nominative absolute), "He may give them." The summing up of all believers into one ideal unity makes still more emphatic the impartation of salvation to all of them, without exception. "As many as Thou hast given Him" corresponds with "whosoever believeth in Him; just as the κόσμος in ch. 3 corresponds with the πᾶσα σάρξ. All are given to Christ who do not wilfully seal their hearts against faith. The limitation cannot be in God, else would the bestowal of power over all flesh be illusory. But it is referred back to God, because He judicially excludes unbelievers from salvation, and judicially makes believers partakers of it.

The eternal life which is here spoken of can belong only to the sphere of the other world; for it is such an eternal life as was still future to the Apostles, whom the Lord had always pre-eminently in His eye. Further, it was only the eternal life of the other world which was absolutely dependent on the glorification of Christ. The conclusion in ver. 24, corresponding with the beginning, leads to the same result; as also does ch. John 14:2-3. But, apart from these clear and definite reasons, in the nature of things we must refer this eternal life to the other world. The expression itself suggests it; and there are only a few passages in the discourses "of our Lord in St John which bring eternal life into this present state. Generally they are in harmony with the words of our Lord in the other Evangelists, where the ζωὴ αἰώνιος is everywhere limited to the other state: comp. Matthew 19:29; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30, where the ζωὴ αἰώνιος is appropriated to the αἰών ἐρχόμενος. Recent exposition, instead of recognising in the few passages of this Gospel exceptions to the rule, has fallen into gross exaggeration, and not shrunk from the assertion, that the Gospel of John contradicts, on the one hand, the other Evangelists, and on the other the revelation of the Apocalypse: compare my commentary (Clark's Transl.). In ch. John 6:40, John 11:25, the resurrection and life are inseparably united; and in ch. John 4:14, John 5:39, John 6:54, John 12:25, eternal life is strictly referred to the other world. Luther: "This power over all that liveth, such authority to give eternal life, belongs to no creature: the creature may receive it, but God's power alone can give eternal life. For even the angels, though they live eternally, cannot impart eternal life."

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 17:2". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-17.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

2.As thou hast given him. He again confirms the statement, that he asks nothing but what is agreeable to the will of the Father; as it is a constant rule o prayer not to ask more than God would freely bestow; for nothing is more contrary to reason, than to bring forward in the presence of God whatever we choose.

Power over all flesh means the authority which was given to Christ, when the Father appointed him to be King and Head; but we must observe the end, which is, to give eternal life to all his people. Christ receives authority, not so much for himself as for the sake of our salvation; and, therefore, we ought to submit to Christ, not only that we may obey God, but because nothing is more lovely than that subjection, since it brings to us eternal life.

To all whom thou hast given me. Christ does not say that he has been made Governor over the whole world, in order to bestow life on all without any distinction; but he limits this grace to those who have been given to him But how were they given to him ? For the Father has subjected to him the reprobate. I reply, it is only the elect who belong to his peculiar flock, which he has undertaken to guard as a Shepherd. So then, the kingdom of Christ extends, no doubt, to all men; but it brings salvation to none but the elect, who with voluntary obedience follow the voice of the Shepherd; for the others are compelled by violence to obey him, till at length he utterly bruise them with his iron scepter.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 17:2". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-17.html. 1840-57.