JOHN - Chapter 17 - HIGH PRIESTLY PRAYER Print E-mail

JOHN – Chapter 17- “High Priestly Prayer”

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

8/15/17, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


From chapter 13 to 16, Jesus has unfolded the meaning of His departure.  His teaching ends with the words, “I have overcome the world” (16:33).   In Him, the purpose of God had been, and will be achieved.  With His eyes lifted towards heaven, Jesus fulfills His work as a prophet on earth, and stands in His work as a Priest from the realm of the Holy of Holies.


This prayer has been called His “high-priestly prayer.”


John 17: 1-3:  These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come:  Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You; as You have given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as you have given Him, and this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.


Glorify your Son:  The departure of Judas signified the arrival of the “hour” in which Jesus committed Himself to His death (13:31).  The glorification of Jesus has already been manifested by His words and miracles.  Jesus declared He had power over judgment (5:27) and forgiveness of sins (Mk. 2:10).  Now he declares His power and authority to give eternal life.  The knowledge of the Father must now be linked with apprehending the Son.  The revelation of God in Christ cannot be transcended.  The only access to the Father is now through the Son.  


4-6a: I have glorified You on the earth.  I have finished the work which you gave Me to do.  And now, O Father, glorify Me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.  I have manifested your name…


Father was already glorified in the heavens and worshipped by the angels, while the earth lay in ignorance.  Jesus glorified the Father by imparting the knowledge of God.  The work of the Only-begotten Son Incarnate is to sanctify our nature; to overthrow the ruler of the world, who made himself out to be God; and to plant the knowledge of the glory of God in the creation. 


He conquered the god of this world and cast him out.  God’s name was already revealed, but only to the Jews, not the whole world.  Christ announces that God’s name will also be revealed to the Gentiles.  If at that point the pagans already had some knowledge of God, it was only as a platonic subordinate deity who fashions the sensible world in the light of eternal ideas.  Jesus revealed the creator as Father to many sons.  The glory of God was paramount in the life of Jesus.  This is no selfish request for recognition.  It is a prayer which recognizes the historic life-giving work of Christ truly reveals the eternal nature of the Godhead, and the relation of the Word, immanent and active in creation and salvation, to the eternal and unchanging, transcendent God.


John 17: 6-8:  I have manifested your name to the men who you gave Me out of the world:  Yours they were, and You gave them Me.  They have kept Your word.  Now they have known that all things that are given to Me are of You.  I gave to them the words which you gave Me; and they received them.  They know surely that I came out from You, and they believe that you did send Me.  


Those to whom Jesus was sent were foreknown before the foundation of the earth to become the Firstfruits of the establishing of the Kingdom of God on the earth.  These were the Ekklesia (elect)—chosen and ordained by God.  This is the priority of the purpose of the Godhead.  As the Second person of the Trinity, Jesus’ part was to reveal the NAME OF GOD and His Omni-present Power and Presence to those who had been chosen to become Sons of God in the family of God.  Through the power of that NAME, He decided to make us holy in His eyes, without a single fault---we can stand before Him covered with His loved. 


 John 17:9-10: “I pray for them.  I do not pray for the world, but for them which You have given Me; for they are Yours.  All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I am glorified in them…(Vs22) “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one.”


1 Ti. 2:4 states that it is God the Savior’s desire that all men be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth. This prayer of Jesus is not a contradiction.  He is speaking of the world which was under the power of the god of this world.  These have chosen to stay in the world system. 


2 Ti. 2:19:  The solid foundation of God stands, having this seal:  ‘The Lord knows those who are His’ and ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’


John 17: 11-12:  Now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come from You.  Holy Father keep through your own name those who you have given Me, that they may be one, as We are.  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your NAME.


Isa. 16:8b: The desire of our soul is to your NAME.


The NAME OF GOD, who can fathom and who can teach it?  Jesus revealed the Glory of His Name through His life and miracles.  By the name of god we are to understand his glorious character, as it is revealed to us in his Word.  Everything is there in his name that we require in order to our present well-being and everlasting joy.  Do we need forgiveness?  It is in His name!  To Moses he made himself known as the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin.  Do we need righteousness?  He is the Lord our righteousness. Do we need peace?  He is the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep.


Do we need strength?  The Almighty God was one of the earliest titles by which he revealed himself to his ancient people.  He is the Rock of ages, in whom is everlasting strength.  Do we need protection?  The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run there, and are safe. Like an inexhaustible storehouse, the name of God contains life now and forever more.


Who are the characters of the world upon whom vengeance will be taken when the great Redeemer will be revealed from heaven in flaming fire, with his mighty angels?  They, who do not know God, and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,


We are assured that “this is life eternal, to know Him, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He sent.


They that know your name, says the Psalmist, will put their trust in you. 


It is in the proportion to the extent of our knowledge, or the measure in which we are found “increasing in the knowledge of God,” that our trust will be strong and unwavering.  It is our increasing knowledge which looses the glory of the knowledge of the gospel to the earth.


Blessed God continue to show us to love and glorify your sacred name.  Let our hearts be so drawn after you, that the fullness of the prayer of Christ Jesus for your glory may be upon us.


John 17: 12-13: Those who you gave Me, I have kept, and none of them are lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled.  Now I come to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.


I believe in the keeping power of the Lord Jesus Christ and pray it over myself, family and congregation.  He is speaking forth in the world this power that the disciples and all who receive His word may live and have fullness of joy within ourselves.


John 17: 14-16:  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I do pray that you take them out of the world, but that you will keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.


We are to own this Word for our walk on earth.  The disciples are still to be tested and proven by the evil one through the weakness of their human nature.  Just as we are tested and proven.


John 17:17: Sanctify them through Your truth; Your word is truth.  Jesus had already sanctified the disciples through the washing of the Word which he had spoken to them.  He is confirming the continued need of the Truth of the Word and the Holy Spirit for us to live in this world and overcome the evil one.


John 17: 18-19: As you have sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  For their sakes, I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified in the truth.

 Jesus is interceding for His followers (us in particular) in order for them to be one, individually, with the Father just as He is one with the Father.  When this is consummated, Christ’s righteousness becomes something we own.


Through prayer, Jesus is consecrating Himself for the work He is about to perform.  The sacrifices of the Old Testament---the lamb, doves, pigeons, for example---were merely figures; they were offered to God as a foreshadowing of spiritual realities to come.  Now we offer our souls to God in truth; we are sanctified, set apart, and dedicated to Him.  As Paul exhorts, present your bodies a living, holy sacrifice. (Ro. 12:1) 


John 17: 20-23:  I pray this also for those who will believe in me…that all of them may be one.  Father, just as you are in me, and I am in you.  May they also be in us…that they may be one as we are one; I in them, and you in me.


Colin Melbourne: “There is a place in Christ Jesus where we no longer live under condemnation, but where Heaven is always open to us; a place of limitless power, untold resources, and Divine LIFE.  Everything we need to give us total victory over all the power of the Devil.  Nothing can stop the child of God who is filled with desire to press on into this life of true holiness, desiring only to glorify God.”


C. R. Oliver: “Vistas will open for the child of God who grasps this truth!  God’s promises to him or her can be possessed; they can claim spiritual ownership.  Such ownership is a non-entity to the majority of the religious world.  Multitudes who attend services, fill seminars and occupy church positions have no conception about owning scripture and possessing promises, let alone embodying righteousness.”


Jesus is the legal covenantal owner of all things in Heaven, in earth, and under the earth---He is Heir of all things.  The Spirit of the Son is the Spirit of the Heir!


John 17:24: “Father, I will that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”


One of Jesus’ greatest desires expressed in his prayer was that his people might be with him to behold His glory.  It is clear in this prayer the Lord Jesus was referring to his own glory and the actual sight of it.


John 17: 25-26: O righteous Father, the world has not known you; but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent Me.  I have made known unto them your name, and will make it known; that the love wherewith you have loved Me may be in them and I in them.


A believer magnetized by the love of Christ will always seek and press in until he or she comes to Christ and beholds his glory.  When Jesus prayed for us in John 17:26, He also secured the love of Father God: “that the love wherewith God loves Jesus, may be in us and Christ in us”.


One of our greatest privileges in Christ and we have many great privileges in Him is He secured for us in His prayer both in this world and for eternity that we may behold His glory and have the love of Father God as God loved Him.


This glorious privilege is not limited to the heavenly state only, but is for believers on earth.


As believers, we are all given the grace to behold the glory of Christ.  It is by beholding the glory of Jesus that we are gradually transformed into his image, and brought into the eternal joy of it.  They shall be forever like him, for they shall see him as he is.” (2 Cor. 3:18, 1 John 3: 1-2)


On this promise we own our present treasures and future blessedness. 


By beholding the glory of Christ we shall experience what it means to be everlastingly blessed.  We shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17).  We shall be with Christ, which is best of all. (Phil. 1:23)  For there we shall behold his glory (Jn. 17:24); “By seeing him as he is, we shall be made like him” (1 Jn. 3:2).  This is our everlasting blessedness.


The enjoyment of God by sight is commonly called the “Beatific Vision’.  There is the song, We can Only Imagine of how we will react to a visitation.  The sign we shall have of God will always be in the face of Jesus Christ 2 Cor. 4:6: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”


The foundation of our Christian faith, the rock on which the church is built, the ground of all our hopes of salvation, of life and immortality is the revelation of God’s name and nature by Jesus Christ.


This Rock stands firm.  The church is safe and shall be triumphant forever.


By various and deceitful ways the devil has attempted to hold on to his title, ‘god of this world’.  By counterfeiting supernatural appearances of power, he has labored to prejudice the minds of men and turn them away from the glorious light of the gospel which proclaims to all that the Lord Christ is perfect and the only true revealer of God’s image.


It is in Christ alone that we may see the glory of God.  The Father appointed him to be the true representation of his glory.  This glory is wonderfully displayed in both his wisdom and his love.


Love is a glorious property of the divine nature.  John tells us that “God is love”.  Love casts out envy, hatred, malice and revenge with all the rage, fierceness, implacability, persecution and murder that these evil passions produce.


The divine name and nature of God is made known to us in the mission, person and offices of the Son of God.


Then when we actually see him we shall behold him without any interruption and we shall never cease to delight in him and to love him.


The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork.  The invisible things of God are understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead. 


John 17:24: “Father, I will that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; for Your loved Me before the foundation of the world.”


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from K.J.V. I entered into the labors of John Owen, The Glory of Christ; F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary, David J. Ellis; Heavenly Aspirations by John Ross MacDuff.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.

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