Read John 17
Jesus Prays to Be Glorified
1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Jesus Prays for His Disciples
6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
In this chapter, Jesus closes His parting words to the disciples with a lengthy prayer, which scholars call the “High Priestly Prayer.” He first prays for the Father to glorify Him (Jesus) so that Jesus may glorify the Father. Second, He prays for His disciples as they are going to remain in the world. Finally, Jesus ends with praying for believers everywhere who have heard and responded to His message.
While there is much we can learn in these prayers from Jesus, there are two things that stick out:
- He prays that humanity would come to know the only True God through Jesus Christ (verse 3).
- He prays that those who believe would be one with the Father so that the rest of the world would believe Jesus was sent by God (verse 21).
Jesus knows His time on earth is about to expire and that His entire purpose for living is about to be fully realized. He also knows that torture, suffering, and death await Him. Yet here we see Jesus focused on praying for those He loves. As we read His prayer for His disciples and us, we can almost see His urgency as He prays that we would remain steadfast and connected to God, “completely one” with God so that the world would know God loves them just as He loves Jesus, and we would be filled with His joy. His joy.
As we read this today, it serves as such a helpful reminder of exactly why Christ was born. God sent His son into the world not to condemn the world, but to save it (John 3:17). He was born so that we could know the only True God personally. From this relationship, we can experience joy despite our circumstances, and then go and tell others of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
- What sticks out to you as you read Jesus’s prayers in this chapter?
- How has knowing the only True God satisfied you this year more than previous years? If you do not know the only True God, reach out to someone that does and ask them to help you.
- Who has God placed in your life that needs a reminder that God loves them? Pray for them right now.
Did You Know?
As Jesus begins praying for the disciples and believers everywhere, notice how much He focuses on the idea of unity. Jesus knows that believers, when united, can further the Kingdom in massive ways. This sets up a theme that the Apostle Paul focused on in many of his letters to the churches he established.