John 17 Bible Study

Bible Study of John Chapter 17

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John 17 Bible Study


JOHN 17:1-1-5  1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

What did Jesus do with His eyes His when He prayed?
"Lifted up His eyes to heaven." (John 17:1)

Does the Bible mention Jesus or anyone else closing eyes in prayer?
It doesn't.

So why do Christians close them and clasp hands for prayer?
To block out distractions, but also by tradition.

Should it be continued?
It can be, but isn't required.

Why is the glorification in John 17:1 circular?
God the Father and God the Son are one.

Who has authority over all human beings?
Jesus: "You have given Him authority over all flesh." (John 17:2)

Who gets saved?
“As many as” (John 17:2) the Father “has given" (John 17:2) to Jesus.

What is "eternal life" (John 17:3)?
To "know... the only true God." (John 17:3) Jesus isn't praying for people to know "about" God, but to know God in an intimate relationship that starts on earth when they accept Jesus' gift of salvation and continues for eternity.

What does Jesus' statement about "the only true God" imply?
All other gods are false.

What kind of "glory" is Jesus praying about in John 17:5?
What He has always had ruling the universe with the Father in heaven: "glory which I had with You before the world was."

Why does Jesus say He “had” that glory?
Coming in the flesh entailed Jesus to set aside that glory, which He is about to retake upon ascension to heaven.

JOHN 17:6-13  6 I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9 I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

Who is the “lost... son of perdition” in John 17:12?
Judas Iscariot.

Is Jesus praying for everyone in the world?
No: "I do not pray for the world." (John 17:9)

Who is Jesus praying for?
In the previous passage, He prayed primarily for Himself and the Father. In this passage, He is praying for those who believed in Him at the time. And given the distinction He makes in John 17:7 and since anthropos, the Greek word translated "men" in John 17:6 doesn't mean male humans but "human beings as distinct from animals", His prayer is for all who believed in Him, not just the 11 disciples.

Did Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross pay for the pay for the sins of everyone in the world?
If so, non-believers would be able to go to heaven as well, which isn’t true: "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:40-42) Jesus' sacrifice wiped out all sins - past, present and future - of the believers only.

What does Jesus say the disciples believed about Him?
"They... have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me." (John 17:8)

Does He say that they believe He is the Messiah who would die for their sins and be resurrected?
No, they will understand that only after His resurrection. At this point, they understand Him to be someone who doesn’t fit their notion of a militaristic Messiah, but a Messiah from God nonetheless.

JOHN 17:14-19  14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

Does Jesus want Christians to isolate themselves from the non-Christian world?
No: "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world." (John 17:15) He wants Christians to remain in the world to spread His truth and love, and to engage in the spiritual fight against the "evil one" (John 17:15), from whom the Father will provide His protection. What He wants is not for Christians to be taken out of the world, but for the worldliness to be taken out Christians.

What is the world's expected reaction to Christians?
Hatred: "the world has hated them because they are not of the world." (John 17:14)

Why does Jesus say that He sanctifies Himself in John 17:19?
Hagiazo, the Greek word translated, “sanctify” usually means "to make holy", but it also means "to set apart to the service of and to loyalty to deity.” By praying, "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself" (John 17:19), Jesus wasn't saying that He, who is already sinless and holy, needs to be made holy, but that He sets Himself apart for service to the Father - i.e., death on the cross.

JOHN 17:20-26  20 I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

To whom does Jesus extend His prayer in John 17:20-26?
All future Christians: "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word."

What phrases in this passage describe Jesus’ relationship with the Father?
"You, Father, are in Me, and I in You… You sent me." (John 17:21) "the glory which You gave Me… We are one." (John 17:22) "You in Me… You have sent Me… You have loved Me." (John 17:23) "My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:24) "I have known You… You sent Me." (John 17:25) "the love with which You loved Me." (John 17:26)

How close is Jesus' relationship with the Father?
It can't be closer; they "are one." (John 17:22)

What phrases describe Jesus’ desired relationship with Christians?
"they also may be one in Us" (John 17:21) "the glory which You gave Me I have given them" (John 17:22) "I in them… You… have loved them" (John 17:23) "I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory" (John 17:24) "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." (John 17:26)

So, how close is Jesus’ desired relationship with Christians?
It can't be any closer.

How close are most "Christians'" desired relationship with Jesus?
Most self-declared Christians confine Him to a part or a corner of their lives, weeks or days.

What does Jesus pray for among Christians?
Unity: “that they all may be one” (John 17:21) “they may be one” (John 17:22) “that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:23)

What is the enabler of the unity?
Glory: “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one.” (John 17:22)

How can “glory” unite Christians?
Doxa, the Greek word translated "glory", actually means “opinion”, “notion” or “what one thinks”. This is the root that gives us the word “doctrine.” So Jesus is saying that He has given the Father's thoughts and opinions to His disciples.

What did the disciples eventually do with them?
Wrote them down into what is today called the Bible.

Why are there so many different factions within Christianity?
There are at least three reasons. For one, some of them are not Christian. While they might call themselves "Christian", they are cults and sects whose beliefs and practices have very little to do with the Bible. For another, some of those that are Christian have veered away from the Bible and each other by failing to be grounded in the Word of God, instead focusing on their leaders, pet doctrines and traditions. Thirdly, while God's resources are infinite, Satan's are limited and therefore concentrated where they can cause the greatest damage among Christians. Division among Christians is sad but still preferable to unity under falsehood.

How can we tell if a group is truly Christian, or how far a Christian group has gone astray?
Compare their beliefs and practices to the Bible, which of course requires studying the Bible for yourself.

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