COMMENTARY ON JOHN 17

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!
In John 17, God the Son prays to God the Father to return Him to the glory He had before anything was, fully reveals what unity really means, and through His prayer, you will learn how to receive this unity, if you will but believe. Oh, how you will bring glory and honor and praise to Him, if you do!

I am again stirred greatly by the truth and beauty of God’s Word, and its life-giving nature. Oh, my! When I tasted of the Lord through His Word, I found Him to be good!

Verse 1 — When Jesus prays, I believe the disciples are present to hear Him. He says the hour has come, not just for His death on a cross, but for His glorification because indeed, it is finished, just as He spoke from that cross (John 19:30). He accomplished absolutely everything for which the Father sent Him.

So what is this glorification that will come to Jesus because He has asked His Father to do it?

— He will be lifted up on a cross to pay the price for your sin and mine, and all of mankind will be drawn to Him (John 12:32) or reject His cross as foolishness (1Corinthians 1:18).

— He will be raised up just as the Word says (Isaiah 53:9-11, Psalm 16:10 Hosea 6:2), and He will ascend as the Word says (Ephesians 4:8, Psalm 68:18) , and He will be glorified (Isaiah 52:13 and 53:12, as the Word says, and He will pour out the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:27, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4 and 1:8), as the Word says. It all began with His cross.

— He set everything in motion so God’s promises are completely fulfilled through His church. Thus everyone should praise God (except for those who reject His Son), because He keeps His promises AND they are stunning!

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus Christ accomplished everything the Father sent Him to do. And that means He offers to you not only forgiveness of sins but a heart change and His divine nature. It has been the Father’s plan from before anything was. Read on!

Verse 2 — And the Father has given His Son all authority (ability, power, and strength) over all of mankind. The result? “To all whom You have given Him,” literally means “everything the Father has given the Son,” makes the Son able to give eternal life to all mankind, whoever will believe in Him.

IMPORTANT POINT:  Only Christ can give you eternal life.

Verse 3 — What is eternal life? Let Jesus tell you! It is to know (ginosko, in a prolonged way, to know absolutely) God the Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He sent.

Keep in mind that this “knowing” is not “knowing about,” but a personal relationship with God the Father and God the Son. And this life is life as God has it, not the mere existence you have before you know God in a prolonged and absolute way.

So when does eternal life begin? The moment you know God the Father and God the Son absolutely, in a prolonged way!

IMPORTANT POINT: Many think of eternal life as something we will have someday, when we die and go to heaven. Yes, we will have it then, but we also have it here and now! Eternal life, life as God has it, begins here and now! Am I repeating myself and using lots of exclamation points? Absolutely! It’s THAT important! Jesus Christ has come that He might give this God-life, and give it abundantly, until it over flows (see John 10:10)!

Verses 4-5 — Jesus speaks as if the cross and resurrection and the rest have already occurred. He will do that throughout this chapter. Jesus glorified the Father on the earth. He accomplished all the Father gave Him to do, so He knows His Father will answer His prayer. He prays then, Father, glorify Me, and glorify Yourself! Do it with the same degree of glory that I, Jesus Christ, had with You before the world began. Again, Jesus Christ is the Word that was with God and was God before anything existed. He is the eternally existent God the Son.

IMPORTANT POINT: The cross is not a tragedy, but a victory, for Jesus and for us. It was the means by which Jesus Christ returned to the same position of glory and honor He had before anything was. It is also the only means by which we receive forgiveness (victory over sins committed) and victory over slavery to sin, because the Cross led to Pentecost. Your personal Pentecost will break the chains of sin!

Verses 6-8 — Jesus manifested (showed) the character and personhood of God the Father to His disciples. Jesus Christ is the exact representation of the Father’s nature (Hebrews 1:3). These disciples belonged to God the Father, and the Father gave them to Jesus Christ.

IMPORTANT POINT: How can these disciples belong to the Father, when Jesus has not yet paid the debt for their sins? God the Father sits above time. He sees the end from the beginning. So He sees which ones will come to Him of their own free will, long before they come.

And these disciples have kept the Father’s word. They have and will keep all the word Jesus gave them, and indeed, everything that He gave them, because they understand that those things and words were given to Him by the Father. They received them (grabbed hold of them), and now truly understand that Jesus came from the Father and was sent by the Father.

IMPORTANT POINT:  Jesus’ words are the Father’s words. If you do not keep them (that is, if you disobey God), you are not His disciple.

Verse 9 — Jesus asks the Father on their behalf. He doesn’t ask on behalf of the world, but on behalf of the disciples the Father has given Him, because before they ever freely came to Christ, the Father saw it.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus prays for YOU in John 17, if you have come to faith through the gospels and preaching of God’s Word.

Verse 10 — All that Jesus has, belongs to the Father, and all that the Father possesses, belongs to the Son. And as Jesus said in John 16:15, Jesus takes of all of this immeasurable truth and power and love, and discloses these things to His followers, including you and me!

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus possesses everything that the Father has. And He discloses all the Father has to YOU, if you intimately know and love Him. Hallelujah! That’s a powerful truth! He discloses to you what He has, through His Holy Spirit (John 16:14)! So you may have a revelation of ALL that the Father and the Son possess. It is the privilege of those who are made children of God.

Verse 11 — Jesus prays now for the disciples, saying He is no longer in the world. That will soon be true. He speaks it ahead of time (John 14:29, Isaiah 42:29), so you and I will know He is God the Son.

IMPORTANT POINT: Even on earth, Jesus knew the future. Do not ever try to humanize Him. Do not try to make Him like you. While on the earth, He was fully God, not just fully man. And if He knew the future then, He certainly knows it now. Ask Him, and He will let you sit at His table, to sup with You, and you with Him. And He will speak to You (Revelation 3:20), when He speaks to the church at Laodicea. He speaks that to today’s church, because for the most part, she is totally out of contact with Him and has no knowledge of Him and thus, cannot hear His voice or be His witness.

But His disciples are in the world. Therefore, Jesus comes to the Father and says, “Keep them, Father.” Watch them, guard them “in Your name,” according to Your character and nature, Father, which is perfect and righteous and true. Father, it is the same nature and character I have. Father, give them that same character and nature, so they may be one just as We are one.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus prayed for you to have the same nature and character as the Father and the Son. Will you do your part, and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit so you have His nature? You cannot be one with Him until you do it.

It is an amazing truth!The unity the Lord speaks of is unity of nature, having the same nature and character as the Father — His fruit, His divine nature in us because He is in us, per John 14:23!

IMPORTANT POINT: We cannot get together at church and pray and call that unity. We cannot all get together to sing and call that unity. We cannot all get together and join hands in a circle and call that unity. We cannot get together with other denominations and have a pleasant meeting and call that unity. Why? Unity can ONLY come when we have the same nature in us that is in the Father and the Son. When you have the divine nature, and you meet others who have the divine nature, the unity is instantaneous.

I must tell you that much of today’s church is not filled with the Spirit, and thus, they are disconnected from their Head, Jesus Christ. (Colossians 2:19). Much unpleasantness results, because they do not yet possess His divine nature. Their sin nature, the one they were born with, still rules and reigns in them, and sin results.

Verse 12 — While Jesus was with them, He kept them, guarded them, and guided them while He represented the nature and character of the Father to them. Not one perished except Judas, who was the son of perdition (damnation), one who acted freely when he betrayed Jesus, an act that fulfilled the scriptures (Psalm 41:9, John 13:8).

IMPORTANT POINT: God never condemns a human being to hell, before they are even born. It is always our own actions that send us to hell.

Verse 13 — The result of Jesus’ prayer to His Father will be that the disciples and you and I will have Jesus Christ’s joy made full in themselves. Full of His joy, which happens when you are filled with His Holy Spirit. Not your idea of joy, not mere happiness, but pure, unadulterated, joy that is beyond description!
IMPORTANT POINT: When you have the same nature as the Father and the Son, you will also have Jesus Christ’s joy. You will be filled with His joy. Nothing in this world can compare with it, because it is not of this world — it is His divine joy! Do I seem joyous when I meet you? It is His divine joy, spilling out of me!

Verses 14-16 — Jesus has delivered the Father’s words to His disciples. And the world has hated them because they are not of this world, just as Jesus Christ was not of this world. He doesn’t ask the Father to take us out of the world, but to keep us from the evil one, Satan.

IMPORTANT POINT #1: Indeed, we are protected/kept by the power of God (1Peter 1:5), when we know (ginosko, in a prolonged way, know absolutely) the Father and the Son.

IMPORTANT POINT #2: Why doesn’t He ask the Father to remove believers from the world in which they are now strangers and hated ones? Because like Him, we are lights in the world, the Holy Spirit shining brightly from us, to draw men to Jesus Christ and convict the world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment through our words. We are an occupying army, taking possession of Satan’s territory (Deuteronomy 2:3) until Christ returns.

We are not of the world, just as Christ was not of this world. He repeats it. That means it must be important.

IMPORTANT POINT #3:  If we are not of the world, why does the church try to take on the world’s culture and why does she try to be politically correct at the expense of the truth of God’s Word? Because most of the church does not know (ginosko, in a prolonged way, to know absolutely) God the Father and God the Son. If the world loves you, then you’d better check your walk, beloved.

Verses 17-19 — Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth. Truly sanctify them, Father, according to Your promise, by filling them with the Holy Spirit. Father, You always speak the truth. Now, set them apart, purify their hearts as You fill them with the Holy Spirit.

Why? I am sending them into the world, Father, just as You sent me into the world.

I set Myself apart to be crucified, die, be raised, ascend, and pour out Your Holy Spirit so they may be truly sanctified, through and through.

IMPORTANT POINT: You are more than simply set apart when you are filled with God’s Holy Spirit. You are purified, separated from sin, and set apart to God.

Verse 20 — Jesus asks not only on behalf of His disciples, but to all who will believe in Him through their testimony and the words they receive from the Father and the Son via the Holy Spirit.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus prayed for you and me to receive the same as what He prayed for His disciples just before He was to be crucified. Will you be the answer to that prayer? Will you ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit?

Verse 21 — What is the purpose of being filled with the Holy Spirit?

— So that we are all one (we all have His divine nature). This is repeated by Jesus, from Verse 11. This unity of nature is the same unity of nature that is between the Father and the Son. How will this unity of nature happen? We will be in the Father and the Son, vitally connected by the Holy Spirit when we are filled with Him.

— Then the world will believe that Jesus was sent by His Father, because we have His nature in us. The purpose of being filled with the Holy Spirit is to give us power to be His witnesses in our hometowns, in our states, in our country, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Being His witness is not “witnessing.” It is walking the same way He walked because You have His nature in you.

IMPORTANT POINT: If you do not have His nature in you, then you cannot cause those in the world to believe in Jesus Christ. You will not be like Him unless you have His nature. You cannot be His witness unless you have His nature. You cannot have His divine nature unless you are truly sanctified through and through, by being filled with His Holy Spirit.

Verse 22 — Again Jesus speaks of the future as if it has already been done. The glory (the Holy Spirit) which You have given I have given them, so that they may be of the same nature as You and I, Father.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus prays for you to have the same nature as His Father and Him. Do you? If not, pray and ask Him to do it.

Verse 23 — This unity of nature means Me in them, and them vitally connected to Me. Then they will be perfected in unity — completely united. They all will be partakers of Our divine nature. What is the purpose?

— So that the world will know that You sent Me, and You love them with the same love You have for Me, Father.

IMPORTANT POINT:  You must be a partaker of His nature in order to be completely united. Otherwise, you are unable to show the world that the Father sent the Son. And being a partaker of His nature is the proof that the Father loves you with the same divine love that He has for His Son.

Verse 24 — Father, I want those whom you have given Me to be with me where I am (He will soon be seated at the right hand of the Father, as He was before anything was. Father, I want them to see Me glorified, something which You have given Me. Again, the Father will give Jesus Christ the glory He had before anything was, after He is crucified, buried, rises again, and ascends back to the Father. Do this, Father, because You loved Me before the world was founded.

IMPORTANT POINT: The eternally existent Son asks this of the Father. We who know (ginosko, in a prolonged way, to know absolutely) Him will be where He is. He goes to prepare a place for us (John 14:2). And meanwhile, He will be in us, and we will be in Him.

Verse 25 — Jesus prays, Father, I have known You (ginosko, in a prolonged way, to know absolutely). The world has not known You. All My disciples who have come and will yet come to Me? They know You sent Me.

IMPORTANT POINT: Disciples must know Jesus was sent by the Father. That is the first step, and that makes a disciple a believer.

Verse 26 — And through Me, Father, they have come to know Your character and

nature. I have been Your exact representation. And yet, there is another step they must take. They do not know yet  knowYou in this prolonged way. But they will know you in this prolonged and complete way, when they are filled with Your Holy Spirit.

And when that happens, they will not love with human love any more. They will be filled with Your actual love, the same love You have for Me. And I will be in them, literally inside of them, dwelling with You there.

IMPORTANT POINT: I pray, dear reader, that you see the importance of asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then you will become the fulfillment of Jesus Christ’s prayer in John 17.

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Author: Susan Wynn, servant of Jesus Christ

Healed by Jesus Christ of MS in 2001, in the middle of the night! Proclaiming His gospel, His healing, His heart. Author of From Death To Life--A True Story of Healing, Hope and Being Set Free. Our ministry: My Father's Place, a ministry without walls, proclaiming Jesus Christ to the world.

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