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Just prior to His arrest by the Romans, Jesus prayed to the Father for all believers. Many call it Jesus High Priestly Prayer and it encompasses all of John 17. It is worth studying and meditating on. It expresses Jesus and the Father's heart of love for all believers. My comments are in italics.
1Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
The word “know” in context here is a personal and intimate relationship. It was used by Mary when the Angel told her she would have a child 'How will this be since I do not know (1097 /giná¹“skÅ = sexual intimacy) a man?'" In context here it means to love God. The Bible uses the same word "know" to define how a person is known by God. (But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. 1 Cor 8:3 ESV) This lets us know that when Jesus says “Depart from me I never knew you”, he is talking about unbelievers who do not love God.
4“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5“Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
6“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.
The Jews knew all the names of God except Father. The name that Jesus came to manifest to us is Father, Abba or Daddy. Our Father who art in heaven… He used the title Father over 160 times. Just before the cross Jesus prayed and addressed His Father as Abba or Daddy. A very intimate title used exclusively in a close Father and child relationship. (And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36 ESV) The only time Jesus called His Father, God, was on the cross when our sin was placed on Him and He took our place as fallen man and our punishment. In context, the name Father coincides with the word ”know” being about a loving intimate relationship we just discussed. If you believe, you are a child of God and your Father wants a close intimate relationship with you. He wants to be known and to know you, which is the perfect love that casts out all fear that the Bible speaks about.
7“Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.
It is important to grasp that Jesus only did and said what the Father told Him. The Bible is very clear that Jesus is and the exact representation of the Fathers nature. Jesus told us more than once “In seeing me, you have seen the Father.” Therefore, we know exactly what God the Father is like. We see His heart for the lost in Jesus. We see how he SO loved the world as stated in John 3:16, demonstrated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The reason Jesus came is that God so loved the world. ("For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16)
9“I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;
Jesus prayer is specifically on behalf of all believers.
10and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11“I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. 12“While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
The name again is Father. The more we know and the closer we are to our Father, the safer we will be. It is interesting that Jesus states “I am no longer in the world” and “While I was with them” when He is still present with them. This is God’s way, when He says something it is as good as done even before it is accomplished. The same truth applies to “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
13“But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.
Jesus wants believers to have His joy made full in us. Oh, the heart of Jesus.
14“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.
Believers are not of this world. This is stated several times in scripture. We are in the world but not of the world. We are born of God and our home is with our Father.
15“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.
God could have taken a person to be with Him immediately upon belief, but instead, Jesus prays that the Father would keep us from the evil one. Scripture is clear that Satan’s only weapon was the law. (The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 1 Cor 15:56) Through temptation, which is always a lie, he deceived humanity into breaking God’s law and thus subject to condemnation and death. Our Father keeps us from the evil one by first forgiving our sins and then removing believers from any possibility of future condemnation by the law, when he places the believer under grace, where Sin lies dead and is not imputed. (“… APART FROM THE LAW, SIN LIES DEAD. Rom 7:8b.) Under grace, Sin has no dominion in a believer’s life. (For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Rom 6:14) Satan has no power to condemn a believer under grace, they are safe for eternity in Christ.
16“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
17“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
There are two main covenants in the Bible. The Old Covenant was given by Moses and the New Covenant of grace and truth that came through Jesus. (For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 NASB) Notice that truth for the believer lies in the New Covenant Jesus shed his blood for. (And in the same way, He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” Luke 22:20 NASB)
18“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
The main reason our Father did not remove us from this world upon belief is that we are now Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, protected from the evil one by our Father in Jesus prayer. We are here on a mission to make Christ known, offering the same message Jesus offered. (Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Cor 5:18-20) The specific message we are to offer is stated in the next verse. (He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor 5:21 NASB) The gospel is the message of the righteous for the unrighteous. ("This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3 NASB)
19“For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
Jesus finished work protects and sanctified all believers. Jesus fulfilled the law for us so that we can walk by the Spirit and not the letter. The word sanctified means to make holy. To be holy is to be set apart unto God. (And by that will, we have been made holy/sanctified through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb 10:10 NIV) (Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified/made holy, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor 6:11 NASB) Believers are righteous, holy, sanctified and perfected in Christ even on our worst day. God tells us that nothing he has made holy can ever be called unholy.
20“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21that they may all be one; even 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 sent Me. 22“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;
Jesus makes it very clear that this prayer is for all believers for all time. As believers, from the first to the last, we are one body in Christ. Our mission is stated again, “so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
23I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
In verse 23, Jesus tells us that he wants us to know, that word know again, that the Father sent Jesus and loves us as he loves Jesus. Wow! God the Father loves believers like He loves Jesus.
24“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
Jesus prays that we will eventually be with Him where He is so that we too may see His glory. Do you think Jesus prayers are effective? If so, this request by Jesus should make you jump and shout for joy. You are headed to where Jesus is, believer. It is as good as done. God has qualified you in Christ and no longer sees you as part of this world. It is all about Jesus perfect sacrifice and your faith in Him. (Giving thanks to the Father, WHO HAS QUALIFIED YOU to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Col 1:12-13 ESV)
25“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me;
The world has not known God. These are those who Jesus will state depart from me I never knew you. They do not believe the gospel and the love God has for us. Therefore, they do not love God and are not known by God. (We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 NASB) We are Ambassadors bringing the message of the righteous for the unrighteous, the gospel, to the world so more may believe.
26and I have made Your name known (Father) to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
Jesus prayed specifically for you Christian. You are loved and protected in Christ. Your home with Him is guaranteed.
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20
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