<Previous

Table of Contents

Next>

The Gospel of John: Revealing the Invisible God 

A Bible Study by Fred Kenison

 

Chapter 17


 

 

The real Lord's prayer

 

Summary Highlights of Chapter 17

 

 

This book is a verse-by-verse commentary.  To go to the commentary for any particular verse in Chapter 17, please click on a number below.

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

       
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The real Lord's prayer

 

This chapter contains the prayer that Jesus prayed to his heavenly father, not the one of instruction to his disciples. Therefore, we consider this to be the "real" lord's prayer. The prayer so commonly called "The Lord's Prayer" was not a prayer that Jesus prayed, but simply an instruction, an illustration, or model, to his disciples about how they should pray.

 

Return to top

 

17:1     These things spoke Jesus and lifted up his eyes to the heaven, and said, Father the hour has come; glorify they son, that also the son may glorify thee.

 

"These things spoke Jesus" refers to his comments about his soon coming death (see Chapter 16). These will be his final lessons to them until after his resurrection. All his energy will now be focused upon the final days of his existence as a natural man.

 

"Jesus lifted up his eyes to the heaven, and said, father the hour has come." Always before this, when Jesus referred to his coming trial of the crucifixion, he stated, "my hour has not yet come."  It is now here, or at least so certain that he again used a prolepsis, speaking as though it was already present.

 

"Glorify thy son."  Glorify means to honor one before others. Here, it means that Jesus was asking his heavenly father that he might be brought to his death as a final act of obedience. That obedience will be evidence to all mankind that not only The God should honor him, but people also should honor him, or as stated above, glorify him.

 

Yet, again, this statement is clear evidence that Jesus and the Father are not one entity, regardless of what the doctrine of the trinity claims. He was clearly speaking to someone other than himself when he said, "that thy son also may glorify thee."

 

One should keep in mind that the only purpose Jesus had for being on this earth was to glorify The God. The apostle John wrote this gospel, not for the purpose of glorifying Jesus above The God, but to glorify the Father. This was the only purpose for which he wrote about Jesus and his life on this earth.

 

Jesus always pointed to the Father in everything he said or did. "Christianity" today seems to eclipse The God by overly emphasizing Jesus. Because of the trinity teaching, that Jesus and The God are one and the same, much misguided worship has been given to Jesus instead of to The God.

 

Return to top

 

17:2     As thou gavest him authority over all flesh, that [of] all which thou hast given him, he should give to them life eternal.

 

Authority comes from exousia (often mistranslated as power in the KJV). This authority was extended "over all flesh," meaning that it would encompass the whole of the inhabited world, and every person therein.

 

Jesus may do as he wishes with this whole of humanity. And, what does he wish to do with them? "All which thou hast given him (on this earth), that he should give to them eternal life."  Many churches teach that people must do something in order to have eternal life, such as "accept Jesus as their personal savior."

 

Most preachers claim that The God reacts to what people do. However, this is the exact opposite to what the scriptures say. Isaiah 40:10-11 says,

"Behold, the lord, god, shall come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."

 

Eternal life, or what many people consider as "getting saved," is a gift of grace from The God. The real issue is how people will react to this gift that has already been received from The God through his son, Jesus.

 

Should give is written in the perfect tense, which shows the permanence of this gift of eternal life. Note, too, that this gift was to everyone. Why then is there so much preaching about what people must do to gain eternal life? They need do nothing! They already have eternal life.  Jesus said so!

 

Return to top

 

17:3     And this is the eternal life, that they should know thee the only true god, and Jesus Christ whom thou didst send.

 

Here is the definition of eternal life, according to Jesus. This eternal life, given to all flesh, consists of two elements. First, "that they should know thee, the only true god."  Jesus was referring to the time after his crucifixion when the way into the heavenly holy of holies would be opened. At that time, all people would have direct access to the invisible god who had been unknown for all time until Jesus came to proclaim him.

 

Hebrews 10:19-22a says,

"Therefore, brethren, having boldness for entrance into the holies by the blood of Jesus, a way newly made and living which he dedicated for us through the veil, that is his flesh, and having a great priest over the house of The God, we should approach with a true heart, in full assurance of faith...."

 

Note carefully, that this is "a way newly made and living."

 

This way into the heavenly holy of holies had never been available to people before the veil, that is Jesus' flesh, was torn on the cross, which signified the rending of the veil before the heavenly holy of holies. This was also marked by the rending of the veil in the temple at the time of Jesus' death.

 

This first part of eternal life, knowing the only true god, was accomplished by Jesus' life and death.

 

The second part of eternal life was knowing "Jesus Christ whom thou didst send."  How would people who have never heard the name of Jesus be expected to know him? When Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven, he again was given control of holy spirit, to give it to whomever he wished. Acts 2:16-17 says,

"But this is that which has been spoken by the prophet Joel. And it shall come to pass in the last days, says The God, I will pour out of [apo. some of] my spirit upon all flesh."

 

In other words, a portion of holy spirit has been given to every person on this earth. Within that portion of spirit resides the necessary knowledge that The God is a loving god. Therefore, even though people may never have heard the name of Jesus, they still have the capacity to know that The God loves them, and that he has in some way provided for their sin.

 

The sad part is that even many "christians" today do not know this basic truth. They do not realize that Jesus died for their sins, which are already forgiven. They are taught by many misguided preachers and teachers, who themselves do not understand the principle of grace, that The God only responds to what people do to gain salvation. This is not true.

 

The God does not respond to what people may do; people are to respond to what The God has already done for their salvation. The truth that holy spirit reveals to people is that the way into the holy of holies is open to The God, and that the way was opened by someone whose name they may never have heard.

 

Return to top

 

17:4     I glorified thee on the earth; I completed the work which thou hast given me that I should do.

 

This is written in the aorist, which in this instance, speaks of his recent past. Jesus had glorified The God on the earth. And, he "completed the work which thou hast given me that I should do."  Since his work, at least that of his crucifixion, was not yet finished, this was a prolepsis. Jesus spoke of something so certain to occur that it was considered as already accomplished. This "completed the work" included the whole of the ministry which Jesus came to earth to perform.

 

Return to top

 

17:5     And now, father, glorify me with thyself, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

 

This was the second time in his prayer that Jesus had asked the Father to "glorify me."  This time he added the words "with thyself."  He also added "with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."  What glory was that?

 

In Philippians 2:5-11, Paul said this about Jesus when he came to earth.

"Let this mind be in you which was in christ Jesus; who, in [the] form of a god subsisting, esteemed it not to be rapine to be equal with a god; but emptied himself, having taken a bondman's form, having become in [the] likeness of men; and in figure having been found as a man, he humbled himself, having become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore also The God highly exalted him, and granted to him a name which [is] above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of [beings] in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus christ is lord, to [the] glory of god [the] father."

 

There are two elements in this quotation from Paul. The first relates how Jesus emptied himself of all that he was with The God before becoming a human being. He "subsisted in the form of a god."  Jesus, as the Old Testament Jehovah, was the god of Israel. The Israelites worshiped Jehovah as their god. However, Jesus emptied himself of all the power which he exercised as Jehovah, to become the human word of The God.

 

The second part of Paul's quotation said that "The God highly exalted him, and granted to him a name which is above every name."  The God has returned the glorified man, Jesus, to the same authority he once held as Jehovah. As Jehovah, he was adonai, or lord, over all men, and he stood between the invisible god and humanity. He now has that same authority, and is again lord of all, and all beings will eventually bow before his new name, Jesus. As a result, Jesus will again have "the glory which he had with the father before the world began" (see the comments on John 1:1).

 

Return to top

 

17:6     I manifested thy name to the men whom thou hast given me out of the world. Thine they were, and thou hast given them to me, and thy word they have kept.

 

Manifested comes from phaneroo, which means to make clear, or to reveal someone, or something, to others. This verse is one of those used to "prove" the church doctrine of the incarnation. That doctrine claims that Jesus was actually indwelt by The God himself, becoming what some refer to as a god-man. As a result, when Jesus died on the cross, they claim that God died.  What utter foolishness!

 

Jesus made clear, or revealed, "thy name."  Name did not refer to a label for The God, but to the power of The God. Or, one could say he revealed the character of The God to men, which would include not only his power, but also his providence and other acts of love.

 

Jesus had shown "thy name to the men whom thou hast given me out of the world."  This had been his purpose after he chose his small band of disciples. At the time of this prayer, these disciples still understood little of what Jesus had revealed to them of the unknown god. But, at the coming of the holy spirit, all things would be brought to their remembrance. Then they would understand.

 

"Thine they were and thou hast given them to me."  This is an interesting statement. Although these disciples knew nothing of this invisible god, yet Jesus said "they were thine."  They "had kept thy word."  Therefore, they were accepted as belonging to The God.

 

Return to top

 

17:7     Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me, are of thee.

 

Jesus was speaking of his father, when he said the disciples knew "that whatsoever thou hast given me, are of thee."  He had constantly spoken of his father to these disciples, which they in turn, according to their own religious beliefs, understood as being Jehovah, rather than the invisible god of whom Jesus was really speaking.

 

After the crucifixion, Jesus not only opened the way into the holy of holies to The God, but he also revealed, for the first time, the existence of this god whom no man has seen, nor ever shall see. At that time, the disciples would realize that Jesus, himself, was Jehovah become flesh, and that the god he called his father was another god besides the one they previously knew about.

 

Return to top

 

17:8     For the words which thou hast given me, I have given them, and they received [them], and truly knew that from thee I came out, and they believed that thou didst sent me.

 

Note carefully what Jesus said. "For the words which thou hast given me, I have given them."  While speaking with the Father, Jesus again asserted that he spoke only what The God told him to speak. He was the word of The God while in human form, yet he had to be completely obedient to the holy spirit which led and instructed him.

 

Jesus said that the words given to him by the Father, "I have given them (the disciples)."  This was not a paraphrase of what the Father had told him to say, but the exact words which he had given them. With this statement, Jesus was stating in his prayer that he was faithful to his calling. That calling was to exactly represent the Father while here on this earth, especially to this close band of disciples.

 

This accurate representation was exceedingly important as this small band of followers were the ones who would be responsible for the spread of the gospel. These exact words given them would be those which the holy spirit would cause them to recall, and to fully understand what they meant.

 

"And they received them, and knew truly that I came out from thee, and that thou didst send me."  Three items explain the reaction of the disciples to what Jesus had told them. First, "they received them."  Or, they accepted what Jesus had taught them without any rejection.

 

Second, "they knew truly that I came out from thee."  The disciples accepted his assertion that he came out from the Father. Or, the Father sent me.

 

Third, they believed "that the father had sent him."  Jesus did not come of his own accord. It was not his decision to come to earth in a human form, but the Father had sent him. Jesus was under the orders of one higher than himself. The fatal error of the Jewish priesthood was their refusal to accept this assertion which Jesus often made to them.

 

Return to top

 

17:9     Concerning them I make request. I make not request concerning the world, but concerning those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine.

 

I make request comes from erootoo, which basically means

"to beg, entreat, beseech, ask" (Thayer, p. 252).

 

An interesting sidelight to asking The God for something in prayer is that there are four synonymous Greek words translated as prayer. Thayer (p. 18) offers a summary of these four synonyms.

"He therefore shows that (aiteoo) is not 'the constant word for the seeking of the inferior from the superior,' so differing from erotaoo which has been assumed to imply 'a certain equality, of familiarity between the parties;' that the distinction between the words does not turn upon the relative dignity of the person asking and the person asked; but that aiteoo signifies to ask for something to be given not done, giving prominence to the thing asked for rather than the person, and hence is rarely used in exhortation. Erootaoo, on the other hand, is to request a person to do (rarely to give) something; referring more directly to the person, it is naturally used in exhortation. Aiteoo denotes the request of the will, epithumeoo that of the sensibilities, deomai the asking of need, while erootaoo marks the form of the request, as does euxesthai also, which in classic Greek is the proper expression for a request directed to the gods and embodying itself in prayer."

 

Therefore, when studying the subject of prayer in the scriptures, care must be exercised to distinguish between the different types of prayer illustrated by these four Greek words. Jesus clearly indicated that he was making a request for his small group of disciples. He had separated them, and himself, from the world, and at this time the world was not a matter for his concern. He made this quite clear when he said specifically, "I make not request for the world."  He would deal with the world and its problems later, on the cross.

 

At this moment, his concern was for his small band of disciples. "It is those whom thou hast given me."  There is a parallel here to an Old Testament concept. As Jesus had the office of high priest for this age, The God had given him these disciples to further his cause, much as Aaron had in the Old Testament.

 

In the Old Testament dispensation, Aaron, the high priest, was given the tribe of the Levites to aid him in the temple worship. Numbers 3:9 says,

"And thou shalt give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel."

 

Aaron received his entourage from the Israelites, out of the tribe of Levi. Jesus received his "out of the world."

 

Why did Jesus make this entreaty for his disciples? Because "they are thine," he told the Father to whom he was praying.

 

Return to top

 

17:10     (And all my things are thine, and thine [are] mine). And I have been glorified in them.

 

When it comes to interpreting exactly what Jesus meant, the parenthetical insert in this verse is a conundrum. Was he referring to the close relationship which he had with the Father, in which he had been given access to all that belongs to the invisible god? Or, was he referring only to things in general, and said this in relationship to verse 17:9, in which he said the Father had given him the group of disciples?

 

The latter explanation seems to be more likely, since Jesus went on to say, "I have been glorified in them."  The disciples had glorified Jesus by their dedication to his cause, and their belief that he was the messiah.

 

Return to top

 

17:11     And I am no longer in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee, holy father, keep them in thy name whom thou hast give me, that they may be one, as we.

 

The Greek language has two kinds of time. One is chronological time (chronos), and the other is qualitative time (kairos), that has little reference to chronological time. Kairos time lends itself well to statements such as the one Jesus made here when he said, "I am no longer in the world."  Yet, he was still there with his disciples. Jesus was again speaking in a proleptic manner, and kairos time lends itself well to this manner of speech. Although he was still with the disciples, he was looking forward to an event certain to happen, and he spoke of it as though it had already occurred.

 

Since "these are in the world," Jesus said of his disciples, his prayer was for them. They would not be going to be with the heavenly father as Jesus would. "Keep them in thy name whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we."  Keep them in thy name is another instance where the word "name" is synonymous with "power."  Why did Jesus make this request of the "holy father?"  He wanted his group of disciples "to be one, as we."  Jesus and the Father are one.

 

This scripture is often taken out of context and used to "prove" the "validity" of the trinity. However, this does not say they are one person, nor does it imply that all 11 of the disciples would become one person. That would be absurd, just as the doctrine of the trinity is absurd. What this meant was that Jesus and the Father were one in purpose, and he also wanted the disciples to be one in purpose. He wanted them to work together, or be one, to further his teachings after he left.

 

Return to top

 

17:12     When I was with them in the world, I was keeping them in thy name whom thou hast given me I guarded, and no one of them perished, except the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.

 

Jesus was speaking in a proleptic sense when he said, "when I was with them in the world."  At the time he said this, he was still in their midst, yet he spoke as though he were gone.

 

The phrase, "I was keeping them," is in the imperfect tense, which indicates continuous action sometime in the past. Again, this was spoken as though Jesus was no longer with the disciples. Note that he said he was not keeping them in his own power, or name, but "in thy name," or the power of The God who had delegated such power to him.

 

He "was keeping them in thy name" by "guarding them."  Guarded is written in the aorist tense, which means,

"Ephulaxa, aorist, to guard. The aorist sums up the process represented by the imperfect." (Rienecker, p. 255).

 

The imperfect of which Rienecker is speaking is that of the above phrase, "was keeping them" .

 

"And no one of them perished except the son of perdition."  Perished comes from apollumi, defined by Thayer (p. 64) as,

"to destroy, i.e. to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to, ruin. To render useless. Tropically, to incur the loss of true, or eternal life."

 

This does not mean sentenced to hell as so many preachers claim. It does mean becoming useless for the purpose for which they were called. Judas, referred to here as "the son of perdition," forfeited his calling as one of the disciples because of his greed. He was used by the worldly priesthood to betray Jesus. Hence, he voided his calling, and could no longer fulfill its purpose. As far as his calling was concerned, he had perished.

 

Again, "the son of perdition" does not mean going to hell. But it does mean the loss of being in the kingdom of The God in a place of blessing, what is commonly referred to as "eternal life." Thayer (p. 71) defines the word "perdition" as,

"the destruction which consists in the loss of eternal life, eternal misery, perdition, the lot of those excluded from the kingdom of god."

 

"That the scripture may be fulfilled" raises the question as to whether or not Judas had a choice in the matter. In Psalms 109, David was speaking in a manner concerning his enemies which also foretold what would happen to Jesus.

"Set thou a wicked man over him: and let satan stand at his right hand. When he shall be judged, let him be condemned; and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few; and let another take his office" (Psalms 109:6-8).

 

Judas was in charge of all the money used to purchase whatever Jesus and his disciples needed. Greed was "the satan" which stood at his right hand, and his days were few. And, another did take his office.

 

II Thessalonians 2:3 indicates another son of perdition.

"Not anyone should deceive you in any way, because [it will not be] unless the apostasy first shall have come, and the man of sin shall have been revealed, the son of perdition,, he who opposes and exalts himself above all called a god or object of veneration."

 

When reading this verse, keep in mind the definition of perdition cited earlier. This person will be another, similar to Judas, who has become useless to The God, and has rebelled against all godly action.

 

Now, to return to our question as to whether or not Judas had a choice in the matter, or whether he was manipulated. The answer is that he had a choice. The God never causes one to sin, but those who practice sin are sometimes used to fulfill some purpose of The God. In this case, Judas was the culprit who performed in such a manner that he fulfilled the age-old prophecy of David.

 

Return to top

 

17:13     And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world that they may have my joy fulfilled in them.

 

The word "now" is a grim reminder that Jesus was truly facing his crucifixion. It was not happening exactly at the time he spoke, but it was certain to happen shortly thereafter. "I come to thee" refers to his soon ascension to his heavenly father, the invisible god.

 

This verse also supplies the reason Jesus spoke as he did to his disciples. "That they may have my joy fulfilled in them."  What is his joy? Was Jesus speaking of the joy of keeping his father's commandments, as he did earlier, or was he speaking of another element of his joy?

 

Another joy of Jesus was referred to in Hebrews 12:2.

"Looking away to Jesus the leader and completer of faith: who in view of the joy lying before him, endured the cross, having despised [the] shame, and sat down at the right hand of The God."

 

It was most likely that Jesus was speaking of his soon return to the Father. That anticipation should be also the hope, and the joy, of the disciples. If they keep the faith, and if they do not waste the inheritance that Jesus will purchase for them at the cross, then they, too, will joy in the presence of the father.

 

Return to top

 

17:14     I have given them thy word, and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world.

 

This statement about "thy word" points out a truth that is sorely neglected today. Many people say they are preaching the very word of the scriptures, yet the world does not hate them as it did Jesus and his disciples. Why is this? The word of The God is always controversial, and it always brings out the hatred of those who hate god.

 

For the most part, today's religions never require real commitment of one's life to the cause of The God. Certainly there are those who work diligently "for the lord," according as they are taught. But, too often all of this dedication is misdirected toward "the church."  Give to "the church."  Be faithful to "the church."  Help build "the church."  The "church" winds up usurping the faith and dedication which should be directed to The God. Many never realize that The God and "the church" are not the same thing at all. And, serving a worldly church will seldom engender the hatred of the world.

 

When Jesus "gave them the father's word," it set them outside the world, insofar as their thoughts and the essential aim of their lives were concerned. This set them apart from the materialism of the world, and this is the reason the world hated them. It also set them apart from those who tried to gain salvation by offering works to The God.

 

"They are not of the world as I am not of the world."  As comes from kathoos, speaking of someone who is exactly the same as another. This was an incredible acclamation of his disciples!

 

Return to top

 

17:15     I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

 

This verse is a continuation of the thought stated in verse 17:14.  Jesus was very concerned that his followers would not be deterred from living in a godly manner, rather than being influenced by all the worldliness around them.  It is interesting to note that Jesus did not pray for their removal from the world, but that they would be enabled to overcome the world.

 

Return to top

 

17:16     They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

 

No further commentary is need here since this a repeat of the words in verse 17:14.

 

Return to top

 

17:17     Sanctify them by thy truth; thy word is truth.

 

Sanctify means to set apart. In this instance, it is to set the disciples apart to the service of The God, and his son, Jesus. It is "thy truth," or the truth of the scriptures, which The God uses to sanctify, or set apart to his service, those who do not rebel against it.

 

"Thy word is truth," or the truth concerning The God and his son, Jesus, the Christ. Please note that there is no definite article preceding the word truth; the Greek text does not say that "thy word is the truth," which would limit the scriptures to being the only truth. Thus, the omission of the definite article limits this to the truth as it concerns The God and his purposes. There are other truths.

 

Return to top

 

17:18     As thou didst send me into the world, I also sent them into the world

 

As, kathoos, indicates another equal sign. Jesus again stated that "thou didst send me into the world."  He was sent, he did not come forth on his own, but under the aegis of The God. And that is the exactly how he "also sent them into the world."  The disciples were sent; they did not go forth on their own.

 

This sending was again spoken of in a proleptic sense. He had not yet actually sent them into the world, but it was certain that he would do so. Therefore, Jesus spoke of it as though it had already occurred.

 

Return to top

 

17:19     And for them I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

 

This refers only to his disciples who were gathered with him at that time. This does not necessarily exclude others from being affected because "I sanctify myself," but he did not include any others. However when Jesus did "sanctify myself" by his death on the cross, that set apart, or sanctified, all humanity.

 

The KJV translated the latter part of this verse as "sanctified through the truth."  However, that confuses the true meaning of what Jesus said. He said that they may be sanctified in truth, not through the truth. The word "in" tells the location of their being sanctified, which is in truth.

 

It is the truth of the scriptures that sanctifies people. Truth, if accepted, will set people apart to the cause of The God. Organized religion often attempts to set people apart according to some church doctrine which may or may not be truth.

 

Return to top

 

17:20     And not for these only I make request, but also for those who shall believe on me through their word.

 

Verses 20-23 expanded the focus of Jesus' prayer. He now included all of those who come to faith in him. Faith in him does not mean "accepting him as personal savior," but acknowledging that he was sent from The God, that he was the messiah, the christ. This is the faith required of those who would be his followers.

 

This simple truth has become so distorted that it is seldom heard today in any preaching on faith. Yet, searching the scriptures which contain the word "faith," discloses that the majority of such scriptures point to Jesus as messiah.

 

Jesus was not asking The God that all be saved, but he was asking that those "who believe on me through their word," should be saved from evil, and that he would sanctify them by his word. A full salvation was granted to all humanity by his death upon the cross. "Believing on him through their word" is a matter of retaining that salvation, and not wasting it. True believing through the word will compel people to the proper works, which enable them to retain their salvation.

 

Return to top

 

17:21     That 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 didst send me.

 

This is another verse, often wrested out of context, and used to "prove" the doctrine of the trinity. Actually, this verse, as it is used here, refers to purpose, not to personality.

 

Jesus explained how the disciples, and those who believe on him through their word, may be one. The example he gave was "as thou, father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may one in us."  Having the "father in me, and I in thee," indicates the truth that Jesus was completely dedicated to the purpose for which the Father sent him. He and the Father are completely of one accord, and therefore can be spoken of as being one.

 

Jesus clearly stated the purpose of all this. "That the world may believe that thou didst send me."  Or, to put it another way, that the world may believe that I am the christ.

 

Throughout his gospel, John referred to these words, and similar ones, that Jesus repeated, and repeated. Yet, today, this is seldom heard. The word, "christ," has become appended to Jesus as if it were just another part of his name, which it is not. Thus, the truth which should be conveyed to those who study the word is replaced with erroneous teachings. The significance of this error is that it has resulted in a "new gospel" that distorts the truth of the scriptures.

 

Return to top

 

17:22     And I have given them the glory which thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are one."

 

Jesus stated that he had given them the duty of expressing to the world that he was sent of The God, that he was the long-awaited messiah. That is still the glory given today to all those who are sanctified by his word.

The question arises, Where are they in all of what is named "christianity?" This is the doctrine which would unify people, "that they may be one," as Jesus and the Father are one. One in the purpose of expressing the true glory of the word.

 

Return to top

 

17:23     I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfected into one, and that the world may know that thou didst send me, and lovedst them as thou lovedst me.

 

This is the last of the three verses which disclose the purpose Jesus had for his disciples, and those others who would come to faith (see verse 17:20).

 

First, "I in them," or, I among them. Jesus spoke in this manner because he knew that with the coming of holy spirit upon the disciples, his purpose for them would be known. In that sense, he will be among them, but not in each of them. This is another instance of the use of the Greek en with a plural, which should be translated as among, not in.

 

Second, "and thou in me."  This signifies that after his resurrection and ascension to the Father, Jesus will still be subject to the Father's will. He will still speak and do only what the Father orders. Nothing has changed in his ministry to The God. As a glorified man, he will have the same authority he had as Jehovah, before he became a man.

 

Third. "That they may be perfected into one," or that they may all go forth ministering with the same purpose. Perfected is written in the perfect, passive, participle, which signifies that the goal, or aim, of being perfected into one has become a permanent state of action.

 

Please note carefully that this perfection comes as a result of The God acting in their lives by holy spirit. It is nothing they do themselves, as indicated by the passive. There is no point in striving to be pleasing to The God, as the works of the flesh are never pleasing to him.

 

Fourth, "that the world may know that thou didst send me."  This has been a constant refrain as Jesus prayed to his heavenly father, The God. The world will be convinced of this only when those who believe that Jesus is the christ act as one, with one purpose. That purpose is to convince the world that Jesus is the christ, not simply someone's "personal savior," as many churches would have you believe.

 

Fifth, the result of this will be that the world will know "that [thou] lovedst them as thou lovedst me."  The love expressed in this verse comes from agape. It is a matter of wishing the best for one, and is based upon an act of the will.

 

Return to top

 

17:24     Father, whom thou hast given me I desire that where I am they also may be with me, that they may behold my glory which thou gavest me, for thou lovedst me before [the] foundation of [the] world.

 

This verse does not include those who will believe because of the testimony of the disciples. Jesus expressed this desire solely for those disciples with him at that time.

 

"Hast given" was a time in the past, and thus did not include those who will come to faith later. Jesus wanted his disciples to "be with me" at some time in the future. Why? "That they may behold my glory which thou gavest me."

 

Again, Jesus spoke of a matter in the past. When did the heavenly father do all this for Jesus? "Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." This was a reference to his existence as Jehovah. Please do not confuse Jesus, the man, with Jehovah, the word. Jesus was not born until Mary gave birth to him, but he did exist as Jehovah, a spiritual being, long before then.

 

Return to top

 

17:25     Righteous father, the world knew thee not, but I knew thee, and these knew that thou didst sent me.

 

The world knew thee not, the absolute not, ouk. The world had no knowledge of the heavenly father. They knew only Jehovah, the word of The God, whom they accepted as their only god. "But I knew thee."  Of course he did! As Jehovah, he was the only one who did know of The God's existence.

 

This is the sixth time in this chapter alone where Jesus stated either that "I came out from thee," or "thou didst send me" (see also verses 17:3, 8, 18, 21, 23). He was the "sent one" of The God, the one whom the Jews had expected for generations. Although he was the long awaited messiah, he was rejected by the rulers of the Jews.

 

Return to top

 

17:26     And I made known to them thy name, and will make [it] known; that the love with which thou lovedst me may be in them; and I in them.

 

These words mark the end of Jesus' prayer to his heavenly father. "I made known to them thy name."  This was another way of saying I made known thy power to them. I let them know not only your power as creator, but also your power of love, and what an advantage it was, not only to them, but to all the world.

 

"And will make it known."  There is no end to his responsibility as the word of The God. His work is not done. He will continue to make known the Father's name. Why? "That the love with which thou lovedst me may be in them; and I in them."

 

It is only through the name that The God's love is shed abroad. Jesus desired that love to be in them, or actually among them. The first "them" in this verse is limited to the disciples, while the last "them" includes all those whom he will reconcile to the Father by his crucifixion. That includes not only the disciples, but all humanity. God's love is great enough to include us all!

 

Return to top

 

 

Summary Highlights of Chapter 17

 

# One should keep in mind that the only purpose Jesus had for being on

     this earth was to glorify The God. The apostle John wrote this gospel,

     not for the purpose of glorifying Jesus above The God, but to glorify the

     Father. This was the only purpose for which he wrote about Jesus and

     his life on this earth.

 

#  Jesus always pointed to the Father in everything he said or did.

     "Christianity" today seems to eclipse The God by overly emphasizing

     Jesus. Because of the trinity teaching, that Jesus and The God are one

     and the same, much misguided worship has been given to Jesus instead

     of to The God.

 

# Most preachers claim that The God reacts to what people do. However,

     this is the exact opposite to what the scriptures say. The real issue is

     how people will react to this gift [of salvation] that has already been

     received from The God through his son, Jesus. This gift was to everyone.

     Why then is there so much preaching about what people must do to

     gain eternal life? They need do nothing! They already have eternal life.

     Jesus said so!

 

# According to Jesus, eternal life, given to all flesh, consists of two

     elements. First, "that they should know thee, the only true god."  

     This first part of eternal life, knowing the only true god, was

     accomplished by Jesus' life and death. The second part of eternal life

     was knowing "Jesus Christ whom thou didst send."

 

# A portion of holy spirit has been given to every person on this earth. The

     sad part is that even many "christians" today do not know this basic

     truth. They do not realize that Jesus died for their sins, which are

     already forgiven. They are taught by many misguided preachers and

     teachers, who themselves do not understand the principle of grace.

 

# The God does not respond to what people may do; people are to respond

     to what The God has already done for their salvation. The truth that

     holy spirit reveals to people is that the way into the holy of holies is

     open to The God, and that the way was opened by someone whose

     name they may never have heard.

 

#  Jesus, as the Old Testament Jehovah, was the god of Israel. The

     Israelites worshiped Jehovah as their god. However, Jesus emptied

     himself of all the power which he exercised as Jehovah, to become the

     human word of The God.

 

# The God has returned the glorified man, Jesus, to the same authority he

     once held as Jehovah. As Jehovah, he was adonai, or lord, over all men,

     and he stood between the invisible god and humanity. He now has that

     same authority, and is again lord of all, and all beings will eventually

     bow before his new name, Jesus. As a result, Jesus will again have "the

     glory which he had with the father before the world began"

 

#  Jesus made clear, or revealed, "thy name."  Name did not refer to a

     label for The God, but to the power of The God. Or, one could say he

     revealed the character of The God to men, which would include not

     only his power, but also his providence and other acts of love.

 

# After the crucifixion, Jesus not only opened the way into the holy of

     holies to The God, but he also revealed, for the first time, the existence of

     this god whom no man has seen, nor ever shall see.

 

# After the crucifixion, the disciples would realize that Jesus, himself, was

     Jehovah become flesh, and that the god he called his father was

     another god besides the one they previously knew about.

 

#  It was not his decision to come to earth in a human form, but the

     Father had sent him. Jesus was under the orders of one higher than

     himself. The fatal error of the Jewish priesthood was their refusal to

     accept this assertion which Jesus often made to them.

 

# As Jesus had the office of high priest for this age, The God had given him

     these disciples to further his cause, much as Aaron had in the Old

     Testament.

 

#  Jesus and the Father are one. What this means is that Jesus and the

     Father are one in purpose, and Jesus also wanted the disciples to be one

     in purpose. He wanted them to work together, or be one, to further his

     teachings after he left.

 

# Our question was whether or not Judas had a choice in the matter, or

     whether he was manipulated. The answer is that he had a choice. The

     God never causes one to sin, but those who practice sin are sometimes

     used to fulfill some purpose of The God.

 

# Many people say they are preaching the very word of the scriptures, yet

     the world does not hate them as it did Jesus and his disciples. Why is

     this? The word of The God is always controversial, and it always brings

     out the hatred of those who hate god.

 

# Certainly there are those who work diligently "for the lord," according

     as they are taught. But, too often all of this dedication is misdirected

     toward "the church."  Give to "the church."  Be faithful to "the church." 

     Help build "the church."  The "church" winds up usurping the faith

     and dedication which should be directed to The God. Many never

     realize that The God and "the church" are not the same thing at all.

     And, serving a worldly church will seldom engender the hatred of the

     world.

 

# When Jesus "gave them the father's word," it set them outside the world,

     insofar as their thoughts and the essential aim of their lives were

     concerned. This set them apart from the materialism of the world, and

     this is the reason the world hated them. It also set them apart from

     those who tried to gain salvation by offering works to The God.

 

# Sanctify means to set apart. In this instance, it is to set the disciples

     apart to the service of The God, and his son, Jesus. It is "thy truth," or

     the truth of the scriptures, which The God uses to sanctify, or set apart

     to his service, those who do not rebel against it.

 

#  Jesus was sent, he did not come forth on his own, but under the aegis of

     The God. And that is the exactly how the disciples were sent; they did

     not go forth on their own.

 

#  It is the truth of the scriptures that sanctifies people. Truth, if accepted,

     will set people apart to the cause of The God. Organized religion often

     attempts to set people apart according to some church doctrine which

     may or may not be truth.

 

#  Jesus was not asking The God that all be saved, but he was asking that

     those "who believe on me through their word," should be saved from

     evil, and that he would sanctify them by his word. A full salvation was

     granted to all humanity by his death upon the cross. "Believing on him

     through their word" is a matter of retaining that salvation, and not

     wasting it. True believing through the word will compel people to the

     proper works, which enable them to retain their salvation.

 

# Actually, this verse (17:21), as it is used here, refers to purpose, not to

     personality. He and the Father are completely of one accord, and

     therefore can be spoken of as being one.  This one accord, or purpose,

     was that the world would believe that that Jesus was the christ.

 

#  Throughout his gospel, John referred to these words, and similar ones,

     that Jesus repeated, and repeated. Yet, today, this is seldom heard. The

     word, "christ," has become appended to Jesus as if it were just another

     part of his name, which it is not. Thus, the truth which should be

     conveyed to those who study the word is replaced with erroneous

     teachings. The significance of this error is that it has resulted in a "new

     gospel" that distorts the truth of the scriptures.

 

# After his resurrection and ascension to the Father, Jesus would still be

     subject to the Father's will. He will still speak and do only what the

     Father orders. Nothing has changed in his ministry to The God. As a

     glorified man, he will have the same authority he had as Jehovah,

     before he became a man.

 

# Please note carefully that this perfection comes as a result of The God

     acting in their lives by holy spirit. It is nothing they do themselves, as

     indicated by the passive. There is no point in striving to be pleasing to

     The God, as the works of the flesh are never pleasing to him.

 

# "That the world may know that thou didst send me" was a constant

     refrain as Jesus prayed to his heavenly father, The God. The world will

     be convinced of this only when those who believe that Jesus is the christ

     act as one, with one purpose. That purpose is to convince the world that

     Jesus is the christ, not simply someone's "personal savior," as many

     churches would have you believe.

 

#  Jesus was not born until Mary gave birth to him, but he did exist as

     Jehovah, a spiritual being, long before then.

 

# The first "them" in this verse (17:26) is limited to the disciples, while the

     last "them" includes all those whom he will reconcile to the Father by

     his crucifixion. That includes not only the disciples, but all humanity.

     God's love is great enough to include us all!

 

 

RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE

 

October 2009