Follow Me

John 21:15-19 So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me more than these? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; thou know that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my lambs. He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; thou know that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my sheep. He said unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Love thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou know all things; thou know that I love thee. Jesus said unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou was young, thou girded thyself, and walked whither thou would: but when thou shall be old, thou shall stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou would not. This spoke he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he said unto him, Follow me. 

‘Simon, son of Jonas, love thou me more than these?’ Peter is always addressed as “Simon” except in Luke 22:34. The question from Jesus to Peter was if he really loves Jesus more than the rest of the disciples, as he boasted (Matt. 26:33-35)? He had boasted of greater love than the rest and yet, no one (except Judas) had treated Him so basely. Peter in his reconverted state gave a most modest reply.

‘Love’ Jesus used the Greek verb agapao in the first two questions, which means ardently, supremely, perfectly, while Peter answered with the verb phileo to like, be fond of, feel friendship for another. The third time the Lord used phileo which deeply humbled Peter.

‘Feed’ the Greek word bosko, to feed, tend a flock, provide pasture for, take care of, guide, lead, defend, govern, and shepherd His lambs. ‘Lambs’ the Greek word arnion. Only here and 27 times in Revelation, and always of Christ except John 13:11. The other word for lamb is amnos as used in John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32 and 1Pet. 1:19. ‘Sheep’ the Greek word probation for sheep. Used figuratively of Christ (Acts 8:32); lost people (Matt. 9:36; 10:6; 15:24; 1Pet. 2:25); saved people (Matt. 10:16; 26:31; John 10:1-27; 21:16-17; Rom. 8:36; Heb. 13:20); and people in general (Matt. 25:31-46).

‘Third time’ Peter had denied the Lord three times before the cock crowed; now Christ caused him to make a triple confession. ‘Grieved’ the Greek word lupeo, to make sorrowful, to affect with sadness, cause grief, make uneasy. It is translated “grieve;” “sorry” and “sorrowful;” and “be in heaviness.”

‘Lord, thou know all things; thou know that I love thee.’ This might have been the confession and the humility Christ was looking for. A few days before, he knew more about himself than Christ did and was frank enough to say so, but his fall and repentance had greatly humbled him. Now he was not so sure of himself, but he was sure that he loved Jesus.

‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee’ the last of 25 times in John meaning surely, surely or Amen, amen.

‘When thou was young, thou girded thyself, and walked whither thou would: but when thou shall be old, thou shall stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou would not.’ The 43rd and last New Testament prophecy in John fulfilled. A prediction of the kind of death Peter should glorify God with. This was written after his death. Ancient writers say he was crucified head down as per his own request because he thought he was unworthy to die with his head up like his Master.

‘Young’ the Greek word neoteros that means younger. The word neos generally applied to people under thirty. The use of this word and the fact John outran him (20:4) gave rise to the tradition that he was a middle-aged man.

‘Carry’ the Greek word phero means lead, carry, bear, or bring forth. This refers to the time when Peter would die. Another would take him to where he would not desire to go – to death and the grave.

‘Follow’ in Greek is akoloutheo and is used of a servant, soldier, or pupils following their leader even to death (Matt. 8:19; 9:9; 19:27; John 12:26; 21:22). This statement no doubt relieved Peter, showing that Christ was not going to make any more predictions of his weaknesses and failure. Twice he is commanded here to follow (21:19, 22).

Jesus Is Buried

John 19:38-42 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand. 

‘Joseph of Arimathaea’ – a secret disciple of Jesus and member of the Sanhedrin (Matt. 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56). He was from Ramah, called in the Septuagint Armathaim (1Sam. 1:1, 19).

‘Nicodemus’ – he was one of the Jewish’s rulers and a Rabbi, as well as a member of the Sanhedrin, and one of the three richest men in Jerusalem. He was known as Bartholomew which is a patronymic for Nathaniel. He was the brother of Philip (1:45-51; 21:2) and one of the 12 apostles (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13).

‘By night’ – at first, he came by night, but now openly, proving no shame.

‘Myrrh’ the Greek word smurna meaning a fragrant gum used in anointing oil (Ex. 30:23), perfume (Psa. 45:8), and embalming (Mark 15:23). Myrrh is a gum which comes from the stem of a low, thorny, ragged tree growing in Arabia and East Africa. ‘Aloes’ a perfume of fragrant aromatic wood.

‘Hundred pound weight’ A hundred litre of 12 ounces each would make only 75 of our pounds. It is not known how much it costs per pound, but great quantities were used in embalming the dead body of respected persons. When Herod died 500 servants bearing aromatics attended the funeral (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 15:3:4). The women also brought spices (Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56; 24:1).

‘Wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews’ this was not embalming as practised by Egyptians. Jews simply anointed the body and wrapped it in fine linen, putting the spices and ointments in the folds. In Christ’s case, the operation was not completed due to the coming of the sabbath. As soon as the sabbath was over the women came back to complete the work (Mark 16:1). The linen was bound around each leg and arm and a napkin over the face (11:44; 20:7; Acts 5:6).

‘Sepulchre’ is the Greek word mnemeion translated as the grave. It is never the place of the soul, and is always located on the earth as the place where the body goes. The Bible is clear when it states that man puts bodies into the grave and that graves are made, dug, touched and seen. Thus can the hell [Greek: gehenna] and the grave [Greek: mnemeion] not be the same place because no wrath, sorrow, fire, degrees of torment, consciousness, souls, gates, bars, keys, prayer, conversations, pains, angels, demons, satan, punishment, remorse, feelings, emotions, desires, suffering, memory, comfort, or life is ever mentioned as being in graves; but all these things are mentioned many times as being in hell. Men can put into the grave after killing the body, but God alone can cast into hell (Rev. 20:11-15; Psa. 9:17).

‘Nigh at hand’ – indicating that they had to make haste to bury Him before the special sabbath began at sunset Wednesday to sunset Thursday. Also, it appears that they planned a better tomb and that they had no hopes of Him ever being resurrected, as He had repeatedly said. They considered Him a great prophet and planned on treating Him as such by making a great tomb for Him.

In centuries past, superstition, fraud, and all manner of sinfulness have been carried on in connection with the holy sepulchre. Greeks and Armenians for centuries pretended that divine miracles came through it and even immunity from hellfire would accompany anyone buried in cloth that was singed in the candle fires of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The fire was thought to miraculously come from heaven each Easter which has always been a pagan festival observed long before Christ. It is not a Christian name but is derived from Ishtar, one of the Babylonian titles of an idol goddess, the Queen of Heaven. The Saxon goddess Eastre is the same as the Astarte, the Syrian Venus, called Ashtoreth in the Old Testament. It was the worship of this woman by Israel that was such an abomination to God (1Sam. 7:3; 1Kin. 11:5, 11:33; 2Kin. 23:13; Jer. 7:18; 44:18). This church was burned down Oct. 11, 1808, after 1400 years of idolatrous practises in it.

It is Finished

John 19:28-30 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 

In Matthew 27:45 we read the following of these final moments of Jesus: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.” There was literal darkness between the hours 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. while Jesus hung on the cross. He died at 3 p.m. at the time when the passover lamb was slaughtered and other sacrifices were offered for the feast of Passover of Leviticus 23:4-8. He died after being on the cross for about six hours. In Matthew 27:51 and 54 we read that there was also an earthquake,

‘I thirst’ this is the 13th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in John that was given in Psalm 69:21. It was customary to give a stupefying potion to intoxicate and help alleviate sufferings (Pro. 31:6), but Christ refused it so as to suffer the full penalty for sin, sober and in His right mind. Three drinks were offered to Christ: Upon His arrival at Calvary (Matt. 27:33-34, Mark 15:22-23); when He was on the cross before the criminal cried for mercy (Luke 23:36); and at the end of His life (Matt. 27:48; John 19:29).

In Matthew 27:46 we read that about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice and said: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” Controversy still rages as to what language Christ spoke here. Some say Hebrew, others say Syriac, and still, others say Aramaic. One thing is certain – no one near the cross seemed to understand what He said and there were people there who could understand all these languages (Mark 15:35). This was no doubt the hardest part of His sufferings and also the cup to pass Him by [being separated from the Father because of our sin] that He referred to when praying in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39). Having been with the Father from all eternity without the slightest separation, it was hard to be forsaken even for a moment. This was necessary because God could not condone sin even if it were borne by His only begotten Son. This emphasizes the awfulness of sin and that it must be put away if fellowship with God is desired (Isa. 59:2; 1Jn. 1:7; Heb. 12:14; Tit. 2:11-14).

In Matthew 27:51 we see that when He finally died the veil of the temple was rented in two from the top to the bottom. There were two veils: one at the entrance of the Holy Place and the other between this and the Holy of Holies into which the high priest alone went once a year to atone for the sins of the people (Heb. 9:2-9). They were 18 meter high from the ceiling to the floor. The rending of the veil signified that the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles was broken down (Eph. 2:14-18) and that each believer now could have personal access to God (Heb. 9:8; 10:19-23; Eph. 2:14-18).

Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39 and Luke 23:47 mentions the centurion – a Roman officer of 100 men – and they that were with him, that were watching Jesus while all these things happened and he said: “Truly this was the Son of God.”

‘It is finished’ the Greek word teleo meaning to “make an end” (Matt. 11:1); “finish” (Matt. 13:53; 19:1; 26:1; John 19:30; 2Tim. 4:7; Rev. 10:7; 11:7; 20:5) etc. Sixteen things are finished: Fulfilment of all scriptures of the sufferings of Christ (Psa. 22:1-31; Isa. 53:1-12; Luke 24:25-26, 44; John 19:28; 1Pet. 1:11; 3:18). The defeat of satan (John 12:31-32; Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 2:14-15). The breaking down of the middle wall of partition to make Jews and Gentiles one (Eph. 2:14-18; 3:6; 1Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Rom. 10:1-21). Way for personal access to God (Eph. 2:18-19; Heb. 10:19-38). The cancellation of the reign of death (Rom. 5:12-21; 6:9; 8:2; 1Cor. 15:1-58; 2Cor. 3:6-15; Heb. 2:14-15) as well as the cancellation of sin’s power (Rom. 6:1-23; 8:2; 1Cor. 15:54-58). The demonstration of obedience and love to death (Php. 2:8; Heb. 5:8-10; 1Pet. 2:21; 4:1). The perfection of Christ (Heb. 2:10; 5:8-11). Salvation from all sin (Matt. 26:28; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:15; Rev. 1:5; 5:9-10). Making peace between God and man (Rom.5:1-11; 2Cor. 5:14-21; Col. 1:20-22). The death penalty is paid for all (Rom. 5:6-8; 1Cor. 6:19-20; 2Cor. 5:14-21; Heb. 2:9-15; 1Pet. 1:19). The cancellation of the mortgage claim of satan and freeing of man and his dominion from sin and satan (Rom. 8:18-24; 14:7-9; 1Cor. 6:19-20; 2Cor. 5:14-15; 1Thess. 5:10; Heb. 2:9-15; 1Pet. 1:19; Rev. 5:9-10; 21:1-22:5). The satisfaction of the full justice of God (Gen. 2:17; John 3:16; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:1-11). Physical healing for all (Isa. 53:4-5; Matt. 8:17; 13:15; John 10:10; Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24). A way for the full endowment of power and full anointing of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; Acts 1:4-8,33; Gal. 3:13-14). Blotting out of the Old Covenant and making and sealing of the New Covenant (Matt. 26:28; 2Cor. 3:6-15; Gal. 3:13-25; 4:21-31; Eph. 2:14-18; Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 7:11-28; 8:6 – 10:1-18)

‘Gave up the ghost’ gave up His soul and spirit which left the body and went into hell to preach (1Pet. 3:19), and liberate all righteous souls (Psa. 16:10; Matt. 12:40; Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 2:14-15). The soul never goes to the grave with the body nor is it unconscious (Psa. 16:10; Isa. 14:9; 2Cor. 5:8; Php. 1:21-24; Heb. 12:22-23; Jas. 2:26; Rev. 6:9-11; 20:11-15). All souls are immortal (Matt. 10:28; Luke 16:19-31; 1Pet. 3:4; 4:6). Souls go out at death and come back into the bodies in resurrection (1Kin. 17:20-22; 2Sam. 12:19-23; Job 14:10; Luke 8:49-56; 16:22; 23:43-46; 2Cor. 5:8; Php. 1:21-24; Jas. 2:26; 2Pet. 1:13-15; Rev. 6:9-11).

Pilate Defends Jesus

John 19:8-15 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; And went again into the judgment hall, and said unto Jesus, Whence are thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then said Pilate unto him, Speak thou not unto me? know thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou could have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou are not Caesar’s friend: whosoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he said unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 

‘More afraid’ Pilate was torn between two fears: that of offending the Sanhedrin and the populace who would file formal charges against him to Caesar, and perhaps cause immediate rebellion; and that of killing an innocent man, a miracle-worker, a prince and an offspring of Deity, and one whom he had been warned of by his wife (Matt. 27:19) and his own growing conviction not to have a part in His death.

‘Whence are thou? … Speak thou not unto me? know thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?’ The first question concerned whether He was a real offspring of Deity or not. Was this man, who was so different from all others he had ever seen, really a supernatural being? Christ gave no answer, so he threatened boastingly of his power to release or crucify Him.

‘Thou could have no power at all against me, except it was given thee from above’ Jesus answered Pilate that he could not do one thing unless God willed. It was a sin for him to condemn Christ, for he was convinced by his conscience of His innocence; but the Jews have the greater sin, because they wilfully sin against Jesus.

‘Thenceforth Pilate sought to release him’ Pilate sought all the more to release Him, but the Jews now brought up the accusation of high treason to force his decision. They wanted to accuse him to Caesar for preferring another king to his own emperor.

‘Caesar’s friend: whosoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar’ they hated Caesar, but they hated their own Messiah more.

‘When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth’ when Pilate heard their accusation against him of high treason, he brought Jesus out before the Jews again and made his fifth attempt to deliver Him (Luke 23:4, 15, 20, 22; John 18:38; 19:4, 6, 12-14). He knew that Tiberius was one of the most jealous and distrustful rulers in the world and that during his reign accusations and conspiracies were plentiful, being founded on foolish pretences, and being punished with excessive rigour.

‘Judgment’ the Greek word bema, a stone platform in the open court in front of the Praetorium; the place of final sentence (Matt. 27:19; John 19:13; Acts 12:21; 18:12-17; 25:6, 10, 17). Used also of the judgment seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10; 2Cor. 5:10). ‘Gabbatha’ a raised pavement higher than the rest of the pavement. ‘Sixth hour’ about 12:00 midnight.

‘Away’ the Greek word airo, the same word translated “take up” serpents in Mark 16:18. It is never used in the sense of making a side show or demonstration to prove faith, but it means to remove, destroy, and put out of the way by death, as in Matthew 22:13; John 1:29; 19:15; Acts 21:36; 22:22; 1John 3:5.

‘We have no king but Caesar’ deeper and deeper these religious people were going into sin and rebellion – choosing an enemy instead of a friend, satan instead of God, and eternal damnation instead of eternal life.

Jesus Scourged

John 19:1-7 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and said unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that you may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Take you him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 

‘Scourged him’ had Him scourged in the Roman manner which was more severe than the Jewish. It was customary to scourge a person before crucifixion, but Pilate hoped that this punishment would satisfy the Jews so he could release Jesus (Luke 23:16). This did not satisfy the bloodthirsty Jews who wanted Him dead and out of their way.

A scourge was a Roman implement for severe physical punishment. It consisted of a handle with about a dozen leather cords with jagged pieces of bone or metal at each end to make the blow more painful and effective. The victim was tied to a post and the blows were applied to the bareback and loins and sometimes to the face and bowels. The flesh was cut in several places by each blow. So hideous was the punishment that the victim often fainted and some died under it. Flogging was permitted by the law up to 40 stripes (Deut. 25:3). Jews reduced this to 39 stripes (2Cor. 11:23-25). If the scourge used on Jesus had 12 thongs and He was hit even 39 times this would make 468 stripes. If some struck in the same place and cut deeper each time one can see how His body, because of the intense hatred back of each blow, was marred more than any other man’s (Isa. 52:14).

‘Crown of thorns’ for cruelty and mockery, fulfilling His own prophecy spoken in Matthew 20:17-19 in which manner He shall be killed.

‘Hail’ or, Health, success, and prosperity to the King of the Jews!

‘I bring him forth to you’ Pilate made his third appearance from the Praetorium to the Jews outside and brought the scourged, bleeding, crowned, and kingly-clothed Christ of God before them, hoping they would be willing to let Him go after such suffering. But, as ever, religious persecutors have no love and mercy on their victims. They cried for crucifixion until Pilate wanted to turn Him over to them to crucify, declaring the innocence of Christ two more times (19:4, 6).

‘Behold the Man’ Pilate hoped against hope that this awful spectacle would melt their hearts, but it only whetted their appetite for more suffering to the man they considered their rival in religion and power.

‘Because he made himself the Son of God’ this new charge to Pilate was another of ten reasons for condemning Him to die. This new angle made Pilate all the more afraid, so he took Him into the judgment hall again to question Him (19:8-11).

Jesus Before Pilate

John 18:28-32 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring you against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. Then said Pilate unto them, Take you him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying what death he should die. 

‘Let they Jesus from Caiaphas’ Jesus was led by the mob to Annas (18:13); by the mob to Caiaphas (Matt. 26:57; Mark 14:53; Luke 22:54; John 18:24); by the Jews to Pilate (Matt. 27:2; Luke 23:1; John 18:28); by soldiers to Herod (Luke 23:7); by soldiers to Pilate again (Luke 23:11-25); by soldiers to be scourged and mocked (Mark 15:16-19); by soldiers to be crucified (Matt. 27:31; Mark 15:20; Luke 23:26, 32; John 19:16).

‘The hall of judgment’ Pilate’s house, called the Praetorium, the dwelling place of the praetor, the chief ruler of the province. It was where he held court (Mark 15:16).

‘Early’ it was early in the day of preparation, from our Tuesday sunset to Wednesday sunset. It was perhaps between 11:00 p.m. to midnight, for a little later it was the 6th hour or midnight (19:14).

‘Passover’ Jesus had eaten of the passover before the time (Matt. 26:18-20; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-15), and was Himself slain at the time of the offering of the paschal lamb (1Cor. 5:7).

‘Pilate then went out unto them’ he went out to them lest they be defiled by coming into him. The Romans had agreed to permit the Jews the free use of their rites and ceremonies, so this was all Pilate could do.

‘Malefactor’ the Greek word kakopoios which means evildoer. They did not want Pilate to judge, but to execute the sentence they had already illegally passed. Pilate was not willing to execute a man whom he had not tried and who was not guilty, so offered to turn Jesus over to them for execution (John 18:31).

‘It is not lawful for us to put any man to death’ this was another sin of the Jews. They had the power to stone anyone breaking their law (8:1-11, 59; 10:31; Acts 7:59), but in this case, they lied and, fearing the people, determined to raise the plea of rebellion against Caesar, throwing the responsibility of the Lord’s death upon Pilate (19:7, 12). He had to die by crucifixion to fulfil prophecy (Matt. 20:19; 26:2; John 3:14; 12:32-33). Jews did not crucify and they had no power to do so with criminals that were accused of crimes against the state, so they intimidated Pilate by accusing him of not being a friend of Caesar if he let Christ go (19:7, 12).

Jesus Prayed: Be Sanctified

John 17:13-19 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou should take them out of the world, but that thou should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

‘Out of the world’ – He does not pray for them to die and leave the world, nor seclude themselves in deserts or separate themselves from the world in communities and monasteries to escape temptation, but to live as lights and examples of God in the world (Matt. 5:16; Php. 2:15; Tit. 2:11-14; 1Cor. 5:10) and not to love the things of the world or socialize with worldly people (1 Cor. 5:9-13; 1 Pet. 4:3-4; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 2 Jn. 1:9-11).

‘Sanctify’ the Greek word hagiazo which means to separate from a profane to a sacred use; to consecrate yourself wholly to God and His service. The primary meaning is separation, not making holy. It means to make holy only when the person or thing sanctified needs to be cleansed from sin or defilement in order to be fit to be separated unto God and His service. Material things such as a day (Gen. 2:3); the tabernacle (Ex. 29:43-44); clothes (Lev. 8:30); houses (Lev. 27:9-29); or the temple (2Chron. 7:16-20) must be cleansed from all defilement in order to be fit to be presented to God for His holy uses. God’s name (Ezek. 36:23); God (1Pet. 3:15); Christ (John 10:36; 17:19); or the already cleansed disciples (John 13:10; 15:3; 17:2, 6, 14, 16) need not be cleansed from sin.

‘As thou has sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world’ – this being sent as God had sent Him applies to all disciples, for Christ is not praying “for these alone, but for them also which belief on Christ through their word” (Matt. 28:20; Mark 16:15-20; John 14:12; 20:21). This ‘sent into the world’ is to do whatever one chooses as their calling in life and then to daily implement the whole armour of God (Eph. 6:10-18) and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, so that wherever we go on a day-to-day basis our ‘walking’ will demonstrate a life in Christ (1 Pet. 2:21-23) so that others will be drawn unto Him.

‘I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.’ Jesus separated Himself unto God to do His will, even unto death, so that all disciples may benefit through His salvation for them and be sanctified continually as they get to know the Word (1Jn. 1:7; Eph. 5:26).

Jesus Prayed: Be One

John 17:9-12 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou has given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou has given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gave me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

‘I pray for them’ – here 7 things are mentioned that can be prayed for believers: to be kept from evil (17:11, 15); unity of all believers, as God and Christ are one (17:11, 21-23); the joy of Christ fulfilled in all believers (17:13); sanctification or separation of believers to the full work of God, as He had been set apart for this work (17:17-19; 10:36); world recognition of God’s love to believers (17:24); reunion with Christ (17:24); and to see His glory (17:24).

‘And all mine are thine, and thine are mine’ – this is a claim to perfect equality with God. Any believer can say that “all mine are Thine,” but only Christ can say all “Thine are Mine.” The claim is that all of Christ was the Father’s and all of the Father, is Christ’s.

‘None of them is lost, but the son of perdition’ – none is lost, but Judas who fell from the apostleship by transgression (Acts 1:20-25; Psa. 41:9; 69:25-29). Judas was included with those whom God gave to Christ (Matt. 10:1-20; Mark 3:13-19; 6:7-13; Luke 6:12-16).

‘Lost’ the Greek word apollumi. Used in John: to lose (6:12, 39; 12:25; 17:12; 18:9); perish (3:15-16; 6:27; 10:28; 11:50); destroy (10:10); and die (18:14).

‘Son of perdition’ – literally means the son of destruction, because he was destined to destruction. Used also of the Antichrist (2Thess. 2:3), and in the Septuagint of children of transgression (Isa. 57:4). Hebrews and Greeks called anyone who had a particular destiny, quality, or trait, the child of that thing, as “children of the kingdom” (Matt. 8:12; 13:38); “children of the bridechamber” (Matt. 9:15); “children of hell” (Matt. 23:15); “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3); “children of wisdom” (Matt. 11:19; Luke 7:35); etc. Judas and the Antichrist have no relationship to each other as to parents, birth, life, death, etc. Both are simply destined to destruction by their own deeds. The Antichrist will die at the hands of Christ, while Judas hung himself (Dan. 7:11; Isa. 11:4; 2Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:20).

‘That the scripture might be fulfilled’ The 11th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in John (Psa. 41:9; 69:25-29; 109:8; Acts 1:20-25). Judas was not lost that prophecy might come to pass, but prophecy foretold the fact of his willful sin and lost state. He was lost because he refused to be saved; lost through his own avarice and stubbornness to come back to Christ even after his crime.

Jesus Prayed: Glorified

John 17:4-8 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gave me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gave me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gave them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou has given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou did send me. 

‘Glorified thee on the earth’ this is done by demonstrating the will of God in teaching, healing, and holy living.

‘Work which thou gave me to do’ this is the work of Matthew 4:23 and Acts 10:38. The work of redemption was to be finished in a few hours at the crucifixion (John 19:30). The work in heaven is still going on (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 4:14-16; 7:25).

‘With the glory which I had with thee before the world was’ – a plain reference to His self-emptying (see Php. 2:7) where the Greek word kenoo means to empty out, drain. It is translated “make void,” “make of none effect,” and “make of no reputation.”

Here He refers to three experiential states: Eternal pre-existence (Mic. 5:1-2; John 1:1-2; Rev. 1:8, 11; 2:8; 22:13; Col. 1:15-18); Earthly self-emptying (Luke 2:40, 52; John 1:14; Php. 2:5-11; Heb. 1:3-9; 2:9-18; 4:14-16; 5:7); and Restored glory (John 17:5; Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-23; Php. 2:9-11; 1Pet. 3:22; Heb. 12:2; Rev. 3:21).

‘Thy name’ – speak of authority in His name (John 5:43; 10:25). ‘The men which thou gave me out of the world’ These men not only included the 12, but also the 70 disciples and many others that had come to believe in Him. Note ten things about these men: Jesus has manifested the Father’s name and glory to them (17:6, 22, 23); they were the Father’s (17:6, 9); they had received and kept His Word (17:6, 8); they knew God and believe that Jesus came from the Father (17:7, 8, 25); the world hated them (17:14); they were not of the world even as Jesus was not (17:14-16); Jesus was glorified in them (17:10); the Father gave them Jesus (17:2, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24); Jesus gave them eternal life (17:2-3); those that the Father gave Jesus He has kept, and none of them was lost, except for Judas (17:12).

Jesus Prayed: Life Eternal

John 17:1-3 These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou has given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou have sent. 

These words that Jesus spoke, refers to all of John 13:32-16:33. Then the Lord prayed His longest recorded prayer, which may be divided into four sections: verses 1-5 for Himself; 9-19 for His disciples; 20-24 for all disciples and 25-26 for His disciples again.

‘Power’ the Greek word exousia meaning the authority, delegated power and the right to give eternal life to all whom God gives to Him. As He died for all, He has the power to give eternal life (John 3:16; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17).

Man was given power over all creation and had he remained master of all things he would have continued to live forever. Satan, evil spirits, and sin got the mastery over him and he had to die (Gen. 2:17; Heb. 2:14; 1Jn. 3:8). Christ came to bring man complete mastery over these powers so he can again live forever in union with God. Eternal correspondence and relationship with the eternal God bring eternal life.

When man passes beyond the finite and the material realm where his life does not depend upon these things he enters into the infinite, spiritual, and eternal. Because of partaking of the nature of the eternal and having perfect correspondence with the spiritual and the eternal he can live forever (John 17:3; 2Cor. 4:18; 2Pet. 1:4). Such a life in the spiritual world possesses the elements of eternity, provided that this life, correspondence, environment, and union with the eternal is not broken off by sin and rebellion thereby incurring the death penalty (Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 1:29-32; 6:16-23; 8:12-13; 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21).

To know God eternally is eternal life. To know Him for a time like Adam is temporary life (Gen. 2:17). Eternal life is not prolonged existence or eternal continuance of being, for all the wicked have this and will be punished in conscious existence forever (Isa. 66:22-24; Matt. 25:41, 46; Mark 9:43-49; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:10-15; 21:8). It is not merely eternal existence, but eternal knowledge of God in eternal and perfect correspondence and perfect, eternal, and infinite environment. This life is only in God’s Son (1Jn. 5:11-12). Thus everlasting life is not merely an everlasting existence.

This scientific proof of the possibility of eternal life through eternal correspondence with God also proves the possibility of the opposite – eternal death or separation from God because of the lack of correspondence with God. If eternal life is only in God’s Son, then all who are not in Christ do not have eternal life, even though they will continue to exist forever. Furthermore, those who do not continue abiding in Christ lose true eternal life.

Just as anything in nature lives to the extent and as long as it continues in the environment producing its life or keeping it from dying, so the believer lives according to his knowledge. Like all things in nature die when they cease to have correspondence with and utilize the environment which keeps them alive, so the believer dies and is separated from God when he ceases to live in God and appropriate by faith the benefits provided him on the grounds of obedience to the gospel (John 6:27; 10:1-28; 15:1-8). Nothing in nature is given unqualified and unconditional life in itself, and nothing in nature is ever blessed with any degree of life without meeting the conditions upon which that life is given and maintained. The believer also must meet the conditions of maintaining life in God and in Christ, according to Scripture, if he is to live forever.

‘Know thee’ Knowing God is eternal life. This is why knowledge is stressed in Scripture. The words know, knowledge, known, etc. are found 1,401 times in the Bible. All Scripture centres around the idea of knowing God and conforming to His eternal will. Ignorance of Him and refusal to know and believe in Him are condemned many times. This is what will damn the soul.