John 17

The Word Made Fresh

1After Jesus said these things, he looked heavenward and prayed, “Father, the hour has come. Praise your Son so that he may praise you, 2for you have given him authority over all flesh so that he might grant eternal life to those you have given him. 3Eternal life is for those who know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4I have honored you on earth by accomplishing the things you gave me to do. 5Now may you honor me in your presence with the honor I received from you before the world came to be.

6“I have given your name recognition among those you have given me. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that what you have given me is indeed from you. 8What you told me to say I have passed on to them and they believe that you sent me, and know that I came from you. 9I am speaking for them – not for the world, but for those you gave me. 10Those who belong to me are yours, and yours are mine, and they have honored me. 11They are in the world, but I no longer belong to the world. I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in the name you have given me so that they may be one as we are one. 12While I was with them I protected them, in the name you have given me. I watched over them and none of them were lost except the one destined to be lost so that the scripture might come to pass. 13But now I am coming to you, and I’m saying these things here so that my joy might be fulfilled in them. 14I have passed your word on to them, and the world has hated them because they don’t belong here, just as I don’t belong here. 15I’m asking you to protect them from evil, not to remove them from the world, 16even though they don’t belong to the world any more than I do. 17Bless them with the truth in your word. 18You sent me into the world. In the same way I am sending them, 19and for their sake I am blessed so that they, too, may be truly blessed.

20“I am asking not only for these, but also for the ones who will believe in me through their witness. 21May they all be one, and as you, Father, are in me and I in you, may they also be in us. Then the world will believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the blessing you gave me so that they may be together as we are together – 23I with you and you with me. May they become one as well so that the world will know you have sent me and that you love them just as you loved me.

24“Father, I also ask that these you have given me may be present with me so that they will see the glory you have given me because you loved me before the world was even formed. 25Holy Father, the world doesn’t know you. But I know you, and these you have given me know you have sent me. 26I held up your name for them, and I’ll continue to hold up your name so that the love you have given me might also be in them just as I am in them.”


1-5: This chapter is entirely unique to John. Before they head across the Kidron Valley where he will be arrested, Jesus raises a prayer which is primarily on behalf of his disciples. In the opening paragraph, though, he asks the Father to honor him. Once again the theme of eternal life is evident when he affirms that he has been given the authority to bestow it on his followers.

6-19: I imagine a chill went up their collective spines as they listened to Jesus pray. He says he has taught them everything the Father has taught him, and that they now know the Father sent him. He is no longer in the world, having consented heart and soul to the fate that awaits him, and asks the Father to protect them. For his part, he has kept them safe — all but Judas — and asks the Father to protect them because they, too, are no longer of the world even though they are still in the world. As the Father has sent him, he now sends them, the closest thing to the Great Commission we’ll find in John’s gospel.

20-24: Now the prayer asking for their protection is extended to future disciples (you and me!) who will come to believe that the Father sent him through the testimony of each succeeding generation of believers.

25-26: Jesus passes on to them his knowledge and his love, so that they will be one in faith and in witness.


The prayer Jesus prayed for his disciples is his prayer for all of us who believe in him. Read his prayer again, and insert your own family where the disciples are mentioned. You’ll be blessed!