John Chapter 17

Published Aug. 30, 2023, 12:53 p.m.

REVIEW:  Jesus was comforting his disciples as he explained that he must "go to the Father".  The Holy Spirit will be their new Comfortor (Helper, Advocate, Paraclete).  They will be sorrowful but the world will rejoice.  Their sorrow will only be for "a little while".  Jesus assures them that he "has overcome the world."

In Chapter 17 we will See Jesus:

  1. Pray for Himself to Share God's Glory
  2. Pray for his close circle (his diciples)
  3. Pray for All *believers* in the world.
  4. Pray for All *future believers* in the world.

We should notice who Jesus expressly does *not* pray for.

The High Priestly Prayer

17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

  1. Many times Jesus has said "My hour is not yet come".  Now comes the hour... for what? For Jesus to be glorified or for Jesus to be killed and abjectly humiliated?  Read Isaiah 42:1-9.
  2. Read Philippians 2:5-11. What are some of the ways that Jesus humbled himself?  Consider the degree to which Jesus has humbled himself.
  3. What is eternal life and how is it granted according to Jesus in verse 3?
  4. This entire chapter is a prayer of Jesus.  Some argue that this would be better called "The Lord's Prayer" rather than what we call the Lord's Prayer.  Why does Jesus pray (at all) ? 
  5. In Exodus 28 we read extensively about priestly garments (Gold, scarlet and blue threads, bejewled breastplates etc.) and in Exodus 29 we read about how priests must be consecrated (made holy, set apart for God) via washing / animal sacrifice / annointing / blood covering etc.  Do you see any similarities in how Jesus is preparing himself with this prayer?
  6. Read Hebrews 5:1-8

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 

  1. Believers are the Father's gift to the son.  If you had never thought about it that way before, how does that affect you?
  2. What do you think is meant by "kept your word"?
  3. Reformed Theology is often summarized with the acronym TULIP:
    • Total Depravity
    • Unconditional Election
    • Limited Atonement
    • Irresistible Grace
    • Perseverance (or Preservation) of the Saints
  4. Reformed Theology (covenant theology) contrasts with Dispensationalism.  A concise summary of both is found here:
  5. Which aspects of TULIP do we see here (also 17:2, 3:27, 10:14, 15:16)

I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 

  1. Who does Jesus *not* pray for (explicitly)?  Why do you think that is?  Contrast "the world" with John 3:16. Sometimes "the world" means "all mankind; Jews and Gentiles;  Israel and 'the nations'".  Sometimes 'the world' means non-believers.  Other definitions?
  2. We are told elsewhere to pray for our enemies.  We are also taught that God opposes evil doers and not to pray for those whose sin "leads to death".  Consider  Luke 23:34, Matt. 5:44, Luke 6:28,  1 Peter 3:12, 1 John 5:16.  
  3. "kept" in verse 12 can also be rendered "guarded".  How did Jesus guard his disciples? (Luke 22:31-32)  How does he guard us? (Hebrews 7:25)
  4. Which aspects of TULIP do we see here?

13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.[a] 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them[b] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,[c] that they also may be sanctified[d] in truth.

  1. This set of verses is the closest thing to "Be 'in the world', and not 'of the world'.
  2. Jesus desires for us to share in his joy-- What keeps you from experiencing joy?
  3. What is truth?
  4. Here in verse 19 Jesus speaks of consecrating himself (like a priest) for what reason?
  5. Who / what is the the "word"?

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 

  1. Here is a verse where Jesus prays directly for all belivers;  You and me included!
  2. Jesus is sharing his glory with the diciples.  Does this conflict with Isaiah 42:8 ?
    I am the Lord; that is my name;
        my glory I give to no other,
        nor my praise to carved idols."
  3. What does it mean for believers to become 'one'?  Why does it seem difficult for believers to be 'one' ?

24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

  1. Jesus is our perfect mediator.  He interceeds for us to God (Heb 7:25) constantly.  Contrast with what he is doing here.
  2. How does a better understanding of John 17 impact my knowledge about Jesus / God?



  1. John 17:15 Or from evil
  2. John 17:17 Greek Set them apart (for holy service to God)
  3. John 17:19 Or I sanctify myself; or I set myself apart (for holy service to God)
  4. John 17:19 Greek may be set apart (for holy service to God)
skip_nextJohn Selections from Ch. 18 and 19
  • Introduction to John's Gospel

  • John Chapter 1

  • John Chapter 2

  • John Chapter 3

  • John Chapter 4

  • John Chapter 5

  • John Chapter 6

  • John Chapter 7 (and end of Ch.6)

  • John Chapter 8

  • John Chapters 9 and 10

  • John Chapter 10 and 11

  • John Chapter 12

  • End of John 12 and Chapter 13

  • John Chapter 14

  • John Chapter 15 and 16

  • John Chapter 17
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  • John Selections from Ch. 18 and 19

  • John Chapter 20 and 21