John 17:1-2 (NIV) 1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time 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.
On verses 1-2: Here John quotes Jesus as praying to the Father. Chapter 17 of John is the longest recorded prayer of Jesus in Scripture. Verse 2 says that the Father granted authority to Jesus over all people so that Jesus might give eternal life to people. When the Father gives you authority, it’s not so that you can personally be famous, wealthy or powerful. God gives you authority so that you can give, help and be a blessing to others.
John 17:3 (NIV) 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
On verse 3: Eternal life is not about our performance, our hard work, or our merit. Eternal life is about knowing the Father and knowing Jesus Christ.
John 17:4 (NIV) 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
On verse 4: Likewise, we give God glory here on earth when we do and complete the work He give us to do. May you give God glory by completing the task He gave you to do on earth.
John 17:5 (NIV) 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
On verse 5: Jesus had a certain glory in heaven that he relinquished when he came down to earth. But upon ascending back to heaven, as we see in the book of Revelation, Jesus takes up again the glory he had before.
John 17:6-9 (NIV) 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.
On verses 6-9: Here Jesus prays for his disciples. When he speaks to the Father about his disciples, notice that he speaks about them to the Father’s in the most positive light. He makes them look like a million bucks, even though the Gospels show how silly, self-centered and unreliable the disciples could be. Was Jesus lying to his Father about his disciples? Of course not. Rather, Jesus was focusing on the good that he saw in his disciples and was covering their sins and failures with his love. As 1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” It is amazing to think that that is how Jesus treats us before the Father, presenting us “as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27). What an amazing friend we have in Jesus.
John 17:10a (NIV) 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine…
On verse 10a: Here we see how secure Jesus is in his relationship with the Father: he acknowledges that all he has belongs to the Father, and also declares that all that the Father has belongs to him. No one Jesus never felt the need to be praised or approved by anyone else; he was so secure in his Father’s love. I want to be that way too.
John 17:10b (NIV) 10 …And glory has come to me through them.
On verse 10b: Somehow the disciples made Jesus proud and brought him glory. It amazes me to think that we make Jesus proud and that he experienced not shame and embarrassment by looking at us, but rather pride and joy. In Jesus’ heart, you are his pride and joy.
John 17:11-12 (NIV) 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.
On verses 11-12: Jesus’ protecting, shepherd’s heart for his disciples is so evident here. He wants none of them to be harmed, thus he asks the Father to protect them. Now if Jesus’ first disciples were martyred for their faith, as church history tells us, does that mean the Father did not answer Jesus’ request to protect them? No. I think it just goes to show that Jesus’ idea of protection is not always the same as ours. Jesus’ focus when it came to protection was always in respect of eternity because eternity was what mattered most to Jesus, not the temporary trouble, pain and grief we experience on earth. Jesus saw our lives through the lens of eternity, and we would be wise to do the same.
Lord Jesus, thank You for presenting me before the Father as blameless, radiant and holy. You more than anyone know all the ways I have fallen short of God’s glory, and yet You cover my sins with Your love, You speak about me with pride, and You protect me with Your power. Thank You for being such an amazing friend. I pray I would live like You and see things from Your eternal lens more and more. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!