Jesus’ Prayer in John 17

Part four of a series.

Jesus said, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony” (John 17:20 New Living Translation).
Eyewitness: p. 233
In  Your Bible: John 17:20-26

Jesus Prays for ALL Believers

Jesus made it clear that he wanted all people to hear his message and come to know his Father. He desired all believers to be with him and see the glory God gave him. He appealed to the Father, “Let them be of one spirit, as we are” (Eyewitness John 17:21a). Jesus closed this prayer, with… “I have shown them who you are and will continue to make you known so your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them” (Eyewitness John 17:26).

What is Next?

Jesus dedicated himself to the needs of the disciples in the task he set before them after he prayed for them. He told them again what to do and assured them that he would be with them. The verses at the end of Matthew and Mark give the most complete commands he gave the disciples.

Jesus said, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth”…

  • Go.
  • Make disciples of all the nations.
  • Baptize believers in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • Teach these new disciples to obey all my [Jesus’] commands I have given you.
  • And be sure of this I will be with you always,even to the end of the age.

(List from Matthew 28:18-20 New Living Translation).

Application: Jesus told the disciples the plan he and his Father expected. He told the disciples to do these things they must be of one spirit – reminding them he and the Father are one. Just before Jesus departure from earth, he gave them encouragement and more instructions on what their task on earth was. Glory!

Prayer: Father, thank you for not leaving believers alone and for giving us a task for your glory. You are amazing.

Question: Is it difficult to understand how dedicated Jesus was to the task set before him and us? Do we remember what Jesus wants us to do? He commanded us to love one another. How do we do that?

Jesus’ Prayer in John 17

Part three of a series.

“I do not pray for you to take them out of the world, but that you would protect them from that which is evil” (John 17:15 Eyewitness).

Eyewitness: p. 232
In Your Bible: John 17:13-19

Jesus continued in prayer to the Father. He has protected the disciples from the hazards of the world. He showed them how to resist the devil, how to heal infirmities, and how to comfort those who resist God. Then Jesus released them to his Father’s hands. Believers stay behind so Jesus’ purpose would be fulfilled.

Abundant Joy

Jesus states none have been lost under his protection except one [Judas]. His desire is for the disciples [and all who follow] to have abundant joy because of what he taught and showed them – God’s message. All these who are mine belong to you, and all who are yours belong to me, so they may bring me glory (John 17:10 THE MESSAGE).

Consecrated by Truth

Make them holy – consecrated – with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth. In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I’m consecrating myself for their sakes So they’ll be truth – consecrated in their mission (John 17:17-19 THE MESSAGE).

When Jesus prayed he showed great intent: All believers to be holy, consecrated, and to help others find God.

Application: God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus/the Word are consecrators – holy makers! Stated here, the believers mission is to bring others to Jesus.

Prayer: Father, thank you illuminating words of life. They make us holy and consecrated – set apart for you. I want others to know this deep joy.

Question: Why do you suppose God did not take believers out of the world?  What does holy mean to you? Have you considered believers holy and set apart for His work? 

Jesus’ Prayer in John 17

(Part Two of a Series)

“I have revealed you to those you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you entrusted them to me” (John 17:6 Eyewitness).

Eyewitness: p. 232
In your Bible: John 17:6-10

Jesus delineates several aspects of what his task was here on earth including intimately showing the Father to believers.

The Work of Jesus

Jesus prayed: I have manifested Your Name [I have revealed Your very Self, Your real Self] to the people whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have obeyed and kept Your word (John 17:6 Amplified Bible).

Bible commentators* say he revealed – the character and nature of God. Jesus brought God near to man. He encouraged the humblest of believers to take the name of God on their lips, to know what God is like and to be on intimate terms and friendship with him. Jesus said – we can address God as Father.

Jesus knew all but one of the disciples obeyed and kept God’s word. A strong affirmation, since we read a great deal about their talk and actions but not much about their obedience to the Father.

Message Received

Then Jesus said, “They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you.
 For the message you gave me, I gave them,
 and they took it, and were convinced That I came from you.
 They believed that you sent me” (John 17:7,8 THE MESSAGE).

He declared that all, yes all those who are his (believe in him) are God’s and all who are God’s bring Jesus glory.

Application: Jesus brought believers into intimate fellowship with the Father. As you read the Bible, jot down the words that describe God. This will help you understand the character and nature of God.

Prayer: Father, help us take in your character and nature – which Christ Jesus revealed to us. We too have received your message.

Question: Have you considered the character and nature of God? Jesus knew the disciples were convinced Jesus was of God, where else in the Gospel of John do you see it?

* The Daily Study Bible, The Gospel of John, Volume 2, William Barclay, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1956, pp. 245-249.


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“Eternal Life comes by knowing you, the only true God, and the one you have sent, Jesus Christ” (John 17:3 Eyewitness).

Eyewitness: p. 232
In Your Bible: John 17:1-5

The Gospel of John Chapter 17, is part of what one Bible commentator* calls the “Holy of Holies of Scripture.” Because this chapter is so rich, I’d like us to ponder it carefully for at least three blogs. After you read each blog, read all of John 17 in one sitting.

Imagine – an entire chapter made up of Jesus’ prayer to the Father. He prayed for himself, his followers, and all believers today for instruction and encouragement. None of His prayers are documented as well as this one.** Enjoy.

Jesus Begins His Prayer

After teaching the disciples, Jesus turned, lifted up his eyes, and prayed to the Father. Jesus knew his time on earth had come to an end. Jesus talked to God about his time on earth; teaching, working miracles, showing God’s love to the people. Those who the Father gave to Jesus, believed. We’ll see later, this includes everyone who receives the message of Jesus today. Glory!

Eternal Life

Jesus defined eternal life. He said, “And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (how to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him Jesus [as the] Christ (the anointed One, the Messiah) Whom You have sent,” (John 17:3 Amplified Bible). Continuing in prayer, Jesus said,“I have glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, restore to me the glory I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:4 Eyewitness).

Application: These two key verses (17:3,4) are keystones understanding Jesus intimate communication with God. Take time to ponder the Amplified version. It adds wonderful descriptive words. Words we need to hear.

Prayer: Father, thank you for eternal life. We do want to know you more and grow each day. Help us conform to the image we see in Jesus, your Son.

Question: How does Jesus’ statement clarify eternal life for you? Had you heard it in this context before? After reading all of John 17, do you see how knowing God and making Him known applies today?

* What the Bible is all About, Henrietta C. Mears, Regal Books a Division of G/L Publications, Glendale, California, U.S.A.,1974, p. 417.

** Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume, Matthew Henry, Regency Reference Library, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1960, p.1603.