Key Verse | John 17:20-21

"I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me."

Scripture | John 17


The High Priestly Prayer

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 1 17:15 Or from evil 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them 2 17:17 Greek Set them apart (for holy service to God) in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, 3 17:19 Or I sanctify myself; or I set myself apart (for holy service to God) that they also may be sanctified 4 17:19 Greek may be set apart (for holy service to God) in truth.

20 I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Footnotes

[1] 17:15 Or from evil
[2] 17:17 Greek Set them apart (for holy service to God)
[3] 17:19 Or I sanctify myself; or I set myself apart (for holy service to God)
[4] 17:19 Greek may be set apart (for holy service to God)

Jesus Prayed for YOU!



Devo | John 17

Have you ever wondered what God is really like? What is in His heart? This chapter of the Bible is one of my favorite windows into His character. There are only a few prayers of Jesus recorded in Scripture, today’s...

Have you ever wondered what God is really like? What is in His heart? This chapter of the Bible is one of my favorite windows into His character. There are only a few prayers of Jesus recorded in Scripture, today’s being the longest.

When I first read this chapter, John 17:20 took my breath away: "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word." This is Jesus' prayer for ALL of His followers. Not just the disciples who heard the prayer firsthand, but "for those who will believe" in Him through their witness. That realization made me pay more attention, wondering what does Jesus ask of His Father for followers and ultimately for me?

1. To keep them in the Father's name (John 17:11) 

2. To keep them from the evil one, but NOT to take them out of the world (John 17:15)

3. To sanctify them in truth, which is God's Word (John 17:17)

4. To be unified with the Father and Son and with each other "so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me." (John 17:21-23)

5. To be with Jesus and see His glory (John 17:24)

The most repeated theme in John 17 is unity—Jesus' with the Father, ours with Christ, and believers with each other. A close second is protection for His followers as we remain in the world to bear witness through our love for one another (John 13:35). And the purpose of it all is to bring others to belief in Jesus and to the knowledge of the Father, which in itself is the eternal life believers are promised (John 17:3).

Sometimes the circumstances of this world lead me to pray for deliverance, for Christ just to come now and end it all! But that is not His heart. If He came now, there would be many to perish. I realize He "is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9) I am grateful Jesus prayed for my mission to succeed.

Discussion Questions

1. You can read two of Jesus' other recorded prayers in Matthew 6:9-13 ("The Lord's Prayer") and Mark 14:32-42 (prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane). How are these prayers different from John 17? What other prayers of Jesus can you find in the Gospels?

2. Read John 17 again, inserting your name wherever Jesus says "they" or "them." How does this strengthen or amend your understanding of His regard for you?

3. Jesus asked God in John 17:17 to "[s]anctify them in the truth; your word is truth." What or Who is "His Word?" By what means does God sanctify us in truth? (See Exodus 31:13; Leviticus 20:7-8; John 1:1, 14; 15:26; and 1 John 5:6.)

4. In John 17:3, Jesus states that eternal life is now, and that it is to know God and His Son (John 17:3). What else can you glean about "eternal life" from the following verses?

  • Job 19:25-27
  • Daniel 12:1-3
  • John 3:16
  • John 10:28-30
  • Romans 6:23
  • 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
  • Galatians 6:8
  • Hebrews 7:25
  • 1 Peter 5:10
  • 1 John 5:11-13

5. All of Scripture is united in one theme: God's desire for relationship with His people, which was tainted by sin but redeemed in Christ. Read the following verses and reflect on this key aspect of God's heart.

  • Leviticus 20:26
  • Isaiah 2:2-3
  • Jeremiah 9:23-24
  • Jeremiah 31:33-34
  • Jeremiah 32:39-41
  • Hosea 6:3, 6
  • John 17:3
  • 1 Peter 3:18
  • 1 John 5:20
  • Revelation 21:3
  • Revelation 22:3-5

Meet Michelle Ball

Funny story—my husband Nate and I lead groups of newly married couples, and he once made up a word: "disquestions." He just couldn’t seem to say "discussion questions." Be sure to dig in on the "disquestions" after this devo! All you need to know about me is that I boast about my weaknesses "so that the power of Christ may dwell in me" (2 Corinthians 12:9, NASB). As a mother of two (9-year-old boy, 6-year-old girl), I have many weaknesses. Hopefully, that means Jesus shines brightly to the world around me!

4 Comments available

Hugh Stephenson 7 days ago

GM Michele. WOW. What a great devo. I’ll spend this afternoon clicking though the links in your questions.

DEFINE VICTORY

DEFINE JOY

I start reading this passage on a down note after finishing with John 16:33. I get the truth and the theology. It’s the reality of a constant battle with Satan and his minions that wear me out.

Then comes TC’s Notes- “We so often understand this prayer as though it were rather gloomy. It is not. It is uttered by One who has just affirmed that he has overcome the world (16:33), and it starts from this conviction. Jesus is looking forward to the cross, but in a mood of hope and joy, not one of despondency."

Is there a better definition of “mission focus” than that?

Hebrews 12:1-3, especially, “…for the JOY that was set before Him endured the cross despising its shame…”

JOY

Hugh Stephenson 7 days ago

Here is an edited copy/paste on unity from the notes-

-Common mind and purpose -Unqualified mutual love -Sustained comprehensive togetherness in ministry -All this with the relationship between the farther and His Son as the model.

-This unity results in an all-encompassing relational reality that binds individuals to each other and to Him.

-It is only possible though the regenerating and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

The outcome is-

-Deep joy.

-A persuasive witness.

-A display of God’s glory.

Got Qs on joy https://www.gotquestions.org/search.php?zoom_sort=0&zoom_query=joy

Did he write “MINE” on my forehead? https://utmost.org/his/

God called me into mission to be a part of His army, (Genesis 1:26-28).

Being in mission and on mission the world will beat me down to a pulp. I am called to never, ever give up.

EVER

Victory isn’t trying harder. Victory is giving up. (Luke 9:23).

Sue Bohlin 6 days ago

Thanks, Michelle! Love “disquestions”!!

This AMAZING prayer has some mind-blowingly encouraging truths in it. First, we–each of us believers–are a love-gift from the Father to the Son (verse 6).

Second, the Father loves us exactly like He loves His Son (verse 23). We can’t even BEGIN to appreciate the hugeness of this truth!

And third, we are indwelled–filled to overflowing–by both Jesus Himself and His Father’s love (verse 26).

Happy Thanksgiving, JTJ fam! May our full bellies be NOTHING today compared to the amazingness of being filled by God’s love.

Michelle Ball 2 days ago
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Hugh, those are wonderful resources and deeper discussions, thank you for sharing! I actually just read that Hebrews verse this morning (Friday the 25th) and highlighted how WE are the joy for which He endured!

Sue, I truly appreciate your observations of the chapter!

I’m going to have to take both of your comments and dig even deeper on this again.

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