John 17: 20-26

October 24, 2017


  • Many think of this part of chapter 17 as the “high priestly prayer,” but this prayer came to us when Jesus was physically on the cross.

  • MAJOR THEME OF JOHN - Jesus was sent. The word “sent” occurs almost 40 times in the Gospel of John.

  • At this moment, we are watching the 12 disciples go from just that – disciples – to apostles. The full transformation will take place when they are endowed with the Holy Spirit, but the Passover Meal (The Last Supper) is full of moments where Jesus is imparting “last-minute” wisdom to His beloved disciples. It doesn’t make sense now, but Jesus knows “The Helper” is coming, and He will advise and guide His followers.

  • Jesus is praying specifically for His disciples.

Verse 20

Here, Jesus is upping the status of the disciples.

  • Let’s think about this: Jesus was sent to FULFILL the Word of God.

    • The disciples are being trained to deliver THIS message.

  • In this verse, the love and divinity of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior are on full display.

  • The final part of this verse is also about you, me, and the church.

Verse 21

Does this verse not make you think of the intimacy we’ll experience in the Kingdom? We definitely see similar language to that of 1 John.

  • Jesus doesn’t want His disciples to perish – one of them already has. He clearly wants the apostles to stay on message (HIS message).

  • There is a direct reference here to BIBLICAL EVANGELISM.

    • Question: Why would Jesus want the disciples to be like this?

    • Answer: So the world will believe in Him (Jesus) through their (disciples) message of what He has done. à This is what TRUE biblical evangelism looks like, and it shouldn’t be confused with knocking on doors.

Verse 22

What exactly is glory?

  • Jesus referred to glory in some cases as His being lifted up – as in being lifted up from the cross. The true altar is the cross, where our Passover Lamb sacrificed Himself.

  • Perhaps, glory is dying in Christ’s name – In better words, perhaps glory is dying in koinwnia with Christ.

Referenced Romans 8:17 – “And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

Referenced 1 Corinthians 3:18 – “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.”

  • The disciples WILL die for the message too. Is this the glory Jesus speaks of?

Verse 23

Think about this: GOD LOVES US LIKE HE LOVES HIS SON. Wow.

  • Side note: This is hard for many believers (including me) because we live in a guilt-ridden culture. We are made to believe that we aren’t good enough. God shouldn’t want us, and I admit that I’ve thought these things too; however, if we truly believe this, what does that say about Jesus’ sacrifice? He thinks we’re worth it, and that should be good enough for us.

  • We’re blessed.

  • The Greek word for “perfect” is “teleios.” It means to come to the end or the completion of a process. Perhaps, Jesus is hinting that His disciples will complete Scripture. They will write the remaining books in the Word of God by receiving divine revelation. It’s an interesting thought!

Verse 24

This should make us all feel special.

  • STRONG CLAIM TO DEITY HERE! Christ existed before the foundation of the world. Wow. He was there when the world was created. It was just Him and God…That IS a HUGE claim to deity, folks.

Verse 25

  • “Yet I have known you…” would anger the Jews BIG time. Jesus is claiming to know God (to know Yahweh), and that is about the most blasphemous thing a Jew could say.

Verse 26

  • The love referred to here isn’t your run-of-the-mill love; it’s agape love – it’s biblical love.

Referenced Barkley’s commentary on John – What Jesus is saying in this verse is basically this: I’ve enabled men to see the TRUE nature of god the Father. This is the SUPREME claim of deity. In Jesus, men can see the mind, character, and heart of God. Wow.


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