John Chapter 17
Jesus Prays of Himself:
(Read John 17:1-5)
John's Gospel chapter 17 is called Christ's high priestly prayer. Christ's appointed “hour” has finally arrived to glorify the Father. The hour that Christ refers to was the hour of his death, his resurrection and exaltation. Here Jesus was praying for his disciples before he was betrayed and arrested. He begins his prayer with emphasis on his mission and the restoration of his glory in heaven. His death on the cross was the pathway to his glory. Jesus glorified the Father by accomplishing the work of salvation that brings eternal life. Eternal life is knowing the Father and the Son intimately. Those who trust Christ already begin to experience eternal life now. But it will be fully realized when Christ returns (John 17:24). Jesus ended the last supper with unity of disciples on His mind. Jesus was praying for himself, for the immediate disciples and also for the entire church (John 1-5; 6-19; 20-26). His mission on earth was to glorify the Father by his death on the cross. Jesus asks his Father to restore him to his original state of glory in heaven (John 17:1, 5). Eternal life is experiencing the divine life God gives (2 Peter 1:3; Galatians 5:22-23). Have you received eternal life by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Jesus Prayed for the Disciples:
(Read John 17:6-19)
Jesus considered the disciples as a treasured gift from the Father. He revealed the Father to them, and they obeyed his Word (17:6). Christ cherishes us as his bridegroom (Ephesians 5:22-23). Jesus prayed not for the world but for his disciples. They have been called out of the world and they are not part of the fallen world system anymore. Yet they still live in the world. They believed that the Father had sent Jesus. He prays that they may not be taken out of the world but be protected from the wicked one (John 17:15). They will be hated by the world because they don't belong to the world. They are placed here to become the witnesses of Christ. God planned all these things even before the foundation of the world (John 17:24). Jesus prays that disciples would be filled with His joy (John 17:13). He also prays that the study of the Word would increase their godliness since all scriptures point to Jesus (Luke 24:27). During His earthly ministry Christ protected the disciples from the evil one. Judas was lost by his own choice. Now Christ was about to leave the world (John 17:11). Christian unity is not uniformity. Our unity is based on what Christ has done for us. Christ wants us to have the spiritual unity that comes as a result of shared life. We are exhorted to give diligence to this existing unity produced by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:3). The disciples do not belong to the world, they belong to Christ (John 17:9-10). Jesus prays that the Father would sanctify them by truth (John 17:17). Christ is the embodiment of truth (John 14:6). Only God's Word creates in us the desire to consecrate us for his service. As the Father has sent the Son, we are sent to witness Christ on earth. Our ongoing transformation only occurs when we see the grace and glory of Christ revealed in the gospel. Satan always seeks to hinder our worship and devotion to Christ.
Jesus Prays for the Entire Church:
(Read John 17:20-26)
Jesus now expands his prays for the entire church. Jesus' prayer also includes the future believers (John 17:20). They are the fruit of his labor (John 17:6). Christians can take comfort in the fact Christ is praying for them (Luke 22:31-32). Jesus prays for the unity of all believers (17:21-22). The Holy Spirit is a crucial part of Christian unity (Ephesians 4:1-3). Those who trust Christ are part of God's family and they are bound to live in harmony. Human differences are secondary. The Father had manifested His glory through the Son. The Son manifests himself through his followers (John 17:22; Matthew 5:16). When Christians live in unity and love, the world will see Christ through them (John 13:35). This unity we see in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in our salvation. The Christian harmony is the result of our identity with Christ. As we meditate on Christ, we see the glory of heavenly Father in Christ (John 17:26). The gift of eternal life is wonderful beyond words! Through the Holy Spirit we love Jesus with the same love that the Father has for the Son (John 17:26; Romans 5:5). Jesus is confident that because the Father is faithful, He would answer his request for his followers. What a wonderful Savior! Have you received eternal life by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ?
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