Morning Devotions: John 17
I greet you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We're in John chapter 17, and it has been such a joy for me to rediscover this chapter. I hope it's a joy for you, too. I'm going to read the chapter, make some observations from the chapter, spend a bit of time applying it to our lives, and then I'm going to close in a word of prayer.
Let's read John chapter 17 beginning at verse 1.
John 17 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
17 Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you gave him authority over all flesh, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. 3 This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent —Jesus Christ. 4 I have glorified you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with that glory I had with you before the world existed. 6 “I have revealed your name to the people you gave me from the world. They were yours, you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you, 8 because I have given them the words you gave me. They have received them and have known for certain that I came from you. They have believed that you sent me. 9 “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, because they are yours. 10 Everything I have is yours, and everything you have is mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by your name that you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I was protecting them by your name that you have given me. I guarded them and not one of them is lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture may be fulfilled. 13 Now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy completed in them. 14 I have given them your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 I sanctify myself for them, so that they also may be sanctified by the truth. 20 “I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. 21 May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. 22 I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me. 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they will see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the world’s foundation. 25 Righteous Father, the world has not known you. However, I have known you, and they have known that you sent me. 26 I made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them and I may be in them.”
1. Jesus Prays for Himself
This is a staggering chapter. What we have is a prayer prayed by Jesus Christ. It takes up the whole chapter. As Jesus Christ first prays for himself, prays for his disciples, and then for believers throughout all time - that includes you and me. In verse 1 to 5, Jesus prays for himself. And the prayer is absolutely mind-bending. Jesus at the beginning of the prayer, calls upon the Father to glorify himself on earth. Jesus commands, it’s an imperative glorify - commands God to glorify him on earth. And then at the end of verse 5, he says, “Glorify me, not just on earth, but in your presence. It is a command again. Jesus Christ is commanding the Father to do this that he might be glorified.
2. Jesus Prays for His Disciples
The second part of this prayer is for the disciples. So, from verse 16 through to the end of verse 19. We have this prayer for the disciples. Part of the prayer that he prays in acknowledgement that his disciples of kept his Word. He acknowledges that they know his Word that they have received his Word that they believed his Word, and crescendos when he says, that Christ might be glorified through the obedience to his Word.
3. Jesus Prays for All Believers
The last part of this prayer from verse 23 to verse 26, Jesus Christ is praying for you and for me. Which naturally brings to application.
Unbeliever, John 16:3 says, “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent - Jesus Christ. God's Word says that it is appointed for men to die once and thereafter Judgment. After death, we will either be ushered into Heavens Glories forever and ever - eternal life. Or we will be moved into hell in eternal misery, forever and ever! What separates the one from the other is belief in God and belief in Jesus Christ his Son! This book is written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and that by believing, you might have eternal life in his name. The eternal life is an abundant life in this life, and perpetual life in the life to come.
New convert, as you read John chapter 17, let me just uncover the first verses. “Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said, “Father the hour has come.”” You realize that if Jesus Christ, the Son of God - God from God, Light from light - who was in the beginning with God in close proximity to God, and joined to God toward God, for all eternity could not be separated from God. If Jesus Christ who is God in human flesh, found it necessary to pray to God and lay this example down, how much more so should we be given to pray in this life?
Believers, you read chapter 17, cast your attention to verse 20 to 21. It reads, “I pray not only for these, but for those who believe in me through their Word. May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you think me. That’s just three brief points for us to apply into our lives and in Church Community regarding chapter 17 verse 20 and 21.
Firstly, Jesus prayed that we would be one. That oneness is not just a singularity, - We are one church. But it's a unity within the Church. Jesus prayed that we would unified. Not only that, Jesus gives us an example of that unity. The example of the unity that he gives us is this expression between himself and his Father. Just like God the Father and God the Son are one, so too, we, the Church, must be one. Then he gives us the reason why he calls for this oneness - this unity between us. It is so that the world might see us and believe that we are from God. Unity is something we should pray for. Unity is something we should strive for. Unity is something we should sweat and strain and work for, because unity is one of the ways that God testifies to a watching world that the testimony which we bring to them is true and is from God.
Let's close in a word of prayer.
LORD God, as we read this wonderful prayer of Jesus Christ your Son. We are struck by his deep relationship with you and his desire to see your glories made manifest in this world. Father, would you grant us according to his prayer - oneness which comes from above. Not only that, LORD God, the example which you have set in terms of unity between the Father and the Son. Might that so permeate amongst us that it spills over and a watching world sees it and marvels and gives glory to our Father who is in heaven. This I pray because LORD God, we cannot do this in our own strength for indeed we are weak in these matters, but you are strong and your Holy Spirit is within us. And so work LORD God that you praise and your renown might be made known through your church, to your praise and glory in this life and in forever in the life to come. We pray these things in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our Saviour. Amen.
May the Lord bless you this day.