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On The Book of John
The Gospel of John Chapter 17
I will do the Gospel of John
Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that
I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what
it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment,
it is NOT Scripture.
Gospel of John
Our Lord Jesus’ Prayer . . . He prays for Himself, He prays for all His people and He prays for His church. This is one of the most amazing chapters in the Bible. It is the longest prayer in the Bible, even though it would take less than five minutes to read it. I think that is a very good sign of what the length of public prayers should be. If you cannot say all you have to say in a few minutes, then you should let someone else pray publicly. Brief, sincere prayers from the heart, are so much more effective and accepted than those lengthy, long-winded ones that some people come up with.
The Upper Room Discourse given by our precious Saviour to His apostles, is like climbing a mountain, with its summit, its high point, being this prayer. Consider what some others have said about this great chapter.
Matthew Henry: "It is the most remarkable prayer following the most full and consoling discourse ever uttered on the earth."
Martin Luther: "This is truly beyond measure a warm and hearty prayer. He opens the depths of His heart, both in reference to us and to His Father, and He pours them all out. It sounds so honest, so simple. It is so deep, so rich, so wide. No one can fathom it."
Philip Melanchthon, another of the reformers: "There is no voice which has ever been heard, either in heaven or in earth, more exalted, more holy, more fruitful, more sublime than the prayer offered up by the Son to God Himself."
This is a tremendous portion of Scripture. I am completely inadequate to do this prayer the honor, glory and integrity it deserves. This prayer is His High Priestly intercession for us. Please do consider ever so carefully, the words of our dear Lord Jesus. I can almost feel the communication which passes between the Lord Jesus and His Father in Heaven. His whole life was a life of prayer. He began His ministry by going into a solitary place to pray (Mk.1:35). Often He went up into a mountain to pray (Mat.14:23; Mk.6:46; Lk.6:12; 9:28) and spent the night in prayer (Lk.6:12). He is our Great Mediator (1 Tim.2:5). He prays for you and for me.
The so-called Lord’s Prayer (Mat.6) could NOT possibly be the prayer of our Lord Jesus. He could not pray this prayer. He could not join you and me and say, “Our Father” because the relationship between the Father and the Son is the relationship in deity. It is a position, not a begetting. We become children of God only through faith in Christ; therefore Christ could not join with us in saying, “Our Father.” The TRUE Lord’s Prayer is found in John chapter 17, not Matthew chapter 6. http://www.godcannotlie.org/sermon_on_the_mount_ch6.htm
The Lord's Prayer . . . Jesus Prays For Himself (John 17:1-5)
John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: (KJV)
These words spake Jesus . . . His words of advice, comfort, direction, instruction and warning were delivered in chapters 14,15 & 16. Now He stops speaking to the apostles, and He speaks to the Father. Although He is speaking to the Father in this chapter, He is speaking to Him for their benefit, and for our benefit as well. Our Lord is our great Intercessor today. Have you ever wondered what He prays for? This chapter clearly tells us! This is the TRUE Lord's Prayer, the prayer that He prays to the Father. This prayer is so solemn and tender, and it would never have been recorded if it had not been intended for our study and benefit. I approach it with a feeling that it is almost too sacred for any comments I might make. This prayer is an overflow of the Soul of the Lord full of devotion to the Father. It is awesome! It is a proper closing to the wonderful discourses in the previous chapters spoken in the Upper Room, just before the Lord Jesus led His apostles out into the moonlit night, on His way to Gethsemane. This is the REAL Lord's Prayer in the Holy Word of God, The prayer in Mat.6:9-13 is the disciples' prayer, taught to them by the Lord. In order to totally understand the Words that follow, we must realize that our precious Lord stands at the foot of the cross, is about to suffer, bleed and die the agony and shame of the cross. Jesus goes to the Father in behalf of Himself, His apostles and His disciples then and now.
And lift up his eyes to heaven, and said . . . to the seat of Divine Majesty, the throne of His Father. The Lord Jesus now turns His thoughts from the apostles to His Father. It reveals that His mind was filled with great devotion, faith and love. There was absolutely NO shame, NO fear whatsoever, for He was possessed with great boldness, freedom and physical courage.
Father, the hour is come . . . or "my Father" and possibly He used the word “Abba,” which signifies "my Father" thus claiming His interest in Him, and His relationship to Him. Now, His Hour (death) was come. Hour has not yet come: (Jn.2:4; 7:6,8,30; 8:20). He would depart out of the world, He would suffer and die for His people, which was a joint agreement between Him and His Father from all eternity. He had NO fear, and what was to be was welcomed by Him, for it was the only way that He could bring salvation to His people. I feel sure that Jesus spoke with an attitude of pleasure and satisfaction, because of the love He felt for those He loved (Jn.3:15-16). The “hour” would a horrible time of great trouble, distress and darkness, and so it was a proper time for prayer.
Glorify thy Son . . . as Man and Mediator . . . because as God, He needed no glory, nor could any be added to Him. But as Man, He would need some glory upon Him for His soon to come death. He would need His Father supporting Him under all the sorrows and sufferings of what was to come, and in being with Him through it. For He was about to conquer all His people's enemies: sin, Satan, the world and death, by obtaining eternal redemption for them. He would also be glorified at His resurrection, by not remaining so long in the grave as to see corruption (Ps.16:10), and by raising Him at the exact time that was foretold by Jesus Himself (Jonah 1:17; Mat.12:39-40; 16:4; Lk.11:29), and by sending an angel to roll away the stone (Mat.28:2).
That thy Son also may glorify thee . . . the Son had glorified the Father all through His life, with all His actions and speech, and by His ministry and miracles. Now again He would glorify the Father with His sufferings and death for the salvation of His chosen ones, in which the faithfulness, grace, holiness, justice, power and wisdom of God are greatly glorified. And afterwards He would glorify the Father again by fulfilling His mediatorial office, in making intercession for His people, in the ministry of His Word and ordinances, by His servants, who would be attended by His Holy Spirit, and by the administration of His Kingly office (Rev.19:16). The glorification of Christ revealed that He IS God, and the Father was glorified by it becoming clear that He had bestowed upon the world the priceless gift of salvation through His precious Son. GIFT of eternal life: (Jn.3:16; 4:10; 10:28; Rom.5:16-17; 6:23; 2 Cor.9:15; Eph.2:8; Jam.1:17; Rev.2:10,17).
John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (KJV)
As thou hast given him power over all flesh . . . this means mankind, because angels are spirit. This means ALL mankind . . . the fallen, failing, frail, sinful, weak, mortal creatures . . . people of every nation on God’s Earth . . . Jew or Gentile, believers and unbelievers . . . and my friend, a great blessing to us is, that His power over mankind is NOT limited to their "flesh" or bodies, but reaches deep into their souls. His power governs them, ruling them with a scepter of righteousness, and He shall judge them at the last day. This power is "given" to Him by His Father, which He has as Mediator, for God glorified Him as such, by giving Him this power. Last day: (Jn.6:39-40,44,54; 12:48; Dan.12:2,13)
That he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him . . . eternal life is a gift! It does NOT come by the merits of men. NO amount of good works can achieve it! NO amount of money can buy it! Ancestry does NOT put you in line for it. It comes through our faith in Christ and the grace of God. Eph. 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV) Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV) . . . All humanity was given into Jesus’ Hands that He might give eternal life to all those who yielded themselves to Him in true discipleship . . . and all those who refuse to believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13) and reject Christ Jesus, the only Way to Heaven (Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12), are also in Jesus’ Hands . . . these He shall condemn to an eternal Hell (Mat.7:23; 25:41,46; Jn.3:18;36; Rev.20:11-15). BEWARE!!!
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (KJV)
And this is life eternal . . . 1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (KJV) . . . This is very clear! JESUS is Eternal life!
That they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent . . . WHY did Jesus come to Earth as Man? He came to Earth to reveal Almighty God to us. If a person cannot see God the Father in Christ Jesus, the Son, the devil has blinded their minds (2 Cor.4:4), and they are bound for the Lake of Fire along with the devil (Rev.20:10). God the Father and God the Son are One! John 10:30 I and my Father are one. (KJV) . . . You CANNOT have One without the Other!
John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. (KJV)
I have glorified thee on the earth . . . Jesus the Son, certainly did glorify the Father while He was on Earth! Christ Jesus glorified His Father Personally, as He expressed the glory of His Person; and in words, by ascribing on all occasions, praise and glory to Him . . . and also by declaring that His mission, qualifications and doctrine, were from Him.
I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do . . . "the work" means His total obedience to the will of God, the destruction of all spiritual enemies: sin, Satan, the world and death; and the redemption and salvation of His people . . . all these tasks which were "given" to Him to do . . . He did! As the hour for finishing His work had arrived, Jesus speaks of it as already finished.
John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (KJV)
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self . . . this cannot mean His perfections, because Jesus had these . . . these perfections dwelt bodily in Christ, they were one with His nature, in which He was one with the Father. I think this means Christ as Mediator, with His glorious Presence in Heaven, by the Father setting Him at His right hand (Mk.16:19; Lk. 22:69; Acts 2:23), and crowning Him with honor and glory. The glory Christ shall have is supreme glory, after He has ascended into Heaven.
The glory which I had with thee before the world was . . . . I think that this speaks of the personal union of God the Father with His only begotten Son, before Jesus came to Earth as Man. The Old Testament often spoke of Christ as Man, because of His appearances in a human form, and because of the certainty of His incarnation, but I do not think the Son actually existed as Man, until He was born of the virgin. Christ, as Man, is the seed of the woman, the son of David, Abraham, and Adam; He is called the last Adam (1 Cor.15:45). He had emptied Himself of His glory as God when He entered the world as Man. Now He asks that after His departure from the world, He may be reinstated and permitted to assume again that which He had laid aside. Phili. 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (KJV)
This ends the first division of Jesus’ prayer, which is a petition for Himself, for the glory of the Father, and the good of the world. The following second division is a fourfold plea for the apostles.
Jesus Prays For Apostles (John 17:6-19)
John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. (KJV)
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world . . . I think the word name here means the qualities and characteristics of God. Jesus had certainly made known His character, His law, His will, His plan of mercy . . . or, in other words, He had clearly revealed GOD to them. The word name is often used to designate and describe the person (Jn.15:21; Mat.10:22; Rom.2:24; 1 Tim.6:1). Which thou gavest me . . . God gave the apostles to Him for a reason. He gave them by His wisdom, then He so ordered the state of affairs that they heard Him preach and saw His miracles. He gave them, then arranged it so that they would follow Him when He called them. Out of the world . . . I think these people were given to Christ as the sheep of His pasture, His portion and inheritance, to be saved and preserved by Him . . . which was an example of love and care on God's part to give, and of love and grace on Christ's part to receive.
Thine they were, and thou gavest them me . . . the apostles were not the Father's merely by creation; but they are His by electing grace, which is the special act of the Father, and is unto salvation by Him, through the sanctification of the Spirit (2 Thes.2:13; 1 Pet.1:2). These are chosen to be His treasured people, and given to Christ as such.
And they have kept thy word . . . thy Word is the Gospel, not only in their memories, but in their hearts. They publicly professed it, they defended it boldly against the enemies of it, and kept it pure and holy. This seems to indicate that the Gospel is meant by the Name of God manifested to these persons. As I see it, God and His Word are always and for ever united! Do NOT mess with it! Do NOT change it! Deut. 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (KJV)
John 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. (KJV)
Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me . . . they had been taught and had believed it. All things . . . all temporal things, the world and the fullness of it; all power in Heaven and in Earth, all spiritual things, the covenant of grace, with all its blessings and Promises, the Spirit of God, with all His gifts and graces, honor and glory, power to perform miracles, knowledge and wisdom to preach the Gospel, power to secure the salvation of His people; every thing to qualify Christ Jesus for the management of the church and the judgment of the world. Hast given me . . . the apostles were assured that Jesus was the Son of God and that all Jesus’ instructions came from God.
Are of thee . . . because of the Father’s good will and pleasure, and as an example of love to Him, that Jesus might as Man and Mediator, be honored, and in all things have the pre-eminence for the good of His chosen ones. The knowledge of this by His apostles must confirm the mission of Christ and make them very happy with Him, cause them to have a greater respect for Him, and make them all the more willing to obey His commands. The apostles knew Jesus held the key to eternal life, and that life was a Gift of the Father.
John 17:8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. (KJV)
For I have given unto them the words . . . this means doctrines, not commands, and these were NOT the false doctrines of men (Mat.15:9). Jesus did NOT speak any divers and strange doctrines (Heb.13:9), did NOT speak “another gospel” (Gal.1:6-8) as so many in today’s pulpits preach, but was the doctrine of God (Tit.2:10), the doctrine of Christ (Heb.6:1; 2 Jn.1:9). The Lord Jesus spoke and taught the TRUTH of God’s Holy Word to His apostles!
He gave them the Word of Truth, faith, righteousness, peace and reconciliation and life and salvation. He gave them the Gospel, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all agreed upon! He also gave them spiritual gifts and abilities to help them in their work after He was gone.
Which thou gavest me . . . the words and doctrines which Christ, as the great prophet spoke, were not His, but His Father's. Deut. 18:18-19 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. (KJV) . . . A very serious warning . . . to both Jews and Gentiles! To those back then and those in today’s world. And so the Messiah Jesus, the Prophet did.
And they have received them . . . the apostles received His Words, willingly and gladly, with reverence and great humility, with love, and great thankfulness. They understood them and believed them, and became tenderly and intimately attached to them. We today do not have Jesus’ apostles to teach us, but we DO have the Holy Word of God . . . the BIBLE. We too, like the apostles must understand and believe what is in that Book! We too must be tenderly and intimately attached to Words within. Do you love God and His Word?
And have known surely that I came out from thee . . . the apostles knew that Jesus came from the Father. They were certain of this. They had full assurance of their faith, and they had sincerely owned Him in their hearts, and confessed Him as the Messiah, being fully persuaded that He was the true Messiah, not an impostor. What about you?
And they have believed that thou didst send me . . . the apostles believed that the Father had sent Jesus into this world, to seek and to save lost sinners (Lk.19:10), to redeem all the chosen ones (Gal.4:5), and perform everything necessary to their salvation (1 Cor.1:30). Christ often represented Himself as being instructed and sent to teach certain great Truths to men . . . those Truths He taught.
John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. (KJV)
I pray for them . . . Jesus prayed for His apostles and His disciples. These are the object of His prayer, then and now. He prayed for them because He cared for them, He was concerned for them, and He loved them. He loves us as well. Please do not ever forget that. He prayed to God the Father . . . NOT to any other . . . for there is NOT anyone superior to Him. Prayer to any other is idolatry! We today can pray to God the Father, in Jesus’ Name, or we can pray directly to Christ Jesus, the Son because Jesus IS God! http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
I pray not for the world . . . Jesus does not pray for the carnal unbelievers of the world, that part of the world lies in sin and shall be condemned (Jn.3:18,36; 1 Cor.11:32; Heb.11:7). H e did not die for them, so He did not pray for them. The Holy Spirit does all He can to make unbelievers see the Truth, trying to get them to choose the right road. But when the reject Jesus time after time and keep on in their sin and ungodliness, He will finally back away and leave them to their doom. 1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. (KJV) . . . God’s Spirit will NOT always strive with man (Gen.6:3). Because of God’s love for mankind, He “strives” a long time, but after so long, He will quit trying. BEWARE!!! You do NOT want to be condemned to Hell. Wouldn’t you much rather have Jesus pray for you?
But for them which thou hast given me . . . Jesus prayed for the apostles, for whom He is the Propitiation (Reconciler), He is an Advocate; and for whom He died. He makes intercession for them in a spiritual saving way . . . saving them with an everlasting salvation by Him . . . and to be preserved safely to His kingdom and glory.
For they are thine . . . not just by creation, and as under the care of His providence, but by eternal election, being called by His unique grace, which is a reason why Christ prayed for them, and a reason why the Father would consider His prayers.
John 17:10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. (KJV)
And all mine are thine, and thine are mine . . . Christ is speaking not of things but of people. Persons are meant here, these being the elect of God, and here, mainly the apostles, who were His and His Father's. What belonged to One, belonged to both. All are mine: (Jn.16:15; 6:37-40).
And I am glorified in them . . . in them, by them . . . by their accepting, believing, confessing, embracing, owning and receiving Christ Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. I am glorified in them: (Gal.1:24; 1 Pet.2:9).
John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. (KJV)
And now I am no more in the world . . . He had finished His work among men, and was about to leave the world (verse 4).
But these are in the world . . . the apostles will be among evil men and malicious foes. They will be subject to trials and persecutions. They would be hated, and would be prone to great hardships, exposed to the evils, snares and temptations of the world. They would need the same protection which He could give them if He were with them. Jesus was not so much concerned about His own glory, that He would neglect the good of His people. He was very much concerned about them, and His prayer for them proves His love for them . . . and us! As a last plea He urges the need of the Father's care over the apostles since the Son will be no longer in the world with them.
And I come to thee . . . this speaks of His death, and His soul being in His Father's Hands, His ascension of Body and Soul to Him, His entrance into Heaven, and His sitting at the right hand of God. He asks nothing for on His own account, but for His apostles, for He was parting with them that were close to His heart. So, thus He prays:
Holy Father, keep, through thine own name, those whom thou hast given me . . . Jesus is praying to Almighty God, the Father of Christ Jesus, the Son. I think that “keep” means to "keep by thy power," or "keep in thy name." The name of God means God Himself, His perfections, His power and His purity. Jesus prays to the Father to preserve them in faith and obedience, that they would not fall away. Kept through: (1 Pet.1:5; Jude 1:24). Pro. 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. (KJV)
That they may be one as we are . . . this speaks of unity . . . in affection, nature, will and understanding . . . not equality, but likeness. Jesus wanted them to be united as He and His Father were, to Christ and to one another, abiding together, clinging to each other, standing fast in one Spirit (1 Cor.12:13; Eph.2:18; 4:4), having the united interest of their Saviour deep in their heart.
John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (KJV)
While I was with them in the world . . . He was going out of it, His continuation in it, as Man, would be very short. He would no longer be with His apostles physically, but His Spiritual Presence would be with them.
I kept them in thy name . . . God’s Name . . . by His Father's authority and power.
Those that thou gavest me I have kept . . . those that were given to Him to be His apostles, He kept.
And none of them is lost . . . the eleven He kept close to Himself, away from the evil of the world, and from temporal and eternal ruin.
But the son of perdition . . . Judas, His betrayer, was a child of the devil (1 Jn.3:10). He was now about to betray his Lord and Master.
That the Scripture might be fulfilled . . . this could mean Christ's keeping of His people, and their eternal safety, or it could mean the betrayal and destruction of Judas as some Passages speak (Ps.41:9; 109:6-8; Zec.11:12-13; Mk. 14:21; Jn.6:70; 13:18).
John 17:13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. (KJV)
And now come I to thee . . . He repeats verse 11 . . . with much pleasure and joy on His part, but He had concern for those He was leaving.
And these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves . . . John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. (KJV) . . . He implants the wondrous grace of joy within our soul, by the Spirit of God in regeneration. Our joy comes from the Holy Spirit (Gal.5:22), and is increased daily by our understanding more and more of this awesome Person, and His amazing grace (1 Tim.1:14), His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:19), His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30), His Sacrifice for us (Jn.1:29; 1 Jn.2:2) and just how "full of glory" He is (Isa.6:3).
John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (KJV)
I have given them thy word . . . the Gospel . . . and a commission and ability to preach it, for they would need help, because of the world's hatred of them. The Gospel is NOT of men, but of God, magnifying the grace of God and destroying the boasting of men. The Gospel completely opposes carnal interest, worldly views and the wicked lusts of men.
And the world hath hated them . . . anything “of the world” is against God and hated by God. Worldly men are under the control of the “god of this world” (2 Cor.4:4) and led by the spirit of Satan. At that time, this referred to the unbelieving Jews who had a callous hatred for Christ and His apostles . . . and that same fate trickles down the faithful ministers of Christ and their congregations today, not only Jews but Gentiles as well. All those who are faithful to the Lord Jesus in today’s time are also hated by the world, and they are getting fewer and fewer with each passing day (Mat.7:13-14). And there are more and more supposed and professing “Christians” that are accepting the “world’s” view on sin, Consider the following: adultery, blasphemy, conflict, cursing, damnable heresies, drunkenness, effeminacy, envy, fornication, hatred, homosexuality, idolatry, incest, jealous rivalry, lewdness, lustful, murder, pornography, rebellious discontent, sex orgies, strife, unruly, violence, wrath, etc. . . . See what God says! BEWARE!!!
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (KJV)
1 Cor. 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (KJV)
Romans 1:26-27 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (KJV)
1 Timothy 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; (KJV)
2 Timothy 3:1-7 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (KJV)
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV)
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (KJV)
Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (KJV)
Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (KJV)
Because they are not of the world . . . the apostles were of the world by their natural birth, and had their lives with the men of it while in a state of unregeneracy (Eph.2:1-3); but God had called them out of it, and they were guided and led by another Spirit. They were separate from the world in their lives and their thinking . . . thus bringing down upon them the hatred of the world. They had been “of the world” . . . like all God’s peoples at one time, but they had left when called, and now clearly stated they no longer belong to it. Because their “religious” lives put a unique mark on them, the “world” rebuked, persecuted and condemned them. Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (KJV) . . . If you are persecuted, rejoice! There are wonderful things awaiting you (Jn.14:2-3; 1 Pet.1:4-5).
Even as I am not of the world . . . Christ Jesus and His people are not alike in their creation. Jesus is the Lord from Heaven, they are of the Earth, the salt of the Earth and the light of the world (Mat.5:13-14). Jesus is perfect in all His ways, they are not perfect in their walk and lifestyle . . . BUT . . . there are some likeness between Him and them, and harmony and union in them to Him, which makes the world hate them. Anyone who receives and obeys the Father’s Word brings upon themselves the hatred of the world, and in doing so, increases their need of the Father’s blessing, to compensate for the curse of the world. All down through the ages, the ungodly men of the world gnash their teeth at God’s children, secretly plot against them, inwardly curse them and greatly rejoice at any evil that may befall them. There is NO evil that has not been done to them in the past, and it shall continue in the future. It will not be very long until saying the Name of Jesus will put you in jail.
John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. (KJV)
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world . . . both Enoch and Elijah were taken in a very unusual manner, by a translation (Gen.5:24; 1 Ki.2:11). It is very doubtful that God would take any more like that, except at the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18). Jesus does not pray that the Father take them out of the world by death, or before their time, so they would be rid of their afflictions. This He did not pray for, because there was much work for them to do, by preaching the Gospel, for the conversion of sinners and comfort of saints.
But that thou shouldest keep them from the evil . . . it is amazing to me, just how much Jesus cared about His apostles . . . and how much He cares for us. He prays that they should be kept from sin. My friend, ALL sin committed is against GOD . . . a good God, a righteous God! Sin is an evil and wounding thing, and is what brings ruin and destruction to mankind. He prays that His apostles are kept from the dominion, the power and control of sin, and from falling into it, and by it, perish eternally. He prays that they are kept from the evils of the world . . . not from afflictions and troubles of it, not from the criticism, rebuke and persecution of it, but from its utter lust and wickedness, and from the evil men of it who are under control of the wicked one (Mat.13:19,38; 2 Thes.2:3,8; 1 Jn.2:13-14; 3:12; 5:18). Jesus prayed, not from their being tempted by Satan, but from their falling under his temptations, and from being overcome by him. Jesus’ praying in this way shows that wickedness is extremely repulsive, destructive and powerful. The danger that the saints are in by sin and their inability to keep themselves from it was on the mind of Jesus. The Lord Jesus alone, is the Keeper of His people, the Shepherd of His flock! He expresses His great love to them, and how treasured they are to Him. The world is truly blessed by Christ and presence of His followers, Christians. They are the salt of the Earth and the light of the world (Mat.5:13-14). Is Jesus a Treasure to you? (Mat.6:19-21). We are to Him!
John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (KJV)
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world . . . these words are repeated from verse 14.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (KJV)
Sanctify them through thy truth . . . sanctify means to render pure, or to cleanse from sins (1 Cor.6:11). Sanctification in the heart of a Christian is progressive, moving forward, advancing, continuing. It means becoming more like God and less attached to the world. It means getting control over evil thoughts, passions and impure desires. It means becoming weaned away from earthly things and getting attached to those things which are unseen and eternal (1 Cor.2:9; 2 Cor.4:18; Heb.11:1). 1 Cor. 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (KJV)
Sanctify also means to consecrate, to set apart to a holy office or purpose. When Jesus prayed that God would sanctify them, He probably meant both these ideas, that they might be made personally more holy, and might be truly consecrated to God as the ministers of Him. Ministers of the Gospel of Christ will be devoted to the service of God, in the amount of faith, love and purity they possess. A word of caution: we ALL are ministers of the Gospel of Christ! We must NOT be ashamed of Christ! (Lk.9:26).
Through thy truth . . . the Saviour prayed that they might be made holy, and to see things as they are . . . seeing God to be love (1 Jn.4:8) and absolutely pure and total Truth.
John 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. (KJV)
As thou hast sent me into the world . . . the Father did not send His Son into the world by force, and it certainly was not because of disrespect of Him, nor was it inequality in any way . . . instead, He was sent as a holy, unique Person from His Father, in great love. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV) . . . God is love! (1 Jn.4:8). Jesus was sent to do the will of God, mainly to preach the Gospel and to work out the salvation of His people.
Even so have I also sent them into the world . . . just as the Father had sent the Son, the Son sends His apostles to continue the will of God in the world. They were sent into "the world" . . . to the Jew first and also to the Gentile (Rom.1:16; 2:10). They were sure to meet with reproach and persecution in this task. The work they were sent for was to open blind eyes (Acts 28:26-27), turn men from darkness to light (Acts 26:18), from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:18), that they might receive forgiveness of sin (Eph.1:7), and an inheritance to them that are sanctified (Jn.14:2; 1 Pet.1:4). They were in a world that hated them and they needed God’s power and protection, just as we do today. We all need divine assistance and a fresh supply of grace each and every day.
John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. (KJV)
And for their sakes I sanctify myself . . . this does not mean Jesus would make Himself Holy . . . because He was NEVER a sinner, so He did not need sanctification. Jesus, sinless: (Isa.53:9; Mat.27:4,19,23-24; Jn.8:46; Lk.23:41,47; 2 Cor.5:21; Heb.4:15; 7:26-27; 1 Pet.2;22; 1 Jn.2:1; 3:5). Sanctify has 2 meanings: #1. To set apart for a holy use; consecrate. #2. To make holy; purify. Jesus was a Man, but was NOT a sinner, like we all are, although He was blamed, charged and treated as such, He was perfectly holy, and free from all sin. He was holy as God, He was holy in His conception and birth, He was holy as Man, and as Man, He was filled with the Holy Ghost, and He was perfectly holy in His life and in His death.
That they also might be sanctified through the truth . . . the Truth is Jesus (Jn.14:6) and it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (KJV) . . . The Gospel of Truth brings the Good News of atonement by the Blood and Sacrifice of Christ.
Our Lord's prayer as for the apostles, John 17:6-19, is really a threefold petition: #1. that they may be kept in unity, #2. that they may be kept from the world and the devil, and #3. that they may be set apart and equipped for preaching the Gospel.
Jesus Prays For His Church (John 17:20-26)
John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (KJV)
Neither pray I for these alone . . . He means His apostles, for whom He had been praying. We come now to the third division of His prayer where He asks for blessings on all future believers . . . US in today's sinful world!
But for them also which shall believe in me through their word . . . our Lord knew that there would be people, in all following generations, that would believe in Him, through the ministry of the Gospel. It is for these persons, and their conversion, and the success of the Gospel, to the good of their souls, He prays.
John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (KJV)
That they all may be one . . . this prayer was literally answered to the first believers, who were all of one heart and of one soul (Acts 4:32). WHY is it that believers are not in the same spirit today? Because they do NOT follow the example of Christ OR the Truth of Christ. Christ’s will, is to have all His members to be one in spirit, one in rights and privileges, and one in the blessedness of the future world . . . unity! They must have unity in faith, and in the Truth of Christ. One body united together in faith and love, one universal church of the Firstborn, one fold of the sheep, of which Christ is the Head, Saviour and Shepherd.
As thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee . . . the Father and the Son are one in nature and essence, in power and will, and in understanding and affection. This divine union, though it to a large extent surpasses any kind of union among men, or that can be imagined of by men, yet is the pattern of the saints' union one with another. The Catholic church does NOT make saints, GOD does! The word "saints" appears 101 times in the Holy Bible, and not once does it refer saints made by the Catholic or any other church. Saints: (Rom.8:27; 12:13; 15:25; Eph.2:19; Jude 1:14)
That they also may be one in us . . . believers are one in Christ, for the church is ONE body. The very moment that a sinner believes God (1 Jn.5:10-13), and trusts Christ as their Saviour (Jn.5:24; 1 Jn.5:1), that sinner is put into the body of Christ (1 Cor.12:13). If only believers would make that union, clear to the world, the world would be more impressed with Christ . . . but sad to say, all too often the world sees believers hating each other and squabbling in the church, which may well be one of the main reasons they will not accept Christ. Unity, exhortations: (Mat.18:19; Rom.12:16; 15:6; 1Cor.1:10; 12:25; 2 Cor.13:11; Eph.4:3; Phil.1:27; 2:2; 4:2; Col.2:2,19; 1 Pet.3:8).
That the world may believe that thou hast sent me . . . “the world” here could mean the rest of God's chosen people in the world that have not yet been called . . . OR it could mean the wicked and unbelieving part of the world, especially Jews that would see the harmony and agreement of the saints in love for one another, doctrine and worship. One day, all the world shall bow to the Lord Jesus. Every knee shall bow: (Ps.72:11; Isa.45:22-25; Rom.14:11; Phil.2:10).
John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: (KJV)
And the glory which thou gavest me . . . this does not mean the glory of His deity, for this is the same as His Father. He has that glory already, and not by gift, but instead, the Gospel is meant, which is glorious in its author (2 Tim.3:16), in its substance in its doctrines and in its blessings. The amazing grace of God it reveals, awesome Promises it contains, and it is extremely effective and useful to the souls of men. This was the “glory” given to Christ, and He gave it to His apostles so they could pass it on to us through the ages.
I have given them . . . Jesus gave them the Gospel, the Words that were given to Him. See verse 8.
That they may be one, even as we are one . . . WHY do we have the Gospel? To bring people to unity of faith in Christ Jesus, for perfecting the saints and the building and educating of the body of Christ. This could also mean the fullness of God’s grace and glory, which is in Christ's Hands for His people. This is one large branch of the glory of Christ, as Mediator, to be full of grace and truth, which was given to Him by His Father, and is what He then communicates to His own. Unity is His prayer.
John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (KJV)
I in them . . . Christ is IN His saints, dwelling within them. He is IN every born again believer, He is IN our human nature, which is united to His divinity. He is IN them, in a very gracious manner, in regeneration, when He is revealed to them, enters into them by His Spirit and takes possession of them. The Holy Spirit communicates His grace, grants fellowship with Himself, and dwells within them. Holy Spirit, indwelling: (Jn.14:16-17,23; Rom.5:5; 8:9; 1 Cor.2:12; 3:16; 6:19; 12:27; 14:25; 2 Cor.6:16; Gal.4:6; Eph.2:22; 4:6; Phil.2:13; 2 Tim.1:14; 1 Pet.1:11; 1 Jn.2:27; 4:12). This is NOT the same as Christ being in all the world, being the omnipresent God. Pro. 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (KJV) . . . The Eyes of the Lord Jesus see everything, everywhere! Jer. 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. (KJV) . . . We CANNOT hide anywhere that God will not see us! Jesus is God!
And thou in me . . . the Father is in Christ, not only by union of nature, nor merely in Him as Mediator, but He will reveal Himself in and through Him in glory for evermore, and is what is here prayed for. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ Jesus Bodily . . . He being the brightness of His Father’s glory, the express image of thy person (Heb.1:3). The Son did only what was accepted and approved by the Father (Jn. 14:10).
That they may be made perfect in one . . . “in one” in one body, where Christ is the Head; which body is the church, keeping a unity of faith, all believing the same things in matter of faith in Christ, and only those things that He has revealed, NONE other! This does not mean their justification, which is already perfect; nor their sanctification, which shall be; but their perfection in knowledge, holiness, peace, joy and love. It also could refer to the perfection of their numbers, when the entire election of grace will be completed in regeneration, sanctification and glorification.
And that the world may know that thou hast sent me . . . see verse 21.
And hast loved them, as thou hast loved me . . . the unity that exists between the Father and the Son is the unity that is supposed to exist between the believer and the Lord Jesus Christ! "And hast loved them, as thou hast loved me" . . . . my dear friend, if and when we have that unity, that means that God loves us as much as He loves the Lord Jesus Christ. Can you actually comprehend that?
John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. (KJV)
Father, I will . . . I will . . . sometimes means command, but I think here it means desire. It is often used to express strong and earnest desire, or a pressing and persistent wish, such as when we are very anxious not to be denied (Mat.12:38; Mk.6:25; 10:35).
That they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am . . . be with me where I am (Jn.14:3). Where I am . . . Jesus is in Heaven.
That they may behold my glory which thou hast given me . . . could mean that they may be made partakers of His glory, for to see death, is to die; to see life, is to live; thus to behold the glory of God, is to be glorified.
For thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world . . . both as the only begotten Son, and as the Person in whom the Father had chosen and had set apart to be the Mediator between God and man. The Lord Jesus knew the Father would glorify Him and that He would hear His prayers, and glorify the apostles too, for they were given to Him to be redeemed by His Blood. 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (KJV)
John 17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. (KJV)
O righteous Father . . . Almighty God is holy, pure and righteous in all three of the divine Persons: the Father is holy, pure and righteous, the Son is holy, pure and righteous, and the Holy Spirit is holy, pure and righteous! The Father is righteous in His nature, for His righteousness perfects it. He is also righteous in all His purposes and Promises, in all His ways and works of providence and grace, in predestination, redemption, justification, pardon of sin, and eternal glory. Christ uses this description as a reason why He might expect that all His petitions and prayers, on behalf of Himself and His people, would be considered.
The world hath not known thee . . . again, the world . . . meaning the unbelieving Jews, the idolatrous Gentiles, all wicked men that do not know God as the Father, or Jesus the Son, or Holy Spirit. They do not know God in Christ, nor as the Father of Christ, or as their Father in Heaven. They have NO spiritual union with Him, neither do they know any of the things of God in a spiritual way, revealing the darkness (Jn.1:5; 3:19; 8:12), and blindness (Jn.9:39; 12:35,37) of men by nature (Eph.2:1-3), the desperate need of spiritual illumination (Lk.1:79; 2:32; Jn.1:4; 8:12), and the miserable state of people without it (Mat.25:41,46; Jn.:18,36; Rev.20:15).
But I have known thee . . . the Son knows the Father's nature, His perfections, His glory, His secret thoughts and plans, His covenant, His Promises of blessings, His love and grace . . . Jesus knows the Father totally, because He was one with Him (Jn.5:18; 10:30,33; 14:9,23; Phil.2:6), and lay in His bosom (Jun.1:18).
And these have known that thou hast sent me . . . His apostles and those that truly believed, knew Jesus was sent by the Father. This goes for today as well. Do you believe this? Do you know Jesus as Saviour and Lord? Does He know you??? (Mat.7:23). As our Lord brings to a close His awesome and remarkable prayer, Jesus blends His then believers with those of the future, you and me.
John 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (KJV)
And I have declared unto them thy name . . . the name of God . . . is Almighty God Himself, and any and all that God is, all that God has spoken by His Word and Gospel, and all His attributes and perfections.
And will declare it . . . Jesus would more fully declare to them after His resurrection, during His forty days with them (Acts 1:3), and after His ascension to the Father’s right Hand, when He poured down His Spirit in such a bountiful and extraordinary manner upon them (Acts 2), and He will declare it to others besides them in the Gentile world, through His servants.
That the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them . . . these words repeat what our Lord hath often said before. John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. (KJV) . . . He illustrated it by the parable of the Vine and the branches, teaching the apostles and us a tremendous lesson, that Christ must truly be in the heart and souls of those who want to have any share in that love that the Father has for His Son.
2 Cor.13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (KJV) . . . Those who are too quick to demand a proof of Christ in others, are often too slow in examining themselves to see if Christ is in themselves. The apostle Paul called upon the hypercritical part of this church, who desired a proof of Christ in him, to examine themselves.
And I in them . . . the Spirit of Christ dwells in all TRUE believers, taking up His residence within them, and not only by His Spirit and amazing grace here on Earth, but by His glorious Presence with them in eternity, when they shall be brought to His Father's house (Jn.14:2-3), as their incorruptible and undefiled inheritance (1 Pet.1:4), where forever more, they shall behold His glory, and be with Him for ever.
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