Jesus Finished the Father’s Work
1This is what Jesus prayed as he looked up into heaven,
“Father, the time has come.
Unveil the glorious splendor of your Son # 17:1 Or “Glorify your Son!” The Father unveiled the glory of his Son on the cross, by the empty tomb, through his ascension into heaven, and by the mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon his church.
so that I will magnify your glory!
2You have already given me authority # 17:2 The Aramaic is translated “responsibility.”
over all people so that I may give
the gift of eternal life to all those that you have given to me.
3Eternal life means to know and experience you
as the only true God, # 17:3 The Aramaic is translated “the God of truth.” This alludes to Deut. 6:4.
and to know and experience Jesus Christ,
as the Son whom you have sent.
4I have glorified you on the earth
by faithfully doing everything you’ve told me to do.
5So my Father, restore me back to the glory
that we shared together when we were face-to-face
before the universe was created.” # 17:5 The Aramaic is translated “before the light of the universe.”
Jesus Prays for His Disciples
6“Father, I have manifested who you really are
and I have revealed you # 17:6 Or “I have made known your name.” The Greek word, phaneroo, means “to make visible,” “to manifest,” “to reveal,” and “to be plainly recognized.” (See Strong’s Concordance, Gr. 5319.) to the men and women
that you gave to me. # 17:6 Or “you gave to me out of the world.”
They were yours, and you gave them to me,
and they have fastened your Word firmly to their hearts.
7And now at last they know that everything I have is a gift from you,
8And the very words you gave to me to speak
I have passed on to them.
They have received your words
and carry them in their hearts.
They are convinced that I have come from your presence,
and they have fully believed that you sent me to represent you.
9So with deep love, # 17:9 The Aramaic can be translated “I desired [loved] them.” The Greek is “I pray for them.” This translation has chosen to include both concepts. I pray for my disciples.
I’m not asking on behalf of the unbelieving world, # 17:9 This is emphatic in the Greek sentence structure. How could it be that Jesus loved the world and gave himself for the sin of the world, yet emphasized that he was praying for his disciples and not praying for the world? Jesus’ coming into the world brought life to those who believe and judgment to those who do not. The implication is that the key to reaching the world is the life, maturity, unity, and love of the disciples. This does not mean that Jesus didn’t love the world, but that the world will only be reached when the disciples come into the fullness of Christ and in unity of the faith. This is what consumed the heart of Jesus as he prayed for them before the cross.
but for those who belong to you,
those you have given me.
10For all who belong to me now belong to you.
And all who belong to you now belong to me as well,
and my glory is revealed through their surrendered lives. # 17:10 Or “I am glorified in them.”
11“Holy Father, I am about to leave this world # 17:11 Or “I am no longer in the world.”
to return and be with you,
but my disciples will remain here.
Holy Father, each one that you have given me,
keep them in your name so that they will be united
as one, even as we are one.
12While I was with these that you have given me, # 17:12 See footnote on v. 11.
I was guarding them and keeping them in your name.
Not one of them is lost,
except the one that was destined to be lost, # 17:12 Or “son of perdition,” which is a Semitic idiom that means “to be destined to destruction.” This obviously refers to Judas, the betrayer. See also Ps. 41:9; John 6:70.
so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
13“But now I am returning to you so Father,
I pray # 17:13 Or “I speak these things [this prayer] in the world [before I leave].” that they will experience
and enter into my joyous delight in you # 17:13 This “delight” is more than happiness. It is the complete satisfaction that comes in knowing that our lives are pleasing to the Father and that we fulfill his desires on the earth. This is the delight that Jesus shares with us and prays that we would experience.
so that it is fulfilled in them and overflows.
14I have given them your message
and that is why the unbelieving world hates them.
For their allegiance is no longer to this world
because I am not of this world.
15I am not asking that you remove them from the world,
but I ask that you guard their hearts from evil, # 17:15 Or “the Evil One” (or “Satan”). The implication is that the disciples of Jesus will influence the systems of this world but need to be preserved from evil influences.
16For they no longer belong to this world any more than I do.
17“Your Word is truth! So make them holy by the truth.
18I have commissioned them to represent me
just as you commissioned me to represent you.
19And now I dedicate myself to them as a holy sacrifice
so that they will live as fully dedicated to God
and be made holy by your truth.” # 17:19 The Aramaic can be translated “And in their sight I will glorify [consecrate] myself, so that they will be glorified [consecrated] by the truth.”
Jesus Prays for You
20“And I ask not only for these disciples,
but also for all those who will one day
believe in me through their message.
21I pray for them all to be joined together as one # 17:21 Jesus prayed for the birth of the church, made up of Jewish and non-Jewish believers.
even as you and I, Father, are joined together as one.
I pray for them to become one with us # 17:21 Or “in us.”
so that the world will recognize that you sent me.
22For the very glory you have given to me I have given them
so that they will be joined together as one
and experience the same unity that we enjoy. # 17:22 It is important to note that the key to unity among believers is experiencing the glory of God that Jesus has imparted to us. As one with God through faith in Christ, he shares his glory with us, since we are not “another,” but have been made one with the triune God through the blood of Jesus. See Isa. 42:8.
23You live fully in me and now I live fully in them
so that they will experience perfect unity, # 17:23 The Aramaic is “shrink into one.” When we see Jesus in one another, our vaulted opinions of ourselves will shrink.
and the world will be convinced that you have sent me,
for they will see that you love each one of them
with the same passionate love that you have for me.
24“Father, I ask that you allow everyone that you have given to me
to be with me where I am! # 17:24 This is experienced not only after we die, but also took place when the ascended Christ took us up into the heavenly realm and seated us at his side with the Father. See Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1–4.
Then they will see my full glory—
the very splendor you have placed upon me
because you have loved me even before the beginning of time.
25“You are my righteous Father, # 17:25 As translated from the Aramaic.
but the unbelieving world has never known you
in the perfect way that I know you!
And all those who believe in me # 17:25 The Greek is simply “these” (disciples).
also know that you have sent me!
26I have revealed to them who you are # 17:26 Or “I have revealed your name to them.”
and I will continue to make you even more real to them,
so that they may experience the same endless love
that you have for me,
for your love will now live in them, even as I live in them!”