After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. John 17:1-11 NLT
Reading my Bible this morning in John 17, I saw Jesus’ words in a new light. He prayed, “Give glory to your Son so that the Son can give glory to you.” Shouldn’t our prayer, as well, be that God will raise us up so He will receive glory because of our sanctified lives?
In verse two, aren’t we compelled to speak to those God sends our way to hear the gospel so they may receive eternal life?
The way to eternal life is laid out in verse 3: “that people know you, the only true God, and that they know Jesus Christ, the One You sent.”
Verse 4 is our mandate also: finishing the work He has given us to do and bringing Him glory.
Verse 5 is a reminder that, just as Jesus returned to glory with God, we will also one day go to be with Him when our job here is finished.
And at least part of that is to “show what You (God) are like” (v. 6).
When we live our lives like that, those who come to Him will know that the gospel is true (v.7).
As Jesus prayed for His disciples, we also need to pray faithfully for those who have decided to follow Him (v.9). Satan will be hot on their trail, and we have not been truly faithful if we don’t continue to pray.
Verse 10 tells us what our attitudes are to be: What’s mine is Yours, and what’s Yours is mine. Our hands are to remain open after He places His blessings in them, knowing our benevolent Father is rich and generous, too, beyond imagination! We are to be good stewards, yet generous, toward God and others.
Verse 11b says, “Holy Father, keep them safe by the power of Your Name, THE NAME YOU GAVE ME…” We also bear His name – “Christ”ian. Because we are adopted into the Family, we are heirs and joint heirs together with Him.
The next phrase says, “so that they will be one, just as You and I are one.” If we all live like that, there is no reason we shouldn’t be one big, happy family!
I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. John 17:14-20 NLT
Skipping to v. 14, we are reminded that 1) we are not to be like the world if we identify with Him (in the world, but not of it) and 2) we will be hated for it.
In verse 17, He prays for us all that we would be “made ready for Your service through Your truth; YOUR TEACHING IS TRUTH.” If we really believe that, will our Bibles be gathering dust on a shelf, or will we allow them to be “a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path”? We aren’t ready for His service until we are steadily being transformed by the renewing of our minds through His truth.
Just as God sent Jesus into the world, v. 18, Jesus sends us.
Just as He made Himself ready to serve so we could be ready for our service of truth, v. 19, our focus is to be making ourselves ready for service.
And then, in verse 20, we are told He specifically prays for us! If God is for us, who can be against us??