Jesus Prayed: Made Perfect in One

John 17:20-26 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. And the glory which thou gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou have sent me, and have loved them, as thou have loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou have given me: for thou loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou have sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou have loved me may be in them, and I in them. 

‘One’ – this request for absolute unity is made five times (17:11, 17:21-23). Unity among Christians is necessary to convince the world that He had been sent by God. Is this why the world has not been convinced?

‘Are in me, and I in thee’ – the so-called doctrine of interpenetration, that is, persons entering physical into each other, is false. The Bible does speak of the Corinthians and Philippians being in Paul’s heart (2Cor. 7:3; Php. 1:7); God being in Christ (2Cor. 5:19); Christ being in God (John 14:20); God and Christ being in each other (John 14:10-11); men being in both the Father and the Son (1Jn. 2:24); men being in Christ (2Cor. 5:17); men and the Spirit being in each other (Rom. 8:9); Christ being in men (Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:10); man and Christ being in each other (John 14:20); all creation being in God (Acts 17:28); and satan entering into men (Luke 22:3; John 13:27). However, these passages refer to being in union with, being consecrated to the same end – one in mind, purpose, and life. They do not teach physical entrance of one being into another. It may be best understood by a man and woman becoming one in life together, being in each other’s plans, life, etc. Hence, satan entering into Judas simply means Judas submitted to satan’s temptation to betray Jesus. He became one with satan, like men become one in spirit with God when joined to Him in consecration (1Cor. 6:17).

‘That the world may know’ – if Christians want to know how to convince the world that their religion is of God, then let them become one as God and Christ are one. Make no mistake about it – this is the secret of the world’s recognition of Christianity. See what it did in the early congregations when they were one (Acts 1:14; 2:1, 46; 4:24, 32; 5:12). James 3:16 is so true: “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

‘Before the foundation of the world’ this is the second statement here of Christ’s preexistence – see also Micah 5:1-2; John 1:1-2; Revelation 1:8, 11; 2:8; 22:13 and Col. 1:15-18.

‘Righteous Father’ – eight facts about the Father: He is righteous (17:25); He is holy (17:11); He originates from heaven (Matt. 6:14, 26, 32); He is the Father of Mercies (2Cor. 1:3); the Father of Glory (Eph. 1:17); the Father of Spirits (Heb. 12:9); the Father of Lights (Jas. 1:17) and the Lord of Heaven (Matt. 11:25).

‘Them’ – there are 169 pronouns used in this prayer. Plural pronouns are used of God and Christ in the same sense as used of disciples, proving plurality of persons in the Godhead (17:11, 21-23). There are 65 singular personal pronouns used of Christ and 53 of the Father; 43 plural pronouns are used of God and disciples.

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.